10 Easy Tips for Surviving a Long Flight

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Getting to the airport to catch that long-awaited flight to your dream destination is one of the most exciting things. But before you start your trip, you have to get through that long-haul flight, which most of us dread at the best of times.

There are plenty of things which you can do to help you survive those long hours in the air. Here are a few tips for surviving a long flight so you feel great when you land in your destination.

And if you need some tips on how to fight jet lag, have a read here!

Pack well for your flight

Having everything you need in your cabin bag is essential to having a great long-haul flight. How you do this will largely depend on how much baggage in total you’re taking with you.

If you’ve got checked-in baggage with you, then you’ll only need a small cabin bag with your personal effects in it. However, if you’re just traveling with cabin baggage, it’s a good idea to fit a small personal bag in there as well that you can easily access during the flight without having to look through all your clothes.

Make sure to pack all the things which you will need with you during the flight, then arrange your bag, so they are within easy reach. These things include your wallet, passport, some toiletries such as mouthwash and face cream, ear plugs, a book or electronic device to keep you occupied, and anything else you might think you’ll need to help you get through those hours.

Pack your liquids correctly

When going through airport security, make sure any liquids you have are in sealed plastic bags so they can be inspected quickly. Each liquid has to be kept in its own container of no more than 100mL; anymore and you will have it taken off you.

Wear comfortable clothes

If you’re going to be stuck on a plane for a significant amount of time, choosing the right clothes to wear is incredibly important. I generally opt for loose-fitting trousers, such as leggings or tracksuit bottoms, as they move around well and are quite stretchy. Slip-on shoes or trainers are also handy when it comes to the security queue in the airport and then for slipping off on the plane.

I also carry a sweater or cardigan with me and my thick scarf if it’s appropriate to bring to the destination; I find most planes get very cold, so it’s best to have something to cover your arms. If you feel you need them, buy some compression socks to help prevent against deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and blood clots.

Stay hydrated

It’s a well-known fact that being at altitude dehydrates you, so it’s a good idea to keep water on you at all times to sip throughout the flight. Bring your own water bottle to save on unnecessary plastic use. Make sure to empty it before going through security then you’ll be able to find a refill station on the other side. During the flight, ask the flight attendants to refill it, they should be happy to.

Starting your holiday early by having a few beers or cocktails on the flight over – or even in the airport – may seem like a good idea. Remember that not only does alcohol dehydrate you, it also has a more significant effect on the body the higher altitude you’re at, so if you do decide to partake, don’t go overboard and alternate with water.

Face moisturizer and lip balm are other useful items to keep your lips and skin from drying out.

Bring your favorite snacks

One thing you can’t forget! This is one of the most important tips for surviving a long flight. Unless you’re an airplane food lover, bring a good selection of snacks to keep your mind and body happy. Of course, a given is to avoid anything a little on the nose, so no tuna!

I like to pack a variety of sweet and salty, crunchy and chewy. Carrot sticks, baby tomatoes, corn chips and avocado, almonds, sweet and salty popcorn, a muffin, a sandwich, cereal bars, an apple, and rice crackers.

Just remember you won’t be able to bring any fresh fruit or vegetables into your new destination, so make sure to gobble them up!

Pre-order a specialized meal

One of my more sneaky tips for surviving a long flight. When you book your flight, or shortly before departure, you often have an option to book a special meal. I often forget to do this but am so happy when I remember. Not very trusting of airplane food, I love to avoid meat. I also can’t have much dairy so opt for the lacto ovo vegetarian option. This also ensures you get your meal before everyone else and you don’t get stuck with the dud option when they run out of the good stuff!

Keep yourself entertained

In the digital age, it can be hard to keep yourself occupied for an extended amount of time, particularly if there’s no access to Wi-Fi on your flight. Although many airlines do provide their own entertainment services with lots of movies, TV shows, and music, there’s no guarantee as to what you’ll actually get.

Download some of your must-watch movies, TV shows, and some music to keep you busy. The same goes for books and magazines; I personally love the Kindle app on my phone, so I can carry hundreds of books with me, meaning I’m never short of anything to read. Audible is an excellent app for audiobooks.

Not sure if your plane has power outlets? Be sure to charge your external charger before you leave.

Sleep well

Sleeping can be pretty tricky on any plane… unless you’re one of those talented sleepers (tell me your secrets!!) To make things easier, take a travel pillow – I recommend the Trtl travel pillow, eye mask, and earplugs so you can get comfortable and block out the noise and light.

Read my Trtl Travel Pillow review here!

Brushing your teeth, washing your face and moisturizing before going to “bed” can make a world of difference. No one likes to fall asleep feeling gross.

It’s worth bearing in mind that on a long-haul flight, you’ll probably be traveling across time zones. To lessen the effects of jet lag, set your watch to the time of your destination as soon as you get on the plane, and then try and sleep according to the new time, even if it means staying awake a bit longer than you usually would or waking yourself up after only a few hours’ sleep.

(Find some more jet lag tips here!)

Walk the walk

You may think it’s inconvenient or you’ll look like a weirdo, but I always make sure to walk around the plane every couple of hours to keep the blood flowing and to prevent my back getting sore. I’m also not shy to do stretches in that spacey area in front of the toilet. You can find some great airplane stretches here.

Wake up and freshen up

Obviously, you can’t shower on a flight, so it’s a good idea to take some travel-sized toiletries, like eco-friendly deodorant wipes and face wash just so you can freshen up when you wake up. That way, you’re not arriving at your destination feeling unclean and frazzled.

Flying long-haul can be difficult on the body, but hopefully, these steps will help you survive the journey, ready to start your exciting adventure.

Do you have any other tips for surviving a long flight? Please let me know below!

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