How to Survive a Long Flight


Jack Phiel, Editor

One of my least favorite things to do is to go on a long flight. It can feel never ending, and most of the time the only thing you can do on the flight is watch movies or TV. With that in mind, I will be giving some tips to make long flights more bearable, and to reduce the effects of jet lag.

First of all, you want to make sure you have a water bottle, and have drank plenty of water prior to boarding your flight. It is important to stay hydrated on long flights, as this can reduce jet lag. The first thing you want to do when you board the flight is to change the time on your watch to the time where you will be landing. This will immediately help you to adjust to the different time zones. You want to get on the schedule of the different time zone as quickly as possible. This means trying to eat breakfast when it is morning at your destination, and sleeping when it is night time at your destination.

Make sure you have gotten plenty of rest prior to travelling. If you are sleep deprived going into your trip, the effects of jet lag will be even worse. According to the Mayo Clinic, it also helps if you regulate bright light exposure, as this is one of the greatest influences of your circadian rythym.

Now, what do you do to entertain yourself on a long flight? If you are prepared, there are plently of things you can do to keep yourself occupied on long flights. Watching a movie or TV show can keep you occupied and entertained for hours. Listenting to music can relax you, and keep your mind occupied. Reading a book or magazine can also make long flights more bearable. Although it is difficult to sleep on planes, taking even just a good nap can pass lots of time on flights. For example, on an 8 hour flight, if you can sleep for just 4 hours, you have already passed half the time.

It is vital to occasionally get up and walk around the cabin to stretch out. Sitting down for long periods of time can worsen the effects of jet lag. It also slows blood circulation, which can cause blood clots and DVTs (deep vain thrombosis). Try to do this at least 2 or 3 times the next time you are on a long flight.

I hope these tips will help you at least partially cure jet lag, and make your next long flight more bearable!