Having traveled great distances to attend school, serve missions, or explore abroad, BYU-Hawaii students offer their best advice to potential world travelers. While flying long distances in economy class can seem like a drag, students with first-hand experience gave their tips for survival.
Chile → Texas: 16-Hour Flight
For Emily Georgeson, a junior in social work from California, it took her days to return home from serving her mission. Georgeson has had plenty of experience traveling on crammed international flights. “My MTC companion was put in first class while I was stuck in economy,” said Georgeson.
Sitting next to strangers can be a great opportunity for making new friends. “I talked to the dude next to me. I love to people watch. That’s so fun,” said Georgeson.
Georgeson advised travelers to stay active and move throughout the flight. “Make sure you get up and stretch out on long flights or you will die. Even through three hours of church I have to get up and stretch,” she added.
Arizona → New Zealand: 14-Hour Flight
Ileva Fa’apoi, a junior majoring in psychology from New Zealand, traveled from the mainland to her home in the Pacific. “I watched movies and talked to the person next to me, and slept for most of the flight,” she said.
For Fa’apoi, sleep is essential for killing the hours that may seem to drag on. “It gets cold on the plane so dress warmly and use the blankets they provide. Get a neck pillow and headphones to listen to music or watch movies,” she said.
Hawaii → China: 12-Hour Flight
Nick Kieren, a graduate in political science from Arizona, said of his trip to China, “I slept for some of it and made a playlist of music to listen to on the flight. I also watched three movies.”
For wary passengers paranoid of plane-crashes and nose-dives, Kieren advised students to relax and take their mind off of flying.
“When I feel the first bit of turbulence, I’m always convinced that I’m going to die. But trust me, you won’t die,” he said.
In Erin Block’s National Geographic article entitled, “How to Survive a Long Flight,” Block encourages passengers to invest in the right gear. “Just because you can’t splurge on business class doesn’t mean you can’t splurge on other things — like quality sleep gear. Eye masks, earplugs, neck pillows, and blankets are a must on a long haul.”
Block also emphasizes the importance of following your body’s natural instincts, saying, “If you feel tired, sleep. If you are wide awake, watch movies or read. But whatever you do, it’s important to find small ways to exercise on long flights.”