If you travel a lot, you’ve probably already been on a red-eye flight. Maybe you’ve been on one but aren’t familiar with the meaning of the term. Basically, a red-eye flight is scheduled to last throughout the night, leaving the passengers with “red eyes” upon arriving at their destination. This is because very few people are lucky enough to be able to sleep on an airplane with limited legroom and uncomfortable seats. So, unable to sleep and unable to move around much, you probably know how dull it can get to fly during the dark when you can’t see much through the window or talk to anyone.
While red-eye flights have their benefits, such as lower ticket prices and lesser chances for a layover, some extra preparation apart from the usual things you do while getting ready for a flight is necessary in order to have a pleasant flying experience.
Preparations For A Red-Eye Flight
The general rule of thumb when going to the airport is to get there at least 2 hours ahead so that you can check in and get past the security and make it to your flight in time. However, with red-eye flights you have to do some extra planning. Cabs might be more scarce, and your family or friends who could drive you to the airport should be notified ahead of time to plan for a trip to the airport late at night. If you’re planning to drive yourself and use the parking, make sure you book a parking spot and notify the airport ahead of time.
Since the options for getting complimentary drinks are usually limited on red-eye flights, you shouldn’t rely on the flight attendants for your drinking and eating needs. Make sure you grab a big bottle of water and something filling to eat once you’re past the security checks.
Everyone knows that it can get cold on an airplane, but this is particularly true for night flights. Therefore, plan accordingly, and bring comfortable, warm, and travel-friendly clothes. It is also a good idea to dress in layers.
Finally, in the interest of the utmost comfort during what is bound to be an uncomfortable experience (due to the lack of sleep), you should bring a travel pillow to keep your neck from getting stiff.
And now, on to the most interesting part…
Top 5 Gadgets For A Red-Eye Flight
The most obvious choice is definitely going to be your phone. You can use your phone to listen to music, watch pre-downloaded movies (e.g. Netflix allows downloads that you can watch while offline), check out the time, plan your stay at your destination, and other tiny bits that are sure to pass some time. There are also other really cool add-on gadgets for your phone that you can use to keep yourself entertained for longer, so make sure you check those out too.
There’s nothing better for seamlessly passing a large chunk of time than working. If you can’t get to sleep, why not finish some extra work and get ahead of schedule so you can enjoy your trip stress free. Make sure you bring a lightweight laptop like a Mac or a notebook that can also fit into your hand luggage. Thankfully, such laptops usually come with extra-long battery life so you won’t have to worry about your laptop hogging your external battery.
If you plan to do literally anything with your gadgets on an airplane, you will need a good pair of headphones. Whether you plan on listening to music while working, watching a movie or a TV show, or perhaps putting on some calming sounds to help you get to sleep, headphones will be your #1 best friend.
4. External Battery
Not all airports have an abundance of wall sockets for you to plug your devices in. You’ll be using most of your gadgets during your flight or while waiting for your flight, so it’s extremely important to come prepared. Invest in a good external battery that can provide one to two charges to all your devices. It will definitely go a long way.
5. Handheld gaming device
If you’re into gaming, a handheld game console could potentially be a life-saver for those long international red-eye flights. You’re probably not going to sleep anyway, so why not work in some extra gaming hours. The best thing to choose is Nintendo Switch or PlayStation portable – depending on your individual gaming and console preferences, of course.
For even more tips on properly preparing for a red-eye flight and making sure you’re making the best of this experience, take a look at this guide.