"" Writer's Wanderings: Long Flight? What To Do To Keep Sanity

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Long Flight? What To Do To Keep Sanity

We're all different and we all need different things to keep our sanity when it comes to long flights. Facing a thirteen hour flight from Toronto to Tokyo soon, I was exploring what others might do to keep from going crazy sitting in one place that long.

First of all, it is always suggested that several times during your flight you get up and walk the aisle a bit. This usually works for me when nature calls. Good excuse to get up and walk and avoid the dangers of deep vein thrombosis. While we're on the subject, it is also helpful to keep hydrated. Hmm. Now that I think about it the hydration makes you get up for a trip to the rest room. I also had a doctor tell me that just before getting on the plane you might want to take an aspirin (if it's not in your regimen already). It thins the blood a bit and helps prevent DVT as well.

Moving on to the more mental exercise, I always load my Kindle with lots of books. On a trip this long, I can run through two if I don't get sleepy or there's a movie I want to see on the inflight entertainment system. Usually on long flights you will find individual TV screens in the back of the seat in front of you. It will have lots of free movies, TV reruns, and music choices as well as games you can play. The most exciting choice we had on one huge airbus was a view from a camera placed on the undercarriage of the plane that allowed us to watch the landing.

Bob likes to sleep, especially when the hours coincide with our sleep cycle. He will take two Tylenol PM and be out like a light. I can't seem to fall asleep, pills or no pills. My best hope is getting sleepy from reading and dozing off and on. If you plan to sleep and are considering medication, be sure to try it out before you fly. Some medications that are meant to put you to sleep actually react differently with some people and may keep you awake instead. It's also helpful to not have any caffeine in your drinks (remember some sodas contain it as well as coffee and chocolate). Alcohol is not helpful either they say.

Plan ahead. Don't carry more than you need on the plane and plan to put your carry-on in the overhead bin. Your legs will thank you for the extra room under the seat in front of you. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes (guaranteed your feet will swell a bit), something that you can wear off the plane when you land. You can't plan to change into pjs and back to clothes in the tiny little bathroom on the plane.

Of course if you should be so lucky to snag an upgrade to first class, it will be a whole lot easier to whittle away those hours in the air. Good luck.

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