First of all, I travel every week to work. However its only a one hour flight. Minus the boarding process I actually really enjoy flying.
However I've never been on a plane for more than 10 hours. I have an upcoming trip from Atlanta, GA (ATL) to Bangkok, Thailand (BKK) through Seoul, South Korea (ICN). I was wondering if anyone could share any good tips they have for sleeping on the plane, avoiding jet lag or any other helpful tips.
During my flights to and from work, I really never have issues falling asleep (due to the short distance). However seeing that my first leg is almost 15 hours I thought that might be different. As funny as I think those neck pillows are, I'm debating about picking one up for myself. Are they worth it? Is there a better option out there? Right now I'm debating the following item - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004ZIDXK2/..._am_us?ie=UTF8
Also I've heard that you should try to map your sleep cycle to your destination as quick as possible. So if you're flying out at 10PM your time but its really 3PM their time, you should probably try to avoid sleeping as long as possible. Is that accurate.
Basically I'm looking for any tips to make my trip as enjoyable as possible, especially since I will not be there for too long. Thanks in advance.
...Also I've heard that you should try to map your sleep cycle to your destination as quick as possible. So if you're flying out at 10PM your time but its really 3PM their time, you should probably try to avoid sleeping as long as possible. Is that accurate...
That's true in theory, but in my experience it doesn't work that way in practice. Having done more than my fair share of long-haul flights, I have arrived at the definite opinion that one should sleep when one can. I do usually set my watch to the destination time shortly after take-off, but then I just "go with the flow" as far as sleeping goes. I get much more sleep that way than if I try to time my sleeping according to where I'm going.
Beyond that, dress comfortably; take a good book or two, ones that you will enjoy reading and that are easy to put down and pick up again; enjoy the in-flight entertainment or your iPod or whatever (and I do like my noise-cancelling earphones on long flights); go easy on the alcohol; and drink plenty of water.
I usually don't have any trouble going over, the plane lands at about midnight so you can go to bed and get some rest then. Or do as I do and go to the bars for a couple of hours then pass out, this seems to reset my clock in one day.
As far as on the plane the only thing that works for me is riding in the front of the plane. If you can upgrade, do it.
Bouncing around the world since 1984 and still loving it! My Travel Map
For me, I try to get as much sleep as possible whether I'll land at my destination at 7am (as I do when I fly to SYD) or 7pm (as I do when I fly to HKG) - reason for this being that the flight is exhausting as is, so if I land at 7pm I'm going to have no trouble falling back asleep in a few hours anyway. On the other hand, if it's a 7am arrival, at least I'll have gotten some sleep (but I know I'll need a few caffeine hits haha). So basically the way I've experienced it, you can't go wrong getting as much sleep as possible
My only other advice, which is my pre-long haul ritual (perhaps more female oriented hehe), is to stop by duty free on your way out and smear up your face with the most hydrating serum followed by the thickest night cream - the nice stuff, of course :P Massively helps with not feeling like leather when you land. And LOTS of water throughout the flight!
Best advice I can give you is to secure travel in a premium cabin, either business and first. If that's not an option, my advice would be to abstain from flying long-haul at all. I know people do it, in their 10s of thousands, every single day so obviously it's possible. But I wouldn't do it, nor recommend it.
ICN is Incheon, not Seoul. SEL is in Seoul, but is only used for domestic flights these days. It's about a 1 hour train ride from Incheon to downtown Seoul.
For curing jet lag, others have said similar things, but my strategy has always worked for me.
1) Sleep as much as you can on the plane (which for me is never much, I am too excited about the trip).
2) The day you arrive, stay up until the normal bedtime wherever you are. If you arrive at 7a, stay up and do NOT sleep until 10p. "First day" excitement always accomplishes this for me. If you arrive at 7p, go ahead and go to bed at 10p.
3) Don't worry if you wake up early the next day; sometimes it will happen. Take advantage of it to do an early-morning thing you would never otherwise do. Perhaps the sunrise somewhere. Or, I have enjoyed the Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market at 4:30a for this very reason.
4) So this is Day 2 now -- again, stay up until normal bedtime. Do NOT sleep during the day no matter how tired you are.
Usually, I'm on local time when waking up Day 2. Sometimes it takes that extra day. But never more than that.
Here's a piece of advice I got somewhere on this forum that has served me well on many longhauls: try to stay awake as long as you can before going to sleep. This usually works out well anyway, because there are all the announcements after boarding, beverage service, meal, not to mention it's more likely that after meal service, the lights will go down and it will be easier to sleep.
If you fall asleep right after take-off, you are more likely (IMHO) to be watching the minutes and seconds crawl by at the end of the flight, when you are already tired of flying, dehydration, sitting, ready for it to be over.
Do not try to deliberately exhaust yourself the day before the flight, figuring that this will enable you to board and immediately drop off and sleep for most/all of the flight. You can end up over-tired, exhausted and unable to fall asleep.
As others have posted, on arrival, particularly if it is daytime, do NOT succumb to the temptation to take a nap. You need to say awake and get attuned to the new time zone. I suggest getting to your lodging, taking a shower, and, if it's the first time you've been to the destination, take a walking tour. This keeps you awake and active, stretches you and gets the blood moving again, requires little to no mental exertion, can help you get your general bearings (I have trouble translating maps to what is actually on the ground in cities) - mostly, it can help you get over the worst bit, when you land and just want to go to the hotel and crash.
I've done a fair amount oflong haul flights now and the only real advice I can give would be to move around as much as possible. It helps to have an aisle seat but I tend to get up and walk around every 45 minutes or so; keeps the blood flowing and prevents your muscles from tensing up!
Other than that, I echo the advice already posted: stay hydrated, sleep only if you feel like it (don't try and force it) and have something (iPad/Book etc) to keep yourself entertained!