Tips tricks and ideas for long flights -- help a brother out

wesheltonj

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My advice is to avoid the Ambein, too many trials where folks under the influence of Ambein do stupid shit and don't even know they have done stupid shit. Not my case, but defendant showing up at a fast food drive-in, in his underwear and having a wreck in the drive thru line while he is asleep. My case, off duty deputy driving while asleep crashes into house.

My advice is the old fashion way, Booze. I start off with one or two whisky's and cokes, next I move to the small bottle of wine with dinner and then follow that up with a Baileys. I am out for hours. I alway try to get an aisle seat for restroom trips and walks.
 
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cpr0312

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Get an aisle seat, get up often and walk/stretch. DVT can be a real problem that you want to avoid!
Drink lots of water. Take vitamins/airborne. Other than that there is no getting around a 15-16 hour flight lol
 

Tucketed

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If you use Ambein, which was said before it works well. It’s certainly something that helps jet lag at either side and I do use it. My caution is that some people do goofy things while on it. Experiment prior to your trip. It will put you out and allow a good snooze likely irritating your seat neighbor with good deep snoring.
 

Newboomer

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Can't see dope and booze. As was said people on that garbage do stupid things and the after effects just ain't worth it to me. Booze and bullets don't mix. If I'm going hunting I want a clear head. I want to be able to see, hear and react without any interference from foreign substances hindering me.
 

Pheroze

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Get a model to build, like a plane, or car or Millennium Falcon, whatever. The more detailed and fiddly the better. If that doesn't work, sniff the model glue.

Seriously, keeping yourself occupied with a task helps. I found the models worked once for me and two very active boys.

Sometime those pharmaceuticals are only partially effective. And then you are that oddly inebriated, frustrated individual. That can be worse.
 

JimP

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I'd hate to be that person who took some kind of drug to be able to sleep on the plane and then have it still be in my system and making me groggy when I stepped off of the plane in Joberg and then have to deal with SAPS or their customs.

The last time that I had surgery my doctor prescribed some Ambein so that I could sleep. I was fine without it the first night but the second night I could not get to sleep. So the third night I took a pill and slept through the whole night. That morning I went outside to talk with my neighbor who was a Colorado Highway Patrol Trooper and when he saw my eyes the first thing that he said was that he would arrest me on the spot if he pulled me over while I was driving. But I felt fine and didn't think that I had any residual effects.
 

superdutch

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1) I won't get on a plane without noise cancelling headphones. Get them. Seriously, order them right now. They will change your life.
2) I like to have a or two whiskey with dinner and an Ambien a few hours later. I don't usually sleep well on flights but mostly float in and out of a light sleep, but it passes the time.
3) Just keep watching movies. I basically catch up on all the movies to see in a year on my flights. I bring a book, usually only read in the early part of the flight before the lights are turned down.
4) get an aisle seat so you can take a walk occasionally when you need to stretch.

I will often take the Ambien at night during the trip too, if needed for the first few nights while my body adjusts to the time change. I have never experienced any negative side effects. I get more morning grogginess from Tylenol PM than Ambien.
 

Hank2211

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Lots of advice! I've done these flights many times, and feel much the same as you do - takes me weeks to psych myself up for a long haul.

1. There is lots of advice both for and against pharmaceuticals. I was initially against them, but couldn't get any sleep and arriving in Africa that way can ruin the first few days of a hunt. My doctor prescribed Zolpidem (Ambien). Initially 10 mg but now 5 mg, and I find the 5 mg is plenty. I prefer the 'sub-lingual' variety. Works fast. I suggest, as many have, that you try it out first at home. It doesn't keep you out for as many hours as you might hope, but once you start waking up, the key is to stay lying down with eye shades on. You can extend the time asleep this way. As for grogginess on arrival, almost any trace has left your system in 8 hours. Contrary to some, I suggest you take it as soon as you hit cruising altitude. That way on a 12 hour flight, you're awake for the back end and all grogginess, if any, is out of your system by the time you land. As for side effects, if we focused on side effects, we'd never take any prescription medication. Yes, some people (very few, I think) do goofy things on it, but hey - you can use it as a legal defence! I also find it helps me hit the ground running after an 8 hour time change, and for the first few days, helps me sleep past the jet lag. Never lost a day of hunting since I started bringing it along.

