Even for the most seasoned travelers, long flights take a toll. Between the compulsory kerfuffle that occurs midway through security and the swollen ankles you inevitably sport once you reach your destination, you're reminded of the inflexible truths of flying: You will be uncomfortable; you will mess up your sleep schedule; and you will feel parched beyond compare once it's all over. For those wishing to make it to their destination with their luggage, their sanity, and some dignity, these tips ensure that your in-flight experience is at least more enjoyable.
Whether you're flying first class or coach, upgrade your experience the next time you fly with a few simple moves from Business Insider that make everything from the time you buckle in to the time of your final descent more pleasant. We've chosen three of our favorites from BI's list that we recommend you test out on your next long-haul trip. One easy trick will ensure you get fed right away and another guarantees you some quality shut-eye during the flight. These travel hacks guarantee a smoother ride, regardless of the actual turbulence that lies between you and your destination.
Request a special meal to be served first. Meals with special dietary restrictions are always served first. If you want to ensure you get your food right away, without having to wait for flight attendants to make their rounds throughout the whole cabin, request a special meal before your flight. The offerings vary from airline to airline, but often include options like gluten-free or kosher. You'll likely end up eating healthier, and you'll be able to get to sleep sooner.
Switch out coffee for green tea. Though you may crave a coffee during a tiring day of traveling, it's advised to steer clear of that much caffeine. Coffee will keep you up, exacerbate your dehydration, and cause you to be even more irritable. Instead, it's recommended you go for decaffeinated green tea, which has soothing effects and has been said to help with jet lag.
Bring your own water and snacks, and choose what you eat carefully. You should be hydrating throughout your flight, more often than flight attendants are bringing you small cups of beverages. Be sure to fill up your water bottle once you've passed security. Feeling like you're starving is the last thing you want on a long flight. Bring your own snacks so you don't have to anxiously wait for another round of salty peanuts and pretzels to be served, and so you don't end up wasting money on overpriced onboard offerings. Snacks rich in protein will keep you feeling full longer, and carbohydrates will help you sleep.
Have your own tips for upgrading your in-flight experience? Share them with us in the comments.