Many of my friends will be taking off later in September to fly to France to run the inaugural runDisney Disneyland Paris Half Marathon. My cousin Juliana will be one of these lucky runners!
Flying trans-atlantic or “long haul” for a race is a different kind of challenge from flying across the country or driving to a race. Last year I flew from Berlin, Germany to Orlando for the 2016 Princess Half Marathon so I have a little bit of experience in flying across the pond to get to a race. Beyond my race travel experience I fly to Europe several times a year for work and like to think I know what I am doing!
Beyond the usual race weekend prep of making dining reservations and packing you will want to consider your travel needs in the air. In this post I shared a general idea of what I pack in my long haul carry on. It has changed a bit over the last year but many things are the same! Oh and I totally got that Lo & Sons Bag -> Best carry on ever!!
ON THE PLANE
So you are ready to go and at the airport! If you can splurge for a higher class, like business or premium economy, it will be totally worth if, if not extended leg room is a great option that is also budget conscious. Being able to extend your legs is key! I always wear compression socks on the plane but this is especially helpful for a race flight. Make sure to pick up a big water bottle at the airport as you need to stay and keep hydrated on the flight -a little Nuun never hurt either. You won’t want to risk losing your running shoes if your baggage gets lost, so I always wear mine on the plane for a race.
My plane routine is to get seated/settled and watch a full movie. Eat dinner and take a Tylenol PM with dessert. I normally put on a movie that I have seen a few times to help me relax while the Tylenol/Advil PM kicks in and I fall asleep. I do drink wine on a flight, but that is a personal choice. Remember to keep drinking your water! An eyemask or hoodie will help blackout any light so you can fall asleep. Try the one I use… the HoodiePillow Travel Pillow is amazing!
FIGHTING JET LAG
Fighting jet lag is actually easier than you think. Once you to Europe you need to stay awake. I like to drink Berocca, which is similar to Emergen-C and available throughout Europe to give me an energy boost and help my immune system. Then my first stop off the plane is straight for an espresso. My second tip is to get the sun in your eyes. Your body will adjust when it starts recognizing the daylight. Try to stay awake until at least 8 or 9pm – scheduling a dinner helps… then off to sleep you go!
What can I say – I am a tad bit jealous of all the amazing adventures you Disneyland Paris runners are going to have, but I wish you all the best time! Someone (cough Juli cough) can bring me back some Marie or Alice in Wonderland trinket not sold at Epcot!
Let me know if you are running or having some serious FOMO in the comments!