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How to Survive a Long Flight: 10 Game-Changing Tips


If your dream adventure or business is taking you across to the other side of the globe, then you need to know how to survive a long flight. A long flight varies from 6 hours upward. Physically and mentally, a long flight can be incredibly draining. Talk about boredom, restlessness and the general discomfort. If you compare a long-haul flight to an endurance test, you will not be very far from the truth.

You spent many months planning your dream getaway. Flights are booked and bags are packed.  Now, you are set to start an epic long flight journey overseas. Sound interesting. Isn’t it? Not exactly, there is one little hurdle to contend with – How to survive a long flight.

You may have not considered it in your plan especially if you are a first time traveler. Long flight journeys can feel like a waking nightmare for even the most seasoned traveler. Jet lag, muscle cramps, parched skin and boredom. The good news is that there are certain aspects of the long flight that you can control to your own benefit.

 If you put some strategic preparations in place before and on the journey, and with a few insider tricks, you can transform your next long flight into a comfortable and even enjoyable experience. In this article, we are going to highlight some insider’s tips that is going to help you on how to survive a long flight

Tip 1: Choose the Best Seat for Your Needs

Let’s start at the very beginning when you want to book your flight.  Selecting your seat for long-haul happiness is very important. You have three main choices: aisle, window, or somewhere in the middle.

Window seats are good for sleeping or lounging. You’ve got a headrest/pillow on one side and can lean against the window. The downside, you have to awkwardly scramble over your neighbors for bathroom breaks.

Aisle seats are great if you’re a frequent bathroom visitor, want to be first off the plane, or prefer a bit more legroom to stretch out (goodbye deep vein thrombosis!). The tradeoff is dealing with beverage carts, passersby, and no cozy window to rest against.

If you are stuck in the middle seat, it may be advisable to upgrade if you can! Seriously, it’s worth every penny to dodge the middle seat on a long flight. Use airline miles/points, pay a little extra for a premium economy exit row seat, or check for last-minute upgrades at check-in. 

Expert Tip: Use a service like ExpertFlyer to set alerts for when premium seating opens up on your flight. Or arrive at the gate extra early and kindly ask the agents if any better seats have become available

Tip 2: Travel in Cozy Clothing

To survive a long flight you need to avoid restrictive and uncomfortable clothing. Your dressing  should be equal parts loose, soft, warm, and easy to sleep/lounge in. Consider stretchy pants or leggings, a supportive but breathable top, warm socks, and layers for temperature adjustments. Slip-on shoes are a must for easy on/off at security and to let your feet breathe.

Stay away from anything that is rigid, scratchy, or binding. Take note that you’ll be sitting for hours on end so you will need maximum coziness! For a change, you may like to change into fresh clothes before landing to feel refreshed on landing.

Expert Tip: Invest in some quality compression socks or stockings. They’ll help promote healthy circulation and prevent that dreaded deep vein thrombosis risk on long flights.

Tip 3: Pack the Perfect Personal Item

How you stock your personal item bag or backpack can make or break your in-flight experience and how to survive a long flight. Here are a few items which are a must-haves for a  long flight:

– Noise-canceling headphones & entertainment loaded up (movies, podcasts, playlists)

– Portable battery pack & charging cables for devices 

– Plenty of nutrient-rich, fiber-rich snacks (think dried fruit, nuts, bars)

– Reusable water bottle to refill

– Cozy socks or slippers

– Small blanket or jacket

– Sanitizing wipes

– Toiletries for freshening up (deodorant, face wipes, mouthwash, etc.)

– Medications/vitamins

– Eye mask & earplugs for sleeping

– Pen & notebook/tablet for journaling

Expert Tip: You May like to prevent boredom by creating your dedicated “longhaul playlist” with audiobooks, podcasts, albums etc. You can buy all the items at Amazon

Tip 4: Fuel Your Body Right

Another key on how to survive a long flight is to go for good nourishment. Onboard are convenient, for some people they may tend to be heavy, salty, and light on nutrients. You can pack your own assortment of healthy, fiber-rich snacks to keep you energized and regular.

Some options to consider may include fresh or dried fruit, nuts, protein bars, veggie sticks, whole grain crackers, and single-serve nut butters. Avoid excessive salt, sugar, and highly processed items that can leave you feeling sluggish and bloated at 35,000 feet.

Expert Tip: Snacks with potassium like dried apricots and bananas can help counter dehydration and muscle cramps.

How to survive a long flight

Tip 5: Drink…But Not Too Much

It may be okay to have a few glasses of wine. As much as this may seem like an enticing way to gget you into sleep, cabin dehydration multiplies the effects of alcohol. You’ll get hit harder, faster and wake up feeling much worse.

If you ever want to drink alcohol, go slowly and stay very hydrated. But skip it altogether if you really want to minimize jet lag.

Expert Tip: For every alcoholic drink consumed, follow it up with a full glass of water to stay hydrated.

Tip 6: Move Around Frequently

Sitting for hours on end is a way of ensuring discomfort, stiffness, and health issues like deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Set reminders to get up and walk around every 1-2 hours if possible.

Do some easy stretches and leg raises from your seat. Flex and extend your legs frequently. The key is keeping your blood circulating so those window or aisle seat reservations come in handy!

Expert Tip: Wear compression socks and get up to do a lap or two around the cabin every few hours to prevent DVT and keep your legs feeling fresh.

Tip 7: Pack Sanitizing Wipes

The tray tables, remotes, and surfaces near you have been touched by thousands of hands. Give them a sanitary wipe down to prevent picking up any lingering germs or grossness.  Use the wipes to freshen up a bit too – wipe your face, hands, neck area. It’ll help you feel cleaner and more revived.

Expert Tip: Keep some hand sanitizer in your personal item too for a quick cleansing.

Tip 8: Bring Environment Adjusters

Consider the effect of cabin temperature when planning how to survive a log flight. Cabin temperatures can fluctuate wildly from stifling heat to Arctic chill. Dryness is inevitable. Pack some personal environment adjusters like a lightweight jacket or big scarf you can use as a blanket, some breathable layers, lip balm, moisturizing face mist, and eye drops.

Expert Tip: Bring your own headphones to avoid those cheap, ill-fitting airline ones. The noise cancelling can drown out plane engine roar.

Tip 9: Load Up on Entertainment

Now that you’ve gotten your basic needs out of the way, it’s time to load up on distractions to pass those long hours. Before your trip, download movies, shows, albums, podcasts, ebooks, magazines – anything that will hold your interest.

Opt for content you’ve been meaning to catch up on, so you don’t feel like you’re wasting time. Pack a good old-fashioned book or sudoku puzzles if you get screen fatigue too. And remember, simple things like journaling about your trip can also help.

Expert Tip: If you hate wearing headphones for hours, Download a white noise app and use it to create pockets of soothing ambient noise.

Tip 10: Try to Sleep (But Don’t Stress About It)

Getting some rest on the plane is ideal for bypassing jet lag quickly. Adjust your schedule leading up to the flight and stay hydrated to help your body wind down. Use earplugs, eyeshades, noise cancelling headphones, and make your area as cozy as possible for sleeping. But if sleep seems to elude you, don’t get frustrated. Just take that time to relax your mind and body as much as possible. Stressing will only make it harder.

Expert Tip: If you really struggle to sleep on planes, ask your doctor about safe medication options like a mild sleeping pill or anti-anxiety med.


There you have it, Tgat Travels -10 actionable tips on how to survive long flight. While no flight is ever truly “comfortable” in economy, employing these strategies will dramatically improve those endless hours spent 35,000 feet in the air.

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