10 tips for getting through a long flight

couple and two children on ramp of plane

While most folks love to travel abroad and see the world, sometimes a long flight can be a bit unnerving or unbearable. Sitting for hours on end can be difficult in and of itself, but there are many other factors that make a long -distance plane ride even more difficult for some.

Ahead of your next big adventure, consider these travel tips and tricks for getting through your flight.

1. Pack the right food.

Business Insider found that certain in-flight meals may be better than others when it comes to keeping your body happy and avoiding jet lag. Specifically, food like pasta or bread that have a lot of carbs have been found to promote comfortable sleep and for regulating your body's natural rhythm.

2. But don't over eat.

Eating in moderation is important. Feeling full and bloated will only exacerbate any feelings of discomfort, and digesting food in general is more difficult while in the air. This is also true when it comes to caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.

Perhaps the best plan of attack is to eat a good meal before getting on the plane and strategically snacking the rest of the way. This way you can avoid any discomfort and enjoy a favourite treat.

3. Lose the shoes.

According to the Mayo Clinic, sitting for long periods of time may result in swelling of the feet. This can be uncomfortable, but by bringing slip on shoes, you can give your feet a little more breathing room.

Another way to avoid this problem is to do light stretches in your seat or get up and stretch your legs. By getting your blood pumping a little bit you can likely stave off swollen feet.

4. Invest in comfortable headphones.

Whether you're planning on watching a movie, listening to music or even just trying to drown out outside distractions with white noise, selecting the right headphones can make a big difference. When it comes to a run or quick phone call, standard ear bud headphones may be fine, but some folks my find that prolonged use can get uncomfortable. For anyone worried about this problem or who travels frequently, softer headphones may be a worthy investment.

5. Stay hydrated.

Independent Traveler reported that dehydration can be a serious issue on long flights, and explained that drinking plenty of fluids is critical for avoiding any issues. Be sure to drink lots of water throughout an international flight, and even consider buying a sports drink full of electrolytes at one of the stores at the gates ahead of time.

6. Pack accordingly.

Whether you're bringing aboard medication, gadgets or even just a good book, making sure it is accessible is important. Because your carry on bag may end up stowed a few rows away or even get checked at the gate, using a smaller bag as your in-flight personal item is great for storing anything you may need during the journey. Check with your airline before your trip to learn about specific rules.

7. Dress in layers.

Another key to success when it comes to a lengthy plane ride is to wear the right clothes. For many folks, dressing nice is an important courtesy on a long or international flight, but even in that instance layers can be important.

It can be hard to fall asleep or even get comfortable if your flight is too warm or too chilly, but dressing in layers, you can maintain control over your personal temperature.

8. Bring what you need to fall asleep.

Some folks may pack ear plugs and an eye mask, while others may even spring for an over-the-counter sleep aide. Regardless, if your flight is more than five or six hours, getting a bit of shut eye is imperative for not going stir-crazy or even getting sick, so take the time to pack what you need to fall asleep.

9. Power through some work.

Although sleep is important, a long period of time to yourself is also an opportunity to crack into a work assignment or other project. If you are traveling for business, a long flight is the perfect way to prepare for a big meeting or prepare for an important presentation. For individuals heading out on vacation, your plane ride is still a great chance to read an old book or catch up on another endeavour.

10. Enjoy yourself.

Above all else, find ways to enjoy yourself on a long flight. Bring a deck of cards or adult colouring book, or catch a good movie on your laptop or any in-flight entertainment device. If you are travelling with a friend or family member, play a few games or tell a few stories. If you're going to be travelling for a long stretch of time, breaking up the ride with different activities is important for making things feel more manageable.