A long flight in an economy seat doesn't have to be something to endure. Try and get an aisle seat for easy access to galley when required and let these tips help you travel more comfortably.
Jet lag is the disruption of the body's rhythms with travel across time zones, plus probably pre-travel sleep deprivation. You need to adopt the 'rhythms' of your destination to help adjust, so set your watch to the destination time as soon as you are on board. Flights east generally caused worse symptoms than those westbound. A general rule of thumb is that the number of days needed to recover is equal to two thirds of the time zones crossed. With westbound flights, the number is half the time zones crossed.
Put your shoes on while walking about the plane. It is wise to have loose comfortable shoes as your feet can swell during the flight.
If you are thirsty ask for two drinks at a time so you don't need to call the attendant back in 5 minutes. Remember to drink plenty of water and juice to keep you hydrated, and avoid caffeinated soft drinks, plus tea and coffee.
Even with liquid security restrictions, you are allowed basic toiletries on board (under 100 ml). Include a small toothpaste and toothbrush, a small moisturizer, and deodorant. Remember you can freshen up in the airport toilets when you collect your luggage if you have friends coming to meet you and you're worried about smelling!
You've got to contend with busy airports at each end, and different levels of air-conditioning on the plane, so layers are best.
Get up and stretch regularly if possible, or at least circle your ankles once an hour. The in-flight magazine will have pictures of the recommended exercises.
Chewing can help with the changes in air pressure, as can sucking on boiled sweets. Remember, your ears don't always pop just at take-off and landing times, but during the flight too. Chewing can also help if you feel nervous as it gives you something to do.
To help ease lower back pain, place one of the pillows provided between your lower back (just below your ribs) and the seat. If you are trying to get some sleep do support your neck - you can use your own inflatable neck pillow or request another pillow and scrunch one provided by the airline.