Remind me to never again take 3 flights in a 24-hour period. The last time I did this was in 2011 returning to South Africa from a trip to the US.
Sacramento – Minnesota – Atlanta – Johannesburg.
By the time I got on the Delta flight to Johannesburg I was tired and sick. I took some pain meds, told the flight attendants to please keep my food warm (vegetarian special meal) because I needed to sleep awhile.
This was probably the best sleep I’ve had on a plane, thanks to the meds. I don’t make a habit of this though. The only muti I take is echinacea for the blurgies. I’d rather sleep it off when I arrive at my destination. I find that melatonin helps me deal with jet lag and flight exhaustion although I forgot to bring it this time around.
Anyway, the Delta flight attendants were so kind! When I woke up, dinner service had been over a long time since. I walked to the galley to ask for dinner and in a few minutes, the tray of food was placed in front of me.
Johannesburg – Frankfurt – Barcelona – Lisbon.
That was yesterday. Not wanting a repeat of the 2011 trip, I made sure that I ate regularly, kept hydrated, and made a deliberate effort to remain relaxed. Oh yes, and I took some Gaba (gamma-aminobutyric acid is a neurotransmitter) which helps relieve the anxiety I feel when I travel.
Like all flights I didn’t sleep well – perhaps 2 or 3 hours of fitful sleep.
These are the habits I’ve adopted to make long-haul flights bearable:
- I always select my seats at the time of booking so that I am either on the aisle or have extra legroom. This is important to me and I will pay extra for this.
- I like to start taking Gaba 2 days before traveling. It helps deal with the anxiety I feel when I travel.
- I eat all the time, in small bits. I carry nuts and dried fruit with me. When I arrive on the other side I seem to crave fruit, so if I’m in transit I go in search of fruit and yogurt.
- On the flight I quaff copious amounts of orange juice and water – I find that in the dry environment of the plane, the tartness of the orange juice is something my body asks for.
- Take liberal amounts of echinacea (this is in my little 100ml plastic bag of liquids allowed through security.
- Keep melatonin handy – for after the flight, to get my sleep cycles operating normally again.
It may seem that I rely a lot on nutraceutical supplements – yes I do – and it’s better than relying on sleeping tablets or such like.
What are your habits when you travel?