Many travellers find long-haul flights to be tedious and uncomfortable. Long-haul flights make up the majority of international travel and seem to be the only practical option, especially when flying from across different continents. Given that they are inevitable for most international travel, it is necessary to lower the risks of jet lag.

Jet lag is a reality of modern and international travel. When time zones are crossed, your internal clock and external time fall out of sync, resulting in jet lag. In other words, even though you’re physically somewhere else, your body believes it’s still in a familiar time zone and as a result, it becomes confused and may find it difficult to adjust to the new time zone and environment.

It is important for your body to get on the tempo of the new time zone. You lose time when you travel from the West to the East and when this happens, jet lag can get worse.
The effects of Jet lag are more severe and the recovery time is longer for older adults.

Here are some helpful tips for you on your next long-haul flight:

Book Smart

You spend most of your flight time sitting down and so, selecting a seat requires careful consideration. Not all cabin seats are made the same. The aisle or window seats, exit row seats, and seats close to the front are typically considered the best seats on the plane, so choose them. If you’re more particular about leg room, then the exit seats are the best option to go with. If you choose a bulkhead seat, you won’t have a seat in front of you and won’t be bothered by another passenger reclining their seat into your lap; it also affords you extra leg room but keep in mind that many airlines use bulkheads as baby cribs so there’s a possibility that you’ll be sharing your space with a baby. Aisle and window seats are mostly suitable for couples.

Your dressing matters

Comfort should be the primary factor in choosing what to wear for a flight. Also, what you wear should depend on your departure and arrival destination. The microclimate in airplanes should be taken into consideration because it tends to change. Remember to pack extra clothing in case you need to change and feel fresh. When you want to sleep in-flight, you could change from casual clothing to pajamas.

Pick your arrival time

Move your bedtime earlier if you’re travelling east and if you’re travelling west, do the opposite. Plan your arrival in the new destination to fall in the evening. This way, you’re likely to fall asleep quickly on the plane, have a good rest, and wake up in the morning of the local time.

Eat and drink healthy

While this might be difficult since in-flight meals are not always the healthiest, as they’re usually less balanced, high in carbohydrates and sugar, loaded with additives, and vary in quality and size, depending on the class and length of the flight; it is advisable to be mindful of what you eat to reduce the impact of jet lag. You can bring your healthy snacks, fruits, and drinks on the flight. Avoid caffeinated drinks before your sleep time and stay hydrated throughout the flight because jet lag is partly a result of dehydration. Drink enough water.


For long-haul flights, it is not advisable to sit for hours without any form of exercise. Leave your seat, take short walks around the cabin, stretch your arms and legs, and do some static exercises on the flight. Breathe. It is recommended you take deep breathing exercises because air travel has low cabin pressure resulting in a drop in blood oxygen level. Wear compression socks to improve blood flow and reduce numbness and swelling in the feet.

Minimize sleep distractions

Reduce sleep distractions as much as you can on the plane. Use an eye mask to block out light and promote healthy sleep, ear plugs to cancel out noise around you and a neck pillow for neck support.


Since there aren’t many activities to keep you occupied on a flight, it is advisable to provide your own entertainment in addition to what’s already provided in-flight. Bring your own books and e-readers, play video games on your iPads, put your favourite movies and music on your electronic devices and get entertained.

Bring your entertainment

Have a good bath

Wash off the stress and accumulated dirt from your flight when you arrive at your destination.

Brush your teeth and moisturize. Take a bath right before bed as it can help relieve sore muscles from the long flight and cause you to feel relaxed and refreshed.


If you have a severe case of jet lag that a long warm bath could not cure, it is advisable to see a doctor. Your doctor may prescribe medication to help you with temporary sleep disorder and for your body to make proper adjustments.

We know that you may not be able to completely prevent jet lag if you’re travelling across multiple time zones but we hope the above tips will be helpful to you anytime you get on a long flight.

Categorized in: