5 tips that will help you survive a long flight
We’ve come a long way from two-week treks across the Atlantic, but long flights are still a bore. Stay refreshed (and sane) with these helpful tips.
United Airline’s new non-stop route between Los Angeles and Singapore clocks in at a whopping 17 hours and 55 minutes. It’s one of the longest direct flights in the world and offers plenty of amenities to keep travelers occupied and comfortable. If you’re lucky enough to score a seat in Polaris – United’s new business class – get ready for trolleys of cheeses and desserts and lie-flat seats built for the long haul.
If you’re not booking these luxury accommodations for your next trip, those long, boring hours can be torture. Long flights take careful planning (and patience) to prevent boredom, dehydration, sleep deprivation and overall insanity.
Here’s how to make the time fly by and leave you feeling refreshed when you get to your destination.
1. Pack your headphones. Flying is the perfect excuse to binge-watch a new TV show or series. If in-flight entertainment is not included with your ticket, pay for every movie and channel possible. It’ll be worth it. Load your iPad with your favorite flicks if you want more control over the content, and check out our list of the best podcasts for travel. If you need help finding those so-good-you-just-can’t-stop TV shows, read CNN’s list of the most binge-worthy series.
2. Don’t get bent out of shape. Exercise on a plane? Yes, it can be done, and there are plenty of “subtle” ways to improve your blood circulation. The most obvious: Get up and move every hour. You might annoy the heck out of your neighbor, but your legs, back, neck and pretty much everything else will thank you. Lift your knees, stretch your neck and roll your ankles while you’re seated, and for the more adventurous, master these in-flight yoga poses from Huffington Post.
3. It’s all about hydration. Pack an extra water bottle and plan to consume double or triple the amount of water you do on a normal day. The same filtration system that creates a clean environment for passengers also circulates extremely dry air that can speed up dehydration. Sip away to avoid the headaches, dry eyes and cracked skin that can make a 12-hour flight feel like eternity.
4. How to really sleep on a plane. You have minimal leg room and are constrained to an upright position in a seat that feels like a concrete block. Sounds like the perfect sleeping conditions, right? Getting no sleep is simply not an option when you’re flying across the world. Don’t worry about the things you can’t control; instead, make sure you have a blanket, time your z’s to avoid getting bumped or interrupted by the food and beverage cart and invest in one of these embarrassing travel pillows.
5. The essential grab bag. Pack toiletries like a toothbrush, toothpaste, moisturizer, eyedrops and lip balm in your carry-on, keeping these and other essential items accessible in a pouch or smaller bag. Throw in a few wet wipes for cleaning your hands and wiping down surfaces.
Create a snack bag with “emergency items” for when you need a sugary fix or salty pick-me-up. Tip: Chewing gum or sucking on hard candies can help to relieve the ear pain associated with rapid changes in air pressure.
What’s your go-to for surviving a long flight? Share your tips on our Facebook page.