With so many regulations in place for flying these days, you might forget to prepare for a long flight properly, which might yield painful results. The pressurized cabin prevents most passengers from experiencing any real discomfort, but if you’re traveling on a transoceanic flight or other flight lasting 8 hours or more, then you might suffer from ear pain, ankle swelling and other issues that can be mitigated by adhering to relatively easy traveling tips. The following long flights tips and tricks will help you relax and enjoy a safe and comfortable flight, no matter your seating assignment or the duration.

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[bullet]Drink a lot of water.[/bullet]
[bullet]Move around as often as possible.[/bullet]
[bullet]Chew gum and stay awake.[/bullet]
[bullet]Get comfortable.[/bullet]
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[title text=”1: Drink a lot of water.”]

Hydration is the single greatest way to prevent swelling and the minor ear pain associated with pressure changes. Not only will the water itself reduce inflammation in your joints, but drinking a lot of water will ensure that you use the restroom frequently, meaning you’ll need to get up and move around every couple of hours. The average person should be drinking 64 oz. of water every day; during a long flight, make sure you stay hydrated by asking for water from the flight attendants or bringing your own container. While major airlines have safety restrictions regarding food and drink, water in a sealed container is usually acceptable.

[title text=”2: Move around as often as possible.”]

You may be stuck in the middle of a long row of seats, but that doesn’t mean you should resign yourself to sitting for 8 straight hours. Your ankles might look like baseballs by the end of it, and you’ll be stiff and sore on top of that. You can eliminate these issues by taking bathroom breaks or going for a stretch every hour. You might inconvenience your fellow passengers, but they’ll probably be doing the same thing.

[title text=”3: Chew gum and stay awake.”]

For people who suffer from chronic ear pain on flights (known as “airplane ear”), long flights can be agonizing at takeoff and during landing. While it may be tempting to take a nap during the middle of the flight, when your ears have stopped hurting and the pressure is at its most stable, you should avoid sleeping if at all possible. Sleep allows your sinuses to build up, which exacerbates existing ear problems. Instead, try listening to music or watching an in-flight movie. Chew gum or munch on a snack to clear your canals and help reduce the pain that comes from pressurized changes. Prior to the flight, you might try taking a strong dose of non-drowsy cold medicine, like Sudafed, to open up your passages and ease discomfort, but make sure to speak with a doctor before taking any strong medication.

[title text=”4: Get comfortable.”]

When you’re not taking small stretch breaks, you should get as comfortable as space and courtesy allows. You don’t want to annoy your fellow passengers, but making the most of your seat space will ensure that your flight goes smoothly. Invest in a quality neck pillow and blanket; airplanes can be cold, and the seats are limited in their adjustment capabilities. Prior to the flight, make sure that you wear loose, comfortable clothing and adjustable shoes. Despite your best efforts, your ankles and other joints might still swell, and you’ll want maximum relief once you step off the plane.

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Adhering to these long flights tips and tricks will ensure that you have the most comfortable and relaxing flight possible. While flying overnight or for long periods of time can be daunting, rest assured that these traveling tips will keep you safe, comfortable and at ease. One more way to guarantee that your flight is as rewarding as possible is to invest in a flexible cashback program and take advantage of different discounts available to frequent flyers. After all, if you have to travel for a grueling 8-12 hours, you might as well earn some rewards while you wait.

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