Really long plane rides

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1. Posted by JordanSchmitt (Budding Member 22 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

I can never sleep on planes, and I always find myself getting really anxious and antsy by the end of flights that are 6+ hours. I'm about to go on an 11 hour flight, so I'm looking for any suggestions or tips that anybody might have for how you get through really long plane rides without losing your mind.

2. Posted by Teoni (Travel Guru 1552 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

I know the feeling The best thing I do is distract myself with whatever movies or shows they have on the plane. If there is nothing on the plane, I have pre downloaded some podcasts into my phone to listen to. I will though try to get some naps if I can. Even a few minutes can be better than nothing;). Oh and don't forget at least every two hours have a walk up and down the aisles to prevent deep vein thrombosis.

3. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 1377 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

I would say, like Teoni, make the most of the films etc on offer - it's often a good chance to catch up on one you may have missed at the cinema. But also take lots to do in case the onboard entertainment doesn't appeal (books, music, puzzles, computer games - whatever you enjoy). And take regular short walks - not only are they essential to avoid DVT, it also breaks up the monotony of sitting in the same place for so long, which is I think what makes you 'antsy' ;) Also, although airplane food is rarely great, I always take any meal offered, if only to pick through it - another thing to distract you!

4. Posted by SirGaw (Budding Member 45 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

If you think 11 hours is tough, do a google on catalina doco and the story of the 32 hour flights in wartime between Perth, West Australia and Columbo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanks) - and before the days of in-flight movies.

5. Posted by AlexFree95 (Budding Member 7 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

What you could do, for example, if you like video games, buy a PSP or Nintendo portable, and play some video games, also, if you want to sleep a little bit, have some headphones, and play some relaxing music, also you can have a chat with your mate next to you (of course, this always depends on him/her) but I can tell that is a good idea to have a "quick flight". Also have a computer and download some films or tv shows can help. But I think, mentalizing your mind is a good therapy though, to help you, I flight twice and I did the same, don't think too much on how long it's going to be, you are going to be there for a good reason, the reason you are going to enjoy after 11 hours flight. I hope I can help you a little bit mate.

6. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1725 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

We fly from San Francisco to Europe so always have at least 11 hours of sitting in the plane. My husband takes a book and he also manages to sleep on the plane. I really can't sleep so I load my Kindle with a bunch of books and can read whatever seems fun at the moment. Usually I can finish a book in 11 hours so sometimes I'll watch an airplane movie although I don't like those tiny screens smack in front of my face. There are also exercises in the back of the airline magazines and it helps to do those from your seat. Gets the blood moving and keeps you from going crazy. I hate it when someone in the row starts talking, especially on overnight flights so if your seatmate seems reluctant to talk, take the hint.

I'm surprised no one else has suggested a book. That's the easiest way to escape reality. Highly recommended.

7. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 2259 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Has anyone any thoughts about active noise cancelling headphones? I can never sleep on flights and I wonder if these would make a difference.

I don't normally like taking lots of clutter when I travel, particularly something which would be used just on the outward and return journeys. So I am not keen on bulky ones - I've seen some in-ear ones on a large internet retailer with a south american name and wondered if in-ear ones would be any good.

8. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 1586 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

I'm a great advocate of a prescribed sleeping tablet. I tell my doctor that I need them to adjust to time zones (and I do) but I also take one for a long flight (over 10 hours) but the doctor advises against that because of DVT (I don't tell him!). Probably not ideal but it always works for me!

9. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1725 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Andy, I've heard the in-the-ear headphones are not as good as the big bulky ones for cutting the noise. I don't like the noise but that's not what keeps me awake as much as being stuck in the same position for hours. I can't sit still that long. We each book aisle seats across from each other so I can get up and wander around. No way to roll over in an airplane seat . . .

10. Posted by Cottonwood (Respected Member 535 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Well, I can't read on planes do to motion sickness, so that rules that out. If the in flight movie selections are worth it, I'll watch a couple of them. I'm also into photography, so getting shots of the wing and/or plane engines with the scenery down below keeps my mind occupied. Sleeping, eating, drinking, if the seat partner is worth talking to, are always options and just excepting the fact that it is going to be a LONG flight helps and not be annoyed with it keep me going. All part of travelng.
I actually had dinner with a former "seat partner" the next night after a long flight once after we talked so much DURING the flight. I had the window seat(for the Photography of the plane wings and scenery) and he had the aisle cause he was scared of heights. As long as we talked, slept, or ate our lovely plane food, he was calm about being at 30,000 feet for that particular 10 something hour flight to London.