Thu, November 3rd, 2011 - By

5 Tips for Surviving A Very Long Travel Day


The utterly-exhausting, feels-like-it-will-never-end, full day of travel. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been there, and it’s brutal. But, those days happen. Sometimes it wasn’t planned – e.g. bad traffic or flight delays. Or maybe it was anticipated – the red eye to catch the cheaper flight, or the intentional long drive or circuitous routing to save a few quid. Nothing wrong with it, but those days can be rough. Here are five top tips for getting through those days.

1. Hydrate.

Travelling is often very dehydrating – you don’t have a regular toilet routine nor do you have your usual eating/drinking routine. Airports, cars, buses, ferries can all be super dehydrating, especially sharing all that air with others. So drink up! I know it can be hard when they charge you on some airlines to use the on-board facilities, so moderate when you have to, but always at least when the day is over and you’re safe and sound in the hotel, double-dose.

2. Take your Vitamins.

Healthy travellers are happy travellers. I never leave home without a pack of Berocca and 1000MG of vitamin C in my carry-on bag. It’s just a good idea. Bring them.

3. Don’t Forget your Distractions

Long days need distractions – it’s how we’re wired as humans. Drivers need driving tunes, airport layovers are crying out for headphones. Long flights need good books – not to big to be hard to carry, but big enough so you finish just as you’re getting home. (That never happens, but one can dream.)

Parents know this is very important for children, whose attention span seems non-existent, but don’t forget something for yourself.

4.  Have all your phone numbers

Things can go wrong, no matter whether you’re in control (e.g. driving) or someone else is (e.g. flying). Make sure you have a quick print out and easy access to any important phone numbers. Like:

  • airlines, car rental, or hotels – with reservation confirmation numbers
  • insurance (medical and/or travel)
  • friends/family you might be meeting or who would like to know your status

It seems like a hassle but it’s a little thing that can lower your stress.

5.  Set Expectations

If you’re in for a long day, then you’re in for it. Be sure to plan adequate breaks or know when you’ll have a time to eat and take advantage of it. If you’re a parent bringing children (or bringing a travel partner who can act like a child), then make sure you let them know that it’s going to be a rough day so they can prepare appropriately.

I also like to make sure that schedules accommodate some bounce-back time – e.g. a late lie-in the next day, a special ice cream stop, or just something to make things a bit more pleasant. Last time I checked, you were on holiday, right?

Photo by eschipul

Andy Hayes

Andy Hayes is a travel journalist currently based in Seattle, Washington. When not soaking up the Pacific Northwest lifestyle or enjoying life on the road, he is spending time hanging out on his own travel lifestyle magazine, Sharing Travel Experiences.

Posted : Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 at 11:00
Category : Holiday Tips
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