Today I bring you 9 long haul flights tips and tricks that really work! Flying for an extended period of time can be stressful on the body and the mind, so make sure you try out a few of these tips!
Long haul flights suck!
There, I said it!
There’s no way of me trying to spin that into something super positive. They just are not as fun as they seem.
The flights are long. You spend hours waiting at the airport. And if you have a layover whereafter you got to repeat the process again, then even worse!
Of course, if you are a regular business class passenger then your opinion might differ slightly.
But for us regular economy travellers, those 13+ hour trips really do cause a bit of emotional and physical pain.
Long Haul Flights Tips And Tricks
See these related travel posts:
- 10 Best Travel Books That’ll Fuel Your Wanderlust
- The Ultimate 100+ Europe Travel Bucket List
- 3 Travel Inspiration Videos That’ll Make You Smile
- 11 Must Know Airport Tips & Tricks
Below is a list of a few tips to make your long haul flight just a little bit more endurable and comfortable!
1. ADJUST YOUR MINDSET
Being mentally prepared for what lies ahead can be a great help.
Know that you are not going to be getting a lot of sleep. Accept that there might (hopefully not) just be a crying baby nearby your seat.
Remember that you must try remain patient at all times, as everything with travel always seem to take longer than we expect.
Long haul flights are something which we sadly cannot ever avoid. Plus they are part of the adventure, no matter where we plan on going!
Be patient. Take it easy. And try enjoy the ride.
2. WHAT TO WEAR
A lot of people take an extra change of clothing with, and as soon as the seatbelt sign has been switched off, they run to the toilets and get changed.
This is a good strategy.
Being as comfortable as possible is a must on these long trips. See it as putting your pajamas on before getting into bed.
Rather be comfortable than try and look fashionable!
Usually a comfortable t-shirt, hoodie and some track pants will do the job. If you really want to, take a pair of super cozy socks.
When you get to about an hour or so before landing, change back into your normal clothes. This way you will also feel a bit refreshed.
What clothing to try and avoid:
- Fancy, smart or high heeled shoes
- Smart shirts
- For females, dresses aren’t advised
- Open shoes – it can get cold inside planes!
- Don’t wear a suit, you are not going to a wedding
- Super tight clothing. Most people tend to swell up a bit at 40 000 feet
TIP: Take into consideration the weather of your destination.
Don’t leave Australia in summer on your way to Europe where its below zero degree celsius in flip flops and a sleeveless shirt!
The same goes for the other way around.
3. WHERE TO SIT
Everyone has their own opinion on what seat is the best seat in the house!
Each airline will have their own seating configuration. So check out their seating maps before checking in in order to make a better choice.
Try avoid sitting near the bathrooms. These seats tend to have more traffic flowing by, and the odd smell may just be coming in your direction.
Aisle seats are always a winner, particularly if you are travelling alone.
Don’t be scared to ask for better seats at the airport!
When you are at the check in counter, ask the person working there for better seats. Or perhaps for an emergency exit seat. You might just get lucky!
Another trick I have learn’t is at the boarding gate, go a few minutes early and ask the staff members doing the boarding if there are any better seats left. This has actually paid off a few times in the past. You might even get upgraded!
4. FOOD & DRINK
Airline food varies tremendously from airline to airline.
Some really pride themselves on providing extremely good quality food and drink, even for economy class passengers.
Whilst others really just couldn’t care less about making any effort.
The fact is you will most likely want to eat on a long haul flight, so you are going to have to eat whatever is offered to you.
TIP: Order a special meal online before the flight. Airlines usually offer choices such as vegetarian, healthy, halaal etc. By doing this, you get a slightly healthier option, plus your food usually arrives first!
Flying naturally dehydrates you quite a lot.
Having said that, consuming large quantities of alcohol will only add to this dehydration, causing you to feel pretty bad by the time you land!
Try drink as much water as possible. And reduce your boozing as much as possible (not always easy, I know).
TIP: Take a big bottle of water with you from the terminal. Airlines tend to always pour us these tiny cups of water which NEVER seems to be enough.
5. STRETCH YOUR BODY
It’s no secret that flying has some negative side effects on us physically.
One of those side effects being the build up of blood around our legs. Ever finished a long haul flight and felt that your shoes feel like they may have shrunk a size? That’s actually your feet that have swelled up a bit!
Make an effort to get up every hour or so, walk a bit around the plane and stretch your legs. This will at least support a bit of blood movement in your legs.
Side note – Enjoying this article? You might also enjoy the following posts:
- 20 Travel tips from a few travel pro’s!
- 5 Ways a minimalistic life can only improves yours
- 5 Awesome jobs for backpackers in Europe
- Want to travel alone? Here’s why you HAVE to at least once
- My top 5 budget European destinations
6. DURING THE FLIGHT
After having your meal and a drink or two, you still have a long way to go!
A few things you should try do as best as possible:
- Sleep!! If possible, try and get in as much sleep as you can. This is the best and most productive way to get through a long journey
- Read a book, or an interesting magazine
- Watch a movie, some series or a documentary or two
- Try meditate! This will firstly help you sleep, and secondly will put your mind at ease. See how to meditate here
- If none of the above seems interesting, then simply chill out with yourself and your thoughts
7. TIPS FOR COUPLES
Couples have the added advantage of being able to raise the armchair in between them, and kind of intertwine to get as comfortable as possible.
Make use of the fact that you are not alone sitting next to some stranger.
TIP: If your seat configuration of the plane is 3 seats, then book the aisle and the window seat. Chances are the middle seat will get booked last. And if someone does end up sitting there, offer them the aisle. Otherwise, you have three seats for the two of you!
8. TO BRUSH YOUR TEETH OR NOT?
I don’t mean generally in life, no. That’s an obvious one!
But many travellers brush their teeth toward the end of any long flight. By then you usually have a foul taste in your mouth, so a good rinse of your teeth is well needed.
The issue is, however, that the water found in airplane toilets is not fresh. Chances are good that there’s some dodgy bacteria floating around there somewhere.
So should you brush your teeth on board or not?
That’s entirely up to you!
And me? Honestly, I always brush my teeth the moment I walk into any airport terminal. Even before passport control and baggage claim.
9. A FEW BASIC RULES OF FLYING
OK, these aren’t exactly written down rules. But try follow these as much as possible. For your own sake and those travelling with you.
- Don’t immediately recline your seat all the way back so that the person behind you is super uncomfortable
- Your seat reclined slightly? Bring it up during meal times
- Be friendly. Goes without saying. You don’t want to end up on Youtube as being THAT person going into a rage over something petty
- Wear shoes to the toilet. These are public toilets, so try be wary of this
- Lastly, take it easy and enjoy the ride!!
Long haul flights should be an exciting little adventure. It’s taking you somewhere far away, maybe somewhere completely new.
Enjoy every moment of it all, and try use a few of these tips to your advantage.
Make sure to follow my Travel Tips Pinterest board for all the latest tips and tricks related to travel!