Red-Eye Flight Tips

Monday, November 24, 2014

I've said it before, but this week is a huge week of travel for many folks, especially leading right up to Thanksgiving (or any other holiday coming up). What if your schedule won't allow you to pop into town until the day before (or morning of) a holiday, meeting, or any special event? This where the red-eye flight comes in.

The earliest I've ever left my home for a flight was probably around 3 or 4:00 AM. I'm pretty sure I've hopped on planes at 6 AM, but I guarantee that there are flights that will arrive at your destination by then. Since they depart during the night and arrive in the morning, red-eye flights give you the entire day at your destination once you arrive, but flights that early require special preparation.

So, here are my tips if you just so happen to be traveling by a red-eye (or extremely early-morning) flight. :) (Some of these can even apply to international flights, as they depart in the evening and arrive in the morning...just not quite as early.)

  • Err on the side of comfort. Actually, camp out on the side of comfort. Even if you've got a day planned, chances are, you'll be able to take a quick nap or at least change clothes for any event you have when you land. I'd do something like what I wrote in my "What to Wear On Planes" post, but I'd swap out jeans for sweatpants or leggings. Any layers I'd have would be a lot warmer, too, socks included.
  • If you can sleep on the plane, sleep on the plane. Otherwise, get a lot of sleep beforehand. I personally can't sleep on planes, so I rely on great sleep the night before and a great cup of coffee (or two...or three ;] )
  • Bring chapstick (and any other moisturizers you want). Airplane air is notorious for drying out skin, so items like these are lifesavers. Also, on that note...
  • Drink water at some point during your flight. Staying hydrated is always important for any flight; not to mention it will help you feel better while you sit still on a plane that early in the morning.
  • If you do decide to stay awake, here's what I recommend for such an early flight:
    • Preloading an episode or two of your favorite TV show on your iPad/tablet/phone.
    • Really, really great music.
    • Coffee. Or tea.
    • A really, really great novel.
    • Or, if all else fails, bring a pair of headphones. Noise canceling or not, these will help you relax on a flight this early.
If you're taking a red-eye flight this Holiday season, I hope this helps you out! :) I know I'll be referring back to this when I hop a red-eye flight one of these days.

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