The flight to Japan is an extremely long one, (12 hours or better depending on where in the U.S. or Canada you leave from.)
But it doesn’t have to make you feel like you’ve been through a war, if you follow a few of these simple survival tips...
Tip #1: Stay Hydrated
The air in the aircraft is very dry so bring some eye drops. Cabins are pressurized which means your body absorbs less oxygen. This is what dries you out so much. (It’s worth the hassle to bring your own large size bottle of water so you don’t have to keep asking for refills to stay hydrated).
Tip #2: Stretch
Stretch well before getting on the plane. And stretch every few hours wherever there’s some space. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.
Tip #3: Skip the Booze
Because the flight to Japan is so long, it’s tempting to choose alcohol as a beverage with your meals (after all, it’s free on international flights.) Keep in mind that this just makes things worse. Don’t overeat and try to avoid grease. Bringing your own light and easily digestible snack helps too.
Tip #4: Great Gadgets
Other things to bring to make your flight to Japan more enjoyable are the inflatable support rings you put around your neck for sleeping, comfortable slippers and a sleeping mask or some dark sunglasses.
Tip #5: Coping with Jet lag
Jet lag is a drag. It can last for nearly a week before your body adjusts to the time difference. You know you have jet lag when your eyes are falling out of your head at four in the afternoon. Try taking “No-Jet-Lag” for reducing lag severity. It helps. Really.
Tip #6: Rest
Try to rest well before you fly. This helps give you the energy to survive the next day and go to bed at an appropriate time for your new time zone.
Tip #7: Resist the Java
Drink water and juices and avoid caffeine to stay hydrated. Dehydration can make jet lag worse. Avoid caffeine 4-6 hours before bedtime so you can sleep more soundly.
Tip #8: Fun in the Sun
After your arrival, relax outside. Spending time in the sun helps you adjust more quickly.
Tip #9: Scrap the Nap
It’s tough but, try to limit yourself to one nap of 30-40 minutes or less. If you can do it, eliminate naps all together.
Tip #10: Set an alarm and your body clock
Do your best to go to bed and wake up at the appropriate hour for your new time zone.
Tip #11: Get a head-start on adjusting your body clock
If possible, try to adjust your sleeping and eating times an hour or two towards your destination (East forward, West backward) a few days before your flight.
Tip #12: No More Than 3
Your flight to Japan can be an ugly one if you start off on the wrong foot with too much weight or too many bags. You are allowed a total of 3 bags per person on your flight to Japan. 1 carry-on and 2 bags that you check. The following facts are for Delta as of 1/07. Other airlines may vary a bit. Check with your airline for limits.
Tip #13: The Carry-On
Your carry on can’t exceed 40 pounds (about 18 kg.) It also can’t be over 45 inches L+W+H. This is approximately 22” x 14” x 9” or 56cm x 35.5cm x 23cm. If it is over this size they won’t let you bring it on your flight to Japan.
Tip#14: Checked Baggage
Your checked baggage can’t exceed 50 pounds (about 22.5 kg.) It also can’t be over 62 inches L+W+H. or 157.5 cm. Considering you can check two bags for a total of 100 pounds, you can bring a lot of stuff! Need some tips on what to bring on your flight to Japan? Click for do's and don'ts.
Tip: #15: Don't be Overweight
A word of warning on excesses. If you go over their limit i.e. the bag weighs between 51 and 70 pounds they will charge you $25 per bag per way.
Tip # 16: Leave Some Room in Your Carry-on
If you don’t have a scale or the time to weigh your bag and you think you might be over the weight limit, don’t pack your carry on full. Why? So you can take stuff out of your overweight bag and put it in the carry on – avoiding their extra charge. Generally they will tell you if your bag is over and allow you to pull the switch.
Tip #17: Times to Avoid
The flight is tough enough why make it tougher flying on the wrong day? Avoid national holidays to include Obon in mid August and Golden Week from late April until the first week of May.