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Tips for the long distance flyer

Rodney Kent

Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
I’m planning ahead for a 2022 Camino. While I’ve walked four times before along different Camino routes, I’m always looking for ways to make the walk easier. One of the big strains for me is the toll that very long distance flights take on my body.

I would love to hear from other people who have to travel a long way to get to the start of the actual Camino, how you manage the travel to minimise the impact on you and your body. I’m curious about things like what you carry on board, sleep assistance, exercise, minimising jet-lag, and so on.

The back story: I now live in Dunedin, New Zealand, so I’m just about as far from Spain as it’s possible to be. I’m originally from Brisbane, Australia, which isn’t much closer to Spain. It can take the better part of 3 days some trips to reach the starting point of the Camino, when factoring in flight times, transits, getting to and from airports, check-in times etc, and travelling within Spain after arriving in either Madrid or Barcelona. I sleep badly on planes and sitting in an awkward position for such a long time means that by the time I get to the start of the walk, I’m physically feeling pretty exhausted. To make the flights easier, I’ve often carried devices like noise cancelling headphones, which then add weight to the pack. I really want to keep the weight of my pack down for my next Camino and arrive at the start of the walk feeling in decent condition. Any suggestions?
 
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Anamiri

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
I have always done the crazy thing and flown into France/Spain, and walked out on the Camino the next day. I dont sleep on planes either, but somehow I still manage it. My dream is to afford to be able to lie down during the flight.
Yes it takes a really really long time - I have learned to buy the route that takes the least overall hours and not the cheapest..
Compression socks! Get the really good ones.
 
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Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Past OR future Camino
2022
I’m planning ahead for a 2022 Camino. While I’ve walked four times before along different Camino routes, I’m always looking for ways to make the walk easier. One of the big strains for me is the toll that very long distance flights take on my body.

I would love to hear from other people who have to travel a long way to get to the start of the actual Camino, how you manage the travel to minimise the impact on you and your body. I’m curious about things like what you carry on board, sleep assistance, exercise, minimising jet-lag, and so on.

The back story: I now live in Dunedin, New Zealand, so I’m just about as far from Spain as it’s possible to be. I’m originally from Brisbane, Australia, which isn’t much closer to Spain. It can take the better part of 3 days some trips to reach the starting point of the Camino, when factoring in flight times, transits, getting to and from airports, check-in times etc, and travelling within Spain after arriving in either Madrid or Barcelona. I sleep badly on planes and sitting in an awkward position for such a long time means that by the time I get to the start of the walk, I’m physically feeling pretty exhausted. To make the flights easier, I’ve often carried devices like noise cancelling headphones, which then add weight to the pack. I really want to keep the weight of my pack down for my next Camino and arrive at the start of the walk feeling in decent condition. Any suggestions?
I used to look for the quickest connection in Dubai when flying with Emirates but then I remembered that if the connection time is longer than 6 hours Emirates give you a free hotel room in Dubai.

So now I look for a connection that is about 8 to 10 hours after landing in Dubai and have a sleep at the hotel. The trick is that you (or your travel agent) have to request the free hotel room before you leave ANZ because if you wait until you land in Dubai to ask for it they ALWAYS tell you that they have no rooms left.

The other trick is to ensure that they have your email address. The last time I flew back from Spain they emailed me a couple of days before leaving offering me an upgrade to Business Class for $120 and so I accepted and ate decent food and was able to sleep in the bigger seats that go completely flat.

Good luck
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
Drink water, not alcohol.
Don’t overeat.
Once you board mentally adjust your time to the destination time zone - try to grab some rest in the “nighttime”, understanding it will not be a great sleep - don’t watch movies for the whole time just because you’re awake! And don’t think about what time it would be at home.
When you arrive, get outside in sunlight if possible.
Do not take a nap - go to bed early if you need to (I try to last until at least 7pm but it can be hard if you arrived in the morning) - but as I say, do NOT nap in the afternoon. (Incidentally last time we got back to NZ at 4am and were home by 6am we jumped into bed without even having a shower and set our alarm for 8am - it was soooo hard to get up when the alarm went off, but we did, had showers, unpacked and were rewarded with getting back to the right time zone relatively quickly)
Be gentle on yourself. Know your limitations. Take a couple of easy days at the start, whether that’s sightseeing in town or short Camino days.
Be aware of temperature difference (I learnt this the hard way on the Madrid route going from 10 degrees in NZ to nearly 40 degrees - the body can struggle to cope, especially when you add in strenuous exercise)
Keep your pack weight low (post those headphones to Casa Ivar if you must take them!!)
That’s all I can think of
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I fly from Sydney, via Paris, to start at St jean.
And have flown once to Madrid.
So long flights too. 22-24 hours.

My regime is this.

I try to sleep on the plane but usually fail to get much more than a couple of hours.
I have all of the best of intentions to stay hydrated, low fat food etc on the flight.
I always fail! The wine and food are hard to resist.
So I tend to binge watch movies whilst eating and drinking too much.
Though I make sure to drink lots of water too.

The excitement to be finally on my way, can make it hard to relax.
So wine works well :)

On arrival 'in country' I head into Paris/Madrid wherever, and take the day off.
Flights for me often arrive early morning.
I might nap for an hour at my Hotel, but no more.
Then take a walk around to get the air/sun and get used to the time zone.

I'll try to stay awake till 'local' bedtime, maybe 9 or 10 pm.
The next day I'll head out to my Camino start point.
Train, Paris to St Jean or whatever.
Then have another good nights sleep and start walking the next day.

I think key elements for those crossing many time zones, is
  1. Land at your destination with the right time in your head. i.e. If you arrive at 7am, you will have been awake maybe from 5 am whilst they serve breakfast etc. so those hours midnight - 5am (local arrival time zone) are the critical ones in which to get some sleep. So you will arrive having had a little sleep and breakfast. Now stay awake till bedtime!
  2. Get out into the sun, this helps your body clock adjust.
  3. Then get to bed at normal local time.
I'm sure there are lots of other great tips, but for me the main thing is adjusting the body clock to local time asap.

Obviously if you land at 8 pm at night, plan accordingly. Arrive having stayed awake for the last 12 hours or so, having had dinner, so you are ready to go to bed with 2-3 hours.
 
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Deleted member 73526

Guest
1. Start well rested
I've made half-hearted attempts at adjusting my body clock before departure - waking up earlier or later and so on in the days before my trip. I can't say I've found a formula along those lines that helped me. What does help is just ensuring that I'm not sleep-deprived before I even get on the plane.

2. Drink water. Avoid booze.
Staying hydrated is important. I feel better when I've remembered to start drinking more than usual a day or two before the long-haul flight. Keep drinking still and sparkling water throughout the flight. And continue with more than the usual intake of water for a day or two after the flight Definitely avoid alcohol.

3. Eat nothing on the plane.
Fasting during the flight also works for me, when I've had the willpower to do it. It's a really tough proposition on a long-haul flight. Especially a super-long flight from NZ to Europe. But it really does work. Apparently, it's the approach that the CIA teaches its agents. The full CIA approach is quite involved, but simply avoiding booze and airline food is already a good start.
If I'm not up to fasting, I have been known to bring my own salad and turn down the airline's food. That also seems to help.

4. Get natural sunlight and light exercise on arrival
I wouldn't want to walk a long stage of the camino in a jetlagged state. But spending time in a park or looking around a city center is a good way to stay awake during daylight hours. Don't be tempted to nap in a hotel room. Get out and about.

5. Pasta for dinner. And no booze.
Carbs will set you up for a good night's sleep on your first night in the new time zone.
 
Past OR future Camino
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
G'Day @Rodney Kent
I have made this flight (Sydney Dubai Paris or Madrid) three times. I have a couple of suggestions: fly Business Class (if you can afford it) or (with Singapore Airlines) Premium Economy (I think they go as far as Barcelona or Paris). Allow at least one day in Madrid or Paris to get over the jet lag. There is always something to do in both of these cities. I like to do as much walking as I can and then have a meal around 7.00/8.00 PM (accompanied by a few beers or wines) and then get to bed at my normal time. I hope this helps, best of luck with your planning. Buen Camino.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
3. Eat nothing on the plane.
Fasting during the flight also works for me, when I've had the willpower to do it. It's a really tough proposition on a long-haul flight. Especially a super-long flight from NZ to Europe. But it really does work. Apparently, it's the approach that the CIA teaches its agents. The full CIA approach is quite involved, but simply avoiding booze and airline food is already a good start.

