5 Tips to Survive a Long-Haul Flight

Get through the worst parts of the flight in the best ways possible.

By Mathew S. Chan
February 17, 2015

If you are a frequent flyer and enjoy visiting the Philippines and South East Asia, you may think you have gotten the hang of traveling, but going on a 6 to 12-hour flight is a whole different ball game. Long-haul flights are exhausting, stressful, and downright impossible to get through without proper preparation. If you are about to embark on a long-haul flight, here are 5 tips to help prepare and get you through it.

1.    Keep your blood flowing.
Because it is a long-haul flight, you’ll be seated for most of the trip. Some airlines provide inflight instructions about stretching and even yoga to help get the blood flowing.  Pay close attention to these because they’re very important. If you don’t get proper blood flow, you increase your risk of getting blood clots, deep vein thrombosis, and even stroke. Make use of your bathroom breaks to stretch, and try to walk around the aisles when given the chance.

2.    Sleep is important.
One thing some passengers do to get through most of their long-haul flight is to sleep through half of it. It seems easier said than done. It can be hard and uncomfortable to sleep on a plane if you aren’t used to it. To help you sleep on the plane, you can do last-minute activities before your flight to tire yourself out. You can also slowly lessen the number of hours you sleep days before your flight so that you can make yourself sleepier.  An eye mask and earplugs also go a long way.

3.    Entertain yourself.
Realistically speaking, you can’t sleep through your entire long-haul flight, so it’s best to keep yourself entertained some of the time. Play games on your phone, bring a good book you’ve been dying to read, or catch up on your favorite TV series on your laptop, and before you know it, you’ll already be at your destination. 

4.    Find the right seat.
As you will probably be on the plane for about 6-12 hours, you might as well get as comfortable as you possibly can. The best way to do secure a good seat is by arriving early at the airport and checking in first. You have better chances of choosing a great place to sit, which is typically the area close to the aisle near both the bathroom and the exit. You can also pre-select your seat online when you buy your ticket and just pay extra.

5.    Talk it out.
If you are traveling with someone, it makes things a lot easier. Nothing helps pass the time better than having an engaging conversation with someone. If you are traveling alone and you don’t mind talking to strangers, you can attempt to befriend the person next to you. You’re going to be together for the next 6 or more hours, anyway, so you might as well try to get to know him or her. Who knows? You might discover your seatmate is actually very interesting, and if you are lucky enough, you might even make a new friend or find your soulmate.