The first time I traveled on a transcontinental flight, I would’ve killed for some Tips for Long Haul Flights or at least some friendly words of caution!
When you think about it, humans weren’t meant to fly in airplanes, we weren’t biologically wired that way.
But as my favorite survivalist Bear Grylls says – modern problems require modern solutions – and that’s exactly why I’ve compiled this list of tips for long haul flights, for you.
So, let’s jump in!
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Survival Guide For The First Time Long-Hauler:
1. Sit At The Back
Sometimes when you’re in for a long flight you get ahead by sitting in the back.
Granted, it might be a bit noisier, but you have a much higher chance of getting an empty seat or two next to you if everyone else is vying for the front.
And an extra seat for your feet is a guaranteed way to make surviving long haul flights easier.
2. Buy Tickets In Advance
If you’re a well organized person, this one goes without saying. Make your flight more comfortable and your trip less stressful by buying your tickets ahead of time.
The earlier you book, the higher the chance of getting your preferred seat. But a good rule of thumb is a month minimum for domestic flights and two to three months for international flights!
I love this tip and couldn’t wait to include it tips for long haul flights list because it’s so simple yet so effective
3. Prepare Yourself For Jet Lag
The best way to beat jet lag is to try and prevent it.
There’s a few things you can do before our flight to try and decrease the effect of jet lag, such as to adjust your light exposure before your trip so that you can manipulate your “body clock” into getting adjusted to the new time zone more easily.
But you might not always be able to do that, so the next best thing, I’ve found, is this Boiron Jet Lag Relief Kit, which not only works for nausea and stiffness but also muscle pain drowsiness too!
Whenever in doubt, just whip your Boiron out! I almost never leave my flight without one!
4.Tips for Long Haul Flights – Get Some Pre-flight R’n’R
When you’re preparing for a long flight, make sure that you get plenty of sleep the night before. Rest and relaxation are long haul travel tips I advise you not to skip out on, no matter how excited you are for your trip.
5. Bring Essentials In Your Carry On
When you’re flying long haul you want to be sure you’re prepared for any situation.
That means bring your:
just in case! You can never be too safe and it’s always best to be prepared.
6. Don’t forget your disinfectant
Now more than ever, you need to make sure that everything you’re touching is properly cleaned.
Germs spread easily, especially on a plane, so it’s important that you sanitize the area you’re seated in. You can go with liquid sanitizer or sanitizing wet wipes as they don’t count toward your carry-on liquid limit.
7. Leave The Seat Belt Visible
After hours of trying to fall asleep you finally doze off and out of nowhere a flight attendant wakes you up to check if your seatbelt is fastened – the captain has turned on the “fasten your seatbelts” sign.
This is why you want to fasten your seatbelt over your blanket – the flight attendant will see it and won’t wake you up. This is one of the most practical long haul tips ever!
8. Layer Your Clothes
If you want to know how to be comfortable on long flights, then wear lots of layers.
Getting a bit hot? Take off your cardigan. Getting a little chilly? Put it back on. Not only are layers fashionable, they’re versatile too. Being comfortable is one of the most important things in order to survive a long haul flight.
For me, I’ve found that the best clothes to wear on long haul flights are:
9. Meditate And Focus On Your Breathing
The baby three rows down hasn’t stopped crying for an hour and the person behind you is kicking your seat.
I know this can really get your nerves going but you’re going to have to find a way to relax. Try mediating and taking deep breaths – this is a good way to tune out those unwanted stimuli and survive the long haul travel.
10. Tips for Long Haul Flights – Keep Your Battery Up
One of the best long plane ride tips I can give you is to make sure all your devices are fully charged.
Whether it’s your phone or your tablet, make sure your battery is at 100% (or as close as possible).
11. Keep spares of everything
I like to pack a spare pair of socks and a T-shirt because things can get sweaty on a hot flight! This is one of my favorite tips for long international flights.
12. Tips for Long Haul Flights – Load Up On Media
Want to know how to have a comfortable flight?
Make sure you’ve got access to your favorite playlists and podcasts – download them in advance.
Time flies when you’re listening to something interesting and when you’re on a really long flight you want time to go by as fast as possible!
13. Get Your Creative Juices Flowing
When was the last time you sat around and did nothing? Exactly! Use the free time you have on your hands when you’re on long international flights to something fun and creative.
