Flying on a long haul flight can be intimidating. It may even make you wonder if you know how to be prepared to stay seated for a long flight on a cramped airplane!
I completely understand it. I’ve been there many times. So many that I decided to prepare this guide with my top 10 tips to help YOU survive a long haul flight in economy class!
I hope this guide can ease your mind (and your trip) so that you are 100% prepared to face your flight and arrive just as refreshed as you left.
1) Select Your Seat in Advance
Travelling in economy class can be challenging.
But travelling on a long haul flight in economy AND on a middle seat can make things much more uncomfortable.
To avoid having strangers elbowing you and taking your arm rest throughout the flight, select your seat in advance! Most companies allow you to choose a seat 24h in advance for free, and some will charge a small fee.
An aisle seat is good if you prefer easy access to the corridor and bathroom facilities, where a window seat is perfect to look at the view and to get some sleep without being disturbed.
2) Dress for Success (With Comfy Clothes!)
Air travel is not a fashion contest. As much as you would like to look like you’re travelling in first class, at the end of the day your clothes will get the best of you.
However, there is no reason why you can’t be fashionable and comfy at the same time! When you select what to wear for long haul flights, opt for loose fitted clothes rather than tight ones! Leggings are also a good option as they allow for better movement.
Top tip: I always make sure to bring an extra jacket just in case the air conditioner is too much for me. Many companies give small blankets and pillows, but they are usually not enough to fight the cold air!
3) Stay Hydrated and Moisturized
Water, chapstick and a good hand cream!
Those are my 3 best friends when it comes to accessories for long flights. The air on the plane is very dry and not good for the skin. It can leave your lips chapped, your pores bigger than ever, and your hands feeling like a dry sponge!
The good news is that those can all be avoided by simply MOISTURIZING and drinking plenty of water. Just MAKE SURE your liquids are less than 100ml when passing through security at the airport or you’ll never see them again!
Top tip: Avoid wearing make-up! Your pores will thank you later!
4) Put the Coffee Away
The best way to pass the time in a long haul flight is sleeping. Or watching movies. Or even better, falling asleep WHILE watching movies.
To make sure that you don’t stay hopelessly awake during the entire flight, say no to coffee and opt for caffeine free drinks instead.
5) Bring Your Own Travel Pillow
If flying was a game, the goal would be to feel as comfortable as possible. If you plan on sleeping during a long flight, the last thing you want is to wake up with neck pain.
To avoid this problem, here is an amazing travel tip: I like to bring a travel pillow with me whenever I have a long trip. Yes, it takes space, but trust me, it can really improve the quality of your sleep.
6) Watch Your Posture
I have learned this one the hard way. After a long flight from Las Vegas to Amsterdam where I slept the entire way (goals), I got a serious problem of leg pain due to bad posture (not goals).
It took over a month of exercising to heal it, and now I always make sure I keep a proper posture throughout the flight. If you want to sleep, try reclining your seat, stretching your legs as much as you can (don’t cross them!), and make sure your neck and back are properly positioned before dozing off.
7) Bring your Own Entertainment
Most airlines will have free entertainment on board with movies, TV series and a number of other nice things. However, That may not always be the case, and you can end up on a long flight with absolutely nothing to do for many many hours.
Impossible? It’s certainly happened to me already on a flight from Sao Paulo, Brazil all the way to Dominican Republic. Those were the longest 7 hours of my life.
What I like to do to prepare for a long haul flight is to download a few episodes of some nice series on my phone to watch during the way (thank you, Netflix!). This means no extra weight on my bag and hours of things to do!
8) Bring Some Snacks
Along with that nice reusable bottle of water that we talked about, it is a good idea to pack some TSA APPROVED snacks for your flight.
Most flights offer meals and snacks, but you can’t get them anytime you want, and you more than likely won’t be able to go for seconds. Don’t feel hungry during your trip, just pack some yummy goods!
9) Stretch it up!
Your legs and feet are the first to feel the weight of the long hours sitting. Combine that with the lower cabin air pressure as well as the limited sitting space and you get a recipe for swelling and leg pain.
To help you feel comfortable during a long flight, try standing up and doing some light stretching from time to time. This will help with blood flow in your legs during the long flight.
Top tip: If you suffer from any circulatory problems, talk to your doctor before flying. She/he may help you with medication or compression socks to avoid blood clots or any other serious problems.
10) And Finally... Relax!
If you are afraid of flying, you are not alone.
Before you give in to your fear, know that flying is still THE SAFEST method of transportation out there. To help you relax during your long flight, consider bringing some essential oils, practicing meditation, or listening to relaxing music. These things will help ease your mind for a more relaxing trip.
These are my top 10 tips for surviving a long flight. I hope they make your experience on a long flight much more bearable (and maybe even enjoyable!). Now all that’s left to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy your adventure!