Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Mon May 23 2016

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  • A Cruising Couple | May 23, 2016 9:00 PM ET

    How to Keep Your Sanity on a Long Flight

    How to Keep Your Sanity on a Long Flight

     Have you flown on any of the world’s ten longest flights? While we’ve yet to tackle any of these routes ourselves, we can confidently say that we’ve endured our fair share of long-haul flights.

    For example, we recently flew in the largest commercial airliner in the world, the Airbus 380, from Seoul to New York City — which came in at over 14 hours of sitting in economy. Admittedly, staring out the window of a double-decker plane was, even for someone who doesn’t love to fly, quite the incredible experience.

    READ MORE: 5 Tips For Surviving Long-Haul Flights With Kids

    The Airbus A-380

    Photo via Flickr/Cory W. Watts

    But even with this impressively large aircraft, our crazy long flight would have driven us insane if it wasn't for a few key techniques we use to keep comfortable during long-haul flights. If you’ve got any lengthy plane trips coming up, then we recommend trying out these tips and tricks. Because sometimes, all it takes is a little extra leg room to make for a much more enjoyable flight experience:

    Skin Moisturizer, Lip Balm and Eye Drops

    Dry recycled air can take a toll on your skin, making it itchy and flaky. For maximum comfort, stash a travel sized amount of skin moisturizer and lip balm in your bag. The same goes for your eyes. If you’re prone to dry eyes, don’t forget to pack some drops. Remember that TSA requires liquids to be in a 100 ml or 3.4-ounce container.

    Keep the Blood Flowing

    Studies have shown that the change in air pressure can have detrimental effects on blood flow, especially for the lower limbs. Every couple of hours, take a lap around the plane to get the blood flowing again. Better yet, do some yoga and light stretching in the space at the back of the plane. Compression socks will also help stimulate blood flow to improve circulation.

    Emergency Exit Seats

    When booking your flight, many airlines require that you pay to upgrade for a little extra precious legroom. When you are checking in ask if the emergency exit row seats are still available, and you might get an upgrade for free. We've successfully upgraded to these seats for free on our last six flights! In our experience, airlines would rather have a willing and able passenger at the door than leave it vacant. Being able to stretch out your feet or get up to go to the bathroom without waking those sleeping in the aisle is crucial, especially on long flights.

    Noise-Canceling Headphones


    Photo via Flickr/Simon D

    Noise-Canceling Headphones have become an absolute essential whenever we travel — especially on long-haul flights. Planes are loud machines. The great thing about noise canceling headphones is that instead of needing to play your music loud enough to drown out the sound of the engine, the noise-canceling feature simply dims the background noise. Our Bose Noise-Canceling Headphones work so well that sometimes we just turn on the noise canceling without any music and the sound of the airplane engine is dramatically diminished.

    USB Battery Pack and USB Charger

    Whether it's catching up on the last season of your favorite show or watching all the “Harry Potter” movies back to back, your tablet isn't likely to last a long haul flight on one charge. Many newer planes have charging stations under the seat where you can plug in a USB charger to keep your devices constantly juiced up, but that’s not always the case. And there's nothing worse than pulling out your phone to get the directions to your hotel, only to discover your phone is completely useless. Pack an extra external battery pack to add juice to your phone or tablet on the go.

    An Extra Layer of Clothes


    Most airports and planes seem to keep the air conditioning running at full blast throughout the trip. We always bring a scarf or light jacket with us on long-haul flights. These work great to keep you warm and can also double as some extra pillow padding if you don’t need to wear them.

    READ MORE: Qatar Airways Delays World's Longest Flight Because of Plane Shortage

    Healthy Snacks And Empty Water Bottles

    Most long-haul flights offer complimentary meals and beverages. Still, we always bring a few healthy snacks in case the airline food just isn’t cutting it or we’re not in the mood for another bag of mini pretzels. Even more importantly, bring an empty water bottle and ask the flight attendants to fill it. Staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do to beat jet lag, and if you’re constantly having to ask for small plastic cups of water, that’s going to be difficult to accomplish.

    Do you have any additional tips for long-haul flights?


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A Cruising Couple A Cruising Couple's Column

A Cruising Couple Dan and Casey are the two lovebirds, world travelers and adventurers extraordinaire behind the popular travel blog A Cruising Couple - adventure travel with a dash of class. Their stories and photographs feature that special place where experiential and stylish travel meet. Find out how you can spend less money, live more adventurously and travel more luxuriously on their blog,
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