14 Tips for Long Flights That Every Traveller Should Know

14 Tips & Tricks for Surviving Long-Haul Flights

Don’t worry, it’ll be over before you know it!

For a restless person like me, spending more than eight hours in a sealed metal tube, 30,000 feet in the air seems like a nightmare. Long-haul flights can often trigger dread in most travellers, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Check out these tips for long flights so you can arrive at your destination feeling well-rested, relaxed, and refreshed.

Long flight essentials and hacks you need to know

1. Choose your seat wisely

tips for long flights

Image credit: Fahroni via Canva Pro

There are plenty of useful long flight hacks to help you pick the perfect seat. If you’re a traveller looking for more legroom, always choose exit rows. Of course, you’ll also want to steer clear of all the crying babies. In that case, make sure your seat is also towards the back of the plane. 

This is because most special provision seats for infants on international flights are located at the front. Moving around the plane is also important on long flights, so try to get an aisle seat. This way, you’re not climbing over someone every time you feel like stretching your legs.

To surely get the seat of your choice, you’ll need to pay to play. Choosing a spot in premium economy, or any other higher cabin class, will cost you a few extra bucks. But if you want that comfort, then go for it. Certain airlines also let customers bid on upgrades, which are sent out a week before the flight. Beyond those options, you’re leaving that prime seat to fate.

2. Dress comfy

long flight essentials

Image credit: cottonbro studio via Canva Pro

Wearing comfortable clothes is probably one of the simplest and best long flight hacks to practise. Remember to pick an outfit that you’ll be able to feel cosy in for more than ten hours. On top of that, you’ll be sitting still under cold air conditioning for quite some time, so put on something with lots of layers to help you acclimatise as best as possible.

Also read: 12 Things You Should Never Wear on a Plane

3. Prep for good sleep

long flight hacks

Image credit: Syda Productions via Canva Pro

Chances are, you’ll be on the plane for an entire day or night, so it never hurts to pack some long flight essentials for a good rest. Get a good airline pillow to support your head and neck. Also, it’s a good idea to bring along a travel blanket, because the thin ones provided by the airline don’t always cut it. 

A good pair of earplugs will also work wonders to drown out everyone else on the plane so you can get a peaceful rest. To feel extra refreshed when you land, pack a toothbrush and some basic travel-size toiletries.

4. Take a short walk

tips for long haul flights

Image credit: halfpoint via Canva Pro

Some long flight tips are more important than others, and this is one of them. Remember to stretch your legs every now and then. Granted, there might not be that much space to move around, but you can walk up and down the aisles, or go to the bathroom. This is to help make sure your body’s circulation isn’t affected by long hours of sitting down.

5. Wear compression socks

Image credit: Juan Moyano via Canva Pro

Speaking of circulation, it’s also a good idea to invest in a pair of compression socks. Not moving for long periods of time during a flight can be the cause of deep-vein thrombosis (DVT). This is a condition where blood clots form in your lower legs because the blood isn’t circulating all that well. In case you’re on a flight where you don’t get an opportunity to stand up and walk about, compression socks will help keep the blood flowing in your legs. 

6. Keep yourself entertained

tips for long flights

Image credit: imtmphoto via Canva Pro

Flying for more than eight hours can become incredibly boring if you haven’t packed the right long flight essentials to stay entertained. When it comes to this, be as creative as possible. Pack your tablets or iPads, and make sure they’ve been loaded up with movies, TV shows, podcasts, or even meditative programs. Sometimes, the selection of in-flight entertainment might not be up your alley. 

You can also read a book, doodle on a sketchpad, or even catch up on some work, if that’s your thing. Make sure to pack a pair of comfy, noise-cancelling headphones as well.

7. Charge all devices

long flight hacks

Image credit: rostislavsedlacek via Canva Pro

Following swiftly on the heels of the previous tip, you’ll want to be sure that you charge all your devices before getting on the plane. As far as tips for long flights go, this one’s easy to forget, especially if you’re in a rush. 

However, you don’t want your phone, tablet, or laptop to run out of power right before a 12-hour flight. Certain airlines might not provide outlets, which makes this tip doubly important when it comes to staving off in-flight boredom. You should also pack a powerbank —  a must-have among long flight essentials — for an added layer of security to prevent your devices from flatlining.

