How to Survive Long-Haul Flights

Long-haul flights can be daunting, often involving hours of travel across multiple time zones. Fear not.  With the right preparation, long-haul journeys can be more comfortable and even enjoyable. Here are a few salient tips for the next long-hour flight on which you find yourself.

Choose Your Seat Wisely

The seat you choose can significantly impact your comfort. Consider opting for an aisle seat for easier access to the restroom or an exit row for extra legroom. Window seats are great for those who wish to sleep.

Woman sleeping in an airplane. holding a book. Passenger relaxes at a window in a flying aircraft after reading a book

Prepare the Day Before

Start your journey on the right foot by preparing the day before. Ensure your travel documents are in order and check in online to save time at the airport. Pack your carry-on thoughtfully, keeping essentials within easy reach.

Begin Well-Rested

Embark on your journey well-rested. A good night’s sleep before your flight can help mitigate jet lag and fatigue. Avoid starting your journey exhausted, as it can exacerbate the discomfort of a long flight.

Charge Your Devices

In the digital age, electronic devices are indispensable. Charge all your devices fully before leaving, and carry at least one extra battery pack or power bank. Many planes offer USB ports or power outlets, but it’s best to be prepared.

Load Up on Entertainment

While in-flight entertainment is common, loading your device with additional movies, TV shows, podcasts, or e-books is wise. This ensures you have a variety of options should the in-flight selection not suit your taste.

Asian travel woman watching movie on digital tablet in airplane

Work Items and Tasks

If you’re planning to work, organize your tasks beforehand. Ensure that all necessary files are accessible offline and your laptop or tablet is charged. Remember to carry a notebook and pen for quick notes.

Staying Comfortable

Comfort is key on a long-haul flight. Wear loose, breathable clothing and comfortable shoes. Consider compression socks to encourage circulation and reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Hydration is Crucial

Airplane cabins are notoriously dry. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before and during the flight. Avoid excessive caffeine and opt for herbal teas or water.

Pack Snacks

Airline food can be hit or miss. Pack your own snacks, focusing on healthy options like fruits, nuts, or granola bars. These can be lifesavers during long stretches between meals or if you find the meal options unappealing.

Limit Alcohol Consumption

While it might be tempting to have a drink to relax, alcohol can dehydrate you and affect your sleep quality. Limit alcohol consumption and opt for non-alcoholic beverages instead.

Use Earplugs or Noise-Cancelling Headphones

The constant hum of the aircraft and noise from fellow passengers can be disruptive. Use earplugs or noise-canceling headphones to create a more peaceful environment, especially if you’re trying to sleep.

Bring,a Blanket and Pillow

Airlines often provide a blanket and a small pillow, but bringing your own can enhance your comfort. A travel neck pillow and a light, compact blanket can make a significant difference.

Male passenger of airplane listens to music and enjoys pillow for sleeping in chair.

Carry Essential Toiletries

Freshening up can make you feel more comfortable. Pack a small toiletry bag with essentials like a toothbrush, toothpaste, face wipes, and hand sanitizer. A small bottle of moisturizer and lip balm can counteract the dry cabin air.

Stretch and Move Around

Sitting for extended periods can be uncomfortable and unhealthy. Take regular breaks to stretch and walk around the cabin. Simple in-seat exercises can help maintain blood circulation.

Adjusting to Time Zones

If you’re crossing multiple time zones, try to adjust your sleep pattern to the destination’s time zone. This can help reduce jet lag. Use eyeshades and earplugs to sleep at appropriate times during the flight.

Stay Positive and Patient

A positive mindset can go a long way. Understand that long-haul flights can be challenging, but with patience and the right attitude, they can be manageable and even enjoyable. Mindfulness or meditation apps can be helpful in managing stress and aiding relaxation. Deep breathing exercises or listening to calming music can also enhance your travel experience.