Having just survived a 15+ hour flight from Philippines -> Guam -> Hawaii. I’ve learned/remembered a few things to make that long, long haul a little more bearable.
- Get noise cancelling headphones (not in ear earphones though, they hurt after a while). This trip i splurged and got bose QC35 but any over ears that don’t press on your ears would be fine.
- iPad/phone/tablet with tray table tablet holder. It didn’t work on all my flights, and the last leg of my flight had it built into the seat, but when it did work, for $10 to $15 bucks these things were awesome. Here’s the one I recommend. AirClipZ iPad and Digital Tablet Travel Holder for Airplane Tray Table there’s a more expensive one, but at twice the price it didn’t work as well and was actually more cumbersome.
- Ask for the seat belt extender whether you need it or not, the extra room so you don’t feel trapped is nice. Since all flight now seem to require you stay buckled while seated.
- I’m divided on the window seat now, getting trapped by the window when you need to pee and both your seat mates are a sleep is hell, but getting bumped by every single person on the way to said restroom is also hell, ever since airlines decided we’re all super skinny. However, middle seat is not just hell, it’s… *bleep bleep bleeP BLEEP* let’s just say it’s worse than hell.
- Since you get to carry on two items, keep your airplane essentials in the bag by your feet.
- Upgrade to premium economy every time.
- Get flights with wifi when possible you can’t watch streaming videos, but slow facebooking is infinitely more fun than staring at the back of the seat.
- Battery pack to keep electronics powered if your flight doesn’t have in seat power.
- If you have a multi-hour stop over like I did (but not long enough or can’t legally leave the airport), make full use of the airport to walk around or buy time in the airline club/lounge. It’s well worth it to stretch and decompress after 4 hrs stuck in a plane, when you’ve got 10hrs left to go.
- Have an agreement with your seatmate who gets the arm rest, esp if you’re in the middle seat and everyone has to sit cross armed. Jebus that’s annoying.
- Always have a pen in your airlines essential bag, even better if it’s 2 pens.
- Wear slippahs or shoes that can easily slip on and off. It helps with TSA if you don’t have precheck, but also helps your feet on the flight itself, my feet always seems to expand mid air.
- Bring a gift of snacks for the flight crew, it helps and sometimes, you get that little bit extra back. I once got moved out of regular economy and into premium, after take off to “balance the plane’s weight.” lol
- If you land at an airport like Narita that has shower facilities, USE’EM you’ll feel human again. Remember to keep your deodorant and toothbrush (even without toothpaste still nice to just brush) in your carry on.
- Related to the previous tip, bring a change of t-shirts/tops and underroos with you in your carry on. Whether it’s because there’s a shower for you to use or not, it’s nice landing at your destination in/with clean clothes that you haven’t been in for 20 hrs. Also I’m sure who ever is meeting you/picking you up at the other end appreciates you don’t smell like a Sasquatch.
Lastly, if you’re traveling internationally even just once a year but you fly domestically a lot. Get global entry, you get TSA Precheck privileges, and going thru customs/border patrol is so much easier/faster.
Oh and if you made it this far, poop before you get on the plane, seriously just dodo it, or buy imodium and shut it down until you land, whether you’re running or not. Those airline restrooms, are coffins with a potty these days.