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  • Writer's pictureKatherine Kohan

How to survive 14+ hour flights

After taking over 30 of these flights in 2023, my husband and I are begrudging experts

That's right. I am as disgusted as you are dear reader. By the end of 2023, my husband and I will have taken OVER 30 flights longer than 14 hours. I can tell you right now my 2024 goal will be to get this number down. However, let us put our misery to use with our top tips that have been hard won.

Tip #1 - Eat everything

Eat a large meal before you get on the plane at the airport, particularly with as much fruit as possible. The fruit is a good way to stay hydrated by eating without increasing your chance of having to pee the second you get on the plane.

Eat the entire meal that is served to you after takeoff. Unlike on shorter flights, there is nothing better to do and you need the distraction.

Eating breaks up the flight as follows:

  • First 3 hours: Eat and read a physical book or play paper sudoku. (Given you will be on your headphones for the next 8 hours, try a non-digital start)

  • Next 8 hours: Try to sleep while listening to podcasts. The podcasts are for if you don't actually fall asleep, you don't get stressed about it.

  • Final 3 hours: Eat, drink coffee and read a physical book or play paper sudoku.

Tip #2 - Embrace sloppy dress

Ventilation is key. Typically the plane will get uncomfortably warm at some point and you will get sweaty. To get ahead of this, my husband likes to wear shorts wherever possible. I like to wear a sleeveless shirt under a hoodie so I am prepared for all temperature ranges. The hoodie has the benefit of a kangaroo pouch where I can store my passport and phone. A vest can also accomplish the same thing.

"I never thought I would be a travel shorts kind of guy." – My husband

Tip #3 - Hydrate

Flying is dehydrating. I try to drink extra water starting about halfway through the flight and just keep going. My husband, who loves a good glass of booze now and again, recommends not having any alcohol on the flight (unless it is Emirates first class!).

I really start to feel the dehydration during the commute to my destination after the flight. Imagine, you have survived this super long flight, you collapse on a train seat for the 30 minute ride into town....and all of a sudden, you are incredibly parched but also sweaty, confused and what time is it again? Simple solution: buy a water at the airport after you have entered your arrival destination but before you start the journey to your final resting spot. (Side benefit: you get early feedback on which credit cards will work in your new destination in a lower pressure environment than trying to buy a train ticket with a huge line behind you.)

Tip #4 - Timeshift

Both my husband and I use the Timeshifter app and it really does work. I can never actually follow it, but I enjoy knowing when I SHOULD be awake.

Even if you follow all of these tips, you will still feel not great after a 14+ hour flight. All you can do is try to feel not as bad. Good luck!

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Oct 31, 2023

Great tips! Eat and hydrate - sound advice. And it doesn’t hurt to fly business or first!😁

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