Updated: Sep 18
Long flights can be a terrible test of patience and will power. You and I can agree that nobody likes to be stuck in a narrow confinement for too long.
I mean, how do you ignore the baby who won’t stop crying? How do you deal with the plane’s constant engine noise at the rear?
The stomach-churning airline meal can look unappetizing. How can you handle the oppressive boredom that creeps in when the flight takes off? Finally, let's not forget that terrible deep vein thrombosis.
The truth is that a long flight can feel like a prison sentence with the mother of jet lags at the end. But, there are ways to avoid or curb all that discomfort.
Here are some long flight tips that will come in handy so you know what to do on long flights.
How To Make Long-Haul Flights More Comfortable?
Long haul flights can be uncomfortable. Especially when you are flying the economy class.
I have the perfect tips to show you how to survive long flights in economy and every other class:
1. Get The Right Airline:
I cannot over emphasis on how important this is. The airline you choose determines the plane you board and that can either make or mar your long flight.
It is shocking to know that some planes still lack a power outlet for phones. This means that your gadgets will run out of juice halfway into your long flight. That can spell terrible BOREDOM.
Carry out proper research on airlines and save yourself the stress of boarding a low rate airline.
To get the best deal on airline services, feel free to check the links below.
2. Choose The Right Seat:
It’s a seat right, it can’t be that important now, can it? Actually it’s a seat and it’s as important, if not more important than you think.
Sitting in a spot for a few minutes is very different from sitting for hours. The seat you pick on a long-haul flight is important. It can be the difference between a comfortable trip and a nerve-wracking experience.
There are factors you should consider before choosing the perfect seat and they are:
If you are on the tall side or you enjoy some leg freedom, an aisle seat would be perfect for you. Aisle seats allow you the luxury of space so you can stretch your limbs into the aisle.
• Quick Exit:
I can understand your need to get off the plain immediately it touches down. Every long flight in the world is exhausting and they leave you itching for fresh air.
If you hate being stuck in the human traffic jam that builds up at the end of a flight, pick a seat among the first rows. It will save you the stress of waiting behind a crowd.
Sleeping in the economy class can be a real puzzle but you can make it easier when you choose a seat by the window.
This is because the placement of the window makes it easier to rest your head and the view can be relaxing. Trying other tricks to catch some snooze is also a good idea.
The perfect seat is one that gives the best experience according to your needs. Before booking a long flight, take your time to think about what will make you comfortable.
To be on the safe side, check out these seats mapping websites:
3. Join A Loyalty Program:
While this is something that takes time to build, it can actually come in handy at the least expected moment. It pays to be loyal. This is one flight secret many people do not know about.
All you have to do is join an airline’s loyalty program. Who knows? Someday you may be lucky and get an upgrade to the business class for a long flight.
This is a long flight tip that takes time. But, it is worth it because there are countless pleasant surprises attached to it.
Suggested Read: Beginner Guitar Course for Entertainment when Travelling
4. Come Prepared:
The best way to create a perfect travel experience is to get ready for it. You cannot waltz into the airport and get on a long flight without being ready. Well, you can actually do that but it will leave a bad and unforgettable taste in your mouth.
So, without further ado, here are things to keep in mind before taking that long flight.
• Do not forget to bring snacks and a water bottle:
First of all, airline food is not always pleasing to the eyes or taste buds. You agree right? But that does not mean you have to fast until touchdown. You can actually bring your food along.
The departure lounge of airports also offers enough food outlets. So you can purchase some snacks before boarding a long flight.
Getting a collapsible water bottle is important because it will save space. Keep your water bottle close so you can fill it up before boarding. If it gets empty, a flight attendant can refill it for you; all you have to do is ask.
• Bring a neck pillow:
This is far more important than you know. Get a neck pillow so you can avoid neck pains, difficulty catching some sleep, and discomfort.
Any pillows won’t do. We are talking about a long flight, and it turns out that you cannot sleep on your feet. This is why a quality neck pillow is your best shot at sweet dreams.
You can add a blanket to that list too, airplanes can get very cold sometimes and you’ll have to be ready.
• Load up your gadgets with entertainment:
Isn’t it great that Netflix lets you save movies to watch offline? Load up your phone with your favorite movies, documentary, songs, and podcast. Taking on a long flight can leave you bored to death if you go empty. Plus, having more than one option gives you the ability to switch it up. You can listen to a song, switch to your fivourte movie or documentary.
• Charge your devices:
It should come as no surprise that some planes lack a power outlet. Carry a power bank and charge up your devices to the max. This will ensure that you have something to keep you distracted through the long flight.
• Get earplugs or noise cancellation headphones:
Nobody likes unwanted noise and on a long flight, it is a fast way to catch a headache and go mad. Keep your earplugs and headphones, you will need them.
If you find yourself in a situation where there is noise, use your earplugs and the noise will fade away.
• Pack a brush, toothpaste, hand sanitizers, and face wipes:
There is no reason to ignore your routine because of a long flight. Basic hygiene will not only make you comfortable and refreshed, but it will also keep you clean.
