While long haul flights can be rewarding given the many wonderful destinations the world has to offer, the flights themselves can get mildly inconvenient at best. The cramped spaces, loud passengers not to mention long hours on the plane can be annoying. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to make long haul flights more pleasant or, at the very least, more bearable.
Book early, check-in early
Preparing for a long haul flight starts way before you enter the airport. Travel + Leisure recommends booking your flight early, as this gives you better chances of scoring your favorite seat. Whether you prefer a window seat, a seat by the exit with more leg room, or a seat at the back of the plane, most airlines allow passengers to submit their seating preferences if they book their flight on time.
Other airlines give you the option to do this upon check-in, so try to get to the airport early. This also keeps your stress levels low since you won’t be pressed for time while navigating immigration and airport security.
One of the most important things you need to do on a long-haul flight is to dress comfortably. Reader’s Digest suggests wearing items such as cozy leggings, tracksuits, cardigans, and slip-on shoes. They not only help with avoiding swollen feet, but also make customs so much easier. In addition, thick socks can help the body keep a comfortable temperature throughout the flight, while scarves can be used as pillows. Such items even have the added benefit of having familiar and pleasing scents to help lull you to sleep in-flight.
Limit your carry-on baggage to a small bag that will allow you to get through airport security quickly and can fit beneath the seat in front of you. This way, you’d have an easier time getting items you need during the flight and avoid dealing with overhead bins before takeoff and upon arrival.
In addition to packing light, take things that matter. Make sure you have toiletries, a change of clothing, charged devices, and healthy snacks to keep you satiated throughout the flight. If you’re unsure of what else to pack for your trip, check out The Ultimate Travel Checklist here on the Wander the World blog.
This sounds simple, but The Atlantic shared that half of all travelers usually drink less than two cups of water when they fly. This, in addition to too much free booze and the microclimate within cabins, often lead to dehydration among airplane passengers.
For a comfortable flight, avoid coffee and alcohol, and try to buy one or two large bottles of water at the airport (of course, after you pass security) and sip regularly throughout your flight. Alternatively, you can bring your own bottle and fill it before boarding. Drink at least one liter of water every five hours, and use bathroom breaks as a chance to stretch your legs and walk around the cabin.
Get some sleep
Last but not least, try your best to get some sleep. Not only does this make time go by faster, it also lets you rest up for whatever awaits you at your destination. To help you sleep easier, Leesa listed some essential items including a travel pillow for neck support, an eye mask to block out light, and earplugs to drown out the noise of babies, snorers, and chatterboxes. These three items should be able to give you the best chances of a nice long rest.
You may think about drinking a glass or two of an alcoholic beverage to help you sleep. But going back to our previous advice, it’ll only make you prone to dehydration. Not to mention, it only works for a few hours. Afterwards, you might find it even harder to go back to sleep.
If you have more tips for surviving long haul flights, feel free to share them with us in the comments!