How to Survive Long Flights: Tips and Tricks

Written: editor | August 17, 2023



Are you dreading an upcoming long flight? Don't worry, with the right tips and tricks, you can make it through those hours in the air feeling comfortable and entertained.

Importance of tips for surviving long flights

  1. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water before and during the flight to keep your body hydrated. Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol, as they can contribute to dehydration.

  2. Wear comfortable clothing: Dress in layers and choose loose-fitting, breathable clothes to ensure maximum comfort. Don't forget to bring a pair of warm socks and a cozy sweater or shawl.

  3. Move around: Take regular walks up and down the aisle to stretch your legs and improve circulation. Additionally, perform simple exercises like ankle rolls, shoulder rolls, and neck stretches while seated.

  4. Entertainment: Bring books, magazines, or download movies, TV shows, and podcasts onto your electronic devices for entertainment during the flight. Noise-canceling headphones can also enhance your experience.

  5. Snacks: Pack some healthy snacks to keep you fueled throughout the journey. Opt for items like granola bars, nuts, fruit, or sandwiches to avoid relying solely on in-flight meals.

  6. Rest: Consider bringing a neck pillow, eye mask, and earplugs to help you relax and get some much-needed rest during the flight.

Remember, each person's needs are different, so adapt these tips to suit your preferences and make your flying experience as enjoyable as possible. Bon voyage!


Pre-flight Preparation

Are you dreading the long hours of sitting on a plane for your upcoming trip? Don't worry, here are some tips to help you survive the journey with ease!

Checklist for essential items to pack for a long flight

  1. Comfort: Pack a neck pillow, blanket, and compression socks to ensure maximum comfort during the flight.

  2. Entertainment: Bring your favorite books, magazines, or download movies, TV shows, and podcasts beforehand. Don't forget headphones.

  3. Hydration and Snacks: Stay hydrated by bringing an empty water bottle to fill up after the security check. Also, pack some healthy snacks to keep hunger at bay.

  4. Toiletries: Bring travel-sized toiletries like a toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, and moisturizer for a fresh feeling.

Tips for selecting the right seat

  1. Choosing an aisle seat: If you like to move around frequently, choose an aisle seat for easy access to the bathroom and stretching your legs.

  2. Opting for a window seat: If you enjoy looking out the window and want to sleep peacefully without being disturbed, choose a window seat.

  3. Avoiding seats near the galley or bathrooms: These areas tend to have more noise and foot traffic, which may disrupt your sleep or relaxation.

Remember to wear comfortable clothing and stay hydrated throughout the flight. With these tips in mind, you'll be well-prepared for a more pleasant and enjoyable long flight experience.


In-Flight Comfort

Tips for dressing comfortably on the flight

When embarking on a long flight, your choice of clothing can greatly impact your comfort levels. Here are some tips for dressing comfortably:

  1. Wear loose, breathable clothing: Opt for loose-fitting clothes made from breathable fabrics like cotton or linen. Avoid tight, restrictive clothing that can restrict movement and cause discomfort.

  2. Layer up: Airplane cabins can be unpredictable in terms of temperature. Layer your clothing so you can easily adjust to changes. Bring a light jacket or sweater that you can take off or put on as needed.

  3. Choose comfortable footwear: Avoid wearing high heels or tight shoes. Opt for comfortable shoes that are easy to slip on and off, especially during security checks or when you want to stretch your feet.

Strategies for staying hydrated during the flight

Long flights can leave you feeling dehydrated due to the low humidity levels in the cabin. Here are some strategies to stay hydrated:

  1. Bring a refillable water bottle: Pack an empty water bottle in your carry-on and fill it up after passing through security. This way, you can easily stay hydrated throughout the flight without relying solely on the beverage cart.

  2. Drink plenty of water: Drink water regularly during the flight, even if you don't feel thirsty. Aim to drink at least 8 ounces of water every hour to combat dehydration.

  3. Ditch alcohol and caffeine: Alcohol and caffeinated beverages can further dehydrate your body during a long flight. Opt for water, herbal tea, or electrolyte-rich drinks instead.

Remember, dressing comfortably and staying hydrated are essential for a more pleasant and enjoyable long-flight experience.


Entertainment and Distractions

List of entertainment options for long flights

When you're facing a long flight, having the right entertainment options can make all the difference. Here are some ideas to keep you entertained:

  1. Movies and TV shows: Download your favorite movies and TV shows onto your device or take advantage of the in-flight entertainment system.