If you’re looking for things to do on a long flight, adult coloring books, a sketchbook where you can doodle or a journal for some interesting ideas that pop into your head are great things to bring along.
14. Arrive First But Don’t Rush To Board (Just Yet)
While we’re on the subject of best things for long flights I feel I have to mention the most important rule of all:
Arrive at the airport even earlier than you planned to. If you were thinking two hours before departure – make it three, just in case. You never know what could happen and it’s always good to give yourself leeway.
15. Keep Your Health In Check
Make sure that you get up every once in a while to stretch your legs and maybe even do some light exercises like stretching your arms and neck.
Surviving long flights is easier when you keep your blood flowing and your body active.
16. Plan Ahead For Your Destination
Make long flights more comfortable and enjoyable by focusing on your destination and all the amazing things you’ll do once you arrive!
Start planning on the flight!
Sometimes the destination is what helps you get through the journey.
17. Dress For Comfort, Not Success
Oversized hoodies, sweatpants and comfortable shoes are my go to fashion tips for transatlantic flights.
These are a must for staying comfortable on long flights where feeling cozy should be your main priority. Forget the instagram selfies and opt for your most comfortable outfit.
18. Give “Economy+” A Try
Among the best tips for flying long distance is investing in upgrades.
There’s not much point in paying more money for Economy+ if your trip is short, but if you’re looking at a 18+ hour flight, upgrading your ticket is among the best ways to make long flights more comfortable.
19. Don’t Obsess With The Flight Tracker
Long haul travel advice: don’t play the “are we there yet?” game.
You’ll feel the need to check the flight tracker often to see how much longer you have to go, but this is a certified way to make you feel like no time has passed at all.
Stay away from the flight tracker, you’re not making the plane go any faster.
20. You Can Never Have Too Many Wet Wipes
Wet wipes are among the most important things to take on a long flight. I always prefer a wet wipe over a tissue as I feel they’re more hygienic.
21. Stay Hydrated With Face Spray
It’s not a necessity, but let me tell you long flights can leave your skin looking tired and grayish. A hydrating spray or mist always brings the glow back in my skin and instantly makes me feel like I look better and more refreshed.
22. Don’t Forget To Moisturize
Since we’re talking about the most important things to pack for a long flight, I feel like I have to mention face cream and moisturizer.
The air on the plane is very dry and it can really affect your skin, so this is one of those long flight comfort tips you definitely want to follow.
23. Your Neck Pillow Is Your New Best Friend
Plane seats are not the comfiest of things – especially if you’re cramped between two strangers, so say hello to your new best friend on these long haul flights – a neck pillow!
These are among the best comfort items for long flights!
24.Tips for Long Haul Flights – Take A Book With You
Is there a book you keep telling yourself you’re going to read, but never find the time for it?
Now’s your chance! You’ll catch up on your reading list AND it’ll feel like time goes by faster.
25. Ask The Staff For An Extra Pillow And Blanket At The Beginning
If you’ve decided to ignore my previous tips and opted to board your flight without a neck pillow and a blanket, then you definitely want to ask for these at the beginning of the flight rather than later on.
Get comfy as soon as you can, that’s my tip!
26. Pack Your Own Snacks
Surviving a long flight without good food is hard and unfortunately airplane food almost always sucks.
Pack some light snacks you like in your carry on just in case you really don’t like what they’re serving – trust me, this is a must!
27. Bring A Pen And Notepad To Brainstorm
Sometimes, when we’re doing nothing, great ideas come to mind!
Make sure you have a pen and a notepad in your bag just in case you have a “Eureka!” moment on your flight.
28. Bring Cards And Games
This one is very important, especially if you’re traveling with kids!
Cards are a great way to keep busy and occupied so you’re not checking that flight tracker every 30 minutes.
29. Bring Your IPad
I can’t imagine a flight without my iPad – especially a long, international one!
I use it when I need to catch up on some work, listen to music or podcasts, or watch my favorite movies (in case they don’t have them on the flight).
All in all, it’s a great way to keep distracted and tune out the rest of the plane.
30. Personal Earphones
If you’re like me and you take your iPad with you, then don’t forget to grab your earphones as well.
These will come in real handy if there’s screaming babies on the plane!
31. Bring Your Own Toothbrush and Toothpaste
No one likes smelling the bad morning breath of the person sitting next to them and I’ve found that the complimentary toothbrush and toothpaste some airlines offer hardly mask the smell.
