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Guide to Maintaining Sanity on Long Flights

Guide to Maintaining Sanity on Long Flights

Flying on a plane for eight or more hours can be draining and exhausting. Even flying for a few hours can take a huge toll on your body, especially if changing time zones. These tips will help you with maintaining sanity on long flights, and arrive at your destination ready to adventure!

It can be difficult to maintain your excitement to be traveling to a new vacation spot when you are crammed between two strangers, have no leg room, and are out of snacks. Make sure you have these top carry on items with you to prepare for anything on the flight!

With these tips for maintaining sanity on long flights, you will be able to make the most of your flight, no matter how long it might be!

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

These tips will also help you in your fight to combat the dreaded jet lag! Read more tips for dealing with jet lag.

10 Airplane Hacks

1. Choose Seats Wisely

This one can be up for interpretation. If you have flown before, you might already know what seats you prefer, so stick with what you know and love!

However, if this is your first time flying, I suggest opting for the aisle seat. This will allow you to get up and move whenever you please. Also, if you have flight anxiety, being away from the window might help.

Although, you might prefer the window seat because you can prop your pillow up on the wall. The window seat is great for allowing for different sleeping positions but can be difficult to get out of if you need to get up or use the bathroom.

If traveling with a partner, you might prefer to both have aisle seats in the same row. This way, you both have extra legroom and can get up when you please, while still being close enough to talk with each other.

It may take time to play around with what seats work for you and your party, and that’s ok! Sometimes you don’t get much of an option, but for long haul flights, you should definitely think about your seat choices more. 

If you talk with the airport agent prior to boarding, you may even be able to switch to an empty row if there are seats available!

SeatGuru is an awesome source to check out your seat map prior to your flight!

Be sure to avoid these unsanitary parts of airplanes to help combat airplane illnesses! 

2. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!

I know- you’ve heard this one before, and not just on airplanes. In reality, we should all probably be drinking more water than we do. However, this is especially important to maintaining sanity on long flights, as the air is dryer than the Sahara desert! It is no wonder our skin feels so dry after a flight.

It may be tempting to have a cocktail or a coffee prior to boarding, but try to abstain! If you must, stick to only one of these drinks, and make sure to drink plenty of water after. When flying, it is very easy to become dehydrated, so drinking plenty of water is vital to maintaining sanity on long flights.

Bring you own water bottle like this collapsible one, and fill it up at an airport water fountain before boarding. This is a great budget travel tip to save you hundreds as you won’t have to waste money on overpriced airport water bottles. It is easy to pack, and store when you are done using it.


3. Bring your own snacks

There is probably nothing worse than airplane food. It is dry and flavorless and reminds me of old school lunches, maybe even worse. Do yourself a favor and pack your own snacks!

We suggest packing snacks that are high in protein to keep you fuller, longer.

It is also helpful to pack snacks that take a while to eat, or that you can pick on, to try and kill some time on the flight. 

Try to keep most of your snacks healthy so you do not feel bloated and sluggish after too much sugar or salt.

These are awesome for keeping all your snacks together and organized.

Here are some airplane snack suggestions:

  • Popcorn, pretzels, chips
  • Trail mix, raisins
  • Grapes, other fruits
  • Protein bars

4. Charge up!

The last thing you want on your long flight is to have your phone battery die.

To combat this, make sure your phone is as close to 100% charged as possible prior to boarding. Try to find an outlet at the airport near your gate to charge up! However, never use the USB charging ports. You can read about this and other worst airport mistakes travelers make to ensure you don’t get hacked!

Keep your phone on airplane mode to help your battery last longer, even at the airport or whenever you are not using it. 

Additionally, we NEVER travel without at least 3 of these amazing portable chargers.

They are very compact and charge quickly. Make sure they are charged up before boarding, and you should be able to last the whole flight with a charged phone! You can use the USB charging ports to charge these, as there is nothing for anyone to hack.

These saved us on our trip to London when we were lost in the bad part of town at midnight with 2 dead phones!

They are also great to keep in your purse even when you are not traveling.

5. Personal health pouch

There are so many things you might want on a long flight to help freshen up and feel comfortable. Self-care on an airplane is extremely important, and a great way to not only kill some time during your flight, but to feel rejuvenated and refreshed! Here are some of my favorites. Click for more info:

You will feel much better after freshening up and feeling a bit more like yourself! You can also use these items at the airport prior to your flight, which is a great way to get your body ready for sleep!

6. Get Up & Move!

Another important tip to maintaining sanity on long flights is to get up and move! Don’t be embarrassed about moving your body! Keeping your body active is especially important during travel in order to reduce the chances of developing blood clots.

Find an empty gate or a quiet part of the airport if you are shy, and try out some of these simple exercises for any long flight (or airport!). Take a walk around the terminal, peruse the gift shops, walk up and down some stairs, or hit the airport gym if they have one!

Do whatever movement you need to do to keep your body moving, and avoid sitting as much as possible. 

7. Bring some entertainment

Let’s face it, you’re going to get bored at some point. One key to surviving long flights is having something to do to pass the time!

Catch up on your favorite shows/movies, read that book you’ve been wanting to dig into, do some journaling, or draw! You can even start a free trial of Prime Video, here- Completely free!

Here are some other fun ideas! Click for more info:

For even more ideas, read our guide of unique was to pass time on an airplane!

8. Try to sleep!

Getting to sleep on an airplane is no easy feat. Many people find sleeping on airplanes to be rather difficult. Unless you are in first-class or a private jet, chances are you aren’t the most comfortable you’ve ever been. However, sleeping on an airplane is key to maintaining sanity on long flights. Not only does it kill some time, but it will help you prepare for time changes.

Get yourself a solid neck pillow, eye mask, and some noise-canceling headphones. You never know if you will have a crying baby on your plane!

Read here for a complete guide of how to actually fall asleep on an airplane!


9. Put on some comfy clothes!

No one wants to spend 8+ hours in constricting clothes. Here’s what we recommend instead!

Here are some more ideas of what to wear on a plane!

10. Prepare for your new time zone

This one if difficult, but is key to surviving long flights and being prepared for your vacation to come. This will also help with dealing with jet lag.

Star by setting your watch or phone to the new time zone. This will help get you used to the new schedule. I have found taking my daily medicines according to the new time zone helps my body adjust faster.


Thank you for reading maintaining sanity on long flights! Please leave your tips below!

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