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Surviving your long haul flight to Africa

I've flown a lot of long haul flights and here are some strategies I use to survive.

  1. Fly business class. If you dread long haul flights like I do, the best strategy is to bit the bullet and fly business class. When I fly business, I actually look forward to the long flight. You get to enjoy the nice airport lounges and have short lines for check in. You board first so no anxiety with your carry on bags. Most business seats are pods. You get to relax and sleep in your own space. What can be better than having solitude with someone serving you fine wines and gourmet food?

  2. Drink plenty of water. Long flights at that altitude cause dehydration. That can make you feel bad and contribute to jet lag. You may be tempted to drink a lot of alcohol on the plane because it is free. Slow down on the alcohol and drink lots of water. Bring your own water bottle and fill it up after security. Once in the air you can ask a flight attendant to fill it for you.

  3. I prefer to sit in an aisle seat. That is because I drink a lot of water and have to get up to go the restroom a lot. It also gives me no excuses for not getting up and stretching often.

  4. Blood clots are a risk on long haul flights. Wear compression socks if you are in coach but more importantly, get up and move around every chance.

  5. Wear comfortable clothes and a sweater or jacket on the plane. You can take the jacket off when you first sit down. Put it back on when the plane gets cold. This will save you space in your suitcase as well. You can also ball it up to make a pillow or put it behind you back for lumbar support.

  6. Put an extra set of clothes in your carry on. You may want to change into fresh clothes before landing. It's also good to have extra clothes in case your checked bag is lost.

  7. Take a toothbrush, lotion, and medicines on the plane with you. You will want to brush your teeth before landing.

  8. Use noise canceling headphones. My airpods work great. I have a bluetooth device that plugs into the sound jack so I can listen to the airline movies using my airpods.

  9. Don't bring a bulky head pillow. It will be nice on the plane but then you have to haul it around with you the rest of the trip.

  10. Download entertainment and/or bring a good book to read. If traveling as a couple, bring a small backgammon set or cards.

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