Wash your mouth out with soap!
A couple of times on Emirates or Thai Airways I have managed to get an upgrade.
There is no way on earth...........I am not eating :eek:
 

Tassie Kaz

Sempre Avanti
Past OR future Camino
2019
As another long hauler (with an extra leg at the beginning to get from Tassie to mainland Aus), all the above tips are sound.
However a factor working in your (our) favour is the 'east-west' aspect of the flight to Europe. It really does make a difference flying with the path of the sun (rises in the east, sets in the west)...you will adapt to your destination time zone far more quickly than the return flight going against the sun.

I always choose to fly with Qatar for their Aust departure times & European arrival times. My flight usually departs (Melbourne) around 10pm..this means you've already had a full day & are more likely to be able to get at least some sleep on the plane. Qatar's European arrival times are usually early afternoon... meaning you have time to get to your accommodation, get your bearings & get settled, have a meal etc & then go to bed at your normal time. This avoids the morning arrival fight to stay awake all day or needing to take a nap during the day.

Lots of info for you to experiment with & find what works for you. It takes a few jaunts to get it down pat...what a shame 🤭 ...a good excuse to travel more! 🤗
👣 🌏
 
D

Deleted member 73526

Guest
Wash your mouth out with soap!
A couple of times on Emirates or Thai Airways I have managed to get an upgrade.
There is no way on earth...........I am not eating :eek:

I understand the sentiment, having been there myself often enough - at the pointy end of the plane, pre-departure bellini and menu in hand - whether through the investment of my hard-earned loyalty points, the ability to justify the expense to a client, or simple good fortune.

At those moments, it's easy to tell yourself that it would be a shame, a missed opportunity, a "waste," even, to forgo the benefits of the premium cabin - the chance to sample dishes specially crafted by a famous chef so that they stand up to the assaults of preparation and storage in a subcontractor's industrial kitchen, reheating on board, and consumption in the flavor-negating air of a decompressed cabin. (The chefs themselves won't eat the airline meals that they've lent their names to, but I digress). The experience of consuming fancy ingredients on china plates at 600 miles an hour, 30,000 feet above sea level, is a thrill, but to be honest your palate gets more stimulation from the somewhat special restaurant where you take the family several times a year to celebrate life's milestones.

I could offer similarly damning faint praise for the fine wines, the trolley of cheeses and digestifs, the choice of freshly brewed nespresso coffees, the extra 40 kilos of check-in luggage, and the plethora of movies on a decadently wide screen. In each case, I think that equal or superior versions of all of these amenities are available to you every day on terra firma, at a price that you can afford.

You see, the thing that's really special about sitting at the pointy end is not the caviar and champagne. It's the fact that it allows you to arrive feeling less beaten up. It minimizes the pain of "hurry up and wait" before departure - After gliding through security in the priority lane, you can settle into a quiet corner of the lounge, far from the bustling crowds at the gate. It takes the stress out of boarding - You know that you won't be fighting for pole position during boarding to claim first dibs on an overhead locker. It treats you like a human - Cabin attendants know your name and take the time to say more than "beef or chicken?" Crucially, it offers you a place to put your elbows and a chance to lie flat (in my case, it means that I can sleep - but I understand if that's not your experience). And at the end of your flight, it propels you from gate to kerb in less time than it takes the last of the passengers at the flat end to disembark.

To arrive feeling less beaten up is ultimately a time saver - You get more "quality time," to enjoy the company of the folks that you haven't seen last Christmas (or to work with your valued client), and you need less "recovery time" feeling stiff-necked, sleep-starved, and half-zombified. Time is the most finite resource, the most precious currency of all. To exchange it for calories and alcohol that sap your energy and aren't really all that special, is the real "waste," of a business or first class ticket.

You know I'm right.

Come to think of it, I know I'm right. But I still find myself making the same mistakes - allowing the charming cabin attendant who observes that I can't choose between two options on the menu to persuade me to "Why not have both?" Why do I fall into the trap? Because everyone loves "free stuff." Because I'm distracted from the bigger picture by the shiny things that the airline puts in front of me. Because I'm bored and there's "nothing else to do." And because "when else will I get to see all three films in that trilogy back-to-back?" Silly mistakes. When I manage to avoid making them, I feel much better.
 
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Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
To make the flights easier, I’ve often carried devices like noise cancelling headphones, which then add weight to the pack.
If these are the large, over-the-ear style headphones, you are short-changing yourself. The Bose Acoustic Comfort 20 noise-cancelling headphones are in-the-ear style earbuds, and work quite well. (Other models by other makers are possibly available.) The weight is negligible, as is the volume required in the pack. I wouldn't travel anywhere without mine.
 
Past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
There were some long lines waiting to checkin at the ticketing booths for the Sydney-LA flight. Peg left to ask at an information booth how much it would cost to upgrade our tickets. Ten minutes later she comes running back (the line hadn't moved). "Quick, give me the tickets. They will upgrade us for free." She, our economy tickets, and two ladies from neighboring couples went off and came back with business class tickets. The airline had overbooked economy. On the plane we were offered mimosas before even being seated. Peg was toasted and thanked. One couple were honeymooners.

Later, still on on way home, while waiting at the gate we went to the desk and told then that we volunteered to be bumped if the flight was overbooked. They were and soon asked for more volunteers. Our new flight and the original flight left at about the same time due to several problems so we avoided three hours sitting on a plane going nowhere and gained free trans-continental tickets for a future flight.

My tip: Ask the airline for things up to the time of boarding.
 
I used to look for the quickest connection in Dubai when flying with Emirates but then I remembered that if the connection time is longer than 6 hours Emirates give you a free hotel room in Dubai.

So now I look for a connection that is about 8 to 10 hours after landing in Dubai and have a sleep at the hotel. The trick is that you (or your travel agent) have to request the free hotel room before you leave ANZ because if you wait until you land in Dubai to ask for it they ALWAYS tell you that they have no rooms left.

The other trick is to ensure that they have your email address. The last time I flew back from Spain they emailed me a couple of days before leaving offering me an upgrade to Business Class for $120 and so I accepted and ate decent food and was able to sleep in the bigger seats that go completely flat.

Good luck
I completely agree on the Dubai connection and Emirates. The point, I believe, you are making is that, if you do your own research and not turn over your trip to a travel agency (they make money by getting you out of their que of travel requests the quickest and with the most profit) you can find some interesting deals to make your long trip less onerous.
Their are similar options available from airlines such as Iceland Air. When you travel with them you'll go through Reykjavik. Iceland Air offers a Stop Over option where, at no extra charge, you can stay over night.
This is just another option that can be found if you do your own research. Oh, cost BTW is about $1,429 as of today departing mid-week August (4th) returning September 28th O'hare Chicago to Madrid RTN.
 

MaryOswald

New Member
Past OR future Camino
planning a fall 2019 trip
I’m planning ahead for a 2022 Camino. While I’ve walked four times before along different Camino routes, I’m always looking for ways to make the walk easier. One of the big strains for me is the toll that very long distance flights take on my body.

I would love to hear from other people who have to travel a long way to get to the start of the actual Camino, how you manage the travel to minimise the impact on you and your body. I’m curious about things like what you carry on board, sleep assistance, exercise, minimising jet-lag, and so on.

The back story: I now live in Dunedin, New Zealand, so I’m just about as far from Spain as it’s possible to be. I’m originally from Brisbane, Australia, which isn’t much closer to Spain. It can take the better part of 3 days some trips to reach the starting point of the Camino, when factoring in flight times, transits, getting to and from airports, check-in times etc, and travelling within Spain after arriving in either Madrid or Barcelona. I sleep badly on planes and sitting in an awkward position for such a long time means that by the time I get to the start of the walk, I’m physically feeling pretty exhausted. To make the flights easier, I’ve often carried devices like noise cancelling headphones, which then add weight to the pack. I really want to keep the weight of my pack down for my next Camino and arrive at the start of the walk feeling in decent condition. Any suggestions?
There are some great suggestions here. I once read a book on avoiding jetlag and most of the suggestions made in the book are listed in these posts: staying hydrated, regulating when you sleep, etc. What we have found helps more than anything is upgrading to business class, however. Laying down flat is the only way I can sleep. As someone once told me, "when you fly business class your vacation starts when you get to the airport. It makes flying part of the fun adventure and not something to merely endure".
Now the question of affording it: in the US we get mileage points from credit cards. Do they have something similar in Australia? I buy a credit card that initially will give me TONS of miles ( like 100,000) then I put Everything on that card. It may take 2-3 years but I eventually have enough miles to fly business class for free.
 
D

Deleted member 73526

Guest
Now the question of affording it: in the US we get mileage points from credit cards. Do they have something similar in Australia? I buy a credit card that initially will give me TONS of miles ( like 100,000) then I put Everything on that card. It may take 2-3 years but I eventually have enough miles to fly business class for free.
Credit card mileage earning opportunities are better in the US than pretty much anywhere else.. In the US, if you search for sign-up and spending bonuses, you can accumulate 100,000 miles very quickly:

Card companies don't make such generous offers in Europe or Asia, and (I guess) Australia.
 
