A long haul flight must be fun because it means that you are traveling somewhere away from home to an entirely different part of the world. However, it is not! These flights can entirely ruin our trip if we do not know how to survive a long haul flight. This can therefore take a toll on us and with other existing travel-related problems such as jet lag, our adventure can be destroyed if we are unaware of travel essentials and tips.
For an international traveler who is on a constant go, a long haul flight is dreadful because imagine those uncomfortable, confined seats, limited leg space, and limited access to washroom. Fortunately, there is not much to worry about as with simple tips and travel essentials, you can make your flight pleasant and enjoyable.
What is a long haul flight?
A long haul flight is usually determined by the flight time from the departure to arrival at a certain destination. Despite these determining factors, one can easily argue on what really is a long haul flight.
Generally, a flight with a time duration of more than 7 hours is considered a long haul flight. On the contrary, in Europe, a long-haul flight is typically above 4 hours whereas, in the US a long-haul flight is a flight with a duration of more than 7 hours. The meaning of a long-haul flight may differ when it comes to other continents but one thing that we all agree on is that these flights can be very tedious and take a toll on us.
What keeps you from enjoying your flight?
There is absolutely no denying the fact that a long-haul flight sucks and that is the reality. It is also very easy for our legs to fall asleep before we do and honestly, there can be many other obstacles that get in the way of us trying to have pleasant and enjoyable flight experiences. While a lot of factors play an important role in this, the followings are the major factors that ruin our travel experience. That is why we need to ensure that we face none of these problems during our long haul flights.
-A confined and uncomfortable seat
-Lack of sufficient leg room
-The inability to relax or fall asleep
-Lack of entertainment
-Bodily discomfort of any sort
-An uncomfortable clothing
In order for you to survive long haul flights and emerge refreshed, relaxed, and start your holiday right after you touch down, here are the best 15 long haul flight tips.
Here are the 15 best tips to survive a long haul flight
1. Choose your seat wisely by studying airline seat maps
One of the major factors to consider in a long haul flight is your seat. The most popular seats are window seats and aisle seats. The middle seats are however the last priority of all the travelers that is why these are the last seats that are allocated in any flight.
If you can easily fall asleep or you spend most of the time of your flight sleeping then, the best option for you is a window seat as you will be able to lean against the widow and easily fall asleep. Similarly, if you are someone who needs to frequently use bathroom, then go for an aisle seat. Also, an aisle seat gives you larger room space and occasionally you can get up and stretch your legs. However, avoid the middle sets unless you are traveling with your family.
2. Fly with small carry-ons in order to have sufficient legroom
Legroom is one thing that can make your travel comfortable in a flight and so much more if you are on a long haul flight. In order to have sufficient legroom, travel with a small carry-on and an essential bag. The carry-on bag must easily fit in the compartment above your head so that you do not have to place it below the seat in front of you.
You must also carry a small handbag that you can easily store below your seat. You can readily get all your flight essentials in this personal bag. This is common-sense that you do not want to climb up other fellow travelers in order to get stuff from your carry-ons.
3. Wear comfortable clothes
As we all know that the temperature on a plane keeps changing so it is always nice to be prepared ahead of time. You will generally be provided a blanket but it is always good to carry a warm cardigan just to be on the safe side. Try wearing stretchy and loose clothing as it will make your movements easier.
Similarly, avoid belts and shoes with laces as it will be difficult for you during your screening and also during the flight. Likewise, carry cozy socks so that you do not suffer from deep vein thrombosis and blot clots.
4. Bring food
It is quite obvious that you will be fed food on your long haul flights but that won’t necessarily be as per your schedule. Most of the times you will be having your lunch as a dinner and wake up to eat dinner in the morning as soon as you wake up. In order to eat as per the schedule and not according the cabin crew’s timing, always carry your meal.
One of the best snacks you can take with you is protein bars and dry fruits. This way you will readily find snacks to munch in between your meal times.
5. Do not forget the entertainment
Have you thought about what would happen if the IFE on a plane fails? It happens on a lot of occasions so, to be on the safe side even when that happens, always bring your gadgets such as an iPad, laptop, and portable music player. To add, do not forget to stack them with your favorite games, movies, and series.
Another factor that you need to consider is that you charge all these devices. Additionally, you would want to stuff a few entertainment items that do not rely on power.