  2. Music and podcasts: Create a playlist or download podcasts that you can enjoy during the flight. It's a great way to relax and pass the time.

  3. Books and magazines: Bring along a book or two that you've been meaning to read, or catch up on some magazines that you enjoy.

Tips for creating a personalized entertainment package

  1. Prepare in advance: Make sure you have all your entertainment options ready before the flight. Download or save everything you need onto your device or bring physical copies.

  2. Variety is key: Pack a mix of different types of entertainment. Include movies, TV shows, music, books, and games to suit your mood throughout the flight.

  3. Headphones and chargers: Don't forget to bring noise-canceling headphones to immerse yourself in your entertainment. Also, remember to pack chargers to keep your devices powered up.

Ideas for keeping yourself occupied and distracted during the flight

  1. Engage in puzzles and games: Bring along a crossword puzzle book or word games to challenge yourself and keep your mind active.

  2. Socialize with other passengers: Strike up a conversation with a fellow traveler and make new connections.

  3. Stretch and move: Take regular walks up and down the aisles to prevent stiffness and promote blood circulation.

Remember to check with your airline for any restrictions or guidelines regarding in-flight entertainment options. With the right distractions, your long flight can become a more enjoyable and engaging experience.


Food and Snacks

Tips for eating well on long flights

Are you dreading the long hours you'll be spending on a plane? Don't worry, we've got you covered when it comes to food and snacks! Here are some tips to ensure you eat well during your long flight:

  1. Pre-packaged meals: Bring nutrient-rich pre-packaged meals or salads onboard. This way, you can have a healthy and satisfying meal while avoiding the less nutritious options served on the plane.

  2. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the flight. This will also help you avoid overeating or feeling sluggish.

  3. Avoid alcohol and caffeine: While it may be tempting to indulge in a glass of wine or a cup of coffee, these beverages can dehydrate you and disrupt your sleep pattern.

Healthy and portable snack suggestions

When it comes to snacks, it's essential to choose options that are both healthy and easy to pack. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Fruit: Pack some sliced apples, grapes, or berries in a sealable bag or container.

  2. Nuts and seeds: Opt for a mix of unsalted almonds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds for a protein-packed and satisfying snack.

  3. Granola bars: Look for bars that are low in added sugars and high in fiber for a quick energy boost.

Remember, having nutritious and satisfying meals and snacks during your long flight can make all the difference in how you feel when you finally reach your destination. Happy travels!


Sleeping on the Flight

When it comes to surviving long flights, getting some quality sleep is essential. Here are some tips to create a sleep-friendly environment on the plane and find the best sleep position.

Tips for creating a sleep-friendly environment on the plane

  1. Choose the right seat: Opt for a window seat if possible, as it provides a wall to lean against for support and avoids disturbances from people getting up.

  2. Block out distractions: Bring a comfortable eye mask and noise-canceling headphones to minimize any disturbances and create a sense of calm.

  3. Dress comfortably: Wear loose-fitting, breathable clothing and bring warm socks or a blanket to stay cozy during the flight.

  4. Create a sleep routine: Develop a pre-flight routine that helps signal your body it's time for sleep. This could include brushing your teeth, changing into sleepwear, or practicing relaxation techniques.

Strategies for finding the best sleep position

  1. Use a neck pillow: Invest in a supportive neck pillow to reduce strain on your neck and promote better sleep posture.

  2. Adjust your seat position: Experiment with reclining your seat slightly to find a comfortable position that allows you to relax.

  3. Elevate your legs: Use a travel pillow or blanket to prop up your legs, relieving pressure and promoting blood circulation.

  4. Stretch and move: Take short walks, perform simple stretches, and change positions periodically to prevent stiffness and promote comfort.

By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to enjoying a more restful and comfortable sleep on your long flight. Remember to stay hydrated and try to relax before and during the flight to optimize your chances of getting some quality rest.


Jet Lag and Time Zone Adjustment

Tips for minimizing the effects of jet lag

Are you about to embark on a long flight and are worried about dealing with the dreaded jet lag? Fear not! Here are some tips to help you minimize the effects of jet lag and adjust to a new time zone more easily.

  1. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water before, during, and after the flight to stay hydrated. Avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine as they can further dehydrate your body.

  2. Adjust your sleep schedule: Gradually adjust your sleep schedule a few days before your flight to align with the new time zone. This can help your body adapt more smoothly.

  3. Get some rest: Try to get some quality sleep on the plane, especially during the normal sleeping hours of your destination time zone. Use a sleep mask, earplugs, or noise-canceling headphones to create a more conducive sleeping environment.