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Airfix

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Some good tips here, can't see me sticking to the "no food/drink" on the aircraft though. A couple of points about the flight.....

1. Check out one of my favorite websites, www.seatguru.com a comprehensive data base for aircraft seating layouts. Detailing Good, Bad and Indifferent seating locations on every flight. Not only details whether seats are located next to toilets/galley, no windows, restricted backrest movement, have extra leg room but even when the in-flight movie control box is located under the seat infront of you! Also shows gallley and toilet positionss. Need your aircraft type and carrier. Obviously, do your homework before you book and pick the best seat when booking.

2. Book as early as possible. This used to be up to 9 months in advance of the fight, in these Covid times I know some airlines have extended this to 12mths (You can currently book BA 12 months in advance to some destinations). When booking opens a few seats are usually sold at a bargain price. Managed to get long-haul first class for not much more than Premium Economy.
 
Past OR future Camino
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
I have nothing to add to the various upgrading and hydrating tips but I would suggest that, rather than overnighting in Madrid or Paris on arrival from Far Away, take a train for a few h ours to an intermediate place where it will be: a) much less expensive for a hotel, and b) quieter and more relaxing. e.g., Madrid to Guadelajara, then the next day to Pamplona and SJPP; Paris-Vendôme, or Paris-Tours, then the next day to Bayonne/SJPP.

I have used points for business class routes a few times and it is more agreeable than steerage. As age wreaks its typrannical hand, I have also been known to go Premium Economy (aka poor man's business class) which provides some of the extra space and early boarding privileges, albeit without the caressing tones off deeply caring flight attendants (to be fair, they are probably just being their natural selves when permitted by a more human and functional workload than they face with the economy section).
 

Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I completely agree on the Dubai connection and Emirates. The point, I believe, you are making is that, if you do your own research and not turn over your trip to a travel agency (they make money by getting you out of their que of travel requests the quickest and with the most profit) you can find some interesting deals to make your long trip less onerous.
Their are similar options available from airlines such as Iceland Air. When you travel with them you'll go through Reykjavik. Iceland Air offers a Stop Over option where, at no extra charge, you can stay over night.
This is just another option that can be found if you do your own research. Oh, cost BTW is about $1,429 as of today departing mid-week August (4th) returning September 28th O'hare Chicago to Madrid RTN.
Arn, for as long as I can remember, Icelandair has allowed a stopover in Iceland. Even if this fare does include a free hotel stay as well (?) I don’t see $1429 as much of a bargain given many of us have been able to get fares from the east cost for between $500-600RT no-stops to Madrid. Going to Iceland adds about two hours to flight time each way going USA to Spain, plus changing planes in the middle of the night as I recall?
 

Aidan21

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPP to SDC 2013/14
SJPP to SDC 2016
Porto to SDC 2017
VdlP Sevilla/Salamanca 2018
When I travelled to NZ (taking 24 hours with a 2 hour stop over in Dubai) and arrived at 7:30 am, I remember mentally deciding that it was 7:30 am and to get with the program. It didn't matter what time my body thought it was or what time it was at home. I was in the here and now and needed to mentally accept it. Yes I was tired and I went to bed early in the evening, but I never suffered from jet lag at all. Same on the way home. May not work for everyone but it worked for me.
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017 Burgos to SDC April 2018
I’m planning ahead for a 2022 Camino. While I’ve walked four times before along different Camino routes, I’m always looking for ways to make the walk easier. One of the big strains for me is the toll that very long distance flights take on my body.

I would love to hear from other people who have to travel a long way to get to the start of the actual Camino, how you manage the travel to minimise the impact on you and your body. I’m curious about things like what you carry on board, sleep assistance, exercise, minimising jet-lag, and so on.

The back story: I now live in Dunedin, New Zealand, so I’m just about as far from Spain as it’s possible to be. I’m originally from Brisbane, Australia, which isn’t much closer to Spain. It can take the better part of 3 days some trips to reach the starting point of the Camino, when factoring in flight times, transits, getting to and from airports, check-in times etc, and travelling within Spain after arriving in either Madrid or Barcelona. I sleep badly on planes and sitting in an awkward position for such a long time means that by the time I get to the start of the walk, I’m physically feeling pretty exhausted. To make the flights easier, I’ve often carried devices like noise cancelling headphones, which then add weight to the pack. I really want to keep the weight of my pack down for my next Camino and arrive at the start of the walk feeling in decent condition. Any suggestions?

Hi Rodney. Obviously flying from central Canada is a little shorter in duration but still not a comfortable process. If I am walking the Frances, I fly into Madrid and then take the train to Pamplona. I usually get to Pamplona in the early afternoon and book into the Hotel Eslava for the night. I wander around Pamplona, stretch out my legs and body and then have an early supper.

The next morning, I transit to Roncesvalles and I am on my way.
 
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Elary Jack

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Portuguese (2018)
I’m planning ahead for a 2022 Camino. While I’ve walked four times before along different Camino routes, I’m always looking for ways to make the walk easier. One of the big strains for me is the toll that very long distance flights take on my body.

I would love to hear from other people who have to travel a long way to get to the start of the actual Camino, how you manage the travel to minimise the impact on you and your body. I’m curious about things like what you carry on board, sleep assistance, exercise, minimising jet-lag, and so on.

The back story: I now live in Dunedin, New Zealand, so I’m just about as far from Spain as it’s possible to be. I’m originally from Brisbane, Australia, which isn’t much closer to Spain. It can take the better part of 3 days some trips to reach the starting point of the Camino, when factoring in flight times, transits, getting to and from airports, check-in times etc, and travelling within Spain after arriving in either Madrid or Barcelona. I sleep badly on planes and sitting in an awkward position for such a long time means that by the time I get to the start of the walk, I’m physically feeling pretty exhausted. To make the flights easier, I’ve often carried devices like noise cancelling headphones, which then add weight to the pack. I really want to keep the weight of my pack down for my next Camino and arrive at the start of the walk feeling in decent condition. Any suggestions?
Really great suggestions, everyone! Most I have successfully used, and some I'm now eager to try.
One thing I've done is assemble a temporary neck pillow to make it easier to sleep sitting up in flight. One version (the blue, if I manage to attach a pic) is my homemade travel towel wrapped like a sausage around my jacket (though it could be any large clothing item) safety pinned to stay rolled up, and tied to close. The towel is a rectangle cut from a large cotton t-shirt with two extensions (resulting in a sort of T shape) to allow it to tie easily. Everything was already a part of my travel kit.
Another year, for a fall camino, I sewed a hollow, u-shaped gaiter or scarf (the very fetching flame print in the photo) and stuffed it with my sleeping quilt. My belt is inside it to form the attachment. I later realized if I didn't want to use the gaiter for warmth, I could have just zipped the cover off any manufactured neck pillow and stuffed it with the quilt. The cover would be extra weight, but extremely little.
Making a neck pillow has two benefits: most importantly, it allows more comfortable travel rest without adding anything (much) to my gear, and secondly, it temporarily removes some bulky items from my pack to allow me space to stuff in my little crossbody bag and keep the one luggage item rule, as well as carry on a healthy meal and snacks for the journey that would otherwise not easily fit in my 29 liter pack.
 

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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I completely agree on the Dubai connection and Emirates. The point, I believe, you are making is that, if you do your own research and not turn over your trip to a travel agency (they make money by getting you out of their que of travel requests the quickest and with the most profit) you can find some interesting deals to make your long trip less onerous.
Their are similar options available from airlines such as Iceland Air. When you travel with them you'll go through Reykjavik. Iceland Air offers a Stop Over option where, at no extra charge, you can stay over night.
This is just another option that can be found if you do your own research. Oh, cost BTW is about $1,429 as of today departing mid-week August (4th) returning September 28th O'hare Chicago to Madrid RTN.
Ouch...this is almost twice what I paid in the past, but I'll take what I can get when the "friendly skies" finally open up to USofA citizens.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
After a career of someone else paying for me to travel at the pointy-end, I made the fatal mistake of spending many accumulated points on business class flights when travelling long-haul with Mrs Henry the Dog once I retired. They were the most expensive free flights of my life. Having got a taste for turning left at the top of the stairs it’s become a condition of any flight outside Europe. Take care.

My carry on bag always contained a double malt, two immodium, a sleeping tablet and ibuprofen. I pretty much slept through any flight.

I only got bumped once when flying out of Rhinelander, Wisconsin in the winter. The pilot had to personally brush the snow off the wings. The ground staff weighed all the passengers and their baggage and they decided that I was cheaper to buy-off than three or four out of steerage. It was quite lucrative. They did leave me the drinks trolley in the ‘terminal’ to pass the time.

