How do you feel after a long-haul flight? Words that come to mind as I write this include groggy, tired, hungry, irritable… not great, in other words.
Travel is a non-negotiable part of being in a long-distance relationship, but if your partner is taking their first (or hundred-and-first) trip to see you, there are ways to make sure they have the best experience possible 🙂
1. Before the flight: send them a long-haul care package
Sending a care package can reassure your partner that you appreciate the time and effort they’re putting in to come and see you (and it does take effort to travel – even if you’re just sitting still for hours).
Essentials to include:
- Ear plugs
- Eye mask
- Protective face mask
- Travel pillow (I own this one)
- Snacks (non-perishable, of course – nuts, dried fruit, candy, etc. is all good)
- Hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes
Things you could also include:
- Sleep earphones – super comfortable and practical!
- Foot hammock (good for tall people) or an inflatable foot rest (good for short people – I own one of these!)
- Something a bit indulgent, like a hand cream or mini beauty kit
- A handwritten letter that they shouldn’t open until they’re on the flight – tell them how much you’re looking forward to their visit and what you want to do when you’re together!
- An ebook to read on the flight, or an audiobook
- A Spotify playlist you’ve made for them
When you meet them: be on time and be prepared!
Bring snacks and extra water
If your partner is anything like me, they will have eaten all their snacks by the time they land. Bring something quick and easy, like a protein bar, and don’t forget the water!
Arrive early and make sure you’re easy to find
Leave just a bit earlier than you think you need to – they’ll appreciate you being on time. Text them as soon as you get to the airport, letting them know where you are. You could even make a cute sign for them.
Take their bags
This is just simple kindness. They’ve been dragging their case around for hours, the least you can do is take the weight off.
Accept that they might be a little cranky
Travel is hard, and even though they’ll certainly be ecstatic to see you, they might also be a bit irritable from the poor sleep and disrupted schedule. Be a little more patient than you’d normally be and realise that they’ll probably lighten up once you’re both home and rested.
When you get home: make it cosy
Run them a bath
If they like baths (my partner doesn’t – crazy, I know 🙂 ), run them a bath when you get home. If they’re the type who likes to be pampered a bit, there’s no harm in going all out and including candles, bubbles and a glass of wine too.
Tidy up before they arrive
It should go without saying, but you should make sure that there are fresh sheets on the bed and that the apartment is generally clean and inviting.
Make their favourite meal, or take them out
They’re not likely to feel like going straight from the airport to a restaurant. But perhaps after a long nap, a shower/bath and a change of clothes, they might be into the idea.
If not, get take-out or cook something you know they’ll love.
In the evening: help them adjust to the new timezone
Jetlag is horrible, but there are things you can do to help.
There’s some recent evidence that it’s not the colour of light, but the brightness that makes the biggest difference in keeping you awake. With this in mind, keep the lights low in the evening. You can do this in a romantic way by using candles (go for LED candles if you’re putting them in a bedroom and possibly want to fall asleep with them on) or getting some fairy lights for the bedroom.
In the morning, open the curtains to get as much natural light in as possible.
Accept that they might take a while to adjust. Perhaps when they keep you awake by tossing and turning and stealing the sheets in the night, you can let them get away with it this one time? 🙂
The next day: take it easy
Don’t schedule anything for the following day
When they first visit you, it’s tempting to plan all kinds of activities – but wait at least one day until the flight has worn off.
Instead, stay home and don’t pressure yourselves to do anything in particular.