6 Survival Tips for Long Plane Flights & Long Travel Days

Vacation is always a thrilling time. The chance to see a new place, meet new people, experience a different culture, and try new food is enough to make even the sourest person excited.

What’s not quite as enchanting is the actual travel part of the trip. It’s almost like you’re being tested to make sure you really want to travel. Nothing quite says, “Do you really want to leave?” like three flights, three layovers, and who knows how many time zones.

While teleportation has yet to be invented—and we can hardly wait till it arrives—there are some steps you can take in order to make sure your long flights are bearable. 

Bring Plenty of Water

Travel days come with a lot of sitting around and waiting. All this downtime means you might forget that you need to be drinking water. You might be on your second flight before you start to wonder why your mouth is so dry.

Altitude does affect your hydration levels and you’re more likely to get dehydrated quicker while flying. Dehydration can be dangerous, at a minimum it leads to muscle cramps, headaches, a crankier you, and ultimately, a worse day.

Even though you are not allowed to carry water through security, pack a reliable water bottle in your carry-on and fill it up wherever you go. The majority of airports around the world have water fountains, so once you’re through security fit it up. Personally, I love this collapsible water bottle from Amazon. It’s a real space saver in my bag.

Pack An Extra Charger

Be sure to pack an extra battery for long layovers in the airport.

Be sure to pack an extra battery for long layovers in the airport.

While finding outlets in many American airports is incredibly easy, it might be a bit tougher to find outlets in other airports. There’s nothing pretty about running around like a chicken with your head cut off desperately looking for an outlet while your phone’s battery is blinking red.

To combat this, be sure you pack an external battery. Head to Amazon or your local electronics store to find one. I recommend this external battery, it can refill your phone twice from completely dead! There are plenty of options that can easily fit into a pocket or your purse. Some even have the ability to charge multiple items or come with different cords attached. Even though you may not use it, it’s always great to have backup. 

Know Your Rights

This piece of advice is more important for European travelers but still interesting enough. According to EU law, you have a right to file a claim if your flight is delayed by more than four hours or canceled.

Many times, you could be eligible for hundreds of dollars or for some (un)lucky people, thousands. 

The law was put into place in order to protect travelers who are flying and provide them some rights for when a flight plan just doesn’t go their way. Hopefully, you never run into this problem but just in case you do, it’s important to remember. 

Bring Your Entertainment With You

With roughly 900 million streaming services hitting the market over the next few years, it may be hard to choose a service and subsequent show. Making matters even more complicated is the fact that Netflix in one country is likely to be completely different from Netflix in another country.

One of the best ways to get around this is by installing an app on your mobile device so you can access all of your content whenever and wherever you want. You can keep binging your favorite series no matter where you are in the world.

While on your flight it is imperative you walk around and stretch your legs.

While on your flight it is imperative you walk around and stretch your legs.

Move Around

We all know how uncomfortable flights can be. Crammed into a tiny seat for hours is not the best way to spend the day. And then let’s not forget the most unlucky of us all, those sitting in the not-so-coveted middle seat. 

Even if you are sitting plenty during your layovers and flights, it’s incredibly important to get up and walk around. You should aim to move around at least once every hour and if that’s not possible, once every two hours. 

If you’re absolutely stuck—say you don’t want to wake your neighbors—you can stretch and exercise your legs from a sitting position. Put your feet flat on the floor and raise your toes while keeping your heels on the ground. Repeat that ten times before doing the opposite; raising your heels and keeping your toes on the ground. After that, roll your ankles in circles to try and stay somewhat limber. 

If you have a 10+ hour flight coming up, another great item to look into are compression socks made for traveling. These help blood continue to flow even while you sleep on a plane.

Don’t Forget Your Neck Pillow

The last piece of advice is pretty simple, but a neck pillow made for travel is an absolute lifesaver. It will help prevent any cricks in your neck when you try to sleep and make sure your head stays up straight.

Not all of us are blessed with Terry Crews’ neck muscles, so you’re going to need all the help you can for those long flights. Many of them can clip on to a backpack or purse which makes carrying them a breeze. 

Final Thoughts

Traveling comes with many benefits and is one of the greatest privileges most of us will see. But of course, it has some downsides as well. Be prepared for long flights and long layovers with these travel tips. Read on to make sure you are ready to take flight.

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