One other occasion when departing Italy on a runway which had been shortened for essential work the pilot decided that we, the passengers, should choose between abandoning the in-flight catering or allowing a visibly distressed family of four on standby to board. The vote was by show of hands.

To my brief embarrassment when I looked behind me I found that I was the only vote for the food and booze.

Don’t judge me, it was some time ago.
 
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
For me, I love booking through cheap sites like Cheap O Air.
One reason is because often the flights have several layovers of an hour or more.
That gives me the opportunity to get OFF the plane, walk around, get food.
It makes the trip longer, but easier on me.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I only got bumped once when flying out of Rhinelander, Wisconsin in the winter.
I have been to Rhinelander, Wisconsin a few times in the summer. What would ever bring a UK citizen to little 'ole Rhinelander in the summer, let alone winter? I am curious...😳
 
Rent a house in Santiago (1 month minimum)
300m from the cathedral and around the corner from the fresh food market in Santiago. Perfect place to tele commute from (1GB symmetrical connection).
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henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Once upon a time I was chief spear-carrier to the head of agriculture for a major international food business. ‘We’ used to buy (literally) millions of tonnes of potatoes for snack foods across the globe (Lays in the US).

Anyway, out in the woods near Rhinelander is (or was) their top-secret potato-breeding facility where new varieties were developed (without GM!) and trialled. There was a facility which experimented with daylight shortening and other techniques. Very advanced for its day.

That took me to Rhinelander .

My memories were of a small town, lots of snow, some Native American waymarks in the woods and an absolutely massive strip club where (somebody told me, OK?) potential performers for the Chicago circuit were sent to learn their trade.
 
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Anamiri

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
When I travelled to NZ (taking 24 hours with a 2 hour stop over in Dubai) and arrived at 7:30 am, I remember mentally deciding that it was 7:30 am and to get with the program. It didn't matter what time my body thought it was or what time it was at home. I was in the here and now and needed to mentally accept it. Yes I was tired and I went to bed early in the evening, but I never suffered from jet lag at all. Same on the way home. May not work for everyone but it worked for me.
Yes I find that too. Last Camino when we returned to NZ, I think we arrived at 4 or 6am. I wasnt due to start work until the next day. Looked at my messages and found 2 other team members sick, and them asking me if I would go in, so I showered, changed and headed in. I was fine. I expected to crash later, but no I was fine all week.
Holidays (not Caminos) when I have given in to sleeping on arrival or a stopover I have been jetlagged.
Next time I will try your tactics and see if I can get Business class, at the very least on the way there.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
For me, I love booking through cheap sites like Cheap O Air.
One reason is because often the flights have several layovers of an hour or more.
That gives me the opportunity to get OFF the plane, walk around, get food.
It makes the trip longer, but easier on me.
Length of layovers has nothing to do with who you buy your tickets from. I always book directly with the airline in case any problems occur after I buy the ticket. I don't want to have to deal with a middleman.

I sort the flights by length, and check out how long the layovers are. In 2019 I got a flight home with a long overnight layover in Lisbon which gave me a few hours to sightsee before it got dark.
 
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Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
If these are the large, over-the-ear style headphones, you are short-changing yourself. The Bose Acoustic Comfort 20 noise-cancelling headphones are in-the-ear style earbuds, and work quite well. (Other models by other makers are possibly available.) The weight is negligible, as is the volume required in the pack. I wouldn't travel anywhere without mine.
Be careful with these though. For 2 years I used the Bose sleep buds without difficulty, but I developed an allergic reaction over time though that did not become apparent until this past summer when I ended up in constant WFH meetings. I have over the ear Bose 700 NC/AC and switched to 2 different kinds of "pro" level in-ear noise-cancellers and got nasty swimmer's ear type reactions to both of them. It took 5 full months to recover.

Fortunately, both companies (Bose and Apple have this as a "known issue" so I was refunded fully on each attempt to find "in-ear" light-weight AC buds. They are a potential health hazard, especially if you wear them for more than 2-3 hours per day (as I do because of WFH). So I'm back to the Bose (which I'd never carry on a Camino because of the weight).

Some people have had far worse reactions than I (and the count is int he thousands of returns in a niche market). Blistering, burning, swelling... temporary hearing loss...

That old adage: "don't put things in your ears..." -- yep, I shoulda known it would apply even to these technical miracles.
 

Anhalter

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019 CF
This is controversial and i am sure a doctor would likely advise against it:

When travelling back from the US to Germany i take a light sleeping aid for the longer leg. Like 2 Tylenol PM. This helps me a lot to get some sleep on the plane and counter the jet lag. But this does not work when travelling "into the sun".
 
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300m from the cathedral and around the corner from the fresh food market in Santiago. Perfect place to tele commute from (1GB symmetrical connection).
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Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
As far as jet lag is concerned, almost all of the above suggestions are good ones. Many of them we have tried over the years, but our jet lag strategies have changed over the years. Not only do the time zone changes impact our bodies, but so does the stress and fatigue of travel. So now I focus on reducing fatigue prior to my flight, as well as stress in the entire process.These two factors I think have more control of than my internal clock!

1) First, we depart rested with as little stress as possible.

No last minute packing, or house securing, or traveling a couple of hours to get to EWR airport on the day of flying. The day/night BEFORE we fly, we go to airport and stay at an airport hotel. No worries about getting to the airport, packing is finalized, we are ready to go! We stay at a comfortable hotel with a workout room, great breakfast, and frig. microwave inthe room. We rest, relax, and get a good nights sleep. In the morning I check us in on-line, have breakfast then walk on the treadmills. We make lunch in our room, walk on treadmill a little more, relax, keep our feet elevated till-late check out time of 3pm. We stay at the hotel till 4pm when the shuttle takes us to the terminals. Within about 45 minutes we are through luggage drop-off security etc. We then go to the UA club for about 2hrs. have a light snack and drink lots of water. We do not drink
Caffine products.

2). On the plane
We always clean our seats, rests table trays, window area back of the seats in front of us with clorox wipes! No sense in getting sick from germs on the plane.
Don’t touch door handles...use ownpaper, and hand cleaner.

Continue drinking lots of water.

When airline breakfast is served around 5 GMT, I have OJ and fruit-if there is any. We usually bring some fruit on the plane and fresh rolls.

3) When we deplane in Madrid we continue on to St. Jean, Burgos or Leon usually by cab and Train. In high season, we always buy a second, cheap later ticket in case we miss the first connection as trains sell out (No stress then).
When we arrive it is usually afternoon. We walk around town a little, foodshop,
eat in our room, and are sleeping by 8pm.

4 We take a full rest day in our starting city, We start by visiting Movistar for cell minutes, have decaf coffee and, visit a local site, then splurge for a very good lunch! We buy some additional food snacks for a day or two and vegetables, fruits and bread for a nice salad supper and early morning breakfast. Lights out by 8pm.

5) We are off early the next morning.
 
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Past OR future Camino
Frances 2016, Norte 2017, Primitivo 2017, Norte 2019, Primitivo 2019.
I found that this little foot rest helped me to sleep on the plane:


It's not as good as upgrading to business class, but it sure is a lot cheaper at $7. ;)

Of course, you have to carry it with you along the camino. Or pack it up and send it to Ivar. (I'd say leave it behind but you'll need it for the fight home.)

So, foot rest, ear plugs, and an inflatable pillow for a little bit of sleep.
 
Once upon a time I was chief spear-carrier to the head of agriculture for a major international food business. ‘We’ used to buy (literally) millions of tonnes of potatoes for snack foods across the globe (Lays in the US).

Anyway, out in the woods near Rheinlander is (or was) their top-secret potato-breeding facility where new varieties were developed (without GM!) and trialled. There was a facility which experimented with daylight shortening and other techniques. Very advanced for its day.

That took me to Rheinlander.

My memories were of a small town, lots of snow, some Native American waymarks in the woods and an absolutely massive strip club where (somebody told me, OK?) potential performers for the Chicago circuit were sent to learn their trade.
My family usually drove toward Rhinelander when we had friends on Tomahawk Lake. Later it was easier to fly in. Rhinelander beer was a local hit and I’m sure it was evident at many clubs🍺🤣😂🤣😂
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
To arrive feeling less beaten up is ultimately a time saver - You get more "quality time," to enjoy the company of the folks that you haven't seen last Christmas (or to work with your valued client), and you need less "recovery time" feeling stiff-necked, sleep-starved, and half-zombified. Time is the most finite resource, the most precious currency of all. To exchange it for calories and alcohol that sap your energy and aren't really all that special, is the real "waste," of a business or first class ticket.

You know I'm right.

