Over the Water Time?

My question is in regards to flying from the US to most destinations in Europe. Leaving from the gateway cities we have two options basically, get on the plane around 6-7 pm or 10-12 pm. The second option puts us over the water close to normal bed time, the first puts us arriving @ 7-9 am local time or middle of the night US time. We have made 4 trips recently and always flown where we leave around 6pm and arrive early am local time. I can never sleep on the plane, partially because it isn't my bed time and second I can't get comfortable. Would I be better off trying the over the water portion when I am usually expecting to sleep? Does anyone have suggestions, experience or comments regarding this topic?
I like getting to my destination early, customs is usually easier I think. Thanks In advance for any suggestions or thoughts.

Posted by Robert
Liberty, Missouri
96 posts

I like arriving later in the morning. (10ish) That way by the time I get through passport control, other airport requirements and get into town I can either get into the room or go have lunch and then have a shorter wait before getting into my room. About your other post...economy comfort is well worth the money for the leg room. IMO. For me it is more important on the trip over to Europe. I don't usually pay for it on the return. As it is easier to get up and walk around during the return trip. Also this Saturday is the KC Area Rick Steves travel meeting. New location this month. Panera on 152 Highway just west of Liberty at 10 AM. You can get several more opinions from our group face to face. We are a small but fun group. All KC Area Helpliners Welcome to attend.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10884 posts

We make it a point to do some time shifting in the couple weeks leading up to the trip. On day of departure, we get up pretty early - 3, 4 AM and try to function on the time zone where we are going. We get an early evening meal - 4/5 pm at the airport for a 7 or so departure. We take about an hour or so after take off to settle in, ignore nearly all of the activity on the plane, use ear plugs and eye shades to settle in by 9 or so. That is about right for bed time given that we got up at 4 AM. Works for us.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7211 posts

I prefer arriving first thing. The way I sleep is to adjust my bed time an hour or two in the weeks prior to our trip. When I arrive at my departure airport, I set my watch to local time at my destination. From then on, I think only in those terms. I'll settle in for some sleep after a light dinner on the plane. Instead of thinking, "It's still too early for bed." I think, "It's getting late, I better get some sleep." I've tried it with and without a sleep aid. I don't normally use anything but an Excedrin PM helps put me out. They keep my wife awake, however. You should try them to know whether they work for you before you ruin your first day in Europe because you are working on no sleep. I want a minimum of four hours sleep, six or more if I can manage it.