Long Distance Flight Hacks That Will Make Traveling So Much Better | 22 Words

The cramped seat. The way-too-firm pillow. The guy sitting next to you who is somehow both snoring and holding a crying baby. These are just some of the many annoyances, both major and minor, we're all subjected to on airplanes. And long-distance flights are even worse — imagine putting up with all that over the course of a number of hours. Truly, a nightmare.

But like it so often is, the internet is here for us. An AskReddit thread popped up recently asking for tips and tricks for flying a long distance. Using Reddit's enormous, collective hive-mind, we've collected the long-distance flight hacks from tons and tons of various people who travel all over the world.

These long-distance flight hacks are sure to make your next journey overseas that much more enjoyable. (There's still nothing we can do about the snoring guy, though. Sorry.)

You gotta get those free hotel rooms, my man.

Check if your airline offers free hotel room for layovers greater than 8.5 hours. Was nice just to get a good kip and a shower without being stuck on airport floor. - Retired_Monk

Get your mind-time right.

For me, I start trying to adjust to my new time zone about 24 hours before I take off. I will take some melatonin and try to sleep and wake up at the time I would at my destination. I have flown across both oceans and this technique has worked for me so that I'm not overly jet-lagged when I arrive. Coming home I never bother to do this and it takes me three days to recover. - drblah1

Not enough people go to Iceland.

If you're going from North America to Europe or Europe to North America, try flying Iceland Air with a stopover in Iceland. Especially if it’s vacation. It’s often way cheaper regardless. But the main reason is you can do some crazy layover trick — like spend days without any extra cost, with all sorts of discounts on hotels and entertainment built in, then resume your trip. It’s like a bonus mini thrifty vacation in a really neat place. - billbapapa

Your socks should be so tight they cut off circulation.

Compression socks and slip on shoes. If you take them off at your seat, put them on when walking around the cabin. Planes are nasty. - jbhaus2477

Doesn't take up much bag space, either.

Pack jerky. It's high in protein and fills you up. - Houn_3

No baby cry will pierce them.

Getting Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) headphones/earphones have been miraculous for me. I used to carry a Bose QC35, have been using the Sony WH-1000X M2s for awhile now. Works like a charm, helps me go to sleep so much easier. - skadoodlea

Oh, going to Hawaii is a way better idea than Iceland.

If you're traveling across the Pacific, find a flight that lays over in Hawaii. It's generally cheaper and the sun + cocktails recharges you for the next flight. - rangeDSP

Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.

If you’re flying solo in economy on a wide body jet, pick a middle aisle seat. Odds are, the other two or three people in your row know each other so they won’t bother you when they have to go to the lavatory. - WholeGrainMustard

Stay hydrated, my dudes.

Drink water, lots of water! The humidity in a Boeing 777 is around four percent. Get off a long flight your skin will be dry, you'll pee syrup and feel like crap if you don't drink plenty. If you're against drinking (for some reason), try booking a flight on the Boeing 787, the way the pressurization and air conditioning systems work on that aircraft make much more humid air. The difference after a long flight is noticeable. - Saltyspaceballs

Your grandpa probably gave you a few individually-wrapped Werthers that should work.

via: Wikimedia

Hard candy makes you salivate and feel hydrated without you actually needing to drink and consequently saving on bathroom trips. - [account deleted]

I love the idea of being jealous of your neighbor's wipes.

Take some alcohol wipes to clean you chair arms and tray table (and don't forget the tray latch, likely the dirtiest part of the plane). Take a few extra to offer jealous neighbors.
- enonymousone

How cute!

I take a beat-up teddy bear. Works great as a neck pillow or arm rest pad. Amuses TSA and crying babies. He belonged to my husband so Mr. Whiskers Monkey is a bit of comfort too. - Maggiemayday

Perspective is everything.

My mantra: "I'm literally going to the other side of planet earth in one day. It's a goddamn modern miracle. This far outweighs any minor inconveniences like legroom or sh*tty food." - [account deleted]

Must be nice.

The answer is Business Class. Being able to recline to horizontal is the ultimate game changer. Also nicer bathrooms being shared by fewer people. And better service. - wasted_viaticum

Beat them at their own water-stealing game.

Bring your own empty water bottle. You can fill it after security and not have to spend a ton. - jbhaus2477

You are closer to space, which is very cold.

Even if it’s hot outside, have a comfy jumper ready because it’s always freezing on planes. - beeeelm A zip hoodie does double duty on long flights too because you can pull the hood down over your eyes to sleep. - froggerslogger

*extremely The Lion King voice* Be prepaaaaared.