Come to think of it, I know I'm right. But I still find myself making the same mistakes - allowing the charming cabin attendant who observes that I can't choose between two options on the menu to persuade me to "Why not have both?" Why do I fall into the trap? Because everyone loves "free stuff." Because I'm distracted from the bigger picture by the shiny things that the airline puts in front of me. Because I'm bored and there's "nothing else to do." And because "when else will I get to see all three films in that trilogy back-to-back?" Silly mistakes. When I manage to avoid making them, I feel much better.

Of course you are right........for you ;)
 

Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Past OR future Camino
2022
Credit card mileage earning opportunities are better in the US than pretty much anywhere else.. In the US, if you search for sign-up and spending bonuses, you can accumulate 100,000 miles very quickly:

Card companies don't make such generous offers in Europe or Asia, and (I guess) Australia.
@Raggy the OP doesn't really care what is available or not in Australia as they are from Aotearoa New Zealand
 
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John Gilliland

The Pilgrim Continues
Past OR future Camino
2019
Really great suggestions, everyone! Most I have successfully used, and some I'm now eager to try.
One thing I've done is assemble a temporary neck pillow to make it easier to sleep sitting up in flight. One version (the blue, if I manage to attach a pic) is my homemade travel towel wrapped like a sausage around my jacket (though it could be any large clothing item) safety pinned to stay rolled up, and tied to close. The towel is a rectangle cut from a large cotton t-shirt with two extensions (resulting in a sort of T shape) to allow it to tie easily. Everything was already a part of my travel kit.
Another year, for a fall camino, I sewed a hollow, u-shaped gaiter or scarf (the very fetching flame print in the photo) and stuffed it with my sleeping quilt. My belt is inside it to form the attachment. I later realized if I didn't want to use the gaiter for warmth, I could have just zipped the cover off any manufactured neck pillow and stuffed it with the quilt. The cover would be extra weight, but extremely little.
Making a neck pillow has two benefits: most importantly, it allows more comfortable travel rest without adding anything (much) to my gear, and secondly, it temporarily removes some bulky items from my pack to allow me space to stuff in my little crossbody bag and keep the one luggage item rule, as well as carry on a healthy meal and snacks for the journey that would otherwise not easily fit in my 29 liter pack.
Per your suggestion for a neck brace, I just stuffed my down jacket into a pair of long compression socks. It feels like it might work as a pillow.
 
Arn, for as long as I can remember, Icelandair has allowed a stopover in Iceland. Even if this fare does include a free hotel stay as well (?) I don’t see $1429 as much of a bargain given many of us have been able to get fares from the east cost for between $500-600RT no-stops to Madrid. Going to Iceland adds about two hours to flight time each way going USA to Spain, plus changing planes in the middle of the night as I recall?
You are correct. I, though, have a soft spot in my heart for Iceland. Now, don't get carried away here, my dad was stationed here in WWII. Likely his last “peaceful” stop before Normandy.
 

GaryAus

Member
Past OR future Camino
CF December 2017
I've decided on some fundamental changes to the way I fly to Europe. Firstly no more going straight through - I'm going to look for flights with a min 8 hour stopover, check into an airport hotel and lie flat on a bed for 6 hours sleep, after a shower, or a swim. I prefer going via Dubai from Brisbane because you knock over 13 hours on the 1st leg, and its only then 6 or 7 hours into Europe. But happy to go via Singapore or Japan if I have to, although the 2nd leg will be longer. 2nd no more further travel on same day after landing in Europe. Wherever I land, thats where I'm stopping for a day. Last time, for Camino Frances, I arrived in Paris and then kept going to Bayonne. Big mistake - felt sick from tiredness when I finally got there. Lastly, I would never again start walking the Camino basically straight off the plane. I missed SJPP last time as we were there just long enough to get our Credential and then head off to Valcarlos (winter Camino). Would never rush like that again.
 

Rodney Kent

Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Thanks, Everyone, for your replies. There are a lot of useful suggestions. I’ve tried a few of the strategies for on board the plane with mixed success, but it’s useful to reconsider ideas. I have trouble getting to sleep anyway, so can’t really expect the environment in a plane to promote good sleep. I think next time I’m going to do a stopover somewhere. That way I’ll break up the long flights. I had been thinking of flying east this time to Buenos Aires and from there to Madrid. Stopping for a couple of days. But I hadn’t factored in that jet lag is worse when travelling east, which I have experienced. So I may reconsider that option. It would be great getting an upgrade, but it’s not something I can rely on.
I really want to keep the weight down on my next Camino, so I probably will leave the headphones at home, as helpful as they are. If I stopover, I think I’ll manage the journey better. And it’ll be important to plan for the extra day or two on arrival to recover from the flights before starting to walk.
Muchas gracias!
 
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Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Wash your mouth out with soap!
A couple of times on Emirates or Thai Airways I have managed to get an upgrade.
There is no way on earth...........I am not eating :eek:

Once in my business travelling, Pat and I managed to get a 1st Class Upgrade. (Emirates)
Now that..........was nice.

I have to say the home sized fully equipped bathroom was impressive.

"What time would you like to book your shower in the morning" was not something I had experienced on a plane before!

That would be a nice way to travel to a Camino :rolleyes:

You could even wash your socks in the shower :cool:
 

Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
For me, I love booking through cheap sites like Cheap O Air.
One reason is because often the flights have several layovers of an hour or more.
That gives me the opportunity to get OFF the plane, walk around, get food.
It makes the trip longer, but easier on me.
Annie, years ago, I used Cheap-0-Air. Fortunately, I never had a problem with a flight I booked with them and no crisis occurred that required my contacting them and changing flights.

I do understand about the need to stretch. Sometimes when we fly home, rather than going directly from Madrid to NY, we fly, MAD to Dublin, overnight or spend a day or two, and then fly to EWR.

My only concern for you, is the ability to get your ticket changed if you suddenly must change plans. However, you are a very seasoned traveler and know that as well!😃
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Once in my business travelling, Pat and I managed to get a 1st Class Upgrade. (Emirates)
Now that..........was nice.

I have to say the home sized fully equipped bathroom was impressive.

"What time would you like to book your shower in the morning" was not something I had experienced on a plane before!

That would be a nice way to travel to a Camino :rolleyes:

You could even wash your socks in the shower :cool:
I only flew 1st class once, nearly 25 years ago on United, heading to Hawaii. We were flying on "stand by" tickets from my cousin, who was a pilot and our seats upgraded at the lsst minute. Of course the aircraft was not nearly as posh as today, but my best memory was the delicious food served in fine restaurant quality dishes, real silverwear, and the coffee/tea served from beautiful silver teapots, fit for the Queen of England...those were the days.
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I have flown business class on Aer Lingus recently as well as years ago on Lufthansa and once 1st class on United. There is no question, that the extra room, being able to elevate my feet, and thus, ability to get some sleep, reduced my sense of exhaustion upon arrival. Most ofthe time we fly coach. If we go offseason, we try to book a section where most people do not want to sit and we try to sprawl out in the middles seats. Now with COVID 19 all bets are off.
 
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Annie, years ago, I used Cheap-0-Air. Fortunately, I never had a problem with a flight I booked with them and no crisis occurred that required my contacting them and changing flights.

I do understand about the need to stretch. Sometimes when we fly home, rather than going directly from Madrid to NY, we fly, MAD to Dublin, overnight or spend a day or two, and then fly to EWR.

My only concern for you, is the ability to get your ticket changed if you suddenly must change plans. However, you are a very seasoned traveler and know that as well!😃
I did have that issue, but only once over the years.
In the long run, I've had good luck with their tickets.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I did have that issue, but only once over the years.
In the long run, I've had good luck with their tickets.
My youngest brother booked his return flight from the Philippines on Cheap-O-Air last year. Of course, with the pandemic, the flight did not go, and he spent many hours over a period of months trying to sort this out. I could not, personally, bear the stress. So I generally search my flights on Kayak, then book with whatever airline is offering the flights that I prefer at a price that I am able to pay.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Alberta Girl said:

My youngest brother booked his return flight from the Philippines on Cheap-O-Air last year. Of course, with the pandemic, the flight did not go, and he spent many hours over a period of months trying to sort this out. I could not, personally, bear the stress. So I generally search my flights on Kayak, then book with whatever airline is offering the flights that I prefer at a price that I am able to pay.


Me neither....
 
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Rodney Kent

Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Once in my business travelling, Pat and I managed to get a 1st Class Upgrade. (Emirates)
Now that..........was nice.

I have to say the home sized fully equipped bathroom was impressive.

"What time would you like to book your shower in the morning" was not something I had experienced on a plane before!

That would be a nice way to travel to a Camino :rolleyes:

You could even wash your socks in the shower :cool:
Oh, that sounds like heaven. Shocking for the environment, but a luxurious way to travel.
 
