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32 Travel Tips for Long Haul Flights To Know Before You Fly

travel tips for long flights
(Last Updated On: July 31, 2023)

Travel tips for long flights can help a great deal to make the journey memorable and better. Ah, the allure of a dream holiday beckons, but for many, the prospect of enduring long-haul flights is enough to temper the excitement. The thought of being confined to a seat for hours on end, with the burden of keeping spirits high and entertainment engaging, can even give seasoned travelers pause.

However, fret not, for a touch of astute preparation and savvy thinking can metamorphose long-haul flights into a far more palatable experience. To unlock the secrets of a comfortable and perhaps even enjoyable journey, we’ve curated a collection of tips to assist you on your next lengthy expedition. In this article, I am going to provide some travel tips for long flights:

Travel Tips for Long Haul Flights To Know Before You Fly

Embarking on a long-haul flight, whether for business or pleasure, might not seem like the most appealing prospect. However, fear not, for there are ways to transform this arduous journey into a more enjoyable experience. Here are ten indispensable travel tips that will not only ensure your survival but elevate your comfort during the long expedition. Here are travel tips for long flights for your perusal.

1. Get away from it all

You’ll need a good strategy for wasting several hours of your journey, and I don’t mean working; looking at spreadsheets and drafting proposals may burn time, but it won’t make it go away.

You want these hours to vanish nearly completely. Consider headphones and blockbusters from Hollywood. Getting a lot of work done is fine—you seldom have 15 uninterrupted hours without phone calls or messages, so bring some work with you—but work will fail you when you reach the ordeal’s terrible middle hours. Don’t get me started on headphones and Hollywood.

2. Prepare your carry-on bag

If you want to arrive looking and feeling like a million bucks, bring the following travel-size items in your carry-on bag: Brushing your teeth helps you feel alert and refreshed, deodorant to make you smell good, and lip balm and lotion to keep your skin shining no matter how dry the air is or how terrible the jet lag is.

Aside from packing toiletries, make sure you have a pen and the location of where you’ll be staying (for the first night) so you can fill out all of your immigration paperwork without bothering the flight attendants.

3. Shun Heavy Meals

To maintain ease during your flight, it’s prudent to steer clear of heavy meals before and during your journey. Such fare poses a challenge for your body to digest and may hinder your ability to fall asleep. Furthermore, indulging in hefty portions may lead to bloating, an unwelcome companion in the sky, intensifying your discomfort in that cramped seat.

4. Meticulously Select Your Snacks

Opt for nutrient-dense, carbohydrate-rich edibles, such as whole-grain bread and oatmeal, to keep your blood sugar levels stable. This choice is particularly beneficial in coping with jet lag’s unwelcome effects. Alternatively, embrace protein-rich nibbles, like cheese, yogurt, or protein bars, for an energy boost that will keep hunger pangs at bay.

5. Embrace Hydration

In the realm of health experts, a unanimous recommendation echoes loud and clear: drink abundantly, especially water, during your flight. The atmosphere within aircraft cabins can be egregiously dehydrating. Keeping yourself hydrated not only combats the dreaded “flight flu” upon landing but also promotes overall well-being throughout the journey.

Because flying dehydrates your body, you’ll need to drink more than you would on the ground. Do not wait until you are thirsty and must clamber over other passengers to catch the attention of the flight staff. Instead, purchase or pack a reusable water bottle that you can fill after passing through security and then top up with the plane’s water.

Avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol, since they dehydrate the body and make sleeping more difficult. Bring some light snacks (fruit, almonds, crackers) to keep you from getting hungry in between meals as one of the travel tips for long flights.

6. Tread Cautiously on Caffeine

Exercise moderation in your caffeine intake. Excessive coffee or tea consumption may induce wakefulness, exacerbate dehydration, and kindle feelings of agitation, anxiety, or restlessness. Be mindful of the fine balance between a rejuvenating sip and an unwanted jittery ride.

7. Attire for Comfort

Bearing witness to the rapid oscillation between freezing and perspiration during a prolonged flight is an all-too-familiar predicament. Combat this temperature tug-of-war with loose-fitting clothing and strategic layering. The versatility of breathable layers allows you to navigate fluctuations in cabin temperature, ensuring you remain comfortably attired both in flight and while transitioning between the terminal and aircraft.

8. Tender Loving Care for Your Feet

Long hours of inactivity often result in swelling ankles and feet, a consequence of prolonged sitting. Counteract this effect by selecting your footwear with prudence. To mitigate foot swelling, flex and extend your legs periodically when seated. Whenever feasible, take short walks to invigorate your limbs and promote circulation.

9. Rest and Rejuvenate

Secure some sleep, even if only a brief nap. While slumbering in a crowded plane poses challenges, fortify your odds of rest with a neck pillow, an eye mask, and earphones or earplugs. These tools serve as sentinels against disruptive light and noise, ensuring a more peaceful, stress-free repose.