Strategies for adjusting to a new time zone

  1. Expose yourself to natural light: Spend time outdoors and expose yourself to natural light upon arrival. Natural light helps regulate your body's internal clock and can make it easier to adjust to the new time zone.

  2. Avoid long naps: While it may be tempting to take a long nap after a long flight, try to resist the urge. Short power naps of 20-30 minutes can be refreshing, but longer naps can disrupt your sleep schedule and make it harder to adjust.

  3. Stay active: Engage in light exercise or go for a walk to stay active during the day. Physical activity can help your body adjust to the new time zone and reduce the effects of jet lag.

Remember, everyone's response to long flights and time zone changes is different. It's essential to listen to your body and give yourself time to adjust.


Dealing with Anxiety and Restlessness

Tips for managing flight anxiety

If you're one of the many people who experience flight anxiety, don't worry, there are strategies to help you cope. Here are a few tips to manage your anxiety during a long flight:

  1. Deep breathing: Practice deep breathing techniques to help calm your nerves. Inhale deeply through your nose, hold for a few seconds, and then exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this several times to relax your mind and body.

  2. Distraction: Keep yourself occupied during the flight with activities that take your mind off the anxiety. Bring a book, listen to calming music, or watch a movie to divert your attention.

  3. Positive self-talk: Use positive affirmations to counter negative thoughts and replace them with calming and reassuring statements. Remind yourself that flying is a safe and routine activity.

Strategies for calming restlessness and restlessness

Feeling restless during a long flight is quite common. Try these strategies to help calm your restlessness:

  1. Movement: Get up and stretch your legs periodically to improve blood circulation and reduce restlessness. Take short walks up and down the aisle or do simple stretches in your seat.

  2. Keep busy: Engage in activities that keep your mind and body engaged. Read a book, solve puzzles, or listen to audiobooks to make the time pass more quickly.

  3. Adjust your posture: Find a comfortable position by using a neck pillow or adjusting your seat position. Experiment with different sitting positions to alleviate any discomfort.

Remember, staying calm and occupied during a long flight is key to surviving it with ease. Follow these tips, and you'll be well-prepared to tackle the journey ahead.


Arrival and Post-Flight Recovery

Tips for adjusting to the new destination

So, you've finally arrived at your destination after a long flight. Now what? Here are some tips to help you adjust to your new surroundings:

  1. Stay Hydrated: Long flights can be dehydrating, so make sure to drink plenty of water upon arrival. This will help combat jet lag and keep you feeling refreshed.

  2. Get Some Sunlight: Spending time outdoors and exposing yourself to natural light can help reset your internal clock. Take a walk or sit in a park to soak up some sunlight and help reduce the effects of jet lag.

  3. Stick to Local Time: As tempting as it may be to take a nap, try to stay awake until your normal bedtime in the new time zone. This will help your body adjust to the local schedule faster.

Strategies for recovering from a long flight

After a long flight, it's important to take some time to recover and rejuvenate. Here are some strategies to help you bounce back:

  1. Rest and Relax: Give yourself some downtime to rest and relax. Take a nap, meditate, or indulge in a soothing bath. Listen to your body and take it easy.

  2. Stretch and Move: Sitting for long periods can leave you feeling stiff and sore. Take regular breaks to stretch your legs and move around. Gentle exercises like yoga or walking can also help improve circulation.

  3. Eat Well: Fuel your body with nutritious food to aid in recovery. Opt for balanced meals that include fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Avoid heavy, processed foods that may make you feel sluggish.

Remember, everyone's recovery time is different. So, listen to your body, be patient, and give yourself the time you need to fully recover and enjoy your trip.



Commonly Asked Questions About Surviving Long Flights

Are you planning a long-haul flight? Don't worry; with a little preparation and these simple tips, you can make the journey more comfortable and enjoyable.

  • Dress comfortably: Wear loose, breathable clothing and opt for layers to adjust to changing temperatures onboard.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water and avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol that can dehydrate you.
  • Move around: Stretch your legs, take short walks, and do simple exercises to prevent stiffness and blood clots.
  • Pack entertainment: Bring books, magazines, or download movies and shows on your electronic devices to keep yourself entertained.
  • Sleep aids: Consider using neck pillows, eye masks, earplugs, and travel blankets to get some rest during the flight.
  • Snacks: Pack healthy snacks to keep you energized throughout the journey.

Remember to check with your airline for any specific regulations or requirements before your flight. By following these tips, you can arrive at your destination feeling refreshed and ready