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Learn how to Get "Camino Ready " 2nd Edition. In English, Spanish, German and Korean
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
My youngest brother booked his return flight from the Philippines on Cheap-O-Air last year. Of course, with the pandemic, the flight did not go, and he spent many hours over a period of months trying to sort this out. I could not, personally, bear the stress. So I generally search my flights on Kayak, then book with whatever airline is offering the flights that I prefer at a price that I am able to pay.
Interesting. I had no trouble getting my airfare refunded.
In fact, I didn't bother contacting them b/c I figured it was senseless.
They contacted me and refunded the balance.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
My brother's problem was that he did not want a refund. He wanted to rebook a similar flight with the same airlne, as he still had to get back to Canada. But he had to go through Cheap-O-Air to communicate with the original airline, and this proved to be almost impossible to do. After unexpectedly staying for months in the Philippines, I don't suppose that he had the spare cash to spend on buying a new ticket, and there may not have been availability of other flights at that time, so he needed to renew his original booking. It was no fun. I already knew that I want to be able to communicate about my flight with the airline that I book with, but his experience was a confirmation to me.
 

HelenVanW

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2017
I’m planning ahead for a 2022 Camino. While I’ve walked four times before along different Camino routes, I’m always looking for ways to make the walk easier. One of the big strains for me is the toll that very long distance flights take on my body.

I would love to hear from other people who have to travel a long way to get to the start of the actual Camino, how you manage the travel to minimise the impact on you and your body. I’m curious about things like what you carry on board, sleep assistance, exercise, minimising jet-lag, and so on.

The back story: I now live in Dunedin, New Zealand, so I’m just about as far from Spain as it’s possible to be. I’m originally from Brisbane, Australia, which isn’t much closer to Spain. It can take the better part of 3 days some trips to reach the starting point of the Camino, when factoring in flight times, transits, getting to and from airports, check-in times etc, and travelling within Spain after arriving in either Madrid or Barcelona. I sleep badly on planes and sitting in an awkward position for such a long time means that by the time I get to the start of the walk, I’m physically feeling pretty exhausted. To make the flights easier, I’ve often carried devices like noise cancelling headphones, which then add weight to the pack. I really want to keep the weight of my pack down for my next Camino and arrive at the start of the walk feeling in decent condition. Any suggestions?
People have given some great tips here in this conversation. I don't have much to add, but agree that it is very helpful to take a rest day when you arrive in Europe, or even 2 or 3 rest days, if you can swing it. Travel is tough on the body, and the older I get, the harder it is. I am learning to be kinder to myself because of this. I do what I can to get a seat on the plane that will lie flatter and have more leg room, since I am tall. This can make a big difference for me. We typically choose the shortest flying time, but the one time we had to stop, it actually did provide a nice break, allowing us to walk around a lot and stretch before the next leg of the flight.
Getting a hotel room for a few hours sleep to break up your long haul sounds brilliant, but taking some time when you arrive before you set out on the Camino will help tremendously. I like the advice about getting on a bus or train to get to a smaller city for your first day or two. That will cut down on hotel cost for you. Also, give yourself permission to ease into the Camino on those first few days. No matter how much you train ahead of time, the travel and time changes take their toll, and you want to take care of yourself so you can finish what you set out to do. I admire all of you coming from the other side of the world from Spain on those long haul flights. Buen Camino to all of you!❤️
 

JamesGeier

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF Spring 2016
CF Autumn 2017
VdlP Spring 2021
The Bose Acoustic Comfort 20 noise-cancelling headphones are in-the-ear style earbuds, and work quite well. (Other models by other makers are possibly available.) The weight is negligible, as is the volume required in the pack. I wouldn't travel anywhere without mine.
I started using the same Bose noise cancelling earbuds 5 or 6 years ago. Now I would not travel without them. They also work as a headset with my phone. When you are in an airplane, your brain is reacting to and processing all of the noise, and there is constant noise. I first used them on a flight from Los Angeles to Seoul (Incheon) then to Chiang Mai, Thailand. I arrived after 20+ hours of traveling feeling noticeably more rested, even though I hardly slept on the planes. The difference was really dramatic, so I now use them on every flight.

Buen Camino,
--james--
 
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J F Gregory

Portugal Central - October 2021
Past OR future Camino
2016
My wife and I are International relief workers. We travel to 3rd world countries at least a couple of times a year. You put a lot of a good advice by flying. No alcohol no caffeine just drink water and don't be afraid to take something that will relax you and help you doze. We usually get the ground running. But if possible if we've traveled 12 to 20 hours on a plane we try to take 48 hours before we start our work or walking. To let the body rest after flying.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
General remarks for these times of pandemic. It might be better to put off making bookings until: 1) you are able to travel, by the regulations of your own country and the country to which you are travelling and your own sense that you are comfortable in travelling at this time. 2) Flights are back closer to normal. This second remark because I have noticed that, while current flights will take me where I want to go, eventually, more direct flights are currently not on offer, so more changes and more time to get there (Valencia, this September). When I am fully vaccinated and the flights are going will be when I want to book.
 

mikebet

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Pamplona (2016); Baiona to Santiago (2018); Sarria to Santiago (2018)
At the ripe old age of 75, therefore with more money left than time on earth (though not much of either), my wife and I have decided to squander the kids' inheritance on business class flights. We suffered enough through many, many years of economy class transpacific flights usually taking 24 hours or more with connections. Lying flat is the closest thing to a painless flight experience you can have --- I don't even dread it now, while before I'd fret for weeks before the trip just thinking about the abject misery about to ensue. Another tip to make layovers less painful if you are not in business class is get get a lounge membership like Priority Pass. If you are going to be stuck for a couple of hours waiting for a connecting flight you might as well spend it in a comfortable chair eating snacks (or sometimes full meals) and drinking expensive wine. Some lounges have showers as well and that REALLY makes difference on long itineraries. And we still plan a day or two of easy going at destination before hitting full tourist stride. You young whippersnappers may not need that.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
At the ripe old age of 75, therefore with more money left than time on earth (though not much of either), my wife and I have decided to squander the kids' inheritance on business class flights. We suffered enough through many, many years of economy class transpacific flights usually taking 24 hours or more with connections. Lying flat is the closest thing to a painless flight experience you can have --- I don't even dread it now, while before I'd fret for weeks before the trip just thinking about the abject misery about to ensue. Another tip to make layovers less painful if you are not in business class is get get a lounge membership like Priority Pass. If you are going to be stuck for a couple of hours waiting for a connecting flight you might as well spend it in a comfortable chair eating snacks (or sometimes full meals) and drinking expensive wine. Some lounges have showers as well and that REALLY makes difference on long itineraries. And we still plan a day or two of easy going at destination before hitting full tourist stride. You young whippersnappers may not need that.
Good for you. In a couple of years, God willing, I shall have reached that ripe age, and maybe even have a little spare cash to spend on comfort during overseas flights. It may be more challenging to persuade myself to spend it. So far, I don't even pay to choose my seat. And I don't have anyone awaiting an inheritance.
 

Richard Smith

Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2016
Kumano Kodo 2014
Flying from Sydney we found :-
1) A 24 hr stopover midway to break up the flight helps (if your budget agrees).
2) One or two days in Europe before the start of the walk helps align the body time.
3) Place your walking pack in a duffel bag as checked luggage for flying. It avoids handling damage and allows you to ship all your non-walking gear to the end of the walk. Also solves penknife and walking stick carry-on issues.
4) I don't sleep much on planes and walk/stand when I can. Tend to mooch around at the rear looking out the last windows. Being tall I prefer aisle seat.
 
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Canche

Volcano Climber
Past OR future Camino
2016
I’m planning ahead for a 2022 Camino. While I’ve walked four times before along different Camino routes, I’m always looking for ways to make the walk easier. One of the big strains for me is the toll that very long distance flights take on my body.

I would love to hear from other people who have to travel a long way to get to the start of the actual Camino, how you manage the travel to minimise the impact on you and your body. I’m curious about things like what you carry on board, sleep assistance, exercise, minimising jet-lag, and so on.

The back story: I now live in Dunedin, New Zealand, so I’m just about as far from Spain as it’s possible to be. I’m originally from Brisbane, Australia, which isn’t much closer to Spain. It can take the better part of 3 days some trips to reach the starting point of the Camino, when factoring in flight times, transits, getting to and from airports, check-in times etc, and travelling within Spain after arriving in either Madrid or Barcelona. I sleep badly on planes and sitting in an awkward position for such a long time means that by the time I get to the start of the walk, I’m physically feeling pretty exhausted. To make the flights easier, I’ve often carried devices like noise cancelling headphones, which then add weight to the pack. I really want to keep the weight of my pack down for my next Camino and arrive at the start of the walk feeling in decent condition. Any suggestions?
First of all i go first or business class so i can lie fown to sleep ir take a sleeping pill. I spend the night at hotel at Madrid airport. Then take a train to Camino and stay in another hotel at starting point. Then i pack my backpack and ship my suitcase to Santiago. If i am Europe i visit other places so i take regular clothes. I don’t fo jet lag but i only come from Central America, not as far
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Wow, what a bunch of optimists we are thinking about how to reduce the pains of international airplane travel. What I would give for some of those pains!

