As a couple who loves to travel, we’ve experienced our fair share of long-haul flights. From the excitement of planning our trip to the exhaustion of jet lag, we know that traveling long-haul can be both exciting and daunting. However, with careful planning and a positive mindset, it can be an enjoyable experience. In this blog, we’ve compiled a list of our best long-haul flight tips we’ve picked up over the years. So, whether you’re flying across the globe or simply to the other side of the country, we hope these tips will make your next long-haul flight a smooth and pleasant one.
1. Book in advance
We’ve learned the importance of booking our flights in advance. Not only does it save us money, but it also gives us the chance to choose the best seats available. We both have our preferences when it comes to seating – one of us prefers a window seat while the other likes an aisle seat. By booking early, we can ensure that we get the seats we want and need for a comfortable journey. Additionally, we always try to choose seats with extra legroom, which can make a huge difference on a long flight.
2. Dress comfortably
When it comes to preparing for a long-haul flight, choosing the right clothing is essential. We’ve learned from our travels that dressing comfortably can make a huge difference in our level of comfort during a long flight. Tight-fitting clothes or materials that don’t breathe well can leave you feeling cramped and uncomfortable. On the other hand, loose-fitting clothing made of breathable materials like cotton or linen can keep you feeling comfortable throughout the journey. Another helpful tip is to wear layers so that you can adjust your clothing according to the temperature inside the cabin.
3. Bring entertainment
A good way to make a long-haul flight more enjoyable and pass the time is by bringing your own entertainment. From our own experiences, we know that airline entertainment systems can be hit or miss, and there’s no guarantee that they’ll have something that interests you. That’s why we always make sure to bring our own entertainment options, like our favorite movies, TV shows, or books. If you’re someone who prefers to listen to music, don’t forget to create a playlist before your flight. We also highly recommend investing in a good pair of noise-canceling headphones, which can block out any noise from the cabin and help create a more immersive entertainment experience.
4. Pack a neck pillow and eye mask
Long-haul flights can be tiring and exhausting, but getting some rest during the flight can help you feel refreshed and energized upon arrival. One way to ensure you get some quality rest is to pack a neck pillow and an eye mask. The neck pillow can provide support and prevent neck pain or discomfort caused by sleeping in awkward positions. Look for a neck pillow that has a soft cover for maximum comfort. Check out our favorite Gorilla Grip Memory Foam Neck Pillow! On the other hand, an eye mask can help you block out light and create a dark environment to help you sleep. Look for an eye mask that is comfortable, adjustable, and made of breathable materials to avoid discomfort or irritation.
5. Bring a travel pillow
Sitting in a cramped airplane seat for several hours can take a toll on your lower back, leaving you feeling uncomfortable and achy. That’s where a travel pillow to support your lower back comes in handy. This pillow can provide the extra support your lower back needs to help reduce discomfort and prevent pain. From our experience, having a travel pillow for our lower back has been a game-changer during long-haul flights. We no longer have to constantly adjust our sitting positions to find a comfortable spot. Instead, we can relax and enjoy the flight with our travel pillows providing the extra support we need.
6. Stay hydrated
Long-haul flights can be incredibly dehydrating due to the dry air in the cabin. That’s why it’s important to drink plenty of water throughout the flight to keep yourself hydrated. Our experience has taught us that it’s best to avoid alcohol, caffeine, and sugary drinks during the flight as they can further dehydrate you. Instead, opt for water or herbal tea to keep yourself hydrated. We also recommend carrying an empty water bottle that can be filled up after security checks. This way, you can easily have access to water throughout the flight without having to constantly ask for refills from the flight attendants.
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7. Move around frequently
To avoid the discomfort that comes with sitting in the same position for extended periods of time during a long-haul flight, it is essential to stretch and move around the cabin. This will not only alleviate stiffness but also reduce the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) – a condition where blood clots form in the legs due to prolonged periods of inactivity. Taking frequent breaks to stretch your legs and move around the cabin can make a big difference, as we have experienced ourselves. Walking around every hour and performing simple exercises such as calf raises, ankle circles, and stretches can help improve circulation and reduce stiffness.
8. Bring a small bag for essentials
Bringing a small bag for essentials can be a game-changer during a long-haul flight. Not only does it keep your most important items within easy reach, but it also saves you the hassle of rummaging through your carry-on luggage every time you need something. A phone charger and external battery charger are essential items to keep in your small bag, especially if you plan on using your phone or other electronic devices during the flight. Having a fully charged phone can also come in handy in case of any unforeseen circumstances, such as flight delays or cancellations.
It’s also a good idea to keep your travel documents, such as your passport, boarding pass, and travel itinerary, in your small bag. This way, you can quickly access them whenever necessary, and you won’t have to worry about misplacing them. In-flight toiletries such as a toothbrush and toothpaste can also make your long-haul flight more comfortable. Keeping them in your small bag means you can freshen up whenever you need to, and you won’t have to wait until you land to brush your teeth.
9. Apply moisturizer and lip balm
The low humidity levels in the airplane cabin can cause your skin to become dry and your lips to become chapped during a long-haul flight. To combat this, it’s essential to apply moisturizer and lip balm regularly. Bring travel-sized versions of your favorite moisturizer and lip balm in your carry-on bag, and reapply as needed throughout the flight. Additionally, consider using a hydrating facial mist to refresh and hydrate your skin during the flight. This will not only help keep your skin and lips healthy but also make you feel more comfortable during the journey.
