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8 Ways To Survive Long Flights

December 4, 2018

Don’t let long flights ruin your travel getaways. Learn how to stay comfortable even on those long hauls. 

Summer is in full-gear and many of us are likely planning how we’re going to enjoy our much-deserved vacation time. While some prefer to spend the summer months close to home, others take their time off as an opportunity to travel overseas and see the world. While those far off trips are certainly exciting, one aspect that no one looks forward to are the long flights. It’s hard to complain about being able to fly anywhere in the world you want, but there’s no denying that those oversea flights can get quite uncomfortable. Of course, that’s no reason to miss out on exciting travel experiences just because you’ll be stuck on a plane for a few ours. If you have a big trip on the horizon, here are a few tips to make those long flights a little more bearable.

Upgrade if possible.

I’m sure many of you have considered this avenue before as a way to make your travel more comfortable. One look at those first-class or business class ticket prices is enough to dissuade most travellers. But if you’re looking at a very long flight, it might be worth the consideration. Of course, your vacation budget must be factored in, but spending a little less on another aspect of the vacation might be worth it if it means a more enjoyable flight.

Be rested.

Some people think that sleeping on a plane is a great way to kill time on a long flight. They get themselves nice and tired for the trip, thinking they’ll sleep the whole way and arrive bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.  Don’t count on it. It can be very hard to get comfortable on a plane, let alone comfortable enough to sleep. And being tired and unable to sleep is a very unpleasant feeling. Instead, make sure you are fully rested and ready for the flight. You might be tired by the time you arrive but it will make the trip a lot more bearable.

Consider indirect flights.

The first thing most travellers look for, aside from price, is direct flights. Any way you can get to your destination faster is the obvious choice, right? It’s true that direct flights are the best way to go if you’re flying within country or a relatively short distance. However, when you have a longer travel ahead of you, indirect flights have some definite benefits. Airports are not the most fun part of vacation, but it sure beats sitting on a cramped plane for hours on end. It might take you a little longer to get to where you’ll going, but a little break in between might help you arrive in good spirits. It gives you the chance to walk around, get something to eat and escape the frustration of being trapped in a place. Sometimes it’s worth making small sacrifices in the name of comfort.

Bring entertainment.

It is nearly impossible to endure even a short flight without something to distract you. Some people assume they’ll be able to fill the time effectively, but not going in with a solid plan is a big mistake. If you’re travelling with friends or family, you might think it’s rude to do something else instead of talking to them. But while chatting can fill up a good deal of time, you’ll both likely be happy to take a break at some point. And while most flights inflight entertainment, don’t rely on that. Put some of your own movies on your tablet. Fill your phone with audiobooks and podcasts. Bring a few books in case some don’t hold your attention. Plan for every minute you’re stuck on the plane as well as any possible delays.

Dress comfortably.

It used to be that flying was something you got dressed up for. Those days are gone and travellers are all the better for it. While some might lament this, being able to dress in a way that allows you to be comfortable on a long flight is a luxury you shouldn’t pass up. Now of course there are limitations and exceptions, as you have to be aware of other people’s comfort as well. But there is no shame in wearing something you are able to sit comfortably in and fall asleep in. Change when you arrive, but air travel does not need to look glamourous.

Bring snacks.

The notorious nature of how awful airline food is might be a bit overstated but it’s best to plan for your own snacks when travelling. Most people take this uncomfortable situation as an excuse to indulge in some comfort food. While that’s entirely up to you, eating junk food is more likely to make the situation worse rather than better. Best stick with the kinds of snacks that are easy of your gut and keep your full for longer.

Avoid the alcohol.

People also assume that drinking alcohol on a flight helps you with the uncomfortable feeling. Again, this is best left to the traveller’s discretion but it can similarly have the opposite of the desired effect. Alcohol can leave you fidgety, more susceptible to airsickness, and make it difficult to sleep. Have a drink when you’ve arrived, you’ll enjoy a lot more.

Block everything out.

Long flights don’t need to be a social time, so don’t think twice about shutting out everyone else on the plane. Bring along a sleep mask, earplugs or some good noise-cancelling headphones. If you want to listen to something or just try to sleep the flight away, that’s up to you. But blocking out the world and dreaming about your vacation is more than wise in this situation.



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