Flying is almost universally a source of frustration – stress, boredom, and cramped conditions make it generally unpleasant. For many, a planned plane trip can be a source of impending dread, simply due to the conditions of the flight. While it’s probably impossible to make a flight into a fun experience, there are a few things that you can do to make it as painless as possible.

Bring your own food.

It’s pretty basic: airplane food is notoriously bad. In addition to being overpriced and mediocre, most of the food they serve is simply not good for you. Bringing small salads, fruits, crackers, etc. will ensure you avoid the unhealthy food that is provided.

Stay hydrated.

Bring a small water bottle with you to drink before the flight, rather than drinking a soda or coffee in the terminal. If possible, bring a drink with you in your carry-on bag as well, instead of springing for the more expensive drinks offered on the plane. If necessary, buy a drink on the plane, but always try to stay with pure water.

Find time to exercise.

Basic exercises and stretches both before and during the flight can keep blood flowing and prevent stiffness. Raising your shoulders, clasping your fingers, and lifting your feet are very basic ways to exercise during your flight.

Bring your own entertainment.

Whatever you need to bring to keep yourself busy during long flights – books, music, handheld games, and so on – are very important when flying anywhere. Boredom is one of the toughest opponents to tackle during an extended flight, and more often than not, the provided in-flight entertainment is insufficient to combat it. Make sure you have plenty of entertainment to help pass the time in order to keep yourself sane.

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Rest.

The easiest of all flight tips, at least in theory, is resting. Even if the cramped conditions keep you from actually sleeping, take some time to close your eyes and relax. You would be surprised how much time you can pass on a flight just by getting some rest. Resting on a long flight is a great way to keep yourself from getting too irritated. Additionally, making sure to get sufficient sleep the night before a flight will generally make the day of your flight a lot more tolerable.

Keep your internal clock ticking.

Transitioning between time zones may be confusing and disorienting at first, but the key to combating this is to keep your routine intact. Try to consciously eat, drink, and take medication at relatively similar times each day.

Try to avoid getting sick.

Some might say that this is easier said than done, but staying conscious of the threat of germs on planes can be key. Try to avoid unnecessary contact with people or objects that can get you sick, and wash your hands thoroughly after touching anything. Boosting your immune system with Vitamin C several days in advance of your flight can also help to avoid sickness when traveling.

Keep a positive attitude.

Perhaps the best example of ‘easier said than done’ is trying to enjoy your flight at all. Between the loud passengers, cramped spaces, and hectic scheduling, some might say that finding any enjoyment in a flight is impossible. However, simply keeping a good attitude can really go a long way during a flight. Try to brush off the small stuff – don’t get too bothered by the crying babies and the obnoxiously loud talkers. You would be surprised how far a positive attitude can take you in the face of a flight: you’ll feel a lot better simply letting things go, rather than letting yourself get frustrated. While flying may be a typical source of frustration, and can be a day of unhealthy choices, it doesn’t always have to be. Making smart choices and staying health-conscious can not only minimize the personal harm of a flight, but also keep you from hating the flight too much.