Staying Healthy & Sane on Long Haul Flights

Top ten tips for staying healthy and sane on long haul flights []

Long distance flights are some of the most exciting. They are the gateways epic and exotic adventures. The bridges to far off places. The first steps into the unknown. But spending 5, 10, or 15 hours cramped in a tiny seat, surrounded by strangers who are coughing, sneezing and breathing, does anything but a body good.

Thankfully, there are many ways you can prevent picking up a bug before you land.

Continuing along the theme of flight health and wellness that seems to have emerged on the blog this week (you can read my jet lag prevention tips here), I thought I’d share my top ten tips for staying healthy (and sane) on long haul flights.

Let’s take a look. 

  • Drink water. It can be hard to say no to the free drinks on international flights, but it will do you a world of good. Opt for water or herbal teas throughout the flight to keep your body happy and hydrated.
  • Move regularly. Get up and move around the cabin regularly. This will get the blood circulating and work out any kinks in your joints. Plus, it will help reduce the risk of developing blood clots in the veins in your legs – compression socks are also great at helping to reduce this risk.
  • Wear loose clothing. If you’re going to be sitting in a confined space for the better part of a day you don’t want to be uncomfortable. Opt for sweatpants or leggings, comfy sweaters and sweatshirts and, of course, socks.
  • Bring a scarf. Scarves come is so handy on flights as they can be used as a blanket or pillow if these things haven’t been provided.
  • Bring a good book or two. Or a movie or two. A key to staying sane on long distance flights is to keep yourself entertained. Nothing makes a flight feel longer than when you have nothing to do except watch the little plane travel ever-so-slowly across the map to your destination.
  • Even better, why not sleep if you can! Plus, if you sleep at the right time, you’ll be in a better position to prevent jet lag when you arrive! Need more tips for preventing or overcoming jet lag, check out my top 10 here.
  • Snacks. Even though most long distance flights offer a meal or two, it’s always a good idea to bring a snack because you never know when the meals will be served, and it’s no fun to spend an hour or two hangry on a plane.
  • Hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer is great for those moments when you need to just clean your hands up a bit, like before or after you eat. But, on flights, it also comes in hand to keep your area clean. After reading a few too many disturbing articles about how dirty table trays are, I now like to use a little bit of the hand sanitizer to give them a wipe before I start putting my hands/books, self all over them.
  • Pick the right seat. This is probably a no-brainer, but avoid the middle at all costs. Picking an aisle seat will give you the freedom to stretch out (as long as you’re not tripping anyone) and get up without disturbing your seatmates. Plus, you’ll avoid being trapped in your row if the aisle seat falls asleep – and trust me, this isn’t fun, especially when you * really * need to get up.
  • Sit back and relax. There’s no way to get around it, you’re in it for the long haul. So, why not sit back, relax and let your mind wander to all the adventures you’re about to go on!

What are your top tips for surviving long distance flights?


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Top ten tips for staying healthy and sane on long haul flights []

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