The Beginner’s Guide to Long Haul Flights

Being stuck for several hours in an airplane is never fun. Pretty much everyone would rather do something else instead of being cooped in a plane cabin, but your travel plans might not allow for that. Luckily, there are quite a few things you can do so that you can emerge well-rested and refreshed from pretty much any long-haul flight.

Comfortable Clothing

A lot of people have little experience with international travel, so they don’t pay any special attention to what they’re wearing when they’re flying long-distance. One of the simplest tricks to be as comfortable as possible is to wear several loose layers. That way you can easily adjust your temperature on the fly. It’s way easier to take off a piece or two of clothing than it is to be stuck in one thick sweater. Also, make sure to leave your jewelry with the rest of your luggage, it’ll definitely weigh you down unnecessarily. 

Find a Good Seat

Making sure to not skip out on a good seating arrangement is definitely crucial for enjoying your flight. It’s actually way more important than you think because different positions in the plane have different ergonomics. The exit rows tend to have more legroom and are typically more suited for taller people. The front of the plane also typically has more provisions for babies, so depending on your situation, you might want to be either closer or steer clear of the front. If moving around is important to you, then make sure to get an aisle seat. 

Prepare for Sleep

Sleeping through most of the flight is definitely ideal. It doesn’t matter if you’re flying in daylight or nighttime, being awake might drain you more than you expected. Investing in a lightweight blanket, travel pillow, and good eye mask could be game changers, as well as earplugs if you’re sensitive to noise. Also, try not to take any sleeping medication unless you’re absolutely certain of its effects. Nowadays it’s much more efficient to take melatonin instead of traditional sleep medicine as melatonin is actually a sleep hormone, and it’s already present in your body. That way you just stimulate your brain to go to sleep and there are no side effects if you don’t fall asleep.

Travel Light

While traveling light is not always an option, you might want to consider traveling at least at medium weight for your cabin luggage. One of the worst things that can happen is lugging something that barely fits while you’re worried something might happen to the suitcase in the overhead space. We tend to get carried away when making travel plans, so keep this in might next time you’re over-packing.

Carry Your Own Snacks

Long haul flights tend to be disruptive to the eating schedule, so preparing good snacks is key. Try not to always rely on things you buy at the airport because those are not only more expensive but might not be ideal for your health anyway. Snacks like dried fruit, nuts, and cereal bars tend to do wonders for hunger bouts. 

Move Around

Moving around the plane might seem like a bad idea, but it can actually do wonders for your health. People aren’t meant to be sitting down in one spot for extended periods of time. Airplanes aren’t that big to take long walks, but moving around is better than not. Merely stretching your feet can do wonders, and you might be surprised when you find out you’ll look much more refreshed once you’re done with your flight. You won’t even need to do any extra skincare when you land.


Hydration is inarguably one of the most important things when traveling. Plane cabins tend to be dry places, so carrying a bottle of water with you is imperative. You might have to purchase that bottle at the airport, depending on the flight. Make sure to drink water slowly, and avoid liquids like coffee, tea, and alcohol. If you have a bottle at all times, you can store water when the attendants bring it. That way, you’ll be set for hydration for the duration of the flight.

Try to Enjoy the Flight

One thing that is important to always keep in mind is that those eight or more hours are not wasted time. They are bonus hours. You’ll have no phone coverage, no internet, and no special concerns other than passing the time. This would be the ideal time and place to catch up on that book you were reading or maybe watch a few episodes of your favorite shows. You might even want to brush up on a foreign language depending on where you’re traveling, or at least peruse through a leaflet for your destination.

Meet New People

Everyone is so focused on getting through the flight that they’re not trying to meet new people. One of the best and most fun ways to pass the time is to strike up a conversation with your seatmate. They might share some amazing stories that will keep you entertained for hours, and you might even end up making a good friend. Most people forget about this, even if they go through everything via a travel agency. Try not to be the solo person in a group travel situation and you might end up having an amazing time on your flight.

Vet the Airline 

Before committing to any single airline, make sure you spend a good time reading online. Not all airlines are the same, as some might offer benefits others don’t. Reading as much as possible, especially reviews of other people, might make or break a flight. Things like seat sizes and on-flight meals are typically considered important, but there might be other things that you find more important than those. It’s worth making a pros and cons list before committing, but the good news is that you have a lot of choice in the matter.

We hope this guide to long haul flights has helped you realize traveling long distance doesn’t have to be painful, following some simple steps, you can even learn to enjoy them! 

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