Do you dread long flights? We do too. But long-haul flights don’t have to be miserable. Here are 10 tips for preventing boredom, dehydration and more!

1. Upgrade: If available, pay the extra cost to get the comfort plus or premium seat. If you’re able, splurge on that first-class flight. Also, you have no better friend than your frequent flyer account. If you have the miles to spare, use them to upgrade your seat.

2. Escape via Entertainment: You can get work done during long flights but that’s no fun. Turn on your flight playlist, get out your headphones and let your music take you to another place. Watch a movie. Most trans-continental flights have movie options and they’re normally recent releases. Take your iPad or tablet with your favorite movies loaded. Take your Kindle or a book to help melt the hours away.

3. Carry-on Items: Be mindful of the things you’re carrying on. Baggage fees can add up but anything under the seat in front of you means less legroom and more cramped space.

4. Take your go-to gear: Though you should limit the items that will be stored in your immediate space, you may want to consider some of the smaller survival tools. Some essentials are your neck pillow, blanket, eye mask, earplugs, noise-canceling headphones, and your favorite snack. You’ll be glad you did during a 15-hour flight with crying children, that passenger who likes to keep the shade up, engine noise and stomach rumbles between snack or meal times.

5. Go to sleep: If you can get comfortable enough, a few hours of shut-eye on a long flight is great. In addition to whittling away flight hours, it will help you rest up to be awake and ready for adventure when you reach your destination.

6. Consider a sleep aid: If the thought of a long flight makes you anxious or if you just have trouble sleeping during flights, consider a sleep aid. Consult your doctor for recommendations.

7. SeatGuru: Use SeatGuru to see aircraft seat maps, seat reviews and to identify superior and substandard airline seats. On SeatGuru you can also see if your seat on a plane has an Audio jack, video, and ac power.

8. Dress for comfort: Unless you’re traveling on business, you’re not here to impress anyone. Remember to take layers for when it gets cold. If you wear open shoes, take a pair of socks to put on also. My go-to travel wear is leggings (or sweatpants), a t-shirt or tank, and a jacket.

9. Charge all devices: Charge all of your devices and bring a mobile charger. Most long-haul flights are on airplanes with charging outlets; but, sometimes they’re not available at all seats or they just don’t work. Be prepared.

10. Stay healthy: Sitting in a cramped position, unable to move freely for the better part of a day is not good for many reasons. Fight off dehydration and deep-vein thrombosis (blood clots) by regularly drinking water, moving, stretching and walking the aisles when appropriate. Consult your doctor if you’re at increased risk for blood clots. Your doctor may recommend wearing compression socks while traveling or taking a blood-thinning medicine before flying.


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