How to Survive Long Flights: Tips and Tricks

Written: Vagabondist Staff| August 17, 2023

1. Pack your carry-on smartly and strategize early

When preparing for long flights, selecting a versatile carry-on bag with multiple compartments can be a game-changer. This allows travelers to organize their essentials efficiently, making chargers, medications, and travel documents easily accessible during the flight.

Noise-canceling headphones are also essential for surviving long haul flights on a plane. They effectively block out cabin noise, providing a more peaceful environment for passengers to relax or sleep.

By packing strategically and being mindful of the items included in the carry-on bag, travelers can ensure that they have everything they need within arm’s reach throughout the duration of the flight. This not only adds convenience but also minimizes stress during what is often considered an endurance test.

Investing in a quality carry-on bag with these features can enhance the overall flying experience by providing comfort and organization when it’s needed most.

2. Find a way to sleep as much as possible

Investing in a comfortable neck pillow is crucial for supporting your head and neck during long flights. This can significantly improve your chances of falling asleep and staying asleep, especially if you’re seated in an upright position for a major period. Using a quality sleep mask can effectively block out light, helping flight attendants doze off more easily despite the bright cabin environment.

Adjusting your seat position is essential to finding optimal comfort during rest periods. Reclining your seat slightly or utilizing any adjustable headrests can make a notable difference in how well you are able to sleep on the plane. It’s also worth considering bringing along some earplugs or noise-canceling headphones to minimize disturbances from other passengers or ambient aircraft noise.

3. Save up entertainment

Before embarking on a long flight, ensure you have your entertainment sorted. Downloading major movies, podcasts, or audiobooks onto your devices prior to the flight can save you from boredom during those long hours in the air. Bringing along a variety of reading materials such as magazines or e-books can cater to different moods and preferences.

To avoid running out of battery mid-flight and missing out on all the fun, pack a portable charger to keep your devices powered for entertainment. This way, you won’t have to worry about draining your phone or tablet battery while binge-watching your favorite TV series or listening to music.

4. Never stop hydrating

Carry an empty reusable water bottle to refill after security check. Staying hydrated is crucial during long flights as the air in the cabin tends to be dry, leading to dehydration. By having a reusable water bottle, you can easily access water whenever you need it without relying solely on the limited service provided by flight attendants.

Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption to prevent dehydration. Both caffeine and alcohol have major diuretic effects, causing increased urination and contributing to dehydration. Opting for water or herbal teas instead can help maintain your body’s hydration levels throughout the flight.

Use hydrating facial mist to refresh your skin during the flight. Spritzing a hydrating facial mist not only helps keep your skin moisturized but also provides a refreshing sensation, combating the dryness often experienced in-flight.

5. Move when you can

Taking short walks up and down the aisle during a long flight is crucial for preventing blood clots and reducing muscle stiffness. According to the Aerospace Medical Association, sitting for more than four hours can increase the risk of major deep vein thrombosis by 50%. In-seat exercises such as ankle circles, shoulder rolls, and neck stretches can also help improve circulation.

Utilizing major airport layovers for longer walks or physical activities not only helps in stretching your legs but also aids in combating jet lag. Walking around the major airport terminals allows you to change positions and get your blood flowing, which can make a significant difference on those lengthy layovers.

Inactivity during long flights may lead to discomfort or even major health issues such as swollen feet or ankles. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that travelers, especially on major flights, should aim to stand up and move at least every 2-3 hours while flying. This simple action helps prevent major muscles from becoming stiff due to prolonged sitting.

6. Choose your seat wisely

When boarding a long flight, the choice of seating can significantly impact comfort and convenience. Opting for an aisle seat not only provides extra legroom but also allows easier access to walk around and stretch during the flight. This is particularly beneficial for individuals who tend to feel claustrophobic or restless when confined to a seat for extended periods.

Selecting seats near the front of the plane offers the major advantage of quicker disembarkation upon arrival at your destination. This can be especially advantageous if you have a major connecting flight or are eager to minimize time spent in transit after landing.

For those seeking additional comfort, considering an upgrade to premium economy or business class can vastly improve the overall flying experience. These options typically offer more spacious seating arrangements, increased legroom, enhanced amenities, and superior service throughout the journey.

