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How to Survive Long International Flights

After just making the trip back to Vietnam from California, which takes about 20 hours in all, I decided to make a blog with some helpful tips on surviving long flights. As someone who is used to frequently taking long flights, I thought I would share the small actions I take to make my travel experience as smooth as possible!


The best way to get through long flights (and avoid jet lag) is to sleep as much as you possibly can while in the air. In order to help me fall asleep, I take Zzzquil. Sometimes it can be hard to sleep on planes, so Zzzquil helps knock me out for about 8 hours. I always wait for the first meal to be served, and then I take Zzzquil on a full stomach and hit the hay! I would suggest purchasing this amazing neck pillow on Amazon (click here for the link).

Even if you find it hard to fall asleep on planes, this pillow allows great support! I don’t travel anywhere without it now. The more that you sleep, the quicker the time will seem to pass on the plane!

2. Walk Around/Stretch

In between your long hauls of sleeping, make sure to get up and walk around a bit. I always try to do some stretches and walk/move around on long flights. There is only so long you can sit in the same position, so be sure to give your legs a good stretch every once and awhile. Compression socks or tights are also a great way to maintain blood flow in your calves and feet and helps to prevent swelling.

3. Drink Lots of Water Before/During Your Flight

It is extremely easy to become dehydrated while flying. I seem to always land with a headache, and I know it is because I didn’t drink enough water. I would suggest to try hydrating yourself as much as possible before your journey and drinking water with every meal on the plane. Bring an empty water bottle with you in your carry on, and fill it up at a water fountain once you have passed through security. Also avoid drinking caffeine or too much alcohol while aboard. If you choose to have wine or beer with a meal, make sure you also ask for a water as well. (I also always bring a packet of Emegen-C to put in my water while in-flight to give my immune system a little boost.

4. Have a Bag of Essentials

I always bring a survival bag with me on a plane with all of the little things I will need during my journey. In my bag, I pack Zzzquil, a mini eye solution, Advil, hand sanitizer, a toothbrush and mini toothpaste, headphones, Emergen-C, tampons, my phone charger, an eye mask, and granola bars.

5. Pick your seat ahead of time, and always try to get an empty seat between you or an empty row if you can!

When you check into your flight, make sure to double check your seat. You can always check how full the plane is, and see if it is possible to get an empty seat between you and another passenger, or if you’re lucky, get a row to yourself! I am often able to at least get an empty seat between me and someone else, and several times I have gotten a whole row to myself! It is always a good idea to double check at the gate, and see if you can get a better seat!

6. Take advantage of the in-flight movies!

On long international flights, there is often a great selection of movies you can watch! I usually watch at least one newly released movie while I'm on the plane. I often start my trip by watching a movie with dinner, then sleeping for 8 hours, and then watching another movie before we land!

I hope you find these tips helpful! Happy Travels!

- Danie

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