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Air travel for 10 hours

I'm not that fond of flying so, the thought of a 10 hour flight, in coach, is not appealing. Does anyone have suggestions?

Posted by
22984 posts

Suggestions for what??? If you don't want a 10 hr non-stop, arrange a two leg flight.

Posted by
12040 posts

Talk to your doctor about a sleep medication.

Posted by
977 posts

Doreen, thank your lucky stars you live in the Northern Hemisphere!!!

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks for this perspective! I need to focus on the destination not how I get there.

Posted by
32110 posts


Sitting on the "flying bus" for any length of time is uncomfortable at the best of times (especially in "sardine class"), whether it's 10-hours or longer.

You have a couple of options. As the others have suggested, you can take medication and sleep through most of the flight. However you'll have to make sure to time it so that you're not "groggy" when you arrive at destination.

I normally just watch movies, chat with other passengers, enjoy the airline cuisine (which has been surprisingly good on several occasions) or have short naps to pass the time. I can usually get through about three movies on flights to Europe. It's also a good idea to get up every so often and stretch your legs (especially if you might be prone to DVT).

Happy travels!

Posted by
153 posts

The most important thing to remember is that the long plane flight, while uncomfortable and perhaps unpleasant, is just to get to where you can start having some fun.

We bring plenty of reading material, iPods, and sometimes use a laptop to watch movies (but you need to select a seat with a plug). I will bring an inflatable pillow that wraps around my neck, because the seats don't recline enough and my head falls forward, waking me up. The pillow provides a little support.

My wife likes to bring a shawl or a wrap because sometimes it gets pretty chilly.

Each flight is different. Sometimes it's quiet, sometimes it's not.

But your trip is not about the flight!!!

Posted by
2679 posts

The link for the five ways to get comfortable was a hoot!

Wonder what that lady will do when I say "yes, I plan to recline" and she can't get moved? LOL!

Posted by
875 posts

We are taking a flight to London that leaves at 7 p.m. -- a real-time overnight flight. We usually try to work the crossword puzzle in the airline magazine (together); then dinner with no alcohol or anything with caffeine; then maybe a movie or reading -- but probably a small portion of an Ambien tablet in hopes of 2-4 hrs of sleep. If I can get some sleep, it makes the trip seem "better" and easier to tolerate.

Posted by
689 posts

If you can sleep on a plane, do an overnight flight. If you can't (I can't, even with sleeping pills), don't! I am thoroughly miserable on overnight flights, exhausted but unable to sleep, so I book flights that leave in the am or early pm. I take my Ipod (travel podcasts are great), I make sure my plane has individual tv screens (most transatlantic do these days), I bring food because I know the airline meals won't be enough (I'm one of those fast metabolism people)...In other words, know yourself and do your best to make sure you're going to be happy and comfortable. Last time I flew home from Paris I watched 4 movies and was perfectly occupied and happy the entire flight.

Also, I pay extra and take non-stops whenever possible, to make sure the whole journey is over as fast as possible. Nothing worse than being tired and bored in a connecting airport.

Posted by
1035 posts


I don't think that is what she means. I think she is saying she will take the advice of focusing on the destination rather than the headache of getting there.

Posted by
10344 posts

Michael, I think you're right (and I deleted my posts since they just confuse things).

Posted by
82 posts

I have used some sleep aids with some success and have had good and not so good flights. But part of it is having a positive attitude. I'm sitting in a chair theat reclines(sort of), at the push of a button someone will bring me food or beverage, I can watch TV, a movie, or listen to music, and I'M NOT AT WORK!!! When I look back at several European trips, I really don't recall much about the flights, unless something funny happened. I will gladly endure any 10 hour flight than an all day training session, goal setting meeting, or general "how are we going to work smarter not harder" meeting at work.

Posted by
873 posts

To expand on the OP's question -- does anyone suffer from flying anxiety? I know RS has a section on "fear of flying", but does anyone have any personal experience/tips on dealing with that fear?

Posted by
769 posts

Id agree to bring enough stuff to keep you busy if you cant sleep. Also a good Ipod or mp3 helps. Buy some Bose (300$) with the money you save not going BIZ and get a card to earn miles today for next years trip upgrade! Keep you RS books handy and re-read your chapters for the destination. Take a lap around the plane two every couple of hours.

Posted by
14210 posts

Flights from Calif to Paris and Frankfurt usually take about ten hours or more and that's with the wind at your back. Coming back is even longer.

Just keep in mind that flying is one big boring experience; it's best to get some sleep not only for your rest but it makes the time go faster. If I can get an absolute minimum of five and a half hours, I'll be all right upon landing, if I get more than 6 hrs, fantastic. Even though I've tried going without sleeping, I don't recommend that since within a few hours after landing you're going almost 24 hrs without sleeping. Just dozing, if you can't sleep, is better than nothing. Avoid taking any sleep aids or other pills, a little red wine with the dinner helps in my case to fall asleep faster.

Posted by
3 posts


About fear of flying, I used to experience pretty severe anxiety when flying. In addition to seeing a counselor for a few sessions to talk about the anxiety and how to manage it, I got a prescription for Xanax from my family doctor. It really was the best thing I could have done. I used it for several flights and then began to realize that I really didn't need it anymore. The intense feelings of fear I remembered experiencing before the medication had faded because my recent flight experiences has been so much nicer. I still take it occasionally to sleep on a long flight - it works wonders!

Good luck!

Posted by
9206 posts

I can't sleep on a plane no matter what, and I used to have a huge fear of flying but that's (mostly) gone away after many trips to Europe. I make sure the plane we fly on has two seats by the window (where we sit), not three, and individual tv screens. Going over is obviously a little easier since you have your destination to look forward to - it's the coming home part that's more difficult. I get up and walk around a lot, drink a lot of water, hang out at the back of the plane and usually have great conversations with the flight attendants, watch movies..and I've discovered People Magazine doesn't take much concentration and diverts my attention. I hate flying too but these are techniques I've learned that help me. Also I try to have a positive attitude and think of it as part of the adventure I'm on.

Posted by
72 posts

I'm taking my long battery life netbook and planning to watch many episodes of Friday Night Lights that I've loaded onto my hard drive from my DVD set (no DVD player on the netbook). At about 45 minutes per episode, it should be a good way to pass the long 10 hours each way. Especially with noise canceling headphones.

Posted by
769 posts

get some noise canceling earphones - all that money you save not going in BIZ class will easily justify the $300 Bose! Id also re-read or finish reading yoru RS books and a copy of the latest Economist - my favorite magazine for real news!

Posted by
162 posts

I always get an aisle seat, there isn't much to see between northern Alberta and northern Scotland, when I fly from Vancouver to London. In an aisle I don't feel quite so cramped, I can get up whenever I want, wander the aisle, stand at the back. And I drug myself to sleep going to London overnight.