How to Survive a 14 hour Flight

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November 29, 2023
9 min

Preparing for the Journey: Essential Tips and Tricks

When embarking on a long haul flight, it is crucial to prepare yourself for the journey ahead. Surviving a 14-hour flight can be challenging, but with the right tips and tricks, you can make it through comfortably. Which is why we created this article outlining tips and packing guides on surviving your journey.

Firstly, choose your clothes wisely. I recommend comfortable clothes that allow you to move freely and won't restrict your circulation during the flight. Additionally, bring layers so that you can adjust your clothing according to the temperature onboard. Remember, the flight will be cooler once you get in the air.

To make your long flight more comfortable, it is essential to select the right seat. If possible, try to book an aisle seat with extra legroom or near an exit row for additional space. Furthermore, consider choosing a window seat if you enjoy looking out at the scenery or prefer having something to lean against while sleeping.

One of the key challenges during long flights is adjusting to different time zones. If possible, try syncing your sleep schedule or eating schedule with the local time of your destination a few days before your trip. This will help minimize jet lag upon arrival and allow you to adapt more quickly once you reach your destination.

Remember these essential tips and tricks when preparing for a long-haul flight: wear comfortable clothes suitable for extended periods of sitting; choose seats strategically based on legroom preferences; and adjust sleep schedules in advance to ease into new time zones seamlessly.

Choosing the Right Seat: Maximizing Comfort and Convenience

When preparing for one of the longest flights of your life, it's important to consider ways to survive and make the journey as comfortable as possible.One key aspect is choosing the right seat that suits your needs.

If you have the means, upgrading to business class or premium economy can greatly enhance your travel experience on a long-haul flight. But I know this isn’t always the case. The premium seats often offer more legroom, wider seats, and additional amenities such as lie-flat beds. 

However, if upgrading isn't an option, selecting the best seat in economy class becomes very important. To make a long flight more bearable, I always secure an aisle seat which allows for easier access to stretch your legs or walk around without disturbing fellow passengers.

There is also the option of getting the emergency row or bulkhead row and choosing either the aisle or window seat. You will have more room in the emergency row. Keep in mind that these seats have hard armrests and are not as forgiving as regular seats. 

You can also use Seat Guru to find the type of plane you have to help with seat selection. It's free and will show you the layout of the plane you will be on and will also provide user generated pictures if available.

Surviving a long haul flight goes beyond just choosing the right seat; it also involves making use of in-flight resources and facilities. Many airlines provide entertainment systems with a wide selection of movies, TV shows, music albums, and games to keep you entertained throughout the journey. 

Additionally, taking advantage of complimentary pillows and blankets can help create a more comfortable environment during those 14 hour plus flights.

Packing Smart: Must-Have Items for a Long-Haul Flight

When preparing for a long-haul flight, it’s important to pack smart and bring along essential items that will make your journey more comfortable. After traveling over a million miles, here are a couple of tips that make my trips easier.

One important consideration is the risk of developing blood clots during extended periods of sitting. To prevent this, consider wearing compression socks or taking breaks to walk around the cabin and stretch your legs.

Another key aspect in making a long-haul flight more comfortable is choosing the right clothes to wear. I suggest going for loose-fitting and breathable attire that allows freedom of movement. You will inevitably be slightly swollen from the flight.

Additionally, layering your clothing can help you adjust to temperature changes throughout the flight. It will be cold once you get to cruising altitude, especially if you are leaving at night. 

I always pack pajamas for these flights and suggest you make a small compartment for them as well. No one wants to arrive in the same clothes they have been wearing for over 17 hours (counting time to get to the airport). You can change clothes once you get in the air and easily change back after the last meal served before landing. I have a tip here too but more on that below.

Don’t forget to pack a toiletry bag to take with you. You will want to freshen up during the flight and before you arrive. I always make sure to pack my essentials: deodorant, floss, shampoo, soap,toothbrush, toothpaste, body/face lotion, eye drops, travel size cologne and hair products

You will also want to bring along a pill case for medications if you take any. I usually pack my supplements here along with some Ibuprofen, Tylenol, colostrum (for stomach), and Imodium.

Also don’t forget the little things like lip balm, hand wipes or sanitizer, some wet wipes, and a handkerchief. The extra cloth is useful for when you don’t have any paper towels available.

I would also recommend bringing a pillow for help with sleep. I cannot sleep upright and the chairs are too cramped to lay on the tray table in front. For this reason I pack an inflatable pillow which is a life-saver on long haul flights! It has multiple positions that it can be used in to help you get comfortable.

Speaking of supplements. If you are like me and need greens in your diet then I would suggest taking some nutritional tablets such as 8greens which include spinach, kale and other greens to help your digestive system while traveling.

