For many, boarding a plane can be a very stressful activity. So plenty of travelers are afraid of flying, some more so than others. Then add on the fact that your flight is across the country or even across the Atlantic of Pacific oceans. That could make for a long flight, which can get a bit uncomfortable and unbearable. Everything from having to sit in the same seat for hours to feeling like you are stuck in a tin can contribute to feeling like you will never survive that long flight.
Here are some tips to help you survive that long flight you have coming up.
Carry an extra sweater with you when taking a long flight. Planes can get cold when flying, making it almost unbearable if you do not like being cold. Also, make sure to bring an extra blanket because those provided do not offer as much warmth as you might need.
Dress in loose, comfortable clothing. Avoid anything with a tight waistband or anything that will make it difficult to get comfortable in your seat.
Bring your own healthy snacks and some bottled water with you on the flight. This will make it so you can snack or have a drink when you need it, not when they serve the meals. Also, if possible, avoid eating the meals that the airline serves because they are filled with a lot of sodium and can make you feel dehydrated later in the flight. Make sure to drink a lot of water to keep yourself hydrated during the flight.
Bring your own forms of entertainment, including books, music and movies. Fill up your tablet with your favorites and you will have everything you need to keep yourself entertained if the in-flight movie is not interesting.
Throughout the flight, when it is allowed by the pilot, get up and move around a bit. Go to the bathroom and stretch out your legs. This will get your circulation moving, making it possible to continue the flight in comfort.
Packing your carry-on properly will help ensure you have everything you need with you while in flight. Since you will be flying for a long time, make sure to include some basic toiletries in your carry-on so you can freshen up the moment you land or just before landing.
Though you want some essentials with you, do not over pack your carry-on. This can make it difficult to manage when you need something and could hinder the amount of leg room you have, especially if you have to stow it under the seat in front of you.
Select a seat that is near an exit row. This will offer you additional leg room and the extra fee some airlines charge for these seats is well worth the additional cost. Or try to get an aisle seat, where you have more room to your side so you will feel less cramped.
If possible, upgrade your seat from economy to first class. There you will have all of the amenities needed for a comfortable flight, including plenty of leg room and space to get up and walk around.
Taking a nap will help your long flight feel a lot shorter. Make sure to bring along an eye mask and a set of ear plugs. This will help reduce the light from the outside and the noise from the plane and other passengers. Some airlines offer amenity kits that contain everything you need for a peaceful nap. An inflatable pillow is a great travel accessory when taking a long flight.
Related: How to Sleep on Long Flights
Taking a long flight does not have to be unbearable. Long flights can actually be rather fun and exciting, especially when you know what lies ahead when you arrive at your destination. Prepare yourself and make all of the necessary plans to ensure you have a comfortable flight.
Heather Landon is a freelance writer with more than 20 years of experience. She has combined two of her passions – writing and travel – to share her experiences with others. You can read more of her articles at Examiner.com.