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6 Tips for Long Flights

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A long-haul flight is one in which you travel a distance of more than 2,200 miles. Flights like these may last eight hours or 18 hours. Either way, it is a long time to spend in an enclosed space. Nevertheless, long flights do not have to be unpleasant. There are things you can do to make the trip easier.

1. Get on the New Schedule
If you'll be arriving at your destination when it is morning local time, try to sleep on the plane. Find out about the benefits of weighted blankets and bring a travel pillow. Avoid distractions by bringing along earplugs or a sleep mask to shut out the light and noise of the cabin.

2. Stay Hydrated
Dehydration can be a serious medical issue. You may not think there is much chance of it on a plane, but the cabin can be a very dry environment and when you are there for eight hours or more, it is hard to predict what may happen to you. Staying hydrated can be a challenge because liquid restrictions make it harder to bring water onto a plane, but there are things you can do to remain in compliance with the rules while getting the fluids you need.

There is no rule about bringing an empty travel mug or water bottle on a plane. When the flight attendants start coming around with beverages, you can store your water for later so that you have it between times that they come along with the carts, which they will probably do several times during the flight. Another option is to buy a bottle of water at the airport and not open it until you are on the plane so officials can tell it hasn't been tampered with. Be sure that you only drink water on the plane as caffeine or alcohol do not help dehydration and actually make it worse.

3. Stretch Your Legs
Flying carries with it a risk of your blood pooling in the veins of your leg. This could form a clot, resulting in a potentially dangerous situation called deep vein thrombosis. Getting up every two hours or so to walk around the cabin or doing some gentle stretching exercises in your seat can help prevent this by aiding circulation.

4. Bring Your Own Snacks
Bringing your own snacks can help to stave off hunger that may occur in between the times that flight attendants serve meals on a plane. It also ensures that you have something that you like if the entree is not to your taste or it is served at an odd time because you are traveling to a distant time zone.

5. Don't Bring Too Much in Your Carry-on Luggage
It is embarrassing to pack a big carry-on bag and then have trouble fitting it into the overhead compartment. If the airline allows you to bring a piece of carry-on luggage and a personal item, the contents of the carry-on should be essentials that you would need on an overnight trip, while your shoulder- or handbag can contain things that you anticipate needing during your flight.

6. Wear Comfortable Clothing
Make sure that the clothes you wear will be comfortable in the air as well as on the ground. For example, high altitudes can make your feet swell, so do not wear shoes that are too tight. Wear closed-toed shoes as these are preferable should there be an emergency. Airplane cabins can be chilly, so make sure you dress in layers.

A long flight lasting many hours can be challenging, but if you prepare ahead of time, it can be just as enjoyable as any other part of your trip.

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