A student who is afraid of flying asked me how to survive the fourteen hour flight to Japan. These were my tips:
- Shorten. Take a direct flight. Connections suck.
- Reserve. Make sure to get a seat in the forward half of the cabin. Less turbulence and less claustrophobic.
- Sleep. Don't drink any caffeine on the day of the flight and try to board the plane slightly sleep deprived. If needed, pharmaceuticals can be your friend. Take a (properly prescribed) chill pill or sleeping pill (not both!) and sleep through the entire thing. Alcohol can dehydrate you and make you wake up with a headache, but if a small glass of beer or wine will send you to lala-land, go for it. (I personally can't take either drugs or alcohol, so these last two are based on the advice of seatmates and other travelers).
- Nest. Get a window seat and bring your own neck pillow and fluffy blanket.
- Shutout. Get good earplugs, noise isolating or noise cancelling headphones with a good soundtrack or audiobook on your iPhone, and an eye mask and/or wear a baseball cap (it can shade the cabin light quite well).
Any other tips or suggestions?