13 Secrets to Survive a Long Flight

By now, most of you know that I love to travel.

In the past 4 years, I’ve been fortunate to spend time in Bangkok, Hua Hin, Seoul, Las Vegas, Rio de Janeiro, Buzios, Playa del Carmen, San Diego, Athens, Chios, Mykonos, Symi, Rhodes, Santorini, Crete, Istanbul, Kusadasi, Phoenix, Seattle, and New Orleans.

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Prior to that I had the opportunity to visit 6 major cities in Europe, 5 nations throughout the Caribbean, and plenty of cities here in the United States.

One of the questions that people ask me ALL THE TIME is how to survive a long flight. I love that people always use that word, too: “survive.” For many people, flying can be a stressful and alarming experience (or at least a serious pain in the neck!).

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Over the years I’ve learned a few tricks to develop my own method of making it through a long flight with my sanity (mostly) intact.

After returning home from New Orleans last week it occurred to me that I should share these tricks with all of you!

How to Survive a Long Flight

13 Secrets to Survive a Long Flight (from Anetta of The Wanderlust Kitchen)
1. Never book a middle seat unless you have to. An example of this would be if you are travelling with a loved one, want to sit together, and are stuck on a plane with rows of 3 seats on each side. I like to get the aisle seat because I can stretch my legs (when the cart isn’t coming through) and I never have to climb over a sleeping body to use the restroom. Some people like having the window seat so they can rest their head against the wall, but the vibrations from the plane keep me awake so I don’t care to sit there.
13 Secrets to Survive a Long Flight (from Anetta of The Wanderlust Kitchen)

2. Try to book a flight at the front of the plane (you get off the plane faster that way), but if you can’t, grab a seat on the wing which has less turbulence.

3. Grab a bottled water post-security at the airport (so you don’t have to rely on beverage service on the plane). I bring an empty Nalgene bottle through security then fill it up in the terminal.

4. Avoid caffeine for at least 4 hours before the flight. Trust me, it’s way better to feel sleepy and relaxed on a plane than it is to feel uppity and anxious.
13 Secrets to Survive a Long Flight (from Anetta of The Wanderlust Kitchen)

5. Eat 2 hours before the flight. This ensures that you aren’t actively hungry, but keeps your stomach empty enough for a sleep aid to kick in quickly.

6. Pack an eye mask and ear plugs. Sleep is your best friend now.

7. Bring along your sleep aid of choice and dose yourself 45 minutes after take-off, after the pilot is done with all the annoying announcements.

13 Secrets to Survive a Long Flight (from Anetta of The Wanderlust Kitchen)

8. Dress in layers. Being too hot or too cold inhibits sleep quality.

9. Let the attendant or person next to you know that you plan to sleep and don’t need to be woken regarding meals/beverages. Buckle your seat belt over your jacket or blanket so the attendant won’t wake you to make sure you’re buckled in.

10. Don’t drink alcohol on the plane. It makes you feel groggy when you arrive at your destination.

13 Secrets to Survive a Long Flight (from Anetta of The Wanderlust Kitchen)

11. Keep some form of nausea relief handy for the flight. We travel quite a bit, and I never got motion sick a day in my life until our flight to Athens last year. I love these handy acupressure bands that you wear on your wrists. Natural, re-usable, and easy to stow.

12. Pack your carry-on bag so that any in-flight entertainment items (tablet, kindle, ipod, book, etc.) are on the top and easily accessible.

13. If you like to read, take the time to read the first chapter of any book you bring along before you get on the plane (as in, a few days before). There’s not much worse than being stuck on a long flight with nothing to read but a boring book. Make sure it’s a page turner before you bring it with you!

Well, there you have it! I hope these tips and tricks help you out on your next looooong flight.

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About the Author


Hi, I'm Anetta! Welcome to The Wanderlust Kitchen, where I share recipes and travel stories from all around the world. Here you'll find a world of recipes you can have confidence in. These recipes celebrate authentic food heritage as well as modern techniques and ingredients. I believe that food brings us together as much as it sets us apart. Be brave, try something new!

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  1. Super tips Anetta! Huge fan of the aisle seats here; I’ll never book anything else for long flights. I visited a few of the same spots – Hua Hin (actually Pak Nam Pran about 30 minutes away) and we have a flight to Bali in 10 days so we’re well aware of what to expect. This marks our 7th “fly across the world” type flight so we’re used to it by now. Read, take walks on the hour – if sleeping isn’t your thing on a flight – and yep, try to grab those naps when you can.

    Thanks for the informative share!


    1. How fun, Ryan! I’m definitely looking forward to the invention of teleportation. Congrats on your nuptials, by the way! 🙂