11 Tips for Surviving a Long Flight

Honestly, there’s nothing worse than being stuck in a cramped airplane seat during a long-haul flight.

Not only is there no room for your legs, but your back hurts, you’re irritable, the guy behind you is snoring and you better not even think about going to the bathroom.

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to relieve some of that discomfort — because long flights can’t always be avoided, but they can be improved.

Thank God.


So, if you’re traveling soon, check out these tips I’ve gathered while surviving long-haul flights over the years.

11 Tips for Surviving a Long Flight: 

1. Wear Comfortable, Breathable Clothes

Nothing puts me in a bad mood faster than feeling trapped inside my clothing — especially when I’m confined to an airplane seat. So, what I’ve found is that wearing light, breathable, stretchy fabric is key.

2. Wear Layers

Temperatures can vary drastically on flights, so wearing layers that you can be removed when it gets hot and then added when it gets cold is absolutely vital.

3. Aim for an Empty Row

The best and most obvious way to ensure an enjoyable flight is to nab a spot in an empty row. Now, I would never count on this — as many flights take off at full capacity — but it never hurts to scan the plane once everyone is seated. If there is an empty row, you can simply ask the flight attendant for permission to move.

4. Buy Water at the Airport

When travelling by plane, it’s important to stay hydrated. Not only is airplane air super dry, but dehydration can also exaggerate jet-lag.

You’ve probably noticed that in-flight drinks are offered to passengers, but this rarely (if ever) happens before take-off, and our bodies require more than a small cup of hydration. Yes, water bottles at airports are insanely overpriced, but you’ll find that having H2o at your dispense is worth it.

And, in my opinion, airplane water tastes horrible — I think it’s the ice cubes.

5. Or, Bring an Empty Water Bottle

If you’re not into shelling out your cash for a fresh water bottle, make sure to pack an empty one that can be filled before you get on the plane.

6. Bring Snacks

This is self-explanatory. Re-heated plane food and a pack of mini pretzels will not get you through a long, cramped flight.

7. Bring Chap Stick and Face Wipes

As I mentioned before, airplane air is dry. This can manifest itself in dry lips and skin. What I’ve found is that having chap stick and moisturizing face wipes on hand can make a world of difference.

And, the face wipes will help wake you up once you’ve landed.

8. Try to Sleep

I know, I know — sleeping on an airplane is hard. But, if you take the proper precautions (i.e. a neck pillow, ear phones, an eye mask), you could probably trick yourself into getting a little life-saving shut-eye. Not only will this help the flight go by faster, but it’ll save you from fatigue once you’ve arrived in destination.

9. Movies, Music and Books

During those hours when you’re not sleeping, you can escape into a movie, music or book to help pass the time.

10. Get Up and Move Around

At some point during your flight, you’re probably going to feel somewhat restless and trapped. The best way to get rid of this feeling is to get up a move around. No, there’s not room to run laps, but you can walk to the bathroom or simply pace up and down the aisle for a minute.

11. Play a Game

If you’re traveling with someone, playing childish games like I Spy, 21 Questions, Hot Seat or the Alphabet Game can honestly be a life-saver.

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