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Five Essential Travel Tips For Surviving Long Flights

After booking a transcontinental flight from Florida to Hawaii, the excitement of my escape to paradise was suddenly replaced with the dreaded anticipation of spending 12+ hours in cramped confinement.  Rather than distress over wasting half a day in transit, with minimal effort, planning and the right attitude, you can perhaps convert this time from imprisonment to productivity.  

Start by considering what will benefit your health both physically and mentally. Sometimes in-flight entertainment, that cheesy romantic comedy or testosterone-filled action movie is exactly what is needed to shut down and achieve a carefree state of mind. I get it, we have all been there and it works. Even after a double feature, however, there are still the other 8 to 10 hours of flight time to consider.

The following preparation pointers could help you plan and optimize your time to ensure you arrive at your destination in the best state possible!  Here are five things you may want to consider before your departure:

Mobile Device Prep/Downloads:

  • At least 1 podcast in a subject you value.
  • An audiobook. (Extremely useful on flights with no entertainment!
  • Guided Meditation and/or a White Noise to help you decompress or fall asleep.
    • (Suggestion: Jason Stephenson on YouTube has a variety of options to meet your specific needs!)
  • If you are currently studying any specific content, then you may also consider voice-recording yourself going over notes that you can listen to and learn during the flight.
  • Lastly and obviously, do not forget headphones, cords, and chargers!!


  • Bring portable and convenient healthy snack options such as Larabars, fruit, nuts, and maybe a dark chocolate bar with which to indulge… anti-oxidants and all. Healthy nutrition in transit will ensure you do not arrive at your destination feeling lethargic from low energy, or bloated from eating unhealthy airport and airplane food.

BYOB (Bottle!):

  • It is critical to stay hydrated while traveling and the best way to do this is to bring your own bottle! I am a fan of the ALEX Bottle and Hydro Flask brands. They have a broad spectrum of sizes and colors, and they are insulated. This will keep you from wasting money on overpriced bottled water and avoiding disposable plastic cups and bottles, a practice far better for the environment.

Book It:

  • This one may seem ‘old-school’ but even if you are not a big reader it’s smart to have this plan-B. God forbid your mobile devices run out of juice, there are no charging outlets and, dare I say it, no TVs! Having experienced being forced to stare at the back of a headrest for a 5-hour flight to California, trust me, you must avoid this at all costs. So, whether it be educational, a thriller, or a fictional novel, bringing a book is a fantastic idea.


  • Ever notice how great ideas come to you at odd times such as in the shower or in the middle of the night? This is likely because you are in a relaxed state of mind where ideas flow naturally. Flying can be another situation that brings on new ideas so having something to write them down in can be a good idea. A journal can also be used to document your journey, express how you are feeling in the experience, document a plan of action, or just to doodle. (Imagine how many screenplays, business plans, and wizard novels began with a few notes jotted down above thirty thousand feet!)

Taking these advance steps to prepare for your next voyage will surely have you arriving at your destination with rejuvenated mind, body, and spirit. Who knows, you may even turn your travel anxiety into anticipation, and begin looking forward to experiencing this new-found quality time on every future flight. ALOHA!


About the Author – Madison DeCamillis

Madison DeCamillis is a 22 year old UF alumna with a bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications: Media and Society, specializing in both English and Spanish. She is an advocate for creative living, which she expresses through her writing and art. Madison is inspired by her travels around the world, surfing and yoga, as well as leading a healthy and balanced lifestyle to inspire others.




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