10. Choosing Your Throne

Enhance your overall travel experience by investing in a premium seat, replete with coveted extra legroom. If such luxury remains elusive within your budget, opt for an aisle seat to facilitate periodic stretching. Alternatively, those yearning for a snug wall to lean on during slumber should elect a window seat, sparing them disruptions from beverage carts and fellow travelers en route to the restroom.

11. Delight in Entertainment

Entertainment serves as a worthy companion during protracted flights. Engage in the literary realm with books, captivate your senses with tablets and magazines, or savor the latest episodes of your beloved shows. A curated Spotify playlist might also prove the perfect melodic accompaniment. Ensure your enjoyment remains uninterrupted by downloading online content in advance to obviate the need for in-flight Wi-Fi at a cost.

12. Get to know your neighbors

Striking up a conversation with the person sitting next to you isn’t always successful, but it’s worth a try – you never know who you’ll meet on a plane, and many friendships, business transactions, and vacation plans have begun on aircraft.

Plus, once you’ve introduced yourself and maybe even made some small conversation, it’s a lot simpler to ask for movie recommendations or the cookie your seatmate hasn’t finished.

13. Accessorize and go to bed

Earplugs, an eye mask, and noise-canceling headphones will help you relax even more. This, along with your neck pillow, will allow you to relax, cuddle up as much as an economy-class seat permits, and enhance your chances of sleeping. Unless you want to stay awake and concentrate on the small screen in front of you…

14. Opt for Connecting Tickets

Long journeys entail multiple flights, and with them comes the potential for serious stress. Navigating unfamiliar airports is a formidable task, especially under tight time constraints. The apprehension of missing a connecting flight looms like a persistent headache, an affliction no one wishes to endure.

Whenever possible, secure tickets from your point of departure to your final destination. By doing so, your chosen airline will include all connecting flights in the booking, offering assistance if time is against you and making arrangements should any hiccups arise along the way.

15. Online Check-In

In the face of the impending sedentary hours ahead, waiting in a queue before takeoff is an undesirable prelude. Engage in the convenience of online check-in, and you shall only need to drop your baggage before making your way to the departure gate. Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to fine-tune your flight particulars, including meal preferences and seating choices.

16. Choose Your Seat Strategically

An incessant game of aisle-seat gymnastics to accommodate fellow passengers’ leg-stretching endeavors hardly sets the right tone for a holiday. Anticipate the situation wisely and book your seats in advance, aiming for a spot that promises a relaxing flight, well clear of busy zones like restrooms and galleys. For the vertically gifted, contemplating extra legroom is an investment in bodily comfort for the lengthy journey ahead.

17. Make the Most of Baggage Allowance

Most airlines offer a checked baggage allowance of 20kg or more, allowing you to leave behind cumbersome belongings at the check-in desk. Optimize the items you carry on board to include only essentials. This not only preserves your back and shoulders during airport navigation but also simplifies the process of settling in onboard.

Essentials to Consider

– Ear Plugs: A divine intervention for peaceful tranquility, especially ones designed to counter ear-popping.
– Engaging Distractions: Consider a captivating kids’ toy, game, or entertainment item that can hold the attention of young travelers throughout the journey.
– Comfort Clothing: Pack a change of clothes and extra layers, ensuring comfort during naps or for a fresh start upon disembarking.
– Travel-Sized Amenities: Hand sanitizer, face wash, and a toothbrush will keep you feeling refreshed throughout the journey.
– Travel Pillows: A must-have for aspiring in-flight nappers; position the pillow with the gap at the back of your neck to prevent potential strain.

18. Indulge in In-Flight Entertainment

A savior for long-haul travelers, in-flight entertainment boasts blockbuster movies and must-see TV shows available on demand. Kick back and savor an entire film franchise or binge-watch the talk-of-the-town series. Stay ahead of the curve by exploring the current line-up on your airline’s website.

19. Prioritize Comfort

Crafting a cocoon of comfort sufficient for a bit of shut-eye might demand effort, but it is indeed achievable. Loosen your shoes as your feet will inevitably swell over time. Slip into the coziest attire available and experiment with various combinations of blankets and cushions.

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20. WalkAlong the Aisles

Prolonged immobility within the cabin neither nurtures the body nor the mind. Regularly venture up and down the aisle to maintain a healthy circulation of blood.

21. Relax and Unwind

Enduring a lengthy flight is challenging enough without the addition of anxiety. For those who struggle with nervousness while flying, several techniques, such as mindful breathing and meditation, abound. Exploring a myriad of approaches will lead you to discover one that perfectly suits your temperament.

Alternatively, divulge your concerns to a member of the cabin crew. Veterans of long-haul flights, they have encountered myriad situations and individuals. Their wealth of experience enables them to soothe and reassure anxious passengers, offering expert tips to maximize comfort during the journey.

22. Don’t Overburden Yourself

While checked baggage costs encourage people to bring on more and more items, this may be costly on a long-haul trip; everything beneath the seat in front of you means less legroom and a more confined living area for the next 15 or 16 hours.