2. If you do have a problem with approaching panic state after a long time, you can ask your doctor for Ativan. It works well and tends to have fewer side effects than Xanax, which you might reserve for full blown panic attacks (also lasts longer in your system).

3. Load some movies or TV shows on a tablet. I can get lots on mine, including entire seasons for various shows. It's great to have when you want to zone out. With the games and the Kindle app I've loaded, I have more books than I'll ever need, and more games than I can ever play. I also load up on my newspapers and crossword puzzles, also on the tablet. Lots of distraction.

4. Go easy on the food and really easy on the alcohol. Neither does you much good at 38,000 feet.

5. Eye shades, ear plugs, noise cancelling headphones, compression stockings and a pillow of your own. All should be in the carry on.

6. Walking from one end of a big jet to the other can be like navigating an obstacle course on inter-continental flights, but every once in a while, its necessary to keep the blood flowing to the legs.

Good luck. I hate flying so much that if it wasn't hunting at the other end, I'd stay home. But it's well worth it!
 

markm

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Drink plenty of water .i have made the trip several times and to be honest with you i take a sleeping pill both ways .never had a problem got some good sleep.
Ok I booked my first safari and am now looking at options to fly from TX to SA and Nam. My issue is this-- I have difficulty on long flights-- once I get past 10 hours I start to go nuts -- I just want off the plane, sometimes it happens faster, but when and if it happens, its always brutal, I can keep it together but it takes the luster off the trip honestly, and it stays in the back of my mind the entire trip for the trip home- like a sword of damocles hanging over my head.
So far I haven't found a good way to sleep on a plane-- (I have not tried pharmaceuticals yet). On advice of a road warrior buddy-I have purchased a neck pillow and some noise canceling headphones for a trip in a couple of weeks to Miami for the boat show(only 3 or 4 hours), and am going to see if I can find a way to sleep on that trip. It would be great if I could sleep the miles away for at least half the trip, but honestly this seems doubtful.
What do you do to pass the time?
Any revelations on long trips you have come across?
Drinking -- honestly it dehydrates me and I feel like dung when I get where I am going-- I am willing to try it-- but getting hammered and traveling isn't a smart idea ever in my book. So looking for some ideas to while away the hours on this flight-- and yes I am looking at breaking the trip up to get there-- maybe fly to Lon-- do a day or 2 and then go on-- honestly it is so much more expensive to do it this way-- I would seriously prefer not to.
Any ideas? Anybody else have these issues or am I the weird guy?
 

wesheltonj

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. . Yes, some people (very few, I think) do goofy things on it, but hey - you can use it as a legal defence!

It's not a successful defense where I live.
 

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Can't see dope and booze. As was said people on that garbage do stupid things and the after effects just ain't worth it to me. Booze and bullets don't mix. If I'm going hunting I want a clear head. I want to be able to see, hear and react without any interference from foreign substances hindering me.
Really? No sundowners while hunting. I seem to do just fine after a gin and tonic and good glass or two of wine after banging through miles of Africa all day. If it has been really hot, the South Africans and Namibians know how to make a great lager - Mosambique not such much.
 

Red Leg

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More Germans.
Exactly - and to the best of my knowledge, Mozambique has yet to grow a grape or try to make port (for the great unwashed, it is a former Portuguese colony). Manica beer is the devil's own swill. Its only redeeming qualities are after a long hot day in a swamp it at least comes in a large can and is reasonably wet.
 

375 Ruger Fan

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I worked in Angola, Africa for 5-1/2 years on a 28 & 28 schedule. Every 4 weeks, I got on the Houston Express (https://thepointsguy.com/reviews/flying-the-houston-express-houston-luanda/) and did the 12 to 14 hour flight between Houston and Luanda. I got to where I could sleep pretty good on a plane. Business class really helped.

As many have already mentioned, compression socks are good. I didn't wear them and I got DVT once. Not fun. I now wear compression socks often and always on flights.