6. Bring essential medication
If you are on any medication, you might have to take some during your flight itself as you are on a long haul flight. In order to not miss any dose of your medication, remember to carry them in your personal bag. Also, in case of delays of your luggage on your arrival, you won’t have to miss any dose.
Similarly, if you take any medication to fall asleep then pack those as well. Just ensure that you have consulted with your medical practitioner. Personally, I do not take any medication as I like to stay alert in case of any emergency.
7. Bring all the essentials that you need to freshen up
A long-haul flight takes a toll on everyone’s freshness so do yourself a favor by carrying travel-sized products that will freshen you up after your flight. Take a small cachet of Colgate wisps, gums, a facial wipe, mints, travel-sized deodorant, under-eye concealer, lip balm, and an extra pair of inner wear in order to get off your flight feeling fresh and confident.
8. Travel with your gadgets
Some planes offer USB charging facilities but you never know when this might fail so regardless, it is always useful to carry a power bank with you into the cabin. Also, consider bringing an AC adapter as you might find it necessary in transit.
9. Wear comfortable shoes
Our feet and legs tend to swell on planes and that is due to the blood pooling from sitting in the same position for a long time period. Tight footwear makes it all the more difficult. At such times, getting up, walking, and stretching is what you can do.
If you are on a window seat, getting up and moving every now and then is not sensible so wearing flexible shoes beforehand will save you from trouble. Therefore, always wear breathable and stretchy shoes that can save your foot from feeling like a tightly wrapped burrito.
10. Do not forget an eye mask
An eye mask is one of the greatest travel accessories as it will darken your world even when the light is on in the cabin. It will create an ideal environment for you to sleep by blocking out the lights in the cabin. Make sure you get a fluffy one and not the scratchy ones or else you won’t be able to get a good sleep despite bringing an eye mask.
11. Get your headphones on board
Bring earplugs in order to get a good sleep and if you forget them you can ask for an extra pair on your flight. However, earplugs won’t do the trick if there is a screaming baby near you or there are people that speak very loudly.
In that case, you will need headphones with soft music that can put you to sleep. Noise-canceling headphones are all the better.
12. Hydrate yourself
One of the odd effects of flying is that our body dehydrates faster. That is why it is suggested to bring an empty water bottle so that you can fill it rather than relying on a cabin crew to come up with those small plastic cups. Just ensure to drink enough water before, during, and after your flight. Also, you would want to consider some hydration cream for your hands and face.
13. A pillow and a blanket is a must
Not all airlines provide blankets so you might want to bring your own in order to be properly rested. Also, the temperature inside the plane keeps fluctuating, therefore, carry a warm blanket. Also, a neck pillow is one thing I cannot do without on a flight and there are tons that you can find in a market so, get one for yourself before you get on a long-haul flight.
14. Get an anti-bacterial wipe
We all know that planes are dirty despite cleaning as we share the space with so many fellow travelers. So, you must minimize the risk of picking up and spreading germs by using anti-bacterial wipes. Wipe down your armrests, seat belt, and seat tray, etc. in order to minimize the chance of falling sick. This will help you survive your long-haul flight much more easily.
And anyway, after the year 2020, we all have come to realize the importance of cleanliness and safe health practices.
15. Pack your essentials kit
A good personal bag containing plenty of space and zippers is what we should carry on our long haul flights. The compartments in such bags will help us organize our stuff better. Stuff these bags with your essentials such as wipes, lip balm, moisturizer, toiletries, and deodorants to readily find them.
Some more tips that might help you survive a long haul flight
-Move around the plane to avoid the risk of deep vein thrombosis.
-Do gentle exercise at your seat every 2-3 hours to keep the blood flowing in your legs.
-Choose your airline and travel route, and flying time wisely.
-Go for an airport walk before you board your flight.
-Avoid plenty of alcohol, carbs, and sugar.
-Start adjusting your body clock prior few days of your flight.
-Carry your essential hair items so that you can tie your hair during your flight and get off looking cute again.
-If you are flying with children, ensure that you packed a small blanket, diaper changing kit, small feeding spoon, and a toy.
It’s a wrap!
So that is it! I hope you got the tricks on how to survive a long haul flight. What do you think of the list? Also, do let me know in the comments below if you have additional tips on surviving a long haul flight.