Long-haul flights can take their toll on your body and can be intimidating. However, with the right preparation and tactics, you can make your experience a pleasant one. With these long-haul flights tips and tricks, you can ensure a comfortable flight as best you can.
I jet set as often as I can and have had my share of long flights/travel days…some good and some bad. Let’s just say, I wish I would have had these flight tips before I traveled non-stop from Toronto to Beijing, or Washington D.C. to Bangkok or Dallas to Maui…especially in economy. Without further ado, let’s get to the 10 tips for long flights.
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How to Survive Long Flights in Economy
1. Get a Good Nights Rest
You may think that staying up the night before your long flight would benefit you assuming that you’d be so tired that you slept the whole way. Quite the opposite.
Pulling an all nighter will cause you to be irritable and cranky. We all know how many lines you have to cue up in, in order to fly. TSA, coffee, boarding, lines are irritating as it is let alone with lack of sleep.
Get a good nights rest the night before you take your long haul flight. You will still be able to get rest on the flight with a little help of a sleep aid. Your body, mind and soul will thank you.
TRAVEL TIP: If you have long layovers and fly often investing in a Priority Pass will be a life savor. With the Priority Pass you have access to over 1300 airport experiences worldwide.
The lounges are quiet, connected spaces to relax or work in, with pre-flight bites, drinks and other added perks that help keep you refreshed and revived.
2. Stay Hydrated
If I had one long haul flight tip to give it would be to stay hydrated. Try to drink at least 250 ml an hour or so before your flight. Do not wait until you are thirsty because that entails that you are already dehydrated.
An easy way to make sure you always have water handy is by carrying a collapsible water bottle. Being that it’s collapsible, it can fold up and easily be carried in your carry-on and through security. Once past the check point your can fill your water bottle up inside the airport at a water fountain. This helps save you a few bucks as well especially if you are traveling on a budget.
I always have a collapsible water bottle with me not only for long haul flights but for traveling in general. It’s a way to reduce plastic and stay eco friendly. Check out these eco friendly travel products for more ideas on how to reduce your carbon footprint.
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3. Dress Comfy & in Layers
Our third long-haul flight tips and tricks is dressing comfortable and in layers! This may seem like a no brainer but flying a long haul flight in comfortable clothes is a game changer. I always fly in the same style of outfit and I’m not the only one who thinks it’s the most comfortable because I see many ladies in the same style flying outfits as me.
This is my go to travel outfit. Lululemon align yoga pants with pockets. Not only are these extremely comfortable but the pockets are everything. I’m able to have my phone and chapstick on me at all times, it’s secure and easy to get to.
Tank top, sweatshirt, trucker hat and a comfortable pair of walking shoes. I’ve been sporting the white adidas Swift Running Shoes which were a gift. Not only are they extremely comfortable but I love the pop of white it gives my flying outfit since I live life out of a suitcase, I sport a mostly black wardrobe.
Lastly, I travel with my jean jacket because it has inside pockets which makes it convenient to hold your passport and boarding pass so you don’t have to dig around in your bag to find your travel documents.
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4. Pack all your Travel Essentials for Long Haul Flights
Long haul flights tips and tricks number four is making sure you have all your long haul flight essentials in your carry-on to ensure a comfortable flight. These items include a nice pair of headphones, power bank, E-Reader, iPhone, iPad or iMac for entertainment.
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5. Keep your Circulation Moving
When you’re sat upright and not regularly moving over a long period of time, muscles can become tense and stiff, fluid may collect around your feet causing swelling, blood circulation may decrease. Long periods of inactivity can lead to blood pooling in the deep veins of the legs, increasing the risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).
DVT is a condition where a blood clot develops in a deep vein, usually in the calf or thigh. This compacted with dehydration and a lack of fresh air circulation only increases the chances of a blood clot developing.
To help eliminate and reduce swelling, stiffness and blot clots get up and stretch your legs every couple hours. This is where sitting in an aisle seat comes in handy. Take a stroll to the bathroom, brush your teeth, fix your hair, just get moving.
Invest in a pair of compression socks, these will help to keep your circulation moving throughout the flight.
Another way to help ease with the pain of being stationary during a long flight is by stretching a lot before your flight. A lot of airports now a days have exercise rooms where you can do a quick yoga flow and properly stretch your legs and body out.
If you are at an airport without an exercise room, no problem. Instead of spending your time at a bar waiting for your flight, stretch out in the boarding area.
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6. Exercise Before your Flight
Along with traveling, fitness is a top priority in my life. Exercising before a flight is always a good idea. Not only will it tire you out before the flight but it will make you less antsy sitting on the plane.
7. Eat Light and Healthy
Eating healthy goes a long way especially before a long, exhausting flight. Eating clean and not processed foods keep you mentally clear and your head less foggy.
Putting healthy foods into your body leaves you feeling fuller for longer. Plus this will avoid the possible belly ache you have after eating a processed meal.
Opt for a light, fresh salad with lots of bright veggies. My go to is a crisp caesar salad.
8. Keep Clean
Another long haul travel tip that may sound like a no brainer is keeping clean. This means keeping a travel toothbrush handy so you can brush your teeth on the plane or in the airport. Having makeup remover toilettes to refresh your face or wipe off the mascara that has accumulated under your eyes after a quick cat nap.
Feeling refreshed and somewhat clean will help keep your spirits high about the long journey that you are on.
9. Seat Selection
If you are flying solo, try to select an aisle seat if you can. This extra space can be beneficial in allowing for more legroom and making getting up and down for restroom trips easier.
If you are flying with another person book a window seat and an aisle seat leaving the middle open. I use this tactic all the time and it’s one of my favorite travel hacks. Unless the plane is extremely full, no one will book purposely want to book a middle seat between two strangers.
If the plane is full and someone has a ticket for the middle seat, simply have you or your partner move to the middle seat. The person is usually very happy to switch with you for a window (or aisle) seat.
I book plane tickets like this all the time and more often than not, Joe and I end up having the whole row to ourselves. Make sure you try this tip for long flights on your next trip.
10. Bring Snacks
Snacks on snacks on snacks, I mean who doesn’t love snacks. No one wants to be hangry or more importantly be traveling with someone who is hangry. Pack a few healthy snacks that can keep your blood sugar up and get your through the flight.
This is an extremely important long haul flight tip especially since the pandemic hit because snacks on airplanes aren’t as frequent or available as they were before. A few of my favorite flying snacks are beef jerky, trail mix, cliff bars and fruit snacks.
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Long Haul Flight Travel Vlogs
Wanna see what it’s really like to fly around the world? Check out some of our long haul flight travel vlogs we filmed below.