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Travel & Holiday

How to survive a long-haul flight

The farther you travel the longer the time you’ll have to spend on the plane. Here are 10 tips to surviving a long plane journey
ST701 Editorial Team - July 3, 2014
By: Huda Nabilah Afandi
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How to survive a long-haul flight

Travelling and going on vacations can be very exciting. You get to go to a new place/country and experience their cultures and meet their people. Unfortunately, the farther you travel the longer the time you’ll have to spend on the plane

Here are 10 tips to surviving a long-haul flight:

1. Be well-rested before the flight
The duration of your flight may be longer than 10 hours but it may not be the best place to sleep. It’s rare that anyone can get their full 8 hours of sleep during a flight because as it’s quite common to be awakened by noises of kids, uncomfortable seats and meal times.  It is crucial for you to get enough rest before you get on the plane so you won’t end up cranky.

2. Book better seats
Research on airplane seats websites such as and to find the best seat. They provide advice on which seats have more legroom or which seats have faults like no reclines, or those that are near to the toilet etc.

3. Get a seat upgrade if possible
One of the only ways to survive a long flight is to ensure you’re comfortable in your seat –the long plane journey will be more tolerable with a bigger, more spacious seat.

4. Minimise the number of carry-on luggage
Saving on extra baggage charges is fantastic but you’ll end up carrying more luggage with you – and this might mean lesser legroom for you. It’s dreadful enough if you feel cramped in your seat but with bags stuffed below your seat, in front of your feet and on your lap, the journey might not be comfortable at all.

5. Bring your travel essentials
Travel essentials can make your flight a little more comfortable and bearable. Some of the things you might want to consider bringing would be an inflatable neck pillow, eye mask, earplugs and high quality headphones. Pack toiletries like toothbrush, moisturisers and eye creams into zip lock bags when you want to freshen up. Remember to take some clothes and undergarments so you can change when you need to. Do pack these travel essentials in your small bag and keep them near you for convenient access.

6. o some stretching exercises or take a walk
To prevent body aches or something as serious as DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis), remember to do some light stretching exercises or get up from your seat every now and then to take a walk around the plane and keep your blood flowing.

7. Keep yourself occupied
The best way to survive a long flight is to make a mental plan of what you want to do on the plane. Break up the flight in chunks of hours with the lists of things that you want to complete such as office work (if any), resting, watching movies, doing light exercises etc.

8. Have medication on hand
If you really need your sleep badly, you can consume a sleeping aid called melatonin. If your seat is absolutely unbearable and you experience body aches, take painkillers. You can also get Berocca or Vitamin C if you want to feel more energetic. Before you consume any medication, it is advisable to seek consultation from your doctors first. Remember to bring along your prescriptions in case you get checked!

9. Stay hydrated
Being trapped on a long flight can make you dehydrated and tired. Do request for a bottle of water regularly to quench your thirst and keep yourself hydrated. If you can, avoid consuming too much alcohol as it will only make you feel sleepier and dehydrated.

10. Beat jet lag
While it isn’t easy to eliminate jet lag while you’re flying across multiple time zones, you can definite lessen its effects.  While on the plane, have your meals regularly. When you’ve arrived at your destination, try to keep awake and not succumb to sleep (unless you’re taking a nap) until night time so your mind and body will adjust to the new time zone.

Bon voyage!


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