How to avoid travel fatigue and survive red-eye flights

Photo by Rosa Ruvalcaba/

There are lots of perks in store for those who opt for those late-night flights. You arrive at your next destination in the morning, the tickets are cheaper and there aren’t as many people in the check-in and security lines at the airport.

However, these flights aren’t for everyone and require you to be up and about at odd hours. Here are a few useful tips to make sure the next red-eye flight you catch doesn’t feel hellish:

  1. Stay hydrated

This is extremely important. You need to remind yourself to drink enough water at every point to avoid feeling dehydrated and exhausted during the journey. Do yourself a favour and avoid alcohol – it won’t help make the journey any better and will lead to further dehydration on the plane. If you’re worried about going to the washroom too many times, don’t fret. Getting up and walking around will actually help your body on the flight. Choose an aisle seat if that makes things easier!

  1.  Stay occupied

You don’t want to be annoyed right before your journey but a red-eye flight makes things hard. To avoid falling into that trap, use the time to read a book you’ve been wanting to read for a long time or listen to some soothing music to keep your spirits up. The best way to avoid feeling grumpy is to use this free time well and look forward to your trip. If you’re traveling to a new place for a holiday, you can even look up cool things to do at the destination and get excited.

Photo by Chrissy Hennessey/
  1. Cover all the basics

Invest in a comfortable sleep mask, ear plugs and a pillow for the journey. Make sure you carry at least one thing from home that’ll help you feel comfortable in a cramped seat surrounded by other irate passengers up in the air. Dress comfortably and ensure that you’re warm throughout. Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes and socks – it can get really cold! Additionally, packing light snacks such as dry fruits will keep you going.   

  1. Get enough rest

This is especially for you if you find it difficult to sleep on flights. Do rest for a couple of days before your trip and sleep as well as you can. This will really help you brave it through your rough journey and help you survive until you get sound sleep again once you reach your destination. Don’t neglect your sleep or health before a long journey.

  1. Turn to fellow passengers

When everything else fails, strike up a conversation with someone next to you at the airport or on the flight. This will help you pass the time and have an interesting conversation with someone who’s going through something similar. You won’t be bored or frustrated and you may just end up befriending someone really interesting or learn fascinating things about the place you’re going to. Have an open mind, stay strong and don’t worry about things out of your control.