When it comes to surviving a long flight and the ensuing jet lag, we've suggested downloading some podcasts (or TV shows/movies), bringing a book and remembering to get up and move every now and then. You'll also want to stay hydrated, bring some snacks and remember to charge all of your electronics ahead of time. Have a trip of your own coming up? Consider some of these recommendations:
First, recognise what you're in for, suggests TheLaughinKipper:
Earplugs, drugs, self-pity and a deep sense of loathing for humanity at large (until the drugs kick in).
Then I get to my destination and everything is just peachy.
Booktart stresses the importance of dressing appropriately:
I recommend compression socks, for long flights. I generally keep a small backpack or a medium-sized purse with me at my seat, with the following: book, tablet, phone, charger, chapstick, ear plugs, headphones, snacks, water bottle ... ibuprofen, Kleenex, hand sanitiser. I always wear some kind of scarf, usually an infinity scarf, which can be used as a hood or a face covering, because (a) I like to cover up a little if I'm sleeping, and (b) other people are gross. And I remind myself that as bored as I am on that plane, I'd be far more bored at work!
Take advantage of your time in the ether, says katie_keys, and consider a white noise machine:
I try to sleep as much as possible. Instead of using ear plugs I like headphones and I listen to my Sleep Machine app — I like a combo of the train and the cat purr on a plane, it's the right mix to cancel out a lot of other noise. Even if I can't sleep sleep, the rhythm helps me zone out.
I also like to work on fiction because airports and aeroplanes are weird liminal spaces that seem disjunct from reality, and it helps me get in the right headspace.
Also I keep chapstick in my pocket or my bra, because my lips dry out no matter how much I seem to drink.
Pick your seat carefully. EBDBBNB likes the aisle...
Aisle seats. Always aisle. This may be because I don't sleep but I'd rather have to get up for someone than have to wake someone up who may not be able to be awakened. Also it avoids any residual claustrophobia, and if your neighbour is... ample... then you can lean into the aisle.
...but City Mac's Greased Up Beefcakes (what a name!) swears by the window seat and a neck pillow...
I do books and Benadryl for the most part. I put the books, comics, magazines, whatever on my tablet and then wait until I'm sleepy, then sleep against that window.
Getting a good travel pillow is key to making this work. It's also good to know the plane you're going on so you get one of those prime seats where the window is situated just right for sleeping, otherwise if the windows are offset it can throw your comfort off.
...and BugeHalls says to just get that upgrade:
Upgrade to business class! And do it when you check in at the airport — it'll save you a lot of money. Trust me, the extra space is worth it!
Mr. E and the beater Z would like to remind you it's every man or woman for him or herself up there:
Ear plugs and a sleeping mask, even for when your plane isn't doubling as a daycare for the flight. Headphones. Sleep on the tray table if it's more comfortable. Kindle & downloaded Netflix to pass the time. Maybe a phrase book or travel guide if you're going somewhere completely new. Slightly devious tip.... move people's seats forward while they are in the bathroom, especially for those that think their seat should be in full recline before we even take off. They usually don't even notice.
And don't drink too much coffee before your flight, as maarten reminds us:
Pro-tip: If you are a must-have-coffee person and your flight is early ... and you get to Starbucks near the gate (or whatever your choice of coffee place is), get the SMALLEST version of the drink you get. Otherwise you end up peeing at least twice on the flight! ;)
Let me know if we forgot anything important in the comments.