How to survive a long-haul flight

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The average long-haul flight is around 13 hours long. That’s a lot of time to be stuck in a metal tube hurtling through the sky. Here are some tips to make your long-haul flight as comfortable and bearable as possible.

1. Choose your seat wisely

When booking your flight, take some time to research the different seat options. Some airlines have economy seats with more legroom or seats that recline further. If you have the option to upgrade to business or first class, it may be worth the splurge for the extra comfort.

2. Dress comfortably

You’re going to be sitting in your seat for a long time, so make sure you’re wearing comfortable clothes. Loose, breathable fabrics are ideal. Avoid wearing anything too tight or constricting. You might want to bring a shawl or scarf to keep you warm if the plane’s air conditioning is turned up high.

3. Stay hydrated

It’s important to stay hydrated during your flight. The air in the cabin is dry, so you’ll likely find yourself getting thirsty more often than usual. Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can dehydrate you.

4. Move around frequently

Sitting in the same position for hours can lead to stiffness and soreness. Get up and move around as often as you can. Take a walk up and down the aisle. Do some simple stretches in your seat. Just moving your body will help keep you from getting too stiff.

5. Bring your own entertainment

To help pass the time, bring along something to keep you occupied. Read a book, download some movies or tv shows to your laptop or tablet, or pack some travel-friendly games.

6. Sleep when you can

If you’re able to sleep during the flight, take advantage of it. It can be helpful to bring an eye mask and earplugs to block out the light and noise. And if you tend to get motion sickness, ask the flight attendant for a ginger pill to help settle your stomach.

7. Eat light

Eating a big meal can make you feel sluggish, so it’s best to stick to light snacks or meals. Avoid fatty or fried foods, which can be hard to digest. And if you’re drinking alcohol, alternate it with water to stay hydrated.

8. Be prepared for turbulence

Turbulence is normal during a long-haul flight. It’s usually nothing to worry about, but it can be jarring if you’re not expecting it. If you’re worried about it, ask the flight attendant for a seatbelt extension. That way, you can still fasten your seatbelt tightly if the plane hits some turbulence.

9. Be patient

A long-haul flight can be exhausting, both mentally and physically. It’s important to be patient and go with the flow. Accept that there will be some bumps along the way, and try to relax and enjoy the ride.

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