10 Tips for Surviving Through a Long Flight

Taking a flight to one of your dream destinations may mean that you’ll be up in the air for an extended period of time, sometimes triple the amount of time it takes to go from LAX to JFK. If you’ve successfully used a sleep patch to help you doze off during a flight, you’ll want to recreate that same feeling for an 18-hour trip to Bangkok.

Whether it’s your first time or you want a better experience for your next adventure around the globe, here are ten tips for surviving through a long flight.

1.  Wear Comfortable Clothing

It’s not unusual to see people traveling in pajamas and slippers, but we’re not recommending that when we say to wear comfortable clothing. Use layers to keep you warm when it gets cold and compression socks paired with stretchy pants you can move in; this prevents thrombosis, which can lead to life-threatening blood clots.

2.  Choose a Good Seat

On a long international flight, you’re likely to find first or business-class seats with a sleep seat option, which allows you to fully extend your body and rest during your 15-hour flight to Cape Town. Choosing a good seat, like a sleeper seat or one that has more leg room, will help you survive a long flight without feeling too cooped up. Budgets matter, of course, but compare the perks of having a slightly more expensive seat; sometimes you’re given a discount on luggage or other fees, which can help balance out the cost.

3.  Use a Travel Pillow

A good travel pillow can work wonders when you’re trying to get rest and not lean on a complete stranger’s shoulder for support. Look for a travel pillow that uses memory foam and a removable, washable cover so that it’s fresh on the day of your trip. Extra points go to those who get a quality set of earplugs and an eye mask to block out all distractions.

4.  Get Sleep

Sleep is crucial on a long flight. If you’re traveling for more than half a day you’re likely to develop jet lag, and one of the best ways to mitigate that is by catching up on Z’s while you fly. Getting to sleep on a plane isn’t always easy. Using sleeping pills may be a bit too harsh, but a sleep patch with melatonin and hemp extract can make you feel relaxed enough to get some rest. If you can get comfortable enough after using a sleep patch and a good travel pillow to get a full eight hours of sleep, you’ll not only survive the flight, but your first day of vacation.

5.  Pack Your Own Headphones

Nothing is worse than forgetting your headphones on a long flight; the only other thing that compares is using those free headphones airlines give out that are uncomfortable and sound horrible. A set of headphones that are comfortable to you, like in-ear or over-ear, will aid in drowning out the noise of talking passengers and the crying baby three rows behind you.

6.  Bring a Charger

You have your phone, laptop, and portable gaming system in your personal bag, but did you bring a charger? Most airlines now have the choice of using a USB or outlet plug to help keep your electronics fully charged, but just in case, it’s smart to also pack one of those fast battery packs that you can also use during your trip.

7.  Download Your Favorite Shows and Movies

Speaking of electronics, you may have a favorite series on your favorite streaming service but it’s unavailable on the in-flight entertainment menu; this is when you need space on your device to hit the download button. Downloading your own favorite shows and movies will allow you to be entertained and forget that you still have 11 hours in the air before landing.

8.  Pack Plenty of Snacks

Whether you’re buying snacks from the airport or bringing them from home, you’ll want to keep yourself fed so you’re not getting hunger pains hours after chowing down on the dinner service meal.

9.  Hydrate

Airplanes can be cold and dry inside, which means you may feel a bit dehydrated after a few hours of travel time. Purchase water beforehand and ask for more during the flight to keep you and your skin refreshed. It’s recommended that you drink 8-ounces per hour while up in the air to prevent dehydration and jet lag.

10. Move Around The Cabin

Lastly, move around the cabin when you get a chance. To feel comfortable, prevent thrombosis, and of course, use the restroom, it’s a good idea to take a break every few hours to stretch your legs. If you can find the space, try doing a few simple stretches every time you’re able to get up to avoid cramping after sitting for so long. It’ll also make you feel energized when it’s time to hit the baggage claim conveyor belt.


From sleep patches to a good pair of headphones to simply getting up and moving around, there are endless ways to survive a long flight. Don’t let the duration of your travel stop you from seeing all the places you want! What’s your best tip for surviving flights?