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Five Tips for Surviving Long Flights

As exciting as traveling is, sometimes the only way to get to a destination is on a 10-hour, 14-hour, 16-hour flight. With no escape, planes can sometimes feel nothing short of captivity. The bad news? There's usually a return trip, too. Here are five tips for surviving long-haul flights.

1. Upgrade.
Put those frequent flier miles to use and upgrade to first-class legroom, fully reclining chairs, edible meals, entertainment and breathing space.

2. Escape.
Before takeoff, airlines always insist passengers locate their closest emergency exit—but on long flights, it's important to have a mental escape. Bringing work on the plane might burn up hours, but spreadsheets and proposals won't make the hours vanish. Sure, bring some work. But mostly think headphones. Blockbuster hits. New York Times Bestsellers.

3. Carry on as little as possible.
Checked baggage fees may be a bit steep, but anything you carry on the plane with you will only limit your legroom. Other than items you might normally pack in your carry on, bring only what you need (even if it means a neck pillow, eye mask and noise-cancelling headphones).

4. Board rested.
Long flights aren't a good place to catch up on sleep. As intuitive as it might seem to approach a long flight extremely tired, you'll be exiting that flight in a whole lot of pain if you can't sleep for any reason. Take sleep when it comes—and if you're planning on using a sleep aid, try it before flying.

5. Secure your stuff.
Long flights provide ample time for other passengers to size up the location of all of your valuables before making a move while you're sleeping. Bury your valuables deep in your bags, and consider keeping items like your passport, credit cards and cash in a money belt under your clothes.

Information adapted from


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