tips surviving a long flight

Long flights can be exhausting. I get it. Been there got the t-shirt. Have you ever been on a 15-hour international flight and thought you were never gonna get there? It seems to take forever!

Not only do these long flights seem to last forever, but they can be very draining on us physically. How you cope with jet lag plays a significant role in your travel experience long flights. We can get very tired and irritable, causing us to be irrational and make poor decisions. Speaking of jet lag, once you are done reading this article, check out this treatment over on Amazon for curing jet lag quickly! I have written an article all about jet lag and what you can do to adjust as quickly as possible HERE.

I can go on and on about how long flights can have an effect on us. I have been on hundreds of international flights and experienced these effects first hand. But I know that’s not why you are here. You need to know how to survive these flights and make a long international flight more enjoyable. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to help.

So, in this post lets look at 11 tips to help you survive a long flight.


Tips For Surviving A Long Flight


1. Wear comfortable clothing

As I mentioned in my 13 Air travel tips for first-time flyers post, most airlines will do a great job adjusting the temperature inside the plane to keep it comfortable. Going overseas usually involves very long flights, where you may sleep and sit in the same seat for a long time which is why it is a good idea to wear comfortable clothing. Aside from that, you should also bring a jacket so that you won’t feel cold. Not all flights will have blankets. Proper footwear is also important to stay comfortable both on the plane and walking while boarding or leaving.

You can wear things like compression socks, which are very helpful in airplanes. They will increase blood circulation and help keep your calves and feet from swelling which can lead to blood clots.


2. Keep entertained

It’s important on a long flight to pass the time away and keep entertained. If you enjoy reading, it is easy to bring a book along with you in your carry on bag.

Many people will bring a tablet or laptop with them on board. You can catch up on some work, watch movies or play games. I don’t recommend all types of tablets for airplanes. Some are better than others due to the size, weight, comfort, etc.. The Amazon Fire HD is a great tablet that will work well for most travelers.

You will be surprised how fast the time will fly by after watching a few good movies.


3. Bring your headphones

Of course, if you will be watching movies or playing games on your tablet, you will most likely need a pair of headphones. It is nice to enjoy them with no outside noise or distractions. I highly recommend you bring a pair of noise-canceling headphones along with you. I personally use the Bose QuietComfort 35. They are amazing!

You don’t need to break the bank on a quality set of headphones either.

A good budget set is the Paww Wavesound 3 Bluetooth Headphones.


4. Select your seat in advance

If you will be going on a long flight, your seat will play a huge role in your overall comfort. You do not want to be stuck in the center seat squished between 2 other people for hours and hours. For me personally, I always select the window seat if possible.

It’s so much easier to lean against the window and get a few more inches of space to get some rest. Some people prefer the aisle seat, as it is easier to get up without bothering anyone plus it guarantees that nobody will be on at least one side of you.


Pro tip:

Try to book the emergency exit row seat for a longer flight. If you don’t mind sitting near an emergency exit door which will be located over the wing, sit in the exit row and you will have plenty of space. Lots of leg room and you will be able to stretch out no problem.


5. Stay hydrated and avoid alcohol

drinking water on a plane

It is very important to stay hydrated on any flight, but more so on longer flights. We tend to get dehydrated faster on airplanes than we do on the ground so drinking lots of water is important.

Drinking alcohol only makes dehydration worse and will affect us more on an aircraft. Try to avoid caffeine products like coffee, tea, and sodas. The flight attendants will provide water and other drinks, but feel free to bring your own to ensure you get enough liquids.


6. Request an upgrade if possible

When you are booking your seat, check if a first-class seat might be available. You can also ask at the gate prior to boarding or at check-in time. You will most likely have to pay extra but trust me it’s worth it.

If you are a frequent flier, you may have points or credits available for you to use as an upgrade.


7. Bring your own snacks

healthy snacks for airplane

I learned this lesson the hard way a long time ago. Some people think that you are not allowed to bring drinks or snacks on board the plane. That is not true. You should try to bring healthy snacks like dried fruit, nuts and healthy bard or sandwiches along with you.

Most long-haul flights will either provide a meal and offer one for purchase. But it’s safe to say that you may want an additional snack or perhaps you don’t like the food on board or have allergies.

So to avoid that problem, bring along some healthy treats to snack on along the way.


8. Exercise

Wait a minute. Exercise on a plane? Yes, there are some things you can do on a plane to get a little bit of exercise. Sitting for hours in one place is not good for anybody. I mentioned earlier about the use of compression socks, which can really help blood circulation.

You can also periodically get up out of your seat to stretch and go to the washroom. You can perform lunges and squats easily and this will be a big help. You can also perform ankle rolls and stretches in your seat which is easy to do.


9. Pack necessities in your carry-on (But don’t overpack)

In the event your checked luggage bags get lost or stolen, it is important to bring some important things with you on board the plane. Things that will get you through like clean clothes and toiletries. Check with your airline to confirm the carry-on bag requirements for weight and size beforehand.

It’s not necessary to bring the largest and heaviest bag possible with you either. Chances are on a long flight, you will need some things in your bag and will be pulling it down from the overhead compartment many times. So keep it light and to a minimum if possible.


10. Bring a travel pillow and eye mask

I can guarantee that the pillow you are issued on the flight will be very uncomfortable. To be honest, I have never seen one that is comfortable. There is also a chance that the airline doesn’t even provide them.

So to be safe and more comfortable, bring your own. They are not expensive and are easy to pack in your carry-on bag. A travel pillow and eye mask will help you rest. There are so many types and styles available, but I recommend you get these. They even include the sleep mask and good ear plugs so you don’t have to buy them separately… Or combine that with some noics canceling headphones and you will really be set. If you want to learn more about noise-canceling headphones check out this article I wrote about them.


11. Be nice 

I also mentioned this in a previous post, but it’s appropriate here as well. Unfortunately, I have had the pleasure of working for the airlines and being abused verbally by passengers. It’s too bad becase it really is a no win situation for everyone involved.

Being polite to all airline staff will go a long way to ensure you have a pleasant flight. Flight attendants, pilots, and other staff are there for your safety and security and will not tolerate any rudeness or abuse. Some people believe that they can be rude to other passengers or staff members in flight. I have seen it time and time again and not once has it been beneficial to anybody. So please be smart and don’t be rude!

Hopefully, you found these 11 tips for surviving long flights were helpful. There are always many things to prepare for when traveling, the list is endless. But having some great tips can go a long way in helping you plan your trip, and be mindful of events during your trip.


Thanks for reading!


tips for surviving long flights

Tips for surviving long flights


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