Remember that flight attendants are experienced professionals who prioritize passenger well-being. Don't hesitate to approach them if you have any concerns or questions during your hours of travel.

By packing these must-have items for a long-haul flight and following these tips, you can ensure a more comfortable journey regardless of multiple time zones or lengthy hours spent on board an airline seat.

Packing Personal Items: Be Prepared

As you make your way through the skies to your destination you should be prepared for one of the little things that can derail your trip, lost luggage. Unfortunately, I’ve had my share of being without my luggage which prompted me to always travel with extras.

Along with your electronics and charges, you will also want to keep extra toiletries and medications with you as well as extra clothes in your carry on. I always keep a little black draw bag with my extra clothes.

I suggest packing items to get you through a couple of days. This would include:

  • 2 x shirts (maybe 1 long-sleeve)
  • 2 pairs of underwear
  • Extra pair of socks

Pair this along with the toiletry bag and pajamas we mentioned above and you will be able to comfortably ride out the baggage delay or at least be able to get situated before needing to go out and purchase some items.

Staying Hydrated: Strategies to Beat Dehydration

Staying hydrated on a long-haul flight is very important, especially if you're embarking on a flight that spans over oceans and continents. To ensure you stay hydrated throughout your journey, here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind.

I don’t think a lot of people realize this but the humidity in an aircraft is kept at approximately 10 percent. Considering that most flights are under a couple of hours this isn’t really an issue. However, once you start pushing past 6 hours you really need to keep hydration and health in mind.

Firstly, it's important to drink plenty of water before boarding the plane. This will help hydrate your body in preparation for the long hours ahead. Once onboard, make sure to ask for water regularly from the flight attendants or bring your own refillable bottle to stay hydrated throughout the flight.

Secondly, beyond water it’s probably best to give your body the electrolytes and minerals it deserves since it will not have complete access for almost a full day. I suggest packing hydration packets to mix with your water along the way. My go-to packets are from Trace Minerals which feature not only electrolytes but also minerals and vitamins my body needs.

To pass the time and avoid feeling bloated while staying hydrated, pick hydrating snacks such as fruits or vegetables instead of salty or processed foods. Avoid excessive caffeine or alcohol consumption as they can contribute to dehydration. 

Additionally, consider using a moisturizer or lip balm during the flight as airplane cabins tend to have dry air that can further dehydrate your skin. Since my skin is usually screaming at me by mid-flight I always pack lotion. Make sure that you have proper lotions that contain ceramides, niacinamide, and/or hyaluronic acids.

If you are prone to respiratory issues then this next strategy is for you. I highly suggest investing in the Humidiflyer mask. This mask helps you reuse your exhaled moisture and helps keep your nose and airways from drying out. By recycling the moisture you will be able to combat dehydration on another level. I always use it on my long trips and it works like a charm.

By following these travel tips and incorporating them into your routine when flying on international flights or even during shorter trips, you'll be well-prepared to beat dehydration and enjoy a more comfortable journey – whether you want to sleep on planes or simply pass the time with ease.

Combatting Jet Lag: Effective Ways to Adjust to a New Time Zone

One of the biggest challenges when traveling across time zones is dealing with jet lag. Whether you're taking a longer flight or just hopping on a domestic flight, adjusting to a new time zone can disrupt your sleep patterns and leave you feeling fatigued. However, there are some effective ways to combat jet lag and help your body adjust more smoothly.

Firstly, it's important to stay hydrated during your flight. Drink plenty of water before getting on the plane and bring a bottle of water with you to sip on throughout the journey. Staying hydrated not only helps prevent dehydration but also keeps your body functioning properly, which can aid in reducing the symptoms of jet lag.

Secondly, you will want to adjust your eating schedule to your new time zone at least 24 hours before. If you can do it 48 hours before then that is even better. There is an actual science behind this, it was developed by Dr. Charles F Ehret from the US Department of Energy. You can see his diet in the National Library here.

There is also a simplified version that was developed by Dr. Clifford B Saper and colleagues at Beth Israel Medical Center in Boston. You can see the simplified Beth Israel diet here.

Another helpful tip is to try and get some sleep during the flight. Bring along noise-canceling headphones and wear them while listening to music to relax or earplugs for resting or sleeping. This will help block out any ambient noise that may disturb your sleep, allowing you to rest more comfortably even in an economy flight seat. You will also want to bring along a sleep mask to make sure you cut out as much light as you can.

Additionally, it's beneficial to move around when you can during longer flights. Take short walks up and down the aisle or do simple exercises at your seat like stretching or rotating your ankles. These movements promote blood circulation and prevent stiffness from sitting for extended periods of time.

