My Top 10 Tips on How To Survive a Long Haul Flight
June 8, 2020
Welcome to my guide on how to survive comfortably on a long haul flight.
Having travelled on some especially long journeys; I am talking on average 30+ hours, I have been able to perfect my flying experience so that it is not only relaxing but enjoyable as well.
By following this guide you will be refreshed, calm and ready to start your new day upon arrival at your destination.
Tip 1: Drink Water
I cannot express this enough, drinking oodles of water is my number one priority when I am flying. Given that we are recommended to consume 8 glasses of water a day, this can be very difficult when on a plane, as you are restricted to having beverages based on the times that the refreshment trolley is scheduled to do its rounds.
I always carry an empty re-usable water bottle with me. This way you can make your way through security without having to throw away any water you may have already bought in departures. Then you can proceed to fill this up at the refreshment stations whilst on board your flight. Just ask the attendants if you can’t find one.
I have experienced stop overs in some countries where they make you go through security again whilst in transit between two destinations. By carrying my empty water bottle I am still able to continue hydrating without having to claim any liquids over 100ml.
This bottle is a great option – Klean Kanteen was an early adopter in the fight against plastic, having been producing sustainable reusable bottles for more than 15 years.
Tip 2: Bring Your Comfy Sweats
The first thing I do when I board a flight after take off is change into more relaxed clothing. This makes my journey that much more comfortable and I am able to keep my stylish clothes for arrival at the new destination. It is also important to note that at night time the air conditioning means that it can get very chilly so I always bring warm socks and a sweater.
Tip 3: Bring a Spare Set of Clothes
I always, always bring a spare change of underwear and a new outfit in case you are unexpectedly delayed or your luggage goes missing. I would always tailor this to the region that you are going to, bring a bikini or board shorts if you are going to a hot country, nothing worse than being in the scorching sunshine and having nothing to wear. Wear your ski jacket if you are going to the snow, you can always take it off on the plane but will be prepared for the weather on the other side, especially if you are going to the opposite hemisphere. Trust me – luggage does go missing so always be prepared for the unexpected.
Tip 4: Be Prepared for Dry Skin
Carry a chapstick and moisturiser, this will keep your skin and lips hydrated throughout the duration of your trip. The air conditioning on planes is very powerful and dry, cracked lips and flaky skin is easily avoided by carrying travel miniatures of these products.
Tip 5: Adjust Your Body Clock
Set your clock to the time zone that you are visiting and begin to try and adjust to this time so that you are sleeping when needed. Having spent many hours on the flight already, this way once you arrive you will be rested and more likely to avoid jet lag, thus enabling you to make the most out of the holiday that awaits you. If at all possible I try and arrange for flights to arrive in the afternoon so I don’t have to spend too many hours awake when I arrive.
Tip 6: Keep Active
Sitting in a sedentary position for hours on end can not only be boring but also a cause for DVT. Ensure that you are taking regular breaks to get up from your seat to do some laps of the plane and do some stretches. Most airlines will now have videos on board with exercises that you can do from your seat – great for those instances where you are stuck in the middle seat.
Tip 7: Be Organised
Organise your carry on bag so that everything you need to keep you entertained- iPads, Laptop, books, Phone are easily reachable. Once you find that you want something from your bag in the overhead locker it will be much easier to obtain than rooting around whilst in everyone’s way in the corridor. I usually try and organise the moment I board the plane that my entertainment is out of my hand luggage and with me by my seat.
Tip 8: Look Out For Snacks
When I flew to New Zealand from the UK a few years ago, I realised that in the middle of the night some people were eating snacks, however there was no refreshment trolley in sight. Upon investigation I concluded that snacks were available at the food stations but were not openly advertised to customers. These were freely available and if you are hungry between meals you should grab these so you can snack when you please. This hasn’t been the case with all airlines we have travelled with but worth checking out if your airline does this.
Tip 9: Don’t Get Boxed in
Avoid window seats, unless you are travelling as a party of three. Trying to wake someone up in the middle of the night on a 14 hour flight because you need to use the washroom is near impossible. If you want to take photographs of the views you can do this at the emergency exit areas and use the opportunity to do some stretches at the same time.
Tip 10: Get Exit Row Seats
I’ve saved my best tip until last – try and get exit row seats. My husband is 6ft 6″ and finds it difficult sitting in normal economy seats at the best of times. Planes are known for their narrow seats with minimal leg room and that’s that why we recommend getting exit row seats. Not only will you have unlimited leg room but you can get up anytime you like without disturbing your seat neighbour.
Some airlines do charge for exit row seats however we have found that 95% of the time we have been able to get exit row seats without paying when we asked at check in. There is only one airline who has refused to allow us exit row seats, even when they were empty and we were onboard – we will never fly with them again. (Feel free to message me if you would like to know who it was).