10. Check in early
Another tip for a long-haul flight is to check in early. Many airlines allow passengers to check in online or via mobile app up to 24 hours in advance, which can save you time and hassle at the airport. By checking in early, you can secure your preferred seat and avoid the last-minute rush. You may also have the option to pre-select your meal and save time during the in-flight service. Additionally, if you have any special requests or requirements, such as wheelchair assistance or dietary restrictions, checking in early can give the airline ample time to make necessary arrangements.
11. Pack some snacks
Another way to stay nourished and energized during a long-haul flight is to pack your own snacks. Airplane food can be expensive, limited in options, or not to your liking. Bringing healthy snacks like nuts, fruits, or protein bars can help keep you full and satisfied throughout the journey. It’s also a good idea to check with the airline regarding their food and drink policies before bringing your own snacks. Some airlines may have restrictions on what types of food and drinks are allowed, so make sure to follow their guidelines to avoid any issues at security checks. Additionally, packing your own snacks can be a cost-effective option, especially if you’re traveling on a budget.
12. Smart Hydration Tips for Flights: Skip the Ice
When embarking on a long-haul flight, one piece of advice we’ve learned from our own experiences is to think twice before accepting ice in your drinks on the plane. While it’s typically considered safe, it may not be as pristine as you’d expect. Airlines often source their ice from external suppliers, and the storage areas might not receive frequent disinfection. To play it safe, opt for other drink options and quench your thirst with peace of mind.
13. Getting Comfortable Before Your In-Flight Nap
We all love a good in-flight nap to make the hours fly by, but here’s a valuable tip we discovered: resist the urge to doze off immediately after settling into your seat. Give yourself a little time to get comfortable and adjust to your surroundings. Taking a moment to get settled ensures you’ll be well-prepared for takeoff. You won’t miss the chance to regulate your body as the cabin air pressure changes and avoid that pesky ear-popping headache upon waking up.
14. Air Vent Defense for a Germ-Free Flight
Concerned about germs in the confined space of a plane? Travelers swear by this simple trick: utilize the overhead air vent! Keeping it on and gently blowing above you creates a steady flow of fresh air, helping to disperse any airborne germs that might be lingering nearby. Don’t forget to pack an extra layer or two to stay cozy while staying germ-free.
15. Opt for a Seat Closer to the Plane’s Center to Minimize Motion Sickness
If you’re like us and have a tendency to get motion sick during flights, here’s a genius hack from travel bloggers’ recommendations: opt for a seat closer to the plane’s center. Turbulence can be uncomfortable, but seats in the middle typically experience less movement compared to those at the back. So, next time you book your flight, consider choosing a spot that minimizes the impact of those bumpy rides, allowing you to enjoy the journey without the queasiness.
16. Make Copies of Important Documentation
As seasoned travelers, we know that our passport is our lifeline when exploring the world. To safeguard it, one crucial step is making copies of essential documents before setting off on our adventures. As travelers, we can’t stress this enough – it’s a total game-changer. Having backup copies of your passport and identification ensures you’re well-prepared for any unexpected mishaps, giving you peace of mind and a smoother travel experience.
17. Bring a pen
Last but not least, it is always a good idea to bring a pen with you on a long-haul flight. You never know when you might need to fill out a customs form or jot down some important information. Having a pen handy can save you the trouble of having to ask your fellow passengers or the flight attendants for one. Make sure to pack it in an easily accessible place, such as in your carry-on bag or in a pocket of your clothing.
In conclusion, a long-haul flight can be challenging, but with the right preparation and mindset, it can be a more comfortable and enjoyable experience. These tips can help you arrive at your destination feeling refreshed and ready for your adventure. Remember to also check with the airline for their policies and procedures to ensure a smooth and stress-free travel experience.
Happy long-haul travels!
Sue & Renesh
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OUR TOP LONG-HAUL FLIGHT ESSENTIALS
Ear Plug – Noise Reduction Ear Plugs are a must-have for long haul flights. These ear plugs are designed to block out unwanted noise, allowing you to get some much-needed rest and relaxation during your flight.
Eye Mask – Adjustable Silk Eye Mask provides ultimate comfort and relaxation while blocking out unwanted light. Made of soft and breathable silk, it’s adjustable to fit any head size for a customized fit. Get ready to snooze in style on your next flight with this must-have travel accessory!
Travel Pillow – Inflatable Lumbar Travel Pillow is the perfect companion for long haul flights! This adjustable pillow provides the necessary support for your lower back, ensuring maximum comfort throughout the flight. It’s compact, lightweight, and easy to pack, making it an essential item for any traveler.
Toiletry Bag – Clear Toiletry Bag is the perfect solution for your in-flight toiletry needs. Keep your liquids and gels organized and easily accessible with this clear and durable bag. Its compact size makes it ideal for packing in your carry-on luggage. Say goodbye to the hassle of rummaging through your bags for toiletries and hello to stress-free travels with the Clear Toiletry Bag!
Compression Socks – Dr Scholl’s Compression Socks help promote healthy blood flow and reduce the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) during long haul flights. The socks are designed with comfort, featuring breathable materials and a range of sizes to fit all feet.
Lip Balm – Sky Organic Lip Balm is great for those long haul flights. Made with natural ingredients, this balm will leave your lips feeling nourished and hydrated, even in the dry cabin air. Its compact size makes it easy to slip into your carry-on, and its smooth texture provides a comfortable wear all day long.
Protein Bar – Feel Vegan Protein Bar is the perfect snack for long haul flights. Packed with plant-based protein, fiber, and nutrients, it keeps you full and energized during the journey. Plus, it’s gluten-free and has no artificial sweeteners or preservatives.
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