The Ultimate Guide For Surviving A Long Haul Flight

The Ultimate Guide For Surviving A Long Haul Flight

Turquoise beaches in paradise, epic mountainous hiking and extravagant cities that light up with life! These are just idea of some of the places we all plan on visiting someday. However, in order to arrive at our dream destinations we must first embark on long journeys.

We are blessed to be able to live during this age of the universe where we can go completely across the world in a less than a day.

Although, even with these technological advances helping us we as humans naturally find struggles. Long haul flights are exhausting and can take a toll on the body.

In order to make it to your destination as pleasantly as possible, I’ve created the ultimate guide for surviving a long haul flight.

Keep on reading to find out all my tips and tricks for airplane travel.

Double Check Your Documents

ultimate guide for surviving long haul flights

First things, first. Make sure you have all your important documents. Airplane confirmation ticket, ID, passport, travel insurance and credit cards. Without important documents you can’t even get on the plane. Imagine showing up to the airport and then having to take a $60 uber back home to then rush back hoping you don’t miss your flight.

By double checking your belongings before you leave the house you save yourself the headache and frustration of missing your flight.

Pack Smart

carry on bag

I know fitting your life into one carry-on bag and a personal bag has become a trend, and I’m not one to judge, I’ve traveled with my life in a backpack as well. However, when it comes to long haul flights especially if you’re in economy the bigger your personal bag is ,the less leg room you will have.

Stretching out is key to surviving a long haul flights. So, if your personal bag is taking up all the under seat real estate then your comfortability will take a hit. It’s important to have all of your essentials, but keeping them as compact as you can will help you more in the long run.

Wear Comfy Clothing

It’s always exciting to arrive in a new city. I understand that you want to look your best but don’t dismiss comfort for vanity.

Comfy clothing is a necessity if you want to survive an overnight flight. Sitting in the same position in a small cabin is confining enough, don’t make things worse for yourself by wearing constricting clothing as well.

I recommend wearing sweatpants or loose leggings and a soft shirt with a comfy sweater. It tends to get very cold on flights so layers are key.

Ever since I had a bad experience flying, I stopped wearing high waisted pants on flights. On my trip to Austin, Texas I was wearing high waisted jeans and the compression on my abdomen was just too much to handle. My stomach felt extra bloated and was in a lot of pain, even hours after I landed. This might not be the case for you, but I would stay away from anything that’s constricting your digestive system because the high elevation already disrupts your bodies natural regulations. 

If you’re landing in a hot climate or you really want to look glam when you step out of the airport, I recommend packing a spare set of clothing. You can always change in the airplane bathroom about an hour before you land or after you land in the airport bathroom before you go through customs.

Hydration Is Key

ultimate guide for surviving long haul flights

With small cabins comes dry recycled air. This cold stale air can make you feel congested and dehydrated. To combat this, drink plenty of water. I suggest carrying a collapsible reusable water bottle so you can refill anytime you need.

Alcohol and coffee are common beverage options on flights but they dehydrate the body. In the long run they will make you feel worse during your flight. I always opt for tea or water instead.

Hydrating from the inside out is a must, but you can also hydrate your skin directly by using face masks and moisturizers.

About 30 minutes before going to sleep put on a sheet mask to give your skin an extra boost of hydration. Okay, so you might look a little scary for a few minutes but your skin will thank you for it. My favorite sheet masks are by Glam Up.  

When you wake up, I recommend washing your face and applying a daily face moisturizer like this one by First Aid Beauty.

Re-apply lip balm throughout your flight. One of my favorites is the Bite Agave Lip Mask.

Stay Fresh

The more refreshed you feel, the more relaxed you will be on your long flight.

Chewing minty gum can help refreshen your breath but nothing beats a standard toothbrush and toothpaste duo. Before you head to sleep and after you wake up it’s good to give your mouth a quick brush and rinse.

Using a cleansing face wipe to clear your face and hands of any excess oils or dirt can wake you up and make your skin feel like new while on the plane.

