10 Ways to Survive a Long Flight

Sep 23, 2019 11:53:39 AM Sarah Rymer

Traveling on a 10+ hour flight is a challenge for the mind and body. Here are 10 ways to make your trip more enjoyable!


  1. Prepare a packing list. PackPoint will help organize what you need to pack based on length of travel, destination weather, and your planned activities. Prepare a list for what you want to take and need to buy. Make sure you have enough prescription medicine and vitamins for your trip.

  2. Check the weather. Check the 10-day weather forecast for your destination and pack appropriately.

  3. Download apps, including podcasts, books, movies (Netflix!), and music for your flight. Sign up with your airline for text messages concerning your flight and download your airline’s phone app for up-to-date information.

  4. Pack a survival bag for your carry-on, including an eye mask, ear plugs, wet wipes, tissue, toothbrush, empty water bottle, and a neck pillow. Add snacks such as trail mix or granola bars for the flight. Consider packing a sweater and slippers in your carry-on.

  5. Two days before takeoff. . . lay out what you will need to pack, including what goes in your carry-on. Wash any clothes that are dirty and buy any last-minute needs. Plan stress-free evenings and go to bed at a reasonable time to get a full night’s sleep.

  6. Get comfortable. When you board the plane, take the items out of your carry-on that you will use inflight and put them nearby. Roll up a blanket or jacket and place it across the lower seatback to support the natural curve of the spine in a way that provides lumbar support.

  7. Make a flight plan. If you are traveling east, you will arrive at your destination in the morning, so it is best to try to sleep during the flight. If you can’t sleep, close your eyes and rest. If traveling west, you will arrive at your destination in the evening, so try to stay awake the entire flight. Watch movies, read, and get out of your seat regularly to walk around. This will help you acclimate to your destination’s time zone.

  8. Drink plenty of water. It is easy to become dehydrated while traveling, which can lead to nausea and headaches. Ask the flight attendant to fill up your water bottle and try to sip 8 ounces of water each hour while flying. Don’t drink coffee, cola drinks, or alcohol as they can cause dehydration. Caffeine and alcohol also disrupt sleep, thus worsening the effects of jet lag.

  9. Walk around. When you aren’t sleeping, get up and walk around every 2 hours. This will help you feel better and helps prevent blood clots from forming in your legs.

  10. Acclimate to your destination’s time zone. When you arrive at your destination, pay attention to the time of day. If it's daytime, be active and spend time in the daylight. Try to stay awake until your normal bedtime. If it's evening, eat a light meal, take a shower, and go to sleep close to your normal bedtime.

What helps you survive a long flight? Whatever your destination may be, we wish you a safe and enjoyable journey!


About the Author: Scott is the IDEAS Director of Project Operations for Asia and team member of the IDEAS Crisis Management Team. Enjoy other posts by Scott, such as Top 10 Health Tips for Travel.


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