A tip I learned from @jpflavin1, who is perhaps a few years younger than I, but not a youngster by any means, ;)is to just power through.

His method is a bit more extreme than mine — he lands in Madrid, gets a flight to the starting point, and starts walking. Maybe a short 10-15 km day, but walking. I follow his plan of getting to the starting point as soon as possible upon arrival in Madrid. Since it’s an Iberia flight, there are usually good connections and I arrive in early afternoon. I will have inevitably dozed some between leaving US and arriving Valencia, Almería, wherever. Check into the hotel, and then I force myself to get outside and get daylight on my skin. Usually there is a castle, a historic center, or something to occupy me, along with all the pre-camino details like buying food for the pack, getting the SIM card, etc. Then the next day I start walking.

For me, the key is being outside in daylight when I arrive. That seems to make the body adjust better. For many years, I had always taken a rest day upon arrival but find that it leaves me feeling groggier than if I just take the plunge and start walking.

Like shoes, packs, hydration system, etc, this is a very personal decision. But for me it was truly an epiphany from @jpflavin to try something new, much as I had my @davebugg ”give trail runners a try” epiphany. Both of these happened after more than 15 years walking caminos, so I guess you can teach old dogs new tricks.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
Wow, what a bunch of optimists we are thinking about how to reduce the pains of international airplane travel. What I would give for some of those pains!

A tip I learned from @jpflavin1, who is perhaps a few years younger than I, but not a youngster by any means, ;)is to just power through.

His method is a bit more extreme than mine — he lands in Madrid, gets a flight to the starting point, and starts walking. Maybe a short 10-15 km day, but walking. I follow his plan of getting to the starting point as soon as possible upon arrival in Madrid. Since it’s an Iberia flight, there are usually good connections and I arrive in early afternoon. I will have inevitably dozed some between leaving US and arriving Valencia, Almería, wherever. Check into the hotel, and then I force myself to get outside and get daylight on my skin. Usually there is a castle, a historic center, or something to occupy me, along with all the pre-camino details like buying food for the pack, getting the SIM card, etc. Then the next day I start walking.

For me, the key is being outside in daylight when I arrive. That seems to make the body adjust better. For many years, I had always taken a rest day upon arrival but find that it leaves me feeling groggier than if I just take the plunge and start walking.

Like shoes, packs, hydration system, etc, this is a very personal decision. But for me it was truly an epiphany from @jpflavin to try something new, much as I had my @davebugg ”give trail runners a try” epiphany. Both of these happened after more than 15 years walking caminos, so I guess you can teach old dogs new tricks.
I have followed your present practice for two of my four caminos, the two where I was not serving as a hospitalera before starting my walk. I have figured that, as a hospitalera, I owe it to the pilgrims to get familiar with the town where I shall be serving and to get over my travel exhaustion in a hotel. I don't sleep at all in airplanes. This year, if I can travel, I shall be spending a few days in Valencia before beginning my walk. The city has a wonderful reputation and I am unlikely to return, so it seems like a good idea to take the time.
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
Wow, what a bunch of optimists we are thinking about how to reduce the pains of international airplane travel. What I would give for some of those pains!

A tip I learned from @jpflavin1, who is perhaps a few years younger than I, but not a youngster by any means, ;)is to just power through.

His method is a bit more extreme than mine — he lands in Madrid, gets a flight to the starting point, and starts walking. Maybe a short 10-15 km day, but walking. I follow his plan of getting to the starting point as soon as possible upon arrival in Madrid. Since it’s an Iberia flight, there are usually good connections and I arrive in early afternoon. I will have inevitably dozed some between leaving US and arriving Valencia, Almería, wherever. Check into the hotel, and then I force myself to get outside and get daylight on my skin. Usually there is a castle, a historic center, or something to occupy me, along with all the pre-camino details like buying food for the pack, getting the SIM card, etc. Then the next day I start walking.

For me, the key is being outside in daylight when I arrive. That seems to make the body adjust better. For many years, I had always taken a rest day upon arrival but find that it leaves me feeling groggier than if I just take the plunge and start walking.

Like shoes, packs, hydration system, etc, this is a very personal decision. But for me it was truly an epiphany from @jpflavin to try something new, much as I had my @davebugg ”give trail runners a try” epiphany. Both of these happened after more than 15 years walking caminos, so I guess you can teach old dogs new tricks.
I always start walking the next morning too. In the past I had to fit my Camino within the leave I could get which never gave me additional days, and I like to take a rest day a couple of weeks in at Leon or Burgos. I has always worked for me, I have slept well on the second night, but seem to cope just fine.
And by the time I arrive I am always eager to start walking.
 
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Natcats

Veteran | author | graphic designer | walker
Past OR future Camino
Chemin des Outaouais (2014)
Le Puy 1 of 2 (2015)
Le Puy 2 of 2 (2022)?
Camino Francés (2022)?
I’m planning ahead for a 2022 Camino. While I’ve walked four times before along different Camino routes, I’m always looking for ways to make the walk easier. One of the big strains for me is the toll that very long distance flights take on my body.

I would love to hear from other people who have to travel a long way to get to the start of the actual Camino, how you manage the travel to minimise the impact on you and your body. I’m curious about things like what you carry on board, sleep assistance, exercise, minimising jet-lag, and so on.

The back story: I now live in Dunedin, New Zealand, so I’m just about as far from Spain as it’s possible to be. I’m originally from Brisbane, Australia, which isn’t much closer to Spain. It can take the better part of 3 days some trips to reach the starting point of the Camino, when factoring in flight times, transits, getting to and from airports, check-in times etc, and travelling within Spain after arriving in either Madrid or Barcelona. I sleep badly on planes and sitting in an awkward position for such a long time means that by the time I get to the start of the walk, I’m physically feeling pretty exhausted. To make the flights easier, I’ve often carried devices like noise cancelling headphones, which then add weight to the pack. I really want to keep the weight of my pack down for my next Camino and arrive at the start of the walk feeling in decent condition. Any suggestions?
Physical comfort:
  • earplugs, held in place by a buff around the head (which also serves as eye mask)
  • water, water, water (makes you move and helps keep away DVTs...friend had this once, scary!)
  • shoes off and I don't care who complains 😉
  • take the time to wash your face and teeth with some bottled water during flight. Makes me feel like a new person
  • I always take a squash ball and roll my feet/calves. I need it for the camino anyway!
  • lady-specific: no bra, only a tanktop that holds everything in place and a cardigan/sweater/scarf for modesty
Logistics:
  • shorter flights, even if it means layovers
  • I try to no longer pack the traveling tightly nowadays. I'll work in longer layovers and either pay for access to a lounge for a shower/food, or if long enough, go into town and visit, relax, eat, sleep, get my circadian rhythm that much closer to my destination
  • only carry-on luggage for me. Always
  • download a bunch of things to watch on my phone because a non-functioning entertainment system is the absolute worst (I don't like flying...at all)
Good luck! Travel is hard on the system.
 
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017
Primitivo 2018
Finisterre/Muxía 2018
Norte 2019
Wow, what a bunch of optimists we are thinking about how to reduce the pains of international airplane travel. What I would give for some of those pains!

A tip I learned from @jpflavin1, who is perhaps a few years younger than I, but not a youngster by any means, ;)is to just power through.

His method is a bit more extreme than mine — he lands in Madrid, gets a flight to the starting point, and starts walking. Maybe a short 10-15 km day, but walking. I follow his plan of getting to the starting point as soon as possible upon arrival in Madrid. Since it’s an Iberia flight, there are usually good connections and I arrive in early afternoon. I will have inevitably dozed some between leaving US and arriving Valencia, Almería, wherever. Check into the hotel, and then I force myself to get outside and get daylight on my skin. Usually there is a castle, a historic center, or something to occupy me, along with all the pre-camino details like buying food for the pack, getting the SIM card, etc. Then the next day I start walking.

For me, the key is being outside in daylight when I arrive. That seems to make the body adjust better. For many years, I had always taken a rest day upon arrival but find that it leaves me feeling groggier than if I just take the plunge and start walking.