By following these tips, such as staying hydrated, getting enough rest during the flight with noise-canceling headphones, and incorporating regular movement into long-haul journeys every few hours, effective ways for combating jet lag can be achieved without compromising comfort or convenience.

Entertainment on Board: Keeping Yourself Entertained and Engaged

One essential item to bring on a long-haul flight is a pair of noise-canceling headphones. These can be a lifesaver when it comes to blocking out the constant hum of the plane's engines and any other disruptive noises. I’m eying you screaming child. By wearing these headphones, you can create your own little oasis of peace and quiet, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in whatever form of entertainment you choose.

Another tip for keeping yourself entertained during a long flight is to plan your sleep schedule strategically. If possible, consider adjusting your sleep routine leading up to the flight so that you are well-rested before boarding. This will not only help combat jet lag but also make it easier for you to relax and fall asleep during the journey.

Lastly, take advantage of the time spent on board by engaging in activities that you enjoy or have been meaning to do but haven't had the chance. Whether it's catching up on reading, watching movies or TV shows, listening to podcasts or music, or even working on personal projects such as writing or drawing – use this uninterrupted time wisely. Especially if you “should be awake” during this time.

Remember that a long-haul flight provides an opportunity for some much-needed solitude and reflection away from daily distractions.

By following these tips and making use of available resources like noise-canceling headphones and strategic seating choices, you can ensure that your entertainment needs are met during a long-haul flight. 

So sit back (or recline), relax, and make the most out of this extended period in transit before stepping off onto new adventures at your destination.

In-Flight Exercises: Simple Techniques to Stay Active during the Flight

You need to stay active during a long-haul flight to ensure your comfort and well-being. With the right exercises, you can alleviate muscle stiffness and prevent fatigue. Here are some simple techniques that will help you survive a 14-hour flight and arrive at your destination feeling refreshed.

Firstly, take advantage of the space around you. If possible, choose an aisle seat which allows for more freedom of movement. Throughout the flight, make it a habit to stretch your legs by walking up and down the aisle every couple of hours. This not only helps with circulation but also provides an opportunity to break up the monotony of sitting for extended periods.

The bathroom next to the exit rows are great for this since they usually have a lot of space around them. You can walk over to the area and then do your stretches and walk in place.

Secondly, consider bringing along some essential items to enhance your in-flight exercise routine. A small pillow or cushion can provide support for your lower back or neck when doing seated stretches or yoga poses in your seat.

By incorporating these tips into your travel routine, surviving a long-haul flight becomes much more manageable. Remember that staying active doesn't have to be complicated – even small movements throughout the journey can make all the difference in how you feel upon arrival at your destination.

Healthy Eating: Nourishing Options to Avoid Feeling Bloated

When it comes to long-haul flights, healthy eating plays a crucial role in avoiding that uncomfortable bloated feeling. To start off, it's important to choose your seat wisely. Opting for a window seat not only allows you to stretch your legs and avoid getting stuck between fellow passengers but also gives you more control over your meal times.

In addition to selecting the right seat, staying hydrated is key during a long flight. Drink plenty of water throughout the journey to combat dehydration caused by the dry cabin air. Consider bringing an empty refillable water bottle with you and ask the flight attendants for regular refills or take advantage of beverage services on board.

Jet lag can often disrupt our digestion and leave us feeling sluggish. Combat this by choosing nourishing options for your meals during the flight. Singapore Airlines offers a range of healthy choices such as salads, fresh fruits, and grilled proteins that can help keep your energy levels up while aiding digestion.

Remember to pack essential items in your carry-on bag to enhance comfort during the flight. A neck pillow can provide much-needed support for your head and neck while sleeping or resting. By following these tips and making mindful food choices, you'll be able to enjoy a comfortable journey without feeling bloated at any point along the way

Concluding the Journey

In conclusion, surviving a 14-hour flight may seem like an eternity, but with the right strategies, you can come out of it relatively unscathed. 

Remember to pack your essentials, choose a comfortable seat (preferably the aisle and bulkhead), stay hydrated (and avoid alcohol and coffee consumption), keep entertained with movies, books, and games, and don't be afraid to stretch those legs. 

And if all else fails, just remember that this experience will make for some great stories to tell later on. So buckle up, get comfortable, put on your headphones, and embrace the adventure of surviving a marathon flight! 


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Written by:

I consider myself a world-travelling nomad and a foodie at heart. Born in Germany and raised in East Tennessee, my passion for exploration has taken me all over the planet - exploring unfamiliar lands and cultures is what truly inspires my soul!
I live outside of Doha and consider myself an inside expert on all things Qatar. I love exploring all the country has to offer and look forward to giving you valuable insights of where I call home!
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