7. Get your body prepared for the journey

To make long flights more manageable, it’s essential to get your body ready for the trip. Here are some tips:

  • Adjust Your Sleep Schedule: Start adjusting your sleep schedule a few days before the flight to match the time zone of your destination. This can help reduce jet lag and make it easier to adapt to the new time zone upon arrival.
  • Eat Light, Nutritious Meals: Consuming light and nutritious meals leading up to the flight will prevent you from feeling sluggish during travel. Avoid heavy or greasy foods that could cause discomfort while in transit.
  • Practice Deep Breathing Exercises: Engaging in deep breathing exercises can help relax your mind and prepare you mentally for the journey ahead. It’s a simple yet effective way to alleviate pre-flight jitters and promote a sense of calmness.

8. Bring a variety of snacks

When preparing for a long flight, it’s essential to pack an assortment of snacks to keep you energized and satisfied throughout the journey. Healthy options like nuts, fruits, or granola bars provide sustained energy without causing sugar crashes. Including some indulgent treats can add moments of enjoyment during the flight.

It’s important to be mindful of airline policies regarding bringing outside food onboard. While most airlines allow passengers to bring their own snacks, there may be restrictions on certain types of foods or quantities.

Bringing a mix of healthy and indulgent snacks ensures that you have options catering to different cravings and moods during the flight. Moreover, having your own supply reduces reliance on in-flight meal services which may not always align with personal taste preferences or dietary restrictions.

9. Pack a pillow and blanket for comfort

Comfort is key. Investing in a compact travel pillow that provides adequate neck support can make all the difference in getting some quality rest during the flight. Look for memory foam or inflatable options that are easy to pack and provide proper alignment for your head and neck.

Consider packing a lightweight, cozy blanket to stay warm throughout the journey. Airplane cabins can get chilly, so having an extra layer can help you relax and catch some Z’s without shivering through the entire flight.

To combat anxiety or restlessness during long flights, it’s essential to stay calm and relaxed. Consider practicing mindfulness meditation or guided relaxation exercises before or during the flight to ease any tension or nerves you may have about flying.

Listening to calming music or nature sounds can also aid in creating a tranquil environment onboard. Furthermore, stress-relief tools such as stress balls or fidget spinners can be helpful in keeping your mind occupied while promoting relaxation.

10. Stay calm and practice relaxation techniques

Long flights can be daunting, but with strategic planning, they can become more manageable. It’s crucial to prioritize comfort, hydration, and entertainment during air travel.

Preparing for a long flight is essential; packing items like neck pillows, eye masks, and noise-canceling headphones can significantly improve the overall experience. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water and avoiding excessive alcohol or caffeine intake helps combat the dry cabin air.

To keep entertained during the flight, consider downloading movies or TV shows onto a tablet or bringing along a good book. Engaging in relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises or meditation can also help alleviate any anxiety associated with flying.

Implementing these tips on your next long-haul journey will not only make the time pass faster but will also ensure you arrive at your destination feeling refreshed rather than fatigued.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I strategically pack my carry-on for a long flight?

Pack your carry-on like a game of Tetris, maximizing space and accessibility. Prioritize essentials like chargers, snacks, and entertainment. Don’t forget to sneak in some emergency chocolate – you never know when it might come in handy!

What’s the best way to catch some Z’s during a long flight?

Invest in an inflatable neck pillow that’ll cradle your head like a precious cargo. Combine it with an eye mask and noise-canceling headphones for the ultimate sleep fortress.

How do I keep myself entertained during a marathon flight?

Load up on entertainment options – movies, books, podcasts – as if you’re preparing for hibernation. And don’t be shy about striking up conversations with fellow passengers; who knows what fascinating tales they might have!

Is hydration really that important during long flights?

Absolutely! Water is your best friend at 30,000 feet. Channel your inner camel and drink up to avoid feeling parched like yesterday’s sandwich.

Why should I bother moving around on a long flight?

Sitting still for hours is no fun – plus, you risk turning into one of those human-shaped pretzels by the time you land! Take regular strolls down the aisle or bust out some discreet in-seat stretches to keep those limbs limber.