• Be a nice person:
It does not hurt to smile at your neighbor. The first few minutes of a long flight may seem all right. But things can go downhill when everyone gets bored, tired, or uncomfortable.
In situations like this, it helps to be a nice person. Some kindness is enough to make another person feel better. Chances are they will reciprocate it and you will have a great flight.
• Take some medications:
If you take medications, never make the mistake of forgetting them when you go on a long flight. If you are a healthy person, you come along with some sleeping pills in case you find it difficult to take a nap.
• Accept the situation and ride it out:
Sometimes choosing to be positive is the best remedy to an annoying situation.
When you accept that a long flight is temporary, you will come to terms with the unpleasant aspects of it. Knowing that it is temporary can help you come out fine at the end.
5. What To Wear On A Long Flight?
You are going to be on the plane for a while. While the desire to look super stylish and dapper can be tempting, it is best you give yourself a break. Wear some loose and comfortable clothes, something you can sleep well in.
The most interesting thing about long flights is the fact that everything matters. No matter how little they are.
Socks may seem trivial, but they actually help reduce leg swelling. They also prevent any discomfort that may arise from sitting in one place for too long.
You can make things better by purchasing a pair of compression socks. Compression socks reduce the occurrence of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT is a condition that causes blood to clot in the leg.
It is no news that airplanes can get very cold. Carry a sweater to prevent the embarrassment of hugging yourself when it gets chilly.
3. Dress in layers:
This is another way to beat the chill of a plane, but it is important to note that no cloths should be tight or too fitted. That way, it will be easy to take them off or change them as need be.
A pajamas and blanket would make the perfect combo for a comfortable rest. Add a neck pillow to that, and you are on your way to sweet dreams.
6. What To Do On Long Flights?
Knowing what to do on long flights can keep you from getting irritated or bored. Long flights can be a chance to reconnect with yourself.
You can rekindle your reading habit or muse over something and be creative. It is time to pull out your gadgets for some entertainment or use your camera to capture the stippled sky.
Here are some tips on what to do on a long flight:
1- Read a book:
Thanks to ebooks, you can now carry tons of books in your gadgets without worrying about the load. You can spend your free time reading and growing your mind.
After all, “reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary” – Jim Rohn
2- Stretch your limbs:
This is how to survive a 20-hour flight. Take out a few seconds to move about, even if it is to the bathroom. Make sure you stretch your limbs to prevent swollen legs or discomfort born from sitting for too long.
When it is time for a layover, make sure you work around a bit. The layover should be your chance at some minor exercise before you return to sitting in the plane again.
It does not matter if it’s the soothing classical music or the energizing metal and rock. The fact remains that music is an important part of a long flight because it can soothe your mind and pacify you.
Make sure to bring yours though and come with a headphone, airline music may not be to your taste.
You should come prepared with a large library of movies you have not seen before. This will ensure that you have a swell time.
5- Start a conversation:
Some people prefer to keep to themselves during a long flight. But there are others who would like to make new friends.
Meeting new people opens up a path to endless possibilities. This can be beneficial to both parties. All it takes is a friendly smile and an icebreaker and in no time, you can be chatting away with a new friend.
6- Be productive:
Long flights offer the chance to be with yourself. Of course, strangers will surround you but they are people who know nothing about you.
This can be an opportunity for deep thinking and introspection. If you happen to be a creative person, you can practice your art on a sketchpad or your journal. Not only will it sharpen your mind, but it will also help you kill time.
7- Take some window pictures:
Sometimes looking out the window will bring you the most surreal views. Taking pictures of this can keep you busy for a while. After all, you are about 30,000 feet high and from up there, everything is beautiful.
Stick your earplugs in, put on your sleeping mask, and snooze. Don’t worry if sleeping turns out to be difficult, pop a pill that’ll help the process so you can sleep tight.
9- Drink Some Water:
Staying hydrated is vital. You can always ask a plane staff to fill your bottle. This will keep you refreshed.
7. How To Prepare Your Body For Long Flights?
Everything requires a little time to adjust and the human body is not an exception. There a few steps to take in preparing your body for a long-haul flight. They are:
1) Drink enough water on the night before you travel.
2) Do not drink alcohol the night before your flight.
3) Do not take any drink containing caffeine. This includes chocolates and soft drinks.
4) Get enough sleep before your flight. It is crucial that you have rested before a long flight.
8. Long Flight Essentials Checklist:
Here is a list of essential things to carry whenever you go on a long flight.
4. Portable power bank.
5. Toothbrush and toothpaste.
6. Earplugs and headphones.
7. Gadgets and chargers.
8. Sleeping masks.
9. Hand sanitizers.
10. Face wipes.
11. Collapsible water bottle.
13. Neck pillow.
14. Body spray.
The best tip for a pleasant long-haul flight is to be ready. That means you have to take note of all factors involved.
No matter where you are going, remember that a long flight will end and you would be free to enjoy your vacation.
Stay safe and have a pleasant flight.