Like shoes, packs, hydration system, etc, this is a very personal decision. But for me it was truly an epiphany from @jpflavin to try something new, much as I had my @davebugg ”give trail runners a try” epiphany. Both of these happened after more than 15 years walking caminos, so I guess you can teach old dogs new tricks.
I agree. I would happily endure all the discomforts of a long haul flight now and cannot wait until our Australian international travel restrictions end.
I am longing to walk a Camino again and more importantly visit children and grandchildren I haven’t seen for 2 years.
I have also found it works better for me to not take a rest day when I arrive . I get a connecting flight or train to the Camino starting destination and start walking the next day with a few shorter days at the beginning. My preference is for rest days along the journey if necessary rather than at the beginning.
 
Past OR future Camino
Frances x5, Portuguese VdlP12, Sanabres, Aragones, Norte,Salvador,Primitivo, VdlP 17,Madrid18Norte
I definitely need two nights before starting to walk after the ghastly flight from Perth. It's getting worse as I get older but can't bring myself to pay the extra for business class. Must be my Scottish thrift.
Can't wait to get on that plane again though.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Flying from Sydney numerous times, many different routes, flying hours are usually 24 hours in the air (and why has that been unchanged for 20 plus years????)

(1) Find a flight that is likely to be empty for the longest leg, book a seat at the back of the plane and immediately the seat belt sign is switched off sprint to the empty row of 3 or 4 seats, so I can lie down completely. I've now managed this several times and it is the cheapskates equivalent of first class. If you get the 4 seats in a row you have really hit the jackpot! "Likely to be empty" is the key - try for a less popular airline that has a parallel flight to a more popular one.

(2) If the above is not likely, I look for a route where the airline (or combination of airlines) gives me a free overnight hotel accommodation stopover. Emirates Dubai is one, but be careful, the catch is that you have to take the first available onward flight or you don't get the free accommodation. I've also had a free overnight in Hong Kong on a Cathai Pacific flight, and a free Geneva overnight on a combined Swiss Air and something.

It can take a lot of time researching to find the best combination of flights.

If either of the above is not possible - because it is a busy time or whatever -

(3) I aim to get a flight with as few stops as possible, and takes off in the morning so that I am rested before I start. I am then comfortably awake for the first 14 hours.

(4) use noise cancelling headphones

(5 ) take a neck brace (I have once that clips under my chin so it does not fall out of place - but I'm always on the look out for something better)

(6) loose comfortable clothes and sandals (which I take off and use the free socks for the flight duration)

(7) get up and walk around the cabin frequently, drink copious amounts of water, avoid the sweet soft drinks and alcohol, take a saline nasal spray

(8) immediately on landing, if it is daylight, walk around until it is dark, or if dark on arrival, I get an airport hotel room and sleep.

And I am so so ready to go on Camino now, regardless of what flight I can get!
 

Barney12

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I’m planning ahead for a 2022 Camino. While I’ve walked four times before along different Camino routes, I’m always looking for ways to make the walk easier. One of the big strains for me is the toll that very long distance flights take on my body.

I would love to hear from other people who have to travel a long way to get to the start of the actual Camino, how you manage the travel to minimise the impact on you and your body. I’m curious about things like what you carry on board, sleep assistance, exercise, minimising jet-lag, and so on.

The back story: I now live in Dunedin, New Zealand, so I’m just about as far from Spain as it’s possible to be. I’m originally from Brisbane, Australia, which isn’t much closer to Spain. It can take the better part of 3 days some trips to reach the starting point of the Camino, when factoring in flight times, transits, getting to and from airports, check-in times etc, and travelling within Spain after arriving in either Madrid or Barcelona. I sleep badly on planes and sitting in an awkward position for such a long time means that by the time I get to the start of the walk, I’m physically feeling pretty exhausted. To make the flights easier, I’ve often carried devices like noise cancelling headphones, which then add weight to the pack. I really want to keep the weight of my pack down for my next Camino and arrive at the start of the walk feeling in decent condition. Any suggestions?
Hi Rodney. I too am planning on doing the CF later next year and live just north of Wellington NZ. Ive lived in the UK ( pre family years! ) and used to travel back and forth. bet UK and NZ many times. And yes, got tired but I was a lot younger then and coped ok ish with the jetlag. For memory it always seemed to be worse going 'backwards' and so being fresh and awake will be my number one priority for my Camino. Im thinking of probably flying to the UK and staying there for a few days to get over the jet lag as nothing has ever worked for me really. This means having to use more AL to ensure Im not too tired but for me this is worth it. I did consider briefly having a stopover but that incurs more cost and Id still be tired. I too dont sleep well on flights so really...... having a few days downtime beforehand seems to be the only option.
 
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BookGirl305

Member
Past OR future Camino
Ingles (after Covid)
I do something a bit opposite- coming from the US, I land in Europe around 8-10am. (leave Fri night, land Sat AM). I book my hotel for Friday night as well, so that my room is waiting for me when I get there Sat AM. I crash from noon- whenever, then get up, shower, grab a bite to eat, do the incidentals, get a massage, and then go back to sleep for a full night. When I wake up on Sun morning, the jet lag is gone. Specific to the camino, as this is my first one I may be naive (smile), but it seems to me to land in Madrid and take the train would function the same way- sleep for a while on the train, get a massage and dinner in Sarria and start the next day.
 

Barbara

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
I travel for things other than walking Caminos. That I can do out of my front door.
When I'm traveling on my own I drink G and T, some water, another G and T. Eat the food if it looks reasonable, maybe another G and T. No coffee.
Sleep. Change planes. Repeat previous flight strategy. Arrive. Stay awake until night time. Sleep. Big breakfast and get on with it.
When traveling with aged husband there is a full days layover involved on long flights a night in hotel near but not in airport. The running with his huge amount of luggage while he is pushed at high speed through a large airport may call for a G and T before boarding.
PS. Abu Dhabi has free showers.
PPS. China Southern runs out of gin but their red wine is drinkable.
PPPS. Emirates never runs out of gin, and after a while will bring two gin for one can of tonic.
 

Rodney Kent

Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Hi Rodney. I too am planning on doing the CF later next year and live just north of Wellington NZ. Ive lived in the UK ( pre family years! ) and used to travel back and forth. bet UK and NZ many times. And yes, got tired but I was a lot younger then and coped ok ish with the jetlag. For memory it always seemed to be worse going 'backwards' and so being fresh and awake will be my number one priority for my Camino. Im thinking of probably flying to the UK and staying there for a few days to get over the jet lag as nothing has ever worked for me really. This means having to use more AL to ensure Im not too tired but for me this is worth it. I did consider briefly having a stopover but that incurs more cost and Id still be tired. I too dont sleep well on flights so really...... having a few days downtime beforehand seems to be the only option.
Thanks for the comments. Jet-lag for me is worse after the eastbound flight, but heading to Europe of course is when I need to be most awake on arrival. I’d love to fly business class, but I don’t think the budget will stretch that far. I will research a stopover, though. I thought maybe that could work out cheaper than business class and let me sleep if the stop is long enough. It’s a balancing act - cost in dollars versus cost in time, plus overall comfort. Such fun!
 

Barbara

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
Two separate flights if you want a stopover. Can be different airlines. Night in hotel with free bus. That way you choose the time you want. It will be cheaper than business class. You don't need a fancy hotel, just a bed and a shower, something to eat.
 

BrigetteS

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2008 Pamplona to Santiago
Camino Aragones 2010 Somport to Estella
Camino Notes 2019
I’m planning ahead for a 2022 Camino. While I’ve walked four times before along different Camino routes, I’m always looking for ways to make the walk easier. One of the big strains for me is the toll that very long distance flights take on my body.

I would love to hear from other people who have to travel a long way to get to the start of the actual Camino, how you manage the travel to minimise the impact on you and your body. I’m curious about things like what you carry on board, sleep assistance, exercise, minimising jet-lag, and so on.

The back story: I now live in Dunedin, New Zealand, so I’m just about as far from Spain as it’s possible to be. I’m originally from Brisbane, Australia, which isn’t much closer to Spain. It can take the better part of 3 days some trips to reach the starting point of the Camino, when factoring in flight times, transits, getting to and from airports, check-in times etc, and travelling within Spain after arriving in either Madrid or Barcelona. I sleep badly on planes and sitting in an awkward position for such a long time means that by the time I get to the start of the walk, I’m physically feeling pretty exhausted. To make the flights easier, I’ve often carried devices like noise cancelling headphones, which then add weight to the pack. I really want to keep the weight of my pack down for my next Camino and arrive at the start of the walk feeling in decent condition. Any suggestions?
We come from Sydney and as the years mount up the trip get harder. I agree with all the folk saying not to sleep - just get into the new time zone and start moving. Sightseeing or starting the Camino doesn't really matter, as long as you stay awake during your first daylight hours in the new timezone
 
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