8. Stay hydrated and moisturised

long flight essentials

Image credit: anyaberkut via Canva Pro

Drink water, and drink lots of it! Aircraft cabins tend to be very dry, so staying hydrated is one of many tips for long haul flights that you should keep in mind. Avoid too much caffeine or alcohol if you can, because they’ll only dehydrate you even more. Drink water slowly and regularly throughout the whole flight. 

On top of that, don’t hesitate to bring along some moisturiser or lip balm for your face. Dry, itchy skin and chapped lips can be extremely uncomfortable. Also, bring along eye drops if you’re prone to dry eyes.

9. A little alcohol helps with sleep

Image credit (L-R): Bertlmann via Canva Pro; ddubb3429 via Canva Pro

If you’re someone that’s comfortable with alcohol, here’s one more thing to add to your list of tips for long flights. Having a little bit to drink can actually help you relax and fall asleep. You shouldn’t overdo it, as a few sips should get the job done. Also, it goes without saying that this particular tip only applies to people that are of age. 

10. Bring your own snacks

long flight hacks

Image credit: baibaz via Canva Pro

Travelling on long flights often means crossing into different time zones, which means your meal times get all topsy-turvy. Of course, you’ll be able to enjoy some in-flight refreshments. But that food trolley doesn’t always come up the aisle when you need it most. Make things easier on yourself by packing some light snacks in your carry-on, which are important long flight essentials. Slow-energy release snacks like granola bars, nuts, or dried fruit are among the better options.

11. Reset your watch to the destination time zone

Image credit: energetic.com via Canva Pro

A popular entry in a bevy of tips for long flights is resetting your watch to the time zone of your destination. Do this the minute you’ve boarded the plane, and then carry out your daily routine according to the new time zone. This way, you’ll be able to get ahead of jet lag and start dealing with it before it even happens.

12. Know how to pack your carry-on bags

tips for long flights

Image credit: Nednapa via Canva Pro

Have you ever stood in line inside a plane, trying to stuff your oversized hand-carry luggage into the teeny-tiny overhead compartment? Yeah, don’t be that traveller. When it comes to carry-ons, it’s always important to know how to pack them. There are two types of carry-ons: one that you keep in the overhead compartment, and one that you can place under the seat in front of you.

The latter should be used to store all items that you’ll need to access mid-flight. These can include the likes of earbuds, devices, books, travel blankets, snacks, and even neck pillows. By doing this, you’ll be able to avoid having to always get your bag from the overhead compartment and inconvenience other passengers. 

13. Bring your glasses and contact lens solution

Image credit: pixelshot via Canva Pro

For those of you that wear contact lenses on a regular basis, remember to bring along your glasses and contact lens solution. Wearing contacts for too long can often result in eye irritation, which is definitely something you don’t want to have to deal with on a long flight. So, stow away those contacts, slip on your glasses, and relax until it’s time to land. 

14. Plan meals in advance

Image credit: Yuliia Chyzhevska via Canva Pro

Take it from someone with personal experience, you dont want to eat spicy food before boarding a long flight. When thinking about long flight hacks, it’s important to remember your tummy. Aircraft toilets don’t exactly make for the most comfortable experience, and you don’t really want to be stinking up that stall right before the next person walks in. 

Planning your meals and eating the right kind of food before boarding a flight can go a long way. Focus on dishes and snacks that are easy on the body, including lean proteins like turkey or chicken. Pair those with fruits and vegetables, as well as a good amount of water. Avoid salty snacks, spicy food, beans, and fried food.

Also read: Real-Life Flight Attendants Share Their Top Pet Peeves About Fliers

As you can see, you can take plenty of simple steps to ensure that your next long-haul flight isn’t complete agony. In fact, by putting these tips for long flights into practice, you might even enjoy yourself way before arriving at your destination. Regardless of where your next long-haul flight takes you, feel free to share your travel adventures with us at any time by tagging @tripzillamag on Instagram!

Featured image credit: wattanaphob kappago via Canva Pro

Facebook image credit (right): urbazon via Canva Pro

About Author

Jeremiah Patrick
Jeremiah Patrick

A journeyman wordsmith wandering the creative lexicon, looking to craft a masterpiece. The only thing on par with Jerry’s love for a good story is the time he spends playing dauntingly difficult video games, reading works of fiction, and listening to horror podcasts. His mood shifts between dark brooding and cheery quips, depending on how much caffeine swirls in his system.


Related Posts