Pack 48 hours worth of supplies (anything you'll need in the first 48 hours of your trip) in your carry-on luggage. That way, if your hold bag goes missing, you won't be stuck. - CiderDrinker

What's up, doc?

Tell your doctor you get horrible travel anxiety and ask for Valium. Take two (or three) and sleep the entire flight. - bruisermcstinkfinger

That Watchmen finale will have to wait.

Purposely stock up on series and movies before your flight by not watching stuff. - Kharr2

A college student's dream.

Most, if not all, airlines will provide free hot water which is perfect for cup ramen. I always bring my own ramen because it is hot, I might not like the airplane food, and it’s easy to make. - ansaiego

Your phone will change automatically.

Set your watch to the future time zone before you get on the plane. It's very small but gets your head in the right mindset. - RJS2404

It's like a little secret club for those who are in the know...

If you're hungry en route, try going to the back of the plane. Sometimes they have snacks back there and will give you some. - Tripping_hither

Now That's What I Call Bribery Vol. 4

Buy a box of chocolates for the flight staff. - born_to_fart I have done this. Free wine ensued. - Maggiemayday

And that's a long game.

Final Fantasy VII is $10 for iOS. - Escalus_Hamaya

Practice your tree pose.

Your body's venous blood return is dependent upon muscle contractions. Which sitting for long periods of time can cause pooling of blood in your legs. So any opportunity you can stand up and wait (say, for the bathroom), practice balancing on one foot. The little variable movements of the plane will challenge your balance and you'll contract the muscles in your calf and thigh which will help move blood back toward your heart. - bttrflyr

But they taste so good...

Avoid eating/drinking sugary stuff. A sugar/caffeine high on a plane sucks. - Kharr2

Know their weaknesses and then attack.

If you can't afford an updated economy seat and want a bit more space, check for seats in the back of the plane. In some aircrafts the fuselage narrows, and they have to take a seat or two out of each row. On Korean Air's 747-8 they take the two window seats out, meaning if you take the new window seat you'll have a TON of extra room between you and the window. - GPBRDLL133

Nasal spray is a life-saver.

Most airline food tastes fine (or even over-seasoned) on the ground. It's the low humidity in the cabin that's destroying your ability to taste anything. A bit of nasal spray and a small drink just before eating can make the food taste a lot better. - FeyCGirl

Why aren't all pillows J-pillows?

The J-pillow!! So much better than a standard travel pillow, which usually thrusts my head forward and hurts my neck. The J-pillow is awesome! - Danishdutch

This sounds great.

You can buy a hammock sling to loop around the tray metal parts, and it lets you rest your feet or legs on it. Amazing for getting better position to sleep. - TripleNubz

"I'll take the kosher option."

On long distance flights, order a special meal. You always get served first. - reinkarnated

Maybe do this whether you're flying or not?

If you have the problem of really bad plugged ears to the point of pain/stinging, clean your ears before flights with an over-the-counter ear cleaning kit. - dylansesco

For when you want to watch old musicals on the plane.

You can download YouTube videos. There are third party websites that allow you to do so and many media players that have streaming capabilities can do that. Check if it's copyrighted first, make sure it's all cromulent to download 'em. - okayestboomer

Honestly, no one ever needs to see the manager.

Be nice and polite to the air stewards. They do a difficult job. They can make your life better and easier in lots of ways if you ask nicely and remember they are people too. Leave your 'I want to speak to the manager' attitude on the ground. - CiderDrinker

Feel clean and fresh.

Skin-friendly wipes for when you feel oily/sweaty. On a plane, you can't go to the toilet and wash all the time, so wipes are both handy for your face and to clean your hands. - Kharr2

This should have been obvious, and that's what makes it genius.

Book window seats on different sides of the plane if you have multiple flights. Your neck and spine will like you. - VTtoOR

I would do anything to be bumped to first class. ANYTHING.

If you're not in a rush, you can volunteer ahead of time to have your flight bumped if they are overbooked. I've done this twice for 6+ hour flights and both times I got upgraded to first class and got a voucher for hundreds of miles. - PutInKosar

Play the numbers.

Most planes have three seats on the aisles next to the window. When I'm flying with one other person, say my wife, and I'm selecting seats, I'll select seats towards the back of the plane and take the window and aisle seat in that row. That gives you the highest chance of getting a row that has a someone not in the seat. - Flymia

One thin blanket.

Always carry a scarf/shawl with you on the plane. They're beautifully versatile. You can use them as blanket. On my last flight, I draped one over my face because I was trying to sleep. - ros-ubhal


You want to know the secret to surviving air travel? After you get where you’re going, take off your shoes and your socks, and you walk around on the rug barefoot and make fists with your toes. Better than a shower and a hot cup of coffee. - HawkeyeFLA