Bose headphones do help for noise cancellation and they also are more comfortable and better sound for watching a movie.

Personally, I never was into the sleeping pills or Tylenol PM. I wanted to be able to function, in the event of an emergency. Also, Tylenol is not good for the liver, especially when drinking alcohol. The stuff in Tylenol PM that makes you drowsy is the same thing in Benadryl, so just take a Benadryl, which is an antihistamine.

What I typically do when I flew from the US to Africa, is get up about 3 am on the day of departure. Since there is 6 or 7 hours time difference between US central time and WAT, 3am CT is 9 or 10 am WAT. So this helps to start the time transition. By the time you get on the flight to Africa, which was usually a noon departure from IAH for me, I was sleepy and could easily fall asleep. Also, right after take off, change your watch to time of where you are flying to. It helps to get you brain switched to WAT.

One other suggestion, if you are flying economy or economy plus, many of the wide body planes have a 3-3-3 seating configuration. I'd suggest an aisle seat in the center section. You will only have one person that might have to climb over and they can always get out going the other direction.
 

flatwater bill

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Firewoodmatt........fly to Frankfurt....spend the night. People that "go nuts" on a transoceanic flight can be a hazard to themselves and others. Not everyone should do it.............best of luck............FWB
 

Tanks

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1) Compression socks
2) Noise cancelling headphones
3) Business class. I take 8-10 15+ hour flights a year and will not fly any other way (if you do fly business won't need #2 as they provide it).
 

BRICKBURN

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Everyone can chip in on this one because they have ALL been there done that.

Not sure what "going nuts" means. Rather inspecific diagnosis doc.
Bored or Anxious have rather different treatment protocols.

:E Zen: Practice makes perfect.
Long before you ever need it, practice it.

The Rx factor, after proper diagnosis, will be helpful in addressing the issue.
There are short and long term solutions that you can investigate.

I hated that monster flight and I will always break it up now. I'd rather get out and check a city out for a few hours than the alternative.

Enjoy your hunt. It will be awesome.
 

sgt_zim

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If you're going to go the Ambien/zolpidem route, you need to take some 2 or 3 times (preferably on weekends) a good while ahead of when you actually depart. Ambien, as some have indicated, can have nasty side-effects. Among other things in a prior life, I was a nurse. We jokingly called it "nightmare medicine." You need to know long before you step on a plane for a long flight if it is going to cause you any issues. The other nasty side-effect of Ambien is the "hangover" the following day. Not everybody has it, but it is fairly common.

My favorite drug in the world is Benadryl (generic is diphenhydramine). Take 50 mg (2 pills), and within an hour, you won't be able to keep your eyes open. The only real side-effect of Benadryl is it will dry out your mouth. I've never had a Benadryl "hangover."

Next thing is when you get there, try to stay up as long as you can, preferably to maybe 3PM local time, then take a nice long nap of 3 hours or so, but no longer, no matter how much you want to roll back over and sleep more. You'll get really tired again between 9 and 11. Of course, adjust to suit your flight times, but if you can get reasonably close to this, you'll mostly be over the jet lag by the time you wake up the next morning.

Never been to Africa, but I have been to UAE, Yemen, and central Europe (GMT +1 and +2, just like Joberg), and this works for me every time.

I'm 6'6" and 240# - in coach, sleep doesn't come to me easily, if at all. But the Benadryl helps, and torturing myself to stay awake until mid-afternoon when I arrive helps tremendously. Last 2 trips to Europe (arrivals at Marco Polo and Vaclav Havel recently), it worked like a champ. I was ready to rock and roll the next morning when I got out of bed around 7-ish.
 

JDMonson

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I watched about 7 movies on the way there as we landed in joberg in the evening went straight to the Afton Safari Lodge for a good steak and a very well needed sleep for the night with work and family I went a good 40 hours with out much more then a 15 min nap. On the way back I washed down 2 Benadryl with about 4 ounces of Nyquil and woke up about 2 hours short of ATL that was the best 15.5 hour flight ever. I also went into those flights in full comfort mode compression socks sweat pants and a long sleeve t-shirt.

Justin
 

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