How to Travel Comfortably on Long Flights

Long flights are uncomfortable and can make you feel achy, anxious, or bored.

Unfortunately, once your flight takes off, there is no going back, and you are stuck with the items you brought and the seat you chose.

Luckily, there are many ways to make your long flight comfortable, and we listed them below, so keep reading for some helpful tips.


Book a Quality Airline

You can avoid quite a bit of discomfort by choosing an airline you trust.

When choosing an airline, consider:

  • Safety protocols
  • Reviews and ratings
  • Seat size
  • Carry-on allowances
  • Menu options
  • Entertainment options

If you choose an airline with ample space, updated safety features, and high ratings, you are more likely to have a calm mindset while in the air.

Bring Entertainment

Some airlines provide basic entertainment by playing a movie, but chances are, their choice of film won’t satisfy your boredom.

Consider bringing:

  • A cellphone, tablet, or laptop
  • Headphones
  • Extra batteries or a power bank
  • Crossword puzzles or word searches
  • Art supplies
  • Books or magazines

If you plan to watch a video on an electronic device, remember to download the content before onboarding in case your internet connection is limited.

Reserve a Good Seat

Every passenger is different when it comes to seating preference, and where you sit may be detrimental to your comfort.

Some options are seats that are:

  • Near a window
  • Next to the aisle
  • Close to the restroom
  • In the front, middle, or back
  • Near the exit
  • In the bulkhead row

Consider which area would be most comfortable for you, and reserve your seat early to ensure your needs can be accommodated.

Minimize Carry-on Luggage

One mistake that many passengers make when taking a long flight is bringing too many carry-ons or oversized bags.

Although you may be worried about not having your belongings easily accessible, passengers rarely use everything in their carry-on. So instead of being helpful, your carry-ons may get in the way and take up legroom.

If comfort is the objective, limit the size of your bags and consider packing only the essentials.

Wear Comfortable Clothing

One tip you do not want to dismiss is the suggestion to wear comfortable clothing.

The wrong outfit can disrupt your entire flight and cause agitation, physical pain, or trouble regulating your body temperature.

You may want to avoid:

  • Jeans
  • Tightly fitted clothing
  • Bulky items or heavy jackets
  • Itchy fabrics
  • Clothes that expose too much skin
  • Clothes that may get too warm

Instead, consider:

  • Activewear
  • A light jacket
  • Breathable fabrics
  • Flowy dresses or loose clothing

If business meetings or events are scheduled close to your landing time, consider planning an earlier flight or packing your post-flight outfit into your carry-on to change into when you land.

Bring Comfort Essentials

Some of your carry-on essentials should include items that maximize physical comfort.

Consider bringing:

  • A neck or lumbar pillow to eliminate pain
  • A compact blanket to stay warm
  • A sleep mask in case you want to nap
  • Hydrating cream since flights can dry out your skin

Physical discomfort can be intolerable, and the last thing you want is to find yourself 30 minutes into your 8-hour flight with an aching back or itchy skin.

Bring Snacks

It is no secret that airplane food can be less than desirable. Avoid hunger pains or an upset stomach by bringing your own snacks.

The best snacks for a flight are:

  • Water
  • Fruits and veggies
  • Granola bars
  • Pretzels or chips
  • Trailmix
  • Candy
  • Crackers
  • Chewing gum to relieve elevation induced ear pain

If you are unsure what snacks are allowed on the plane, visit a concession or shop in the airport and purchase your food there.


Sitting in a seat for hours on end can cause stiff joints and achy muscles.

Avoid these pains and stay comfortable by getting up and stretching your arms and legs when the seatbelt sign is off.

Additionally, you can do small stretches in your seat like shoulder rolls, toe raises, neck rolls, and spine rotations.

Rest Afterwards

Jet lag is real, and if you don’t rest properly after a long flight, you may be uncomfortable throughout your entire trip.

Jet leg may occur when a person travels across one or more time zones because it disrupts the body’s internal clock. Some symptoms are:

  • Disturbed sleep
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Mood changes
  • Difficulty concentrating

The most effective way to avoid and improve jet lag is to rest immediately after the flight. Once you deboard, head over to your hotel and reset your internal clock by getting a few hours of uninterrupted, comfortable sleep.

Use a booking service like Hotel Engine to find highly rated accommodations that are cozy, quiet, and close to the airport.

Bring a Positive Mindset

The most vital carry-on to pack would be a positive mindset. If you board a plane anticipating boredom, pain, agitation, and fear, you are already guaranteed to have an uncomfortable flight.

Try to remain enthusiastic about the experience and reassure yourself that everything will be fine.

If you can’t convince yourself that your trip will be fun and safe or you are feeling overwhelmed by anxiety, consult your doctor. Most doctors have no problem prescribing a few supplements to help you relax or give you some helpful tips and natural remedies.

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