15 Tips to Survive the Red Eye

survive red eye tips

If you’ve ever flown during the holiday season you’ll know how frustrating and packed the airports are. You’ll also know how expensive flights are. It’s no wonder so many people opt for a red-eye to save on costs and to catch direct flights without those annoying stopovers.

If you have to take a red-eye, there are a few things that will make the trip easier. Take it from someone who has survived many international flights and red eyes over the past decade.

Manage Your Expectations

You will not get adequate rest no matter how much you try, so manage your expectations and shift them to getting the best out of the situation as you can. Don’t spend all your energy at once at the beginning of the trip.

Keep Routines

Don’t plan on staying up through the flight by loading up on caffeine. Keep your routine similar in structure as you would if you weren’t traveling. It may be unpleasant, but it won’t jolt your body as harshly when it’s already under a lot of stress. Stop eating when you regularly would and even if you can’t sleep, keep your eyes closed and try to emulate sleep as much as you can.


Stay hydrated with WATER before the flight. You don’t need caffeine right now for a variety of reasons. Keeping hydrated with water is your best option. Stop drinking fluids an hour-2 hours before you plan on going to sleep, or keep the fluid intake to a minimum and keep it at room temperature (no ice).

Cozy Up

Keep yourself as cozy as possible. If you know that you must survive the night with little possibility of rest, at the very least keep your body and yourself warm and cozy to make yourself more relaxed. Pack a pair of warm fuzzy socks so you can take off your shoes during the flight and pack a large, warm scarf that you can wrap around yourself and use as a blanket.

Put The Makeup Aside

Forget about your usual makeup routine. Seriously, it’ll just make you feel grumpier when you noticed things drying up, flaking and smudging. Instead, moisturize well with a thick moisturizer or a beauty oil that you can leave on the skin like a mask. Dab on plenty of Vaseline on your lips and UNDER your eyes to keep the delicate eye area moisturized.

PJs Are Your Friend

Wear an ensemble as close to a pajama set as you can get away with in public. Once again, the less stressed your body feels, the less stressed you’ll feel, and the less grumpy fights and frazzled talks you must undergo.

Carry Smart

Have an accessible pouch stashed away in your front seat pocket containing: toothbrush and small toothpaste OR mouthwash (don’t overburden yourself with both), hand cream, a small container of Vaseline, small blush with a mirror and a travel tube of mascara, comb or travel brush.

Self Care in The Air

Bring a soothing, calming tea with you. Airlines usually only stock with caffeinated tea options for the drink service, so it’s useful to have a good high-quality tea that you can sip before resting your eyes. I love Mariage Frères teas or Kusmi.

Cover Your Eyes

Pack an eye mask. Make it a nice, soft, soothing eye mask that will force you to keep your eyes closed and rested.

Music Matters

Load your phone with soothing classical music or soundscapes that will relax you.

Be a Diva

Don’t make things harder on yourself when you arrive. If you have the option of taking a car to your destination vs. public transportation, choose the taxi, especially if your flight arrives early morning before rush hour or early morning on a weekend. You’ll be tired, no matter how much care you took. This is when spending a few extra dollars for peace of mind is worth it.

Pay Extra

Do whatever you can to avoid connections!! You might save $50 by option for a connection mid-flight, but you’ll be sacrificing more the next day when you decide you won’t be able to enjoy your destination as much because you’re dead tired.

Choose Seats Wisely

When choosing a seat, opt for the window. It gives you an extra surface to lean on and doze off if you need it. Ideally, you’ll be asleep anyway so you won’t have to get up to go to the bathroom throughout the flight.

Melatonin Up

If you’re a light sleeper and know you’ll need an extra nudge, take a melatonin 30-45 minutes prior to when you plan on dozing off. Set your alarm so you can wake up before the plane lands and get extra time to prep.

Adjust Time Zones

When on an international red-eye or a flight that changes time zones, try to adapt to the new time zone best you can. Start functioning as if you’ve arrived already!

Traveling on long-haul flights is exhausting, and it gets moreso when the flight is a red eye. These 15 tips should help you survive even the worst seat on a red-eye. #traveltips

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Nataliya Ogle


Nataliya Ogle likes making sure others live to their full potential. She publishes articles on her primary website styletomes.com and works as a freelance writer for other women's interest sites. Her physical body is in New York but her presence can almost always be found online. The internet is her first love.

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