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10 Tips To Survive A Long-Haul Flight

Posted on 06 July 2017

Ten plus hours in a stuffy airplane cabin might sound like your worst nightmare if you're not flying business class, but flying long-haul can be easier with a little preparation and a few home comforts. Here are 10 survival tips for long flights to emerge relaxed and ready to start your holiday as soon as you touch down.


1. Reserve a good seat

The earlier you book your ticket, the better your chances of scoring your favourite seat—it's that simple. 

  • If you want more leg room, opt for an exit row seat
  • If you want to avoid crying children, stay away from bulkhead seats. 
  • If you like to move around the plane (or having quick access to the toilet) make sure you get an aisle seat
  • Always ask for an upgrade when checking in. You'd be surprised the number of times you get lucky!


2. Wear comfortable clothes

Keep it loose and comfortable—you're not here to impress anyone. Wearing several layers is ideal to adjust your temperature as you fly. Packing a scarf can be a lifesaver for when it gets chilly. Save your jewellery for your holiday and pack it in your carry-on - it'll only set the alarms off at airport security anyway. Don't wear any footwear that's too snug, as your feet swell at high altitudes. 


3. Prepare yourself for sleep

You'll be on the plane for the equivalent of a whole day or night, so it's worth bringing a few long haul flight essentials. Pack a scarf to double as a blanket. A good travel pillow is a must (we like this one from Muji) to make sleeping less of a neckache. An eye mask and a good pair of ear plugs goes a long way. Finally, slip in some extra toiletries, such as a facial mist and face mask (you might look silly, but it's worth it) and you'll feel that bit fresher when you land.


4. Take your own snacks

You'll get fed on a long-haul flight but it may not be what you're expecting - travelling through time zones often means you end up with breakfast at dinner time and noodles first thing in the 'morning'. Pack a few slow-energy release snacks like energy bars, nuts or dried fruit.


5. Stay hydrated

Airplane cabins are extremely drying and the chances of becoming dehydrated are high. Drink plenty of water regularly and avoid too much coffee, tea and alcohol. Your skin will be affected by the cabin air as well so bring a moisturiser and face mist. Also, pack some eyedrops if you're prone to dry eyes. Take a look at what we pack in our carry-on.


6. Move around the plane

Stretching your legs is not only necessary on a long-haul flight, but to avoid the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Keep the circulation flowing in your legs by doing gentle exercises at your seat, and get up every few hours. 


7. Noise cancelling headphones

Invest in some good quality noise-cancelling headphones. These will be your new best friend! Great for cancelling out that baby crying and even better for enjoying the latest movies during the flight, because let's be honest the headphones they provide aren't the best.


8. Adjust your watch 

It's important to acclimatise yourself to the time zone of your destination. As soon as you get on the plane, change your watch to the local time and then alter your routine accordingly.


9. Relax!

Use this time to catch up on that book you haven't had time to read, watch a movie or three or get excited about your destination by leafing through the guidebook. See those extra hours as bonus time, and your long flight will immediately become a positive thing.


10. Combat jet lag

The flight isn't over just because you've disembarked. Get as much daylight as you can, take a quick nap if you have to, and exercise at every opportunity. Do all of that for a day or two and you'll feel back to normal.

What are your travel tips? Let us know in the comments below.

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