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Eight Tips For Surviving A Long-Haul Flight

Eight Tips For Surviving A Long-Haul Flight

With an impending 14-hour flight from Paris to Kuala Lumpur, we’re starting to feel a little bit anxious. The two of us aren’t the biggest fans of flying and these longer flights definitely don’t do our dislike for air travel any favors.

Amy and Kieron on-board a plane

Obviously early into a long flight - we are still smiling!

You do start to become more comfortable with long-haul flights the more you take them, however like most people we have our tricks to help us survive these lengthy journeys.

Here are a few of our tips to make your next long-haul flight a much more comfortable experience.

Airline Seat Selection

Seat Selection

1. Select your seat

We typically refuse paying extra to the airlines for seat selection, however we always make an exception for flights that are eight hours or longer. Forking out $10-$20 to ensure optimum comfort is an investment worth making in our eyes.

Where you sit can make or break you on a long flight – we always make sure that one of us is sitting on an aisle so that we can easily go to the bathroom and move around when we need to stretch.

Use SeatGuru before you book your flights to help you decide where to sit.

2. Move around on the plane

You know that it’s a good idea to move around as much as possible when flying – it’s in a lot of the airlines’ pre-flight safety videos. But how many people actually follow this advice? From what we’ve seen on past experiences, we’d guess not many!

Get up and walk down the aisle every hour or two, stretch when you can and do some in-flight leg exercises to avoid any chance of DVT. You’ll also feel a lot better at the end of the flight!

Always bring water!

Bring water!

3. Keep hydrated

Commercial airlines have very low humidity (ranging from 5-15%) which can quickly lead to dehydration. Buy at least one large bottle of water before boarding the plane and continually sip it throughout the flight – never get on a plane without a bottle of water.

It’s also worthwhile avoiding contact lenses while flying (put your glasses on and bring eye drops), be sure to carry a lip balm and even take a small tube of moisturizer if you’re prone to dry skin.

4. Be comfortable

This one is especially for the ladies – you don’t need to look amazing on a long-haul flight so dress comfortably. Leggings, an oversized t-shirt and jacket are more than acceptable for girls and sweat pants and a t-shirt are perfect for guys.

Be sure to layer your clothing as different airlines vary their temperatures in the cabin. If you’re not already wearing them, a pair of socks is an essential carry-on item to keep your feet warm.

5. Bring entertainment

The time can fly by on a long-haul flight if you keep yourself entertained. Be sure to fully charge your laptop or iPad and load it up with movies before leaving for the airport. An iPod or smart phone is also great for music and games, which can keep you busy for hours.

6. Avoid alcohol

Beer on plane

Skip the beer and opt for a water instead!

Drinking alcohol on a long-haul flight is always a temptation, particularly on full service airlines that offer it for free. Some people see it as their only option to survive that long plane ride.

As tempting as it is, we choose to avoid alcohol completely as it can dehydrate you extremely quickly and leave you feeling drained.

7. Do not fly hungry! Eat beforehand and bring snacks

We always like to fly on a full belly so make sure to grab something at the airport before departing whether it be a quick sandwich or a full sit-down meal. Also bring some lights snacks with you on board. You don’t want to pay for overpriced junk through the in-flight meal service and decent snacks will help keep your energy up.

8. Pack breath mints

Breath mints (or chewing gum) are something we rarely fly without – your breath is guaranteed to take a turn for the worse at some point during the flight and not only will having mints make you feel better, it’s also courteous to your fellow passengers. You don’t want to be “that guy” (or girl!)…

How do you survive long-haul flights? Share your best tips with us below!

Flickr Photos: Sean MacEntee, josewolff