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7 Tips on How to Survive a Red-Eye Flight

I have a love-hate relationship with red-eye flights.  I hate them and yet I keep booking them.  I am not even doing it to save money.  I do it to save time.  The only way for me to fly direct from California to Ohio to visit my family is by flying red-eye flights.  I’d take that over connecting flight any day.

I never feel 100% myself the next day, but I’ve found some ways to make it tolerable.

PIN ME FOR LATER!7 tips on how to survive a red-eye flight #fundkeylife #travel

1. Book a window seat

I always try to book for an aisle seat unless it’s a red-eye flight.  I drink a lot of water and can’t seem to hold it in.  That’s why sitting on the aisle is perfect for me.  However, when it’s a red-eye flight, then window seat all the way.  The best part about the window seat is that you can rest your head and don’t have to be woken up by other passengers if they need to get up.

2. Dress for sleep

Wear pajamas or yoga clothes.  I usually wear pajamas when I flight even when it’s not a red-eye.  Lately, I’ve upgraded to yoga clothes because my family thinks I shouldn’t leave the house wearing pajamas.  I need to look “presentable”.  What’s wrong with being comfortable, especially at night?

Don’t forget to bring your socks, a sweater and a small blanket.  I get cold easily and they really crank up the AC in the airplane.  The cold air is really what usually wakes me up.

3. Eat a small meal at home

Eat something light at home.  You don’t want a heavy meal before you board.  It will help your stomach digest and allow you to sleep easier.  It also helps avoid stomach issues.

4. Brush your teeth 

I do this at home before I leave for the airport.  I want to mentally prepare myself and be ready for bed when I get there.  The airport restrooms are always busy and there’s always a line.  I’d hate to stand there to brush my teeth while everyone else is watching.

5. Avoid caffeinated beverages

Avoid drinking caffeinated drinks.  This should be a given, but for some reason, I always see a lot of people drinking coffee at night at the airport.  Maybe they’re trying to stay awake for the whole flight.  But if you want to sleep, then definitely skip it.

6. Earplugs and eye mask

If you’re sensitive to noise and light, then invest in those items to help you sleep.  I don’t like earplugs but eye mask would help.

7. Travel neck pillow

I found a really nice one at Marshall in preparation for my last trip to Asia and it worked so well.  I didn’t like the more expensive one I got from Amazon and had to return it.  You need to find one that is high enough to hold your neck in place.  You don’t want to wake up the next day feeling with neck pain.

8. Bonus Tip: prepare for the next day

Now that you’ve survived your red-eye flight, what to do next?  With the time difference, when I arrive in Columbus at 6 AM, it’s really 3 AM my normal time.  I would wash up for a little bit and continue my sleep.  Allow your body to adjust to the new time zone.  Hopefully, your next red-eye flight won’t be as bad.

My Next Travel Destination:

I am planning for my next trip to Vietnam/Thailand with a 22-hour layover in Hong Kong.  I am excited about my trip but hate long flights.  I have to come up with more ways to make the flight more enjoyable.

What are some ways you have done to make your flight more enjoyable?

Updated:  The trip did not turn out the way I had imagined, from the 22-hour layover to 22-hour bus ride.  I spent most of my time being transported around. Oh…did I mention we also got stranded?  I know.  Crazy right?  That’s another story for another day.

Related: How My 22-Hour Layover Ended Up Costing Me More Money


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