Don’t overpack to the point that you’re fighting for your own sleeping space. However, you’ll want to bring the necessities to make the trip more pleasant, so don’t go too light on critical long-haul gear.

23. Don’t forget to bring your go-to gear

I’m not a big fan of gear in general. Except on a long-haul journey, I can’t be bothered to drag about neck pillows, sleep masks, earplugs, noise-canceling headphones, and so on. As previously said, your overall carry-on luggage should be kept to a minimum, but you might want to consider some of these in-flight necessities.

The inconvenience of packing and carrying these around is dwarfed by the misery of 15 hours in the air with crying children, pilot announcements, engine noise, and a major crick in your neck, and the inconvenience of packing and carrying these around are dwarfed by the misery of 15 hours in the air with crying children, pilot announcements, engine noise, and a major crick in your neck. Prepare yourself.

24. Take pleasure in the show

When you’re watching movies or TV shows, time flies. Many airlines allow you to check the movie selection online, allowing you to plan your entertainment schedule or supplement it with your own personal library.

Even while movies are a great way to relax and unwind, there’s a risk the in-flight entertainment system won’t work: Always have a backup plan in places, such as a book, computer games, movies, or music, so you don’t have to endure the agony of staring at the back of your seat for eight hours.

25. Pay attention to legroom

The convenience of carry-on baggage is fantastic. Until you have to stow it beneath the seat in front of you, at which point your already restricted legroom effectively vanishes. Ensure that all of your luggage is stored in the overhead bin so that you may stretch your legs and feet frequently and gracefully.

26. Wear the Appropriate Clothing

A long-haul trip is not the time to emphasize fashion above comfort unless you’re getting off the plane directly into a business meeting. Wear breathable, loose-fitting clothing that allows you to move freely, slip-on shoes, and an additional layer (such as a sweatshirt or pashmina) in case the plane is cold. See 18 Things You Should Always Wear for more tips.

When flying long distances, avoid using contacts and instead go for glasses. (My ophthalmologist advises against using contacts for more than 14 hours at a time.)

27. Take into account a sleep aid

A couple of hard-won pointers: To begin, don’t go to bed early the night before a journey with the hopes of sleeping the entire flight. If you can’t sleep for whatever reason, as appealing and logical as this notion may appear, you’re in for a world of suffering.

Even if you are fairly rested, you will be on the plane long enough to catch a few winks, and my suggestion is to accept it when it comes; if your eyelids start to droop, bring out the eye coverings and earplugs, and go with it. You could be unhappy with yourself later if you waste a two-hour snooze on a few additional games of Angry Birds.

Second, keeping to your regular pre-bedtime routine might assist your body to prepare for sleep.

28. Get some exercise before you fly

Being active and doing some exercise before your journey may make you feel calm and maybe a bit weary, which is great when getting ready to sit in an airplane for hours.

Instead of making a wild sprint for the gate, try working out, swimming a few laps, or going for a run or a brisk stroll before you go. Even strolling around the airport might assist if you don’t have time.

29. Pick up a few phrases in the local language

Learning a new language is not only a fun way to pass the time, but it will also make your life much easier once you arrive. You may read a book, listen to music on your phone, or view movies on your tablet while greeting border authorities, cab drivers, and hotel receptionists as if you were a local.

If studying one language isn’t difficult enough, try learning a few words in the languages of the nations you’ll be flying through.

30. At the gate, inquire about available seats

If you were unable to choose fantastic seats prior to your trip, try again at the gate. If the aircraft is not yet full, the gate agent may be able to locate an empty row or arrange for you and a traveling companion to sit in a “window and aisle” configuration, which lowers the chances of someone sitting in the middle seat and guarantees you at least a seat and a half.

If you’re unsure about your seat assignment, it’s never a terrible idea to inquire (politely) at the gate. Even if you are unable to relocate your seats, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you tried.

31. Walk around and stretch

Sitting for long periods of time is not only inconvenient, but it can also lead to deadly blood clots. Standing up, walking around, and stretching your muscles as much as possible is a good idea — as long as you follow the seatbelt-sign requirements, of course!

In the inflight magazine or on one of the TV channels, several airlines recommend workouts. You can always twist your body, wrap your arms around yourself, extend your legs, roll your head and ankles, or stand up and bounce on the tips of your toes if you’re stuck for ideas.

32. Embrace Positivity

Embrace the journey with a positive mindset. While travel can be stressful and exhausting, the rewards awaiting you at your destination render it well worth the effort. Rather than dreading the flight, seize the opportunity to utilize this time productively. Be it planning, reflecting, or simply indulging in the bliss of solitude; there is ample scope to make the most of this interlude between worlds.

Final thought

With this compendium of top tips at your disposal, we hope you embark on your long-haul flight with renewed excitement and vigor. May your journey be filled with boundless comfort and enchanting experiences! Your long-haul flight shall transform into a journey of comfort, enrichment, and delightful anticipation. Soar the skies with renewed vigor, embracing each moment as a stepping stone to new adventures and unforgettable memories.

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32 Travel Tips for Long Haul Flights To Know Before You Fly

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