How To Stay Sane On A Long Ass Flight Across The Globe
Traveling from New York to Thailand is a nightmare. Ok, maybe not a nightmare but it still sucks. Between the layovers and actual flight time, most of my trips to Thailand have averaged out to around 30+ hours of travel time… which is a long damn time!
Being cramped on a plane and being fed airline “food” is not the most enjoyable experience. Fortunately, since this is my third flight to Thailand, I’ve got a good idea for what to expect and how to prepare to make the most of my flights. Here are a few tips for staying sane during your travels to Thailand.
6 Packing/Travel Tips For Flying To Thailand
Get A Sleep Aid – Sleeping is key to making the time go by. With that being said, it can be hard to fall asleep on a plane, especially if there is a crying baby next to you or you happen to be flying through a lot of turbulence. Do yourself a favor and get some kind of sleep aid to help you make it through the flight.
I use melatonin and that seems to do the job, but if you want something a little stronger you can try begging your doctor for a sleep prescription.
Buy A Kindle – I don’t know what I’d do without my Kindle. It’s been one of the best presents I’ve ever gotten because of how convenient and useful it is. Instead of packing a ton of books, which are heavy and take up a lot of space, I have a little electronic book where I can download hundreds of good reads. So far I’ve read a couple books with my favorite being The Art Of Mental Training by DC Gonzalez.
Pack Snacks – Airline food sucks. I keep thinking it will get better but it never does, except the occasional brownie. Be smart and pack some granola bars and snack foods for your trip, otherwise you’ll be forced to eat whatever type of “food” the airline supplies you. Also keep in mind that the TSA has restrictions on certain items, and will make you throw out your brand new coconut water if it’s larger than 4oz… bastards.
Bring Medicine – I get sick whether I’m in a car, boat, or plane, so packing some dramamine, aspirin and other medicine has been key in keeping me from puking all over. Also consider packing some pepto-bismol if you are going to eat the airline “food”
Buy Noise Canceling Headphones – I have yet to invest in these (because they are kind of expensive) but if I had them during my flights I know it would make the experience less stressful. Plus, if you have a snorer next to you, or even worse, a crying baby, then these suckers will be a life saver.
Use a Neck Pillow – If you plan on getting some good sleep, the airline pillows won’t do you justice. Buying a comfortable neck pillow will allow you to fall asleep easier and give your neck a cushiony support so you don’t wake up with any strains or cramps.
Things To Do Once You Arrive
Adjust your sleeping patterns – Depending on when you arrive, you’ll want to immediately get into a normal sleep pattern if possible. If you go to sleep in the middle of the day once you get off the plane, you’ll wake up in the middle of the night and have your sleep schedule all kinds of fucked up. Your best bet is to suck it up and try your hardest to go through a normal day, otherwise you’ll be fighting jet lag for a lot longer than you’d like.
Get a massage – After sitting on a plane for 20+ hours, sleeping on a bench in the airport and developing aches and pains almost everywhere on my body, one of the first things I did after I got to my room was find the nearest massage parlor… and holy shit was it worth it. Do yourself a solid and treat yourself to a 300 baht ($10) massage to work out all the knots that developed during your trip.
Drink water and eat some normal food – Chances are you’ll be a bit dehydrated and hungry after your flights, so the best thing you can do is fuel your body with what it needs. Make sure you don’t drink Thailand’s water from the tap, otherwise you’ll have to lock yourself in the bathroom for a few days.
Explore the area – Knowing what’s around your area will make life a whole lot easier when you decide to do some shopping. Find out where the best food vendors or restaurants are, and also keep an eye out for pharmacies, 7-11’s, food marts, massage parlors and other places where you will want to visit regularly.
Get a SIM card for your phone – If you want to have internet access and be able to make local calls without paying for roaming, then getting a SIM card for your smart phone is a must. You have to unlock or jailbreak your phone prior to getting a SIM card so make sure you read up on how to go about it before you try.
Prepare Yourself Mentally
One of the most important travel tips for Thailand is being prepared to hate life for a couple days. You’ll get jet lagged, tired, hungry, constipated, anxious, twitchy, nervous, and deal with a ton of other unpleasant feelings.
Shit happens, deal with it. Try to make the most of your time while your traveling and keep reminding yourself how much it will be worth it once you finally arrive to your final destination in beautiful Thailand!
What other travel tips would you give to someone who is flying to Thailand? Share your thoughts and advice in the comments below!
- Sean "Muay Thai Guy" Fagan owns & operates the largest online Muay Thai community and the #1 training resource for nak muay of all levels.