7 Important Things to Do on Long Flights You Need to Know

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Here are 7 simple things to do on long flights, which can often be exhausting and tedious. The good news is, lengthy air travel presents an excellent opportunity to make the most of your time.

Whether you are a frequent traveler or embarking on your first long-haul journey, knowing how to pass the time efficiently will make your flight much more enjoyable.

So, read more below to learn the tactics and strategies to keep yourself engaged and entertained during those long hours in the air.

Ready for take-off?

things to do on long flights
Discover the best things to do on long flights for comfortable air travel.

CONTENTS — In this article, you will learn 7 things to do on long flights to enjoy a more comfortable and memorable ride, including:

Flying With Ease: 7 Tips for Comfortable Air Travel

Air transportation has become an essential facet of our contemporary existence.

As you navigate through the vast aerial routes to reach destinations both locally and internationally, your experience can alternate between a thrilling expedition and a strenuous task.

Staying comfortable during air travel can be elusive due to space constraints, stress, and the challenges of adjusting to new time zones.

The fact is that more than 52% of flyers feel uncomfortable flying.

However, when you follow a few simple things to do on long flights, you can dramatically enhance your flying experience.

Here are some top tips for flying with ease to ensure you have a more comfortable journey.

1. Choose the Right Airline & Seat

Always prepare before taking a flight for travel
Always prepare and plan for your comfort before flying.

You’ll want to start your trip on the right foot by planning and preparing for comfort in advance.

So, choose your airline and seat strategically.

An aisle seat can offer more legroom and easier access to lavatories. But a window seat can provide a comfortable wall to lean against for a snooze.

If you can afford an upgrade, business class will offer you more space and amenities.

Either way, have a look at Google Flights to see just how much legroom is available. (On top of that, if you are a conscientious flyer, you can always pick the flight with the least emissions.)

All in all, Google Flights is the best tool out there for finding cheap flights. And the best of all is that you can even book straight from Google without going to any other site.

Another online resource for finding the best seat on a flight is Seat Guru. That way, you can easily identify which seats are too close to the bathroom, are exit row seats, or don’t recline.

2. Pack Your Carry On Essentials

When you are planning for your flight, make your packing meticulous and considerate.

You’ll want to pack your carry-on bag with travel essentials, including your

  • Neck pillow
  • Earplugs
  • Eye mask
  • Compression socks

Doing so will increase your comfort during the flight.

For a long flight, you’ll also want to pack some cleansing wipes so you can freshen up when you need to, especially before you land. I love these Wash Yo Self Face + Body Wipes!

These compact, individually wrapped 9″ x 10″ wipes are perfect quickly cleansing away dirt and sweat on-the-go. They are infused with aloe vera and witch hazel, and are free of fragrance, parabens, and oil. And, no rinse required!

best body wipes for travel | Enjoy Travel Life
Pack some individually-wrapped cleansing wipes so you can stay fresh while you travel.

Affordable, light-weight wipes are a must-have any time you want to spruce yourself up during air travel. Because, let’s face it… everyone seems to get a little ‘ripe’ while traveling. When you pack a few of these handy wipes in your carry-on, you can arrive at your destination feeling clean and confident!

Next, be sure to pack any necessary medications and a small first-aid kit for emergencies.

Finally, it’s smart to weigh your carry-on bag and make sure it meets any airline size requirements, too.

3. Dress Comfortably

Comfortable attire is paramount for a pleasant flying experience.

So, opt for breathable, loose-fitting clothing. That’s because tight clothes can hinder circulation, which leads to discomfort over time.

Layer your clothes so you can easily adjust to changing cabin temperatures. For instance, a light sweater or a scarf comes in handy if the airplane gets chilly.

You’ll also want to consider wearing compression socks to improve blood flow. They can help reduce the risk of swelling or deep vein thrombosis (DVT) during long flights.

Your footwear is another key aspect of your travel ensemble.

Slip-on shoes can facilitate easier navigation through security checks and you can quickly take them off during the flight. This allows your feet room to swell, which is a common occurrence during air travel.

Remember, the goal is to maximize comfort during the journey.

