How to Survive Long Flights in Economy

The economy class faces a lot of mixed feelings – on one hand, it is the epitome of getting where you need to be without thinking about unnecessary luxuries at the least cost possible; on the other hand, it is those very luxuries every traveler craves for after sitting crammed in a single space for 15 hours between strangers with questionable hygiene practices. So, here are a few things you can do and feel much better than the usual feeling of going through an avalanche and emerging as the only survivor.

The Seating Nightmare

This is easily the worst part of the flight – but also what will guarantee that you will emerge from this with your sanity. Think of it this way – stuck to the seat next to the lavatory with the smell, no air freshner and strangers giving you either creepy smiles or apologetic smiles (you can assume for what). So, don’t wait to reach the airport to book your seat; under the 24-hour check-in period, you can keep refreshing the available seats and quickly book your preferred one. Choose a window or aisle seat (a window is much better that guarantees your peace and comfort among the disturbances). Note that there are extra charges associated with exit row seats, but sometimes this is a small cost to pay for the luxury of comfort.


Dress comfortably. This one line will make it to the top of any list that advises people on how to be most comfortable. The easiest solution is to dress down as much as possible without risking looking like a homeless person who doesn’t belong in the airport at all. Get yourself some accessories that will help you sleep like a log – the eye-mask, the ear plugs and the warm blanket for wrapping around yourself (most airlines offer the blanket onboard but if you aren’t comfortable with public property or need more than the thin layers offered, you can take your own as well). Believe us when we say you need those extra layers – the temperature swings during the flight are much like random mood swings and there is no predicting the direction it will take. It is, after all, better than you have a sweater you can remove when it gets warm rather than having nothing to cover up and remain freezing during those random periods of time.

Get that travel kit

A travel kit never goes out of style – or use. You will not regret bringing your own amenities, at least the ones that are necessary and not five different bags in tow. One necessary element of this kit must be the neck pillow to avoid awkward strains and neck pains with the weird positions that one may end up sleeping in. Get your favorite sleep mask and a footrest, especially for people of short stature. Include any items that will make you feel at home as much as possible minus the fact that you have to sit in one place for more hours than you admit you care about. Other handy items to be included in the kit include your toothbrush and paste, soap, shampoo and conditioner preferably in block forms to save the quantity used and space occupied, tissues, lip balm, mouthwash, sunscreen and hand sanitizer. If you’re particularly adventurous, bring in a foot sling and watch it change your entire life in flights.

Drink Water, Eat food

There is never a better time to keep yourself hydrated than now – drink water as much as you need and then drink some more. You don’t have the issue of searching for appropriate facilities to relieve yourself either. Never face any reluctance in asking flight attendants for any amount of water, gallons if you may. Not drinking enough water can bring a lot of complications and you do not want your health as a hassle when you’re attempting to enjoy your travel and not worry incessantly. Keep in hand reusable water bottles; check out for ones that collapse when there is nothing in them so that it goes easily by security and occupies the least space possible.

Bringing snacks has never been a bad idea – if you don’t have the habit of carrying around something to munch, you can start the habit for flights with long hours and less comfort. Airline meals don’t always check all boxes and you must be prepared for a scenario where you might not even like the kind of food or generally have an off-feeling. Just keep in mind that there are other people sitting next to you who would deeply appreciate it if you don’t prefer too aromatic food items.

Get on the skin care wagon

The atmosphere on planes can cause dehydration within a quick span of time. So, along with drinking a lot of water, you have to make sure your skin is prepared for this testing condition as well. Get some face masks ready that leave your skin fresh, moisturized and ready to face the day of long travel along with a combination your favorite creams and oils for the best skin care routine possible. Focus on the priority of getting your skin to feel good and provide least care to what other passengers think about you – you are not the one who gets out of the plane with barely there moisture and cracked skin, so it suffices to say that you choose your wellbeing over petty comments.

Sources of entertainment

Never compromise on keeping yourself entertained – whether it is noise cancelling headphones, some movies new or old that will keep you engaged and less fretting about the time left for travel or even the steady companion of the written word that will keep you hooked until the last word. Entertainment services can be very lacking in flights and this means that travelers must account for all possible ways to keep themselves occupied – even resorting to a dose of Benadryl in case everything else yields poor results.