September 3, 2023 | Mathew Burke

Tips For Surviving Long Flights

Ah, the allure of distant lands! Whether you're chasing the thrill of new adventures or traveling for work, long flights are often a necessary part of international travel. 

While the thought of sitting in a cramped space for hours might not be appealing, it's a small price to pay for the wonders that await. 

Fortunately, with a bit of preparation and a few tricks up your sleeve, you can make even the longest flights more bearable. Here's how:

1. Choose The Right Seat

Cabin of a modern airplane filled with passengersl i g h t p o e t, Shutterstock

The importance of a comfortable seat can't be overstated. If possible, opt for:

Aisle seats: For easier access to bathrooms and to stretch your legs.

Bulkhead or exit rows: These often offer more legroom, but might not have under-seat storage.

Avoid seats near lavatories: They tend to be noisier and have more foot traffic.

2. Dress Comfortably

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Opt for loose-fitting clothes and layers. Remember, airplane cabins can get chilly. Compression socks can also be beneficial to reduce swelling and improve circulation.

3. Stay Hydrated

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Airplane cabins are notoriously dry, so drinking water regularly is essential. Avoid excessive caffeine or alcohol, as they can cause dehydration.

4. Pack Essential Snacks

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Airplane food might not be to your liking or enough to keep you full. Healthy snacks like nuts, dried fruits, or granola bars can be a lifesaver.


5. Bring Entertainment

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Load up your tablet or e-reader with movies, series, books, podcasts, or music. Noise-canceling headphones can also improve your in-flight entertainment experience.

6. Take Regular Breaks

The Best RevengesFlickr, Can Pac Swire

Stretching and walking around can prevent stiffness and reduce the risk of blood clots. Simple in-seat exercises, like rotating your ankles, can also be beneficial.

7. Stay Fresh

Passengers on the airplaneMatej Kastelic, Shutterstock

A small toiletry kit with a toothbrush, toothpaste, facial wipes, moisturizer, and lip balm can be invigorating during a really long flight.

8. Consider Sleeping Aids

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For some, sleeping on planes is near impossible. If you're considering sleeping pills or melatonin, discuss with your doctor beforehand.

9. Keep Important Items Close

man putting luggage on airplaneMila Supinskaya Glashchenko, Shutterstock

Pack essential items, such as medications, glasses, or important documents, in your carry-on, ensuring they're within reach.

10. Plan Your Sleep

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If you're flying across multiple time zones, try to adjust your sleep schedule before departure. This can help in combating jet lag.


11. Hydrate Your Skin

unforgettable airplane passengers

The dry cabin air can wreak havoc on your skin. Consider using a hydrating face mask, facial spray, or a good moisturizer to keep your skin fresh.

12. Mind Your Health

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If you have health issues that might be affected by long flights, like deep vein thrombosis, consult with your doctor about precautions.

Final Thoughts

Airplane with four engines landing on runwayIgor Karasi, Shutterstock

Long flights can be taxing, but they don't have to be torturous. With a bit of preparation and the right mindset, you can arrive at your destination feeling refreshed and ready to explore. 

So, buckle up, relax, and enjoy the journey as part of your adventure!