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I am going to travel from Seoul Incheon to Beirut via Abu Dhabi. I have looked up many sites that give tips on traveling long-haul. However, these are not helpful in my case, because there are some factors, mainly:

  1. The trip to Incheon takes 4 hours. Seriously. I am staying in the south of the country, and Incheon is up in the north, which will not let me be "relaxed" before my flight.

  2. The plane leaves at 00:40, when most, if not all people, are asleep. Another contributing factor against "relaxed".

  3. The connection time is 5 hours.

Any tips to surviving this? Most tips I have seen seem to be flights leaving in the afternoon, not midnight.

As a side note, would it be a good idea to wear slippers? Or would my feet bleed because of being run over by other passengers' cabin bags' wheels?

----Added 3rd Sep----

Since the plane leaves at midnight, I would probably be tired. Would staying up for the meal be worth it? Or should I just give up and try to sleep?

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    The trip to Incheon takes four hours, but the plane leaves at 00:40, so you would typically depart at 18:40. Why not depart at just after lunch and relax at the airport (say in a restaurant)? It's a big chunk of time this way or that. – Jan Sep 2 '16 at 12:02
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    Why do you think sitting in a quiet airplane full of sleeping people is not relaxed? – Summer Sep 2 '16 at 12:03
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    Any issue with lights is easily solved with a sleeping mask. That said, all you have to do is stay calm for a few hours, so the best think you can do to improve your travel is stop imagining that it will be a nightmare. If you are so convinced that your travel will be an ordeal ("surviving"), then you most probably will have a bad experience even if everything is ok. – SJuan76 Sep 2 '16 at 12:40
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    @Johns-305 thousands of people do this every day, but I don't want to enter as "good to go" then leave feeling like I can't do anything anymore. – Yubin Lee Sep 2 '16 at 12:50
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    Sounds like a sleep mask and earplugs would be helpful to you. – Zach Lipton Sep 2 '16 at 13:55
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That is not as bad as it sounds. Below are some tips of mine, which is just an incomplete list of course.

  • If the journey to Incheon stresses you out, do this part of the trip earlier and stay near the airport for a day or half a day, so that you can arrive relaxed.
  • Otherwise if you are kind of tired by the time you get on the plane, even better, you will be able to get some sleep.
  • As said, on the plane do try to get some sleep, as it is nighttime for you. To help you sleep, bring a sleeping mask, ear-plugs or headphones with relaxing music, whatever works best for you.
  • When you arrive in Dubai, try to stay awake as you are almost in the time-zone of Beirut in any case and it should be day. You will be busy getting to your connecting flight anyway.
  • Try to only sleep on your second flight to Beirut if it is night outside, to avoid jet-lag and to get used to the new time-zone sooner.
  • if you are a picky eater, bring some familiar snacks from home
  • also I always try to have an own water bottle with me on the plane, to avoid having to ask flight personal or stepping over people seated next to me.

Regarding clothing, etc, I like to carry some spares and comfortable clothing that is functional enough for traveling nonetheless.

  • why not have a pair of shoes that are good for moving while you are off the plane and a pair of slippers for on the plane. I like to change into a pair of fresh socks as well at the same time.
  • personally I always carry a scarf with me, in case it is too cold on the plane. Also layered clothing is perfect.
  • speaking of which, AFAIK hiking clothing is a big thing in South Korea, consider wearing such when you don't have to step up to a business meeting as soon as you arrive.

Regarding your extra question, whether it is worth staying up for the meal: it depends

  • if you are tired already, give in to it and sleep as soon as you get on the plane. I sometimes sleep before the plane is airborne.
  • if you are super-hungry, wait for the meal and sleep afterwards
  • flight time. When you are on a 12 hour flight, you have enough time to eat, sleep, eat again, ... but Incheon to Dubai is 8 hours, so you may want to think what you prefer to allocate your flight time to
  • of course you could plan around this and eat at the airport (typically a bit more expensive) and then know you are ready to sleep on the plane.

So in the end, it is up to you, at that moment. Don't worry too much.

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    I'm a student... still it seems like the best answer to me. – Yubin Lee Sep 2 '16 at 13:59
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    Water? On a …plane …? O__O Haven’t heard of that for like forever … – Jan Sep 2 '16 at 14:01
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    @Jan why not? I typically take an empty bottle through security and fill it up airside or if that fails buy a bottle airside. – mts Sep 2 '16 at 14:02
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    I thought empty bottles weren’t allowed either, but obviously I was wrong all these years … – Jan Sep 2 '16 at 14:03
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    @mts never thought of that... it's actually a really good idea. – Yubin Lee Sep 3 '16 at 0:50
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We have a number of questions here already about preparing for long haul flights, and about sleeping on flights including the canonical What is the most comfortable way to sleep on a plane? . Combining the suggestions from those may help you a lot. Bring something to read to pass the time, a sleeping mask to help you sleep on the plane, and so on. If you want to wear slippers on the flight, put them in your carryon and switch into them once you are in your seat on the plane.

The hard part about catching a flight so late at night is being tired in the airport. I had a 1am flight to catch once that was delayed until 2. That was very difficult. We had arrived very early because there was nothing else to do where we were, and were relaxing while we passed the hours. Reading, chatting, charging our devices. Around 11:30 another plane came in, people lined up, and then staff started going around talking to all the people who were waiting. I couldn't tell why because as soon as they saw my passport in my hand they moved on to someone else. About 1 am, a woman came running up to the gate looking very panicked. By this time the plane had been gone for an hour of course. She looked hysterical. Clearly she had fallen asleep somewhere far from the gate. The staff had been looking for her, but not found her. So my tip for you is wait directly at your gate. Wait in the seats closest to where you will board, and in seats that the staff can easily see. That way if you happen to fall asleep, they will find you and you won't miss your flight by being asleep in a far corner of the airport when it leaves.

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Some tips:

  1. Make a list of everything you plan to take, especially all your docs, Passport, Visas (if required), boarding pass before you leave.
  2. Check the list before leaving.
  3. Wear comfortable clothes.
  4. Wear comfortable shoes.
  5. Take something to do. A book, puzzle, movies, whatever.
  6. Go with the flow.

If this is you first long-haul flight, sorry, this is when you're going to realize what you should do for the next one. Over preparing can be just as bad as under preparing.

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