Related: Comfy Travel Outfits – 5 Best Things to Wear on Your Next Flight

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4. Stay Hydrated and Eat Lightly

The dehydrating atmosphere of an airplane cabin can lead to symptoms such as:

  • Parched skin
  • Dry eyes
  • Exhaustion
  • The onset of jet lag

Each of these symptoms are indicative of dehydration.

So, it is imperative to ensure you drink enough water before, during, and following your flight.

It’s a good idea to carry a reusable water bottle you can ask the flight staff to replenish it as needed. Just remember it will need to be empty when you go through security to board the plane.

Although tempting beverages like coffee and alcohol are typically served during flights, be aware that they could potentially worsen your dehydration.

Hence, drink them in moderation.

Your food choices can also impact your comfort level during the flight.

Given the choice, opt for light, non-greasy foods that are easy to digest. Stay away from heavy meals and gas-producing foods that can cause bloating and discomfort due to changes in air pressure during the flight.

And, if possible, consider carrying some healthy snacks with you.

5. Move Around During Your Flight

Move Around
Take a short walk while you’re in flight.

Staying seated for the duration of a long flight can lead to stiffness, discomfort, and even health risks like DVT.

To avoid these, take advantage of the opportunities to move. Whenever the seat belt sign is off, take short walks down the aisle.

While you’re seated, you can perform small exercises and stretches that will promote circulation and relieve muscle tension, too.

To help keep your body from stiffening up, consider doing:

  • Ankle rolls
  • Neck stretches
  • Gentle twisting

Of course, it goes without saying that you should be considerate of your seat mates while you are seated in close quarters.

6. Mind Your Posture

Correct posture while you’re in flight can prevent a host of discomforts, such as backaches and neck pain.

That’s why you want to keep your back aligned against the back of the seat and avoid slouching.

Also, use your travel neck pillow for support during naps, and consider a lumbar pillow to maintain the natural curve of your lower back. Some airlines will provide you with a small pillow you can use this way.

Finally, remember to adjust your seat and position periodically to alleviate pressure points and promote comfort.

7. Entertain Yourself, In-Flight

entertain yourself during a flight
Keep yourself entertained yourself during a flight.

Keeping yourself entertained during a flight can make the time fly by.

It’s a good idea to bring a book to read, and download your favorite shows, movies, or podcasts on your device before your departure.

You might also bring a travel journal to capture your thoughts on paper. It’s one of the best things to do on long flights, especially when you’re brain is working overtime.

Numerous airlines offer in-flight entertainment systems that include a diverse selection of films, television shows, music, and games.

You can even purchase Wi-Fi on most flights. That way, you can catch up on emails, photo editing, social media on your smartphone or laptop.

So, it won’t be too hard to keep entertained, especially when you pick the right airline. Just be sure all your devices are charged up ahead of time and you have a back-up power source with you.

When all else fails, napping is a great way to pass the time on a long flight. You may even dream about your upcoming travel plans!

Final Thoughts on Things to Do on Long Flights

Comfortable air travel is a result of thoughtful planning, strategic choices, and self-care.

When you make efficient use of tools like Google Flights, pack smart, and wear comfortable clothing, you’ll have a smoother journey. Don’t forget to stay hydrated, make wise food choices, and move regularly to fend off discomfort, too.

Lastly, staying entertained can help transform your flight time into a pleasant experience.

With these tips on things to do on long flights, air travel becomes not just bearable but enjoyable.

Happy flying!


Jackie Gately at the beach


About the Author: Jackie Gately

I'm Jackie Gately, your travel confidante and the creative force behind Enjoy Travel Life, awarded the "Best Casual-Luxury Lifestyle Blog (USA)" in Travel and Tourism by LUXlife Magazine for four consecutive years.

With 25 years of published expertise, I'm a seasoned writer, editor, and photographer curating inspiring travel guides and lifestyle tips for empty nesters. I hope to kindle your spirit of exploration, encouraging you to overcome obstacles and turn your dreams into reality.

Learn to minimize your pre-travel angst and maximize the joy of exploration with insights from my experiences. Let's make every adventure a celebration of this exciting phase of life! 

Follow my social channels for more inspiration.


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