February 10, 2017

How to Survive a Long-Haul Flight

Written by:
Maureen McKamey

Congratulations! You’re headed somewhere far-flung and exotic!

And while it’s an unforgettable experience traveling to a place halfway across the world, there are times that you wish you could forget the horribly long flight you had to take to get there. Being stuck in a flying metal tube with hundreds of other (equally as uncomfortable) passengers doesn’t sound like a great way to spend your time, but it’s a necessity to get from point A to point B. And there are ways to make it less miserable.

Here’s a collection of the best tips for surviving a long-haul flight.

  1. Bring snacks! Longer flights usually serve meals, but you’re bound to get hungry in between. The last thing you need on a long flight is to get “hangry.”
  2. Hydrate. Food is important, but water is even more important. Long flights will dehydrate you, so keep that water glass refilled. And don’t forget about your skin! Lip balm, moisturizer, eye cream, and one of these facial spritzers will help keep you fresh-faced for when you land.
  3. Avoid alcohol. Sure, it may sound nice to have a glass of wine mid-flight, but alcohol is also dehydrating. If you must imbibe, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water to make up for it. And sorry, caffeine addicts…the same rule goes for coffee!
  4. Opt for a window seat. If you’re traveling with other people, you may need to rock-paper-scissors for this one, but especially on overnight flights, you’ll want a spot to rest your head.
  5. Speaking of sleep, it’s a lot easier with a pillow, an eye mask, and earplugs. Some airlines provide pillows, but if you bring your own, you can guarantee it’s comfortable.
  6. Avoid the seats in front of exit rows. They don’t recline.
  7. Bring plenty to do. Books, magazines, crossword puzzles, a tablet or a laptop. The time will go by faster if you have something to keep your mind busy.
  8. Wear comfortable clothes, and bring layers. You’re going to be sitting for a long time, so avoid anything tight. And the temperature inside the plane can fluctuate, so you’ll want to be able to take off and put on pieces of clothing depending on how you’re feeling.
  9. Move! Sitting in the same position for a long time is uncomfortable at best, and dangerous to your health at worst. Get up and walk a little. (That’s when all that hydration comes in handy. You’ll be making frequent trips to the bathroom!) And if the “fasten seatbelts” sign is on, you can even do some exercises in your seat. Try lifting your feet up and moving them in circles, or rolling your shoulders.
  10. And finally, bring a pen. If you’re on a long flight, chances are you’re heading to an international destination. And the flight attendants will be happy you brought your own pen when it comes time to fill out those customs forms before landing!

So now you’re ready to hop on a plane and travel the world! Bon Voyage!