In prison you share a restroom with no more than one other person, have access to outdoor facilities, a flat bed and some light reading material. On a long flight, only a select few get a bed, most get back breaking seats, no one gets outdoor facilities and you're sharing a restroom with many, many more people. I know I'm not selling "travel" very well, but there are a few things you can do to make your flight at least rival a nice prison experience...

Pack A Comfort Survival + Entertainment Kit

Have your jeans ever felt tighter on board? That's because pressure can literally cause your body to expand in air, especially on older planes. Don't worry, it does go back to normal size at some point. In my Ten Carry On Essentials post, I mention a few basics like lip balm, eye mask, sweatpants, face cream, comfortable headphones, tooth brush and travel tooth paste. Forget one and you'll never forget it again. As to entertainment, plan ahead. Things like fully charging your phone, laptop and iPad, as well as downloading good games, books, movies and TV series can make a hell of a difference on a flight that lasts longer than your average work day...

It Is Absolutely Worth Paying For A Good Seat...

Economy is what you make of it and if you're in the middle seat you're not going to make very much of it. If you're in the back next to the lavatories, you'll probably not make much of it either. Find a bulkhead, exit row or at the very least an aisle or window to ensure some peace. In my opinion, the first row of economy can be better than premium economy, with massive legroom and prompt service. 

Be Smart About Your In Flight Meals

No one eats on planes because of the quality of the food, they eat because they are bored and there are eleven hours to kill staring at strangers. Scientific jet lag tips always advise skipping the airplane meal, or at least any that don't fall into local eating time at your destination. Find out what time it is where you're going and if it's not meal time don't eat. In the hours and perhaps days even before your flight, avoid any gut crushing greasy foods, which will feel like passing kidney stones at altitude. Stick to dry, simple foods before you fly. 

Go For A Walk Around The Plane

Everything is different on planes, especially the oxygen. To keep your body happy, pumping and ready to enjoy wherever it is you're headed, make a point of doing some basic in seat stretches and aim to take a walk (when you're not asleep) around the cabin every hour or so. There's absolutely nothing wrong with walking down one aisle, crossing over to the other, walking all the way up that aisle and back to your seat. If you want to go overboard, go for some pushups. Basic stretching and blood flowing activities help to offset jet lag and keep you fresh.

Plan For Your Arrival To Maximize Comfort

Sorry, can I borrow your pen? That phrase is being uttered around an airplane cabin by at least 100 people as a flight makes its way into land. Bring a pen, fill out your immigration forms when they're handed to you, get your things packed away neatly and ready to go early and sit back and relax. Don't let it stop there, even thinking about waiting at a taxi stand or how you may get to your hotel can be stressful. Try to plan in advance so that your mind is at ease. Once you're on the ground, fight yourself to get out and get fresh air. It's the only way to delay or offset jet lag. If a nap is a must, keep it to just an hour to freshen up. Oh and shower, no one wants to feel the way they do when they get off a plane for too long, no matter where you were sitting...