How To Survive A Long Flight
In the name of Allah The Most Beneficent The Most Merciful
All Praise to Allah.
Last October, we went to Tokyo, Japan for a family vacation and to visit my son who studies there. That was a long distance flight from Jeddah. There are very few non-stop flights from Jeddah to Tokyo, therefore, we had to take connecting flights. In such cases, flight times depend upon the stop over destination specified by the airline or the one you choose while booking your ticket. That time we stopped over in Dubai. The fastest one-stop flight between Jeddah and Tokyo takes close to 14 hours, however, some airlines could take more hours based on the stop over destination and waiting duration.
Long-distance travel can be tiring and sleep is often restless. Our muscles will ache. Our skin will be dried out and we will feel bored for long hours on the plane. There is no magic pill for enjoying a long flight, but if we know how to survive it, we can enjoy the travel. Here are some tips to survive a long flight:
- First of all, when you step into the plane say Bismillahirrahmanirrahiim, then, when you sit on board, recite du’a (du’a Safar):
Allaahu ‘Akbar, Allaahu ‘Akbar, Allaahu ‘Akbar, Subhaanal-ladzi sakhkhara lanaa haadzaa wa maa kunnaa lahu muqrineen. Wa ‘innaa ‘ilaa Rabbinaa lamunqaliboon. Allaahumma ‘innaa nas’aluka fii safarinaa haadzal-birra wattaqwaa, waminal-‘amalimaa tardhaa, Allaahumma hawwin ‘alaynaa safaranaa haadzaa watwi ‘annaa bu’dahu, Allaahumma ‘Antas-saahibu fis-safari, wal khaleefatu fil-‘ahli, Allaahumma innii a’udzu bika min wa’thaa’is-safari, wa ka aabanil-mandhari, wa suu’il-munqalabi fil-maali wal ahli.
(Allah is the Most Great. Allah is the Most Great. Allah is the Most Great. Glory is to Him Who has provided this for us though we could never have had it by our efforts. Surely, unto our Lord we are returning. O Allah, we ask You on this our journey for goodness and piety, and for works that are pleasing to You. O Allah , lighten this journey for us and make its distance easy for us . O Allah, You are our Companion on the road and the One in Whose care we leave our family. O Allah, I seek refuge in You from this journey’s hardships, and from the wicked sights in store and from finding our family and property in misfortune upon returning.)
- Whenever possible, choose your seat wisely. Even within the same class and fare, some seats are far superior to others. Consider an aisle or exit row seat for leg room, or a window if you want to sleep. Try to avoid seats near the toilets/lavatories, as other passengers will be accessing these regularly. However, remember to never choose an exit row seat if you have an infant or small child with you. If you have frequent flier miles, it’s better to upgrade your seat.
- Bring a quality travel pillow or head restraint, and try to avoid using the inflatable ones. Recline your seat as far as possible to make leaning back more comfortable if you want to sleep.
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes that can be loosened for comfort. If you’re flying long distances, you’ll be on the plane for several meals and at least one sleep cycle. Women should forget heels.
- Bring a survival kit such as: necessary medications, hand sanitizer, small Al-Qur’an or you can read from your smart phone or IPod (so you can listen recitation of Al-Qur’an), something tangible to read (like a magazine or softcover book), small toiletries you might want to use to freshen up (toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, deodorant, lip balm). You’ll definitely want to freshen up before landing.
- Choose a good movie to watch while you enjoy your meal on the plane – A.V.O.D (Audio Video on Demand) is available and is a TV screen in front of your seat that lets you choose what you want to watch, play or listen to. It is very useful to help the time pass by.
- Prevent your body from aching due to poor circulation by following the in-seat exercises provided to you by the airline. You can do exercises like circling the ankles and stretching the arms. The length of overnight flights is an excellent time to take a stroll up and down the aisle a few times. Exercise not only reduces your risk of DVT (Deep Venous Thrombosis: a blood clot in a deep vein, commonly in the legs) but it also has other benefits, such as reducing aches and pains, relieving stress and boredom, and inducing a better quality sleep.
- The humidity in the airplane cabins is very low, as is the pressure, so it’s easy to get dehydrated while flying. Don’t drink colas, coffee and other drinks which tend to dehydrate. Drink lots of water, or non-caffeinated, low sodium soft drinks. Avoid snacks high in sodium such pretzels or peanuts. Drink plenty of water and/or juice before and during the flight to stay hydrated.
Hope you enjoy and survive the travel of a long flight. Make your vacation amazing from the start of the flight to your arrival at your destination.
Some source tips are provided here: