How To Survive A Long Haul Flight

Whenever I go on a long haul flight, like a connection from Dallas to London or Copenhagen to Bangkok, I always have a routine I follow. This involves a couple of things I buy beforehand, things I do or definitely do NOT do and rituals to do once I’m in the air. This routine helps me survive 10+ hour long flights, or any other flight for that matter, so that I’m ready to see my destination as soon as I land instead of just crashing in my hotel room. These are my best tips to survive a long haul flight.

Before boarding:

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Make sure to bring healthy snacks.

I always buy healthy snacks to bring either before I go to the airport or after I get through security depending on time. Nuts, fresh fruit, dried fruit or whatever I’m in the mood for are a lot healthier than plane chips and candy. If you are anything like me, snacks are an important part of surviving your long haul, therefore I would not board a plane without them. I know that I will miss having something to snack on after the first 3 hours, and then I will end up buying snacks on the plane, which is both unhealthy and expensive. Always remember the snacks!

Bring your own nutritious food.

Let’s face it. Sometimes airplane food can be a bit disgusting. It smells weird and doesn’t look very good. Other times you can be lucky and get served with a decent meal, but are you willing to take that chance? I’m not. Which is why I usually bring some good, nutritious food from the airport. This can be salads, sandwiches or bagels. It can even be something from a local shop at the airport. As long as I think I looks great and probably tastes great too, then I bet it is better than what they serve in the plane.

Bring a sleeping mask.

If you hate flying or are just really easily bored, you can sleep the many hours away. I myself is really bad at sleeping on planes. I can never sleep for more than an hour because I need to be able to listen if the pilot or any other crew member has an announcement – especially when I travel solo. But sometimes it would be nice to take a nap to make some of the time go by faster. This is why I bring a sleeping mask. It keeps the light out and makes me fall asleep easier and faster than ever. If you get to sleep on the plane you will not be as tired when you land, and then you will be ready to see your destination as soon as you have checked in at your accommodation. I would definitely recommend bringing a sleeping mask to anyone.

Bring chewing gum.

If you want to avoid the pain in your ears you can get from the change in pressure, bring some chewing gum. Chewing gum during takeoff and landing will save you from the pain which can be a huge relief if you’re someone like me who always reacts to the change in pressure.

Create an amazing – and really long – playlist.

Use Spotify, iTunes or another music streaming service to create a playlist intended for your travels. It can be filled with stress relieving music or some of your favorite songs at the moment, but be sure that your playlist is longer than your airtime. Time flies by way faster when listening to some great songs than when you’re just staring at the back of the seat in front of you or listening to the rest of the passengers complain or snore. Trust me, you will be grateful that you created this playlist on your next long haul flight. Remember to make sure you can actually listen to your playlist offline, just in case the connection to wi-fi on the plane is bad.

Once you’re in the air:

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Stay hydrated.

Water is your friend when you’re in the air. It will keep you hydrated and do it without bringing sugar and other unhealthy, unnecessary stuff into your system. It will also keep your skin from drying out and keep you from getting a headache from dehydration during your flight.

Avoid soda, tea and coffee.

I never drink soda, tea or coffee on a long haul flight, because these beverages are filled with sugar and other unnecessary stuff that I don’t need in my body if I’m going to have a pleasant flight. Nobody wants to have to go pee every hour on a long haul flight, and these beverages will definitely make you do that. Stick to water instead!

Be comfortable.

It’s never fun to be uncomfortable when you’re on a long haul flight! The hours will feel more like days if you’re uncomfortable. This is why I usually travel in yoga pants, a comfy hoodie and a soft bra. And then as soon as I get on the plane I take off my shoes and put on my fuzzy socks. These fuzzy socks just make my flight so much better. Shoes that are easy to take on and off are life savers too! Especially if you have one or more layovers! Going through security multiple times on your trip can get pretty annoying, so getting through quickly is what you want to do. Taking off your shoes are not always required, but when it is, you don’t want to be the person holding up the line because you have to spend 5 minutes taking off your shoes. You also want to wear a hoodie or comfy sweater that will keep you warm when the plane gets a little cold or that you can take off if you get too hot. Fuzzy socks, comfy clothes, shoes that are easy to take off and on are must-haves!

Stand up!

Move around and get the blood flowing! If you sit in your seat for 10+ hours without standing up, you will experience some pain as you probably have experienced before while sitting down for a long time. If you make sure to get up once every 2-3 hours, you will be able to stretch your legs and get the blood flowing and hopefully avoid any pain.

These are my best tips for surviving a long haul flight. What are some of your best tips? I would love to hear all your tips and try them out!

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32 thoughts on “How To Survive A Long Haul Flight

  1. I think it’s so important to avoid alcohol and have a vitamin C just before take off! It’s what kept me from getting ill during long haul flights. Very good list, thank you for sharing. Oh, and the snack part…super good. I was starving from China to the UK haha and having some nuts really saved my trip!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great suggestions! I always bring a picnic as I’m coeliac and lactose intolerant, so I need something I can rely on if they forgot to load the special meals. I once sat next to someone who didn’t move (even for the loo) on an eight hour flight, and I wondered how he managed to creak into action at the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great tips! I’m not a fan of long airplane travels, but it’s def inevitable and you just have to find ways to make it less miserable. You have some nice points here! I think you forgot to add a neck pillow! lol

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Some great tips here. I’m really bad at sleeping on planes so I usually drink the crappy black coffee and watch movies the whole time. I have recently bought a sleep mask though so that might force me to sleep on planes. And I always take ALL OF THE FOOD. As a vegan, I am used to not being able to eat anything (though Virgin did rather well on my long haul flight last year) so the snacks are a good shout.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great tips 🙂 I’m a fellow fuzzzy sock and hoodie lover on long flights, it makes it sooo much more comfortable it’s crazy! Is bringing fresh fruits/veg ever on the plane ever an issue for you because of customs, or is it all good as long as you remember to throw leftovers away?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Really great tips for getting through long-haul flights! Until recently, I doubted the magic of sleeping masks. But with the amount of daylight in Sweden during the summer months, I decided to give one a try. It helped so much, so I am determined to bring it along for my next transatlantic flight!

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  7. Great post! I totally agree with staying hydrated. Also, I read really really disgusting things about how they make tea and coffee on long-haul flights… definitely not something we should drink!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. HUGE yes on having good, healthy snacks… I am not a pleasant person to be around when I’m hangry so I always bring snacks that keep me filled up and happy.

    Liked by 1 person

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