You don’t want to be the reason the person next to you covers their nose.
I bring this toothbrush kit here on my long haul flights
32. Bring Chewing Gum
Chewing gum is among the essential items for long flights.
Again, you don’t want to be THAT person on the plane with the stinky breath.
It’s also great to have on hand because you can always politely offer it to your neighbor if you find their breath is a little smelly and it’s a great conversation starter.
33. Pack Compression Socks
Your long haul flight survival kit isn’t complete without compression socks.
The pain of having to cram your swollen feet into shoes that are now two sizes too small is unbearable and will bring tears to your eyes. So you definitely want to avoid this at all costs.
34. Bring An Extra Pair Of Loose, Comfy Shoes
On the off chance your feet swell up even though you’re wearing compression socks, having an extra pair of loose and comfy shoes you can slip into will make a world of difference.
35. Invest In Quality Noise – Canceling Headphones
If you’re like me and the slightest noise wakes you up, then you definitely want some noise – canceling headphones, or at least a pair of earplugs.
36. Stay Hydrated And drink More Water
As I said, the air up there gets pretty thin and dry, so make sure you stay properly hydrated by consuming plenty of water and fluids.
37. Eat Light Before Onboarding A Long Distance Flight
You never, ever want to eat heavy or something that doesn’t sit well with your stomach before getting on a long haul flight.
There’s nothing more uncomfortable than getting cramps while you’re seated in a tight space or rushing to the bathroom every 5 minutes.Stick to food you’re used to and try to consume less of it to make sure it diets well before take off.
38. Sleep Well With Sleeping Pills
Sometimes, the best way to sleep on long flights is with the help of sleeping pills.
You can opt for prescription pills or go for a more natural approach, depending on what you prefer.
I personally stay away from these as I find they make me a little drowsy when I get off the plane, but if all else fails, it’s good to have these on hand – just in case.
What exactly do you mean by “Long-Haul”?
Well, flights are generally split into three categories – short-haul, medium-haul and long-haul flights.
The general rule of thumb is 3 hours. If your flight lasts less than that, then it’s a short-haul flight.
If the flight lasts between 3 to 6 hours then you are talking about a medium-haul.
And finally, we have the long-haul flights for anything over 6 hours – technically over 12 hours they’re called “ultra long-haul flights” but I personally think that’s just splitting hairs.
As I said at the beginning of the article, humans were not built to travel for so long, especially in the air.
And that’s why the next time that your biology acts up, you can take a look at these tips for long flights and just pick a random one. Help yourself!
How Do I Survive A 15 Hour Flight?
You can learn how to survive a 15 hour flight by sticking to at least 15 tips for surviving a long flight in this list, such as upgrading your ticket, being smart when choosing your seat, packing your own pillow and blanket as well as wearing eye masks and earplugs, among other tips.
How Do I Survive A 10 Hour Flight?
If you want to know how to survive a 10 hour flight, you would do best by starting with the clothes that you’re wearing, make sure they’re comfortable, make sure you reserve a very good seat to your liking,and prepare yourself for sleep and don’t leave it to lady luck to do it for you.
How Do You Survive Long-Haul Flights?
If you were wondering how to survive a long-haul flight, then remember to stay hydrated, which means getting enough electrolytes in your body and not just plain water! Take your own snacks on a plane (contrary to popular belief, you can take snacks with you on a flight) and stretch your legs mid-flight.
How Would You Survive A 12 Hour Flight In The Economy?
You’d need to find 12 tips for surviving long-haul flights in economy seating according to what we provided to you on the list. Remember to prepare entertainment and keep your hygiene squeaky clean while in flight. Pack as many snacks as you can and drink plenty of water. And drink plenty of water!
What Should You Not Do Before A Long Flight?
Not moisturizing your hands enough or forgetting about sunscreen. Forgetting to put compression socks on your feet will also be a huge mistake if you commit it, so remember that!
Phew! That was a mouthful!
But I’m 100% sure you’ve come out the other side a better and more informed flier!
Not only will you use these in your next flight, but you can bamboozle your peers and colleagues with your superior flight readiness!
So, the next time you fly out into the “great unknown”, remember to stay hydrated and just breathe.
Anything can be solved by taking the time to calm down and make sure you are making the right decisions – the decisions on the tips for long haul flights list!
So, fasten your seatbelt, sit back, relax and enjoy your flight!