The average flight is between three and six hours long, which can be taxing for many people. However, some flight paths take well over 15 hours to complete. If you’re gearing up for a flight that is 10+ hours, we have some tips to help you survive the boredom, restlessness, and discomfort. Keep these ten tips in mind when getting ready for your lengthy flight.
1. Aim for an Aisle Seat
Many folks love window seats because they can look out the window and not be forced to get up when their row mates need the bathroom. However, the aisle seat is probably the best option on long flights. You’ll have a little more space and easy access to the restroom, allowing you to stand up and stretch your limbs more.
2. Stay Hydrated and Avoid Alcohol
People often forget to stay hydrated on long flights, and people who hate plane bathrooms may even avoid drinking water. But if you land dehydrated, the start of your trip will not be pleasant. Experienced travelers recommend avoiding alcohol because it dehydrates you, and you’ll be hungover before the flight is over.
3. Buy a High-Quality Pillow
You can find airplane pillows for under $10, which are fine for a quick flight. But for a 10+ hour flight, it’s best to invest in a high-quality pillow. Go to a store with a selection of airplane pillows and try a few to see which suits you. When you’re halfway through your long flight, you’ll be glad you spent money on a comfy pillow.
4. Bring Loads of Entertainment
If your flight is ten hours long and you think five movies should be enough, download eight. If you’re bringing a book you think will last the whole flight, play it safe and bring two books. In addition to bringing extra entertainment, pack a variety in case you get bored with one. Bring movies, shows, books, puzzles, games, and anything else you think will help you stay busy.
5. Get Moving
Some people have no problem staying in their seats for a five-hour flight. But long-haul flights are a different beast. Even if you think you’ll be okay sitting, you must get up every few hours to stretch and move. This will prevent cramping, soreness, and other side effects of long-term sedentation.
6. Start Adjusting to Destination Time
A pro tip for long flights is to set your watch or phone to your final destination’s time the moment you get to your seat. This will prevent time confusion and help you get used to the time zone you will be in. It’s also helpful to try and sleep and eat according to the destination’s time zone.
7. Dress Cozy
For some reason, certain people think it’s a shame that folks no longer dress fancy and professional for planes. Those people have probably never been on a plane for 13 hours. Wear your comfiest clothes, and even pajamas if that’s what you need to sleep. Pro travelers also highly recommend compression socks for additional comfort.
8. Have Essentials on Hand
If you’re not in the habit of keeping an essentials bag under the seat in front of you, consider changing your ways. Rummaging through an overhead bin whenever you want a piece of gum or a phone charger is a hassle and might annoy those around you. Keep anything you might need in a bag in front of your feet.
9. Space Out Activities
Try not to multi-task in any way. You’ll be on this flight for a long time, so there is no reason to try and get more done in a short time. For example, if you’re watching a movie and food comes, stop the movie until you finish your food. If you’re listening to a podcast, pause it when you go to the bathroom. Stretch all your activities out to make the time go by faster.
10. Try Drugs
This isn’t for everyone, but many people find various medications to be the only way to make it through a long flight. Experienced travelers recommend everything from melatonin supplements to Xanax prescriptions. Benadryl, Ambien, and Tylenol PM are a few options between those two extremes. If you’re really worried about the flight, talk to your doctor about a prescription.
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