If you have dry eyes or allergies like me, eye drops are always in my travel kit. They really help combat any unpleasant itchiness and tiredness especially when you aren’t getting the best sleep on an airplane.

Since there are no showers on planes a good way to temporarily freshen up is to re-apply deodorant. I use Native natural deodorant.

Sleep Essentials

Sleeping is my favorite pass time on a long-haul flight. I love going to sleep and magically waking up at my new destination! In order to do this, I try my best to get as comfortable as I can in a seated sleep position.

This is my go-to travel pillow. It deflates so you can easily fold it up for the rest of your trip but soft and surprisingly sturdy enough to sleep against.

Lights tend to hinder my sleep more than loud noises do, so I love wearing a sleeping eye mask on the airplane. This Mzoo mask blocks out light perfectly by contouring to the face and is very comfortable.

I mentioned earlier that airplanes get cold, so if my feet and ankles are catching the draft from the air circulation on the plane it makes it difficult to sleep. To prevent this, I either bring cozy fluffy socks or compression socks if I want to prevent leg swelling.

Entertain Yourself

ultimate guide to surviving long haul flights

As much as I enjoy a good nap, sometimes it’s hard to fall asleep on a flight. Finding creative ways to entertain yourself makes your time fly, pun intended. Get it, airplane, flying? 😀

My iPad and laptop are travel necessities. I download hours of podcasts; Netflix shows and movies before the flight. I also read books from my iPad or write articles like this one on my laptop.

If you’re a nerd like me don’t forget to bring your reading glasses. Also, a solid pair of wireless headphones is a must. They come in handy when you want to block out sounds from the plane and when you don’t want to bother your fellow travelers.

The headphones I use are the Sony noise canceling headphones. They are wireless but also come with an attachable headphone jack wire in case I want to connect to the airplane’s headphone port to watch TV.

Bring Essential Medication

Medical needs are different for everyone so always do what’s best for your body. Personally, I bring Melatonin and stomach enzyme pills to help me with my inflight needs.

Melatonin is a natural supplement that induces sleep and helps you stay asleep longer. Perfect for helping me sleep on long flights.

Stomach enzyme pills such as the one by Source Naturals is an herbal supplement that helps the body defend off gas, bloating, and digestion troubles. I naturally have a sensitive stomach and acid reflux issues so flights tend to disrupt my stomach’s natural balance more than most people. These supplements give my stomach the boost it needs to stay regulated.

Dramamine is a popular pill people take to ward off motion sickness during flights. If that is a problem for you, you might want to look into it.

Pack Snacks

Whether we are bored eating or actually starving, snacks are a long haul flight must have. Overnight flights will provide you with meals but I suggest not solely relying on them. Airline food is not known to be the tastiest or the heathiest for your body.

If you’re a vegetarian or have other dietary restrictions remember to mention that when you book your flight. Airlines usually have an allotted number of meals for passengers and you don’t want to get stuck having to choose between two meat options.

Stretch, Move, Meditate

Yes, the seats in economy are small but that doesn’t mean you can’t get up and move once in a while. It’s very unhealthy to be in the same position for hours on end, so do what you can with the space you’re given. Take a walk down the aisle, bend your joints and stretch out your arms and back.

Even when you are sitting you can do micro-stretches such as bending your toes, rolling your wrists, ankles, shoulders and neck. Do what you can without being an annoyance to your seatmate, of course.

When you’re done moving about, keeping still may actually do wonders. A 10 min meditation can help calm any inflight nerves. Meditation will take you out of your mind for a moment and help bring forth a sense of calmness throughout your body.  

The app Insight Timer has free meditations and Zen music to help guide you.

To Sum It Up

Long flights can be a struggle but they are totally worth it. With these travel hacks you will be able to survive your next flight.

I remember the first time I went to Europe, I was not prepared what so ever! I was super uncomfortable in economy for 8 hours with dry skin, no entertainment, and I couldn’t even fall asleep.

Since then I’ve been on many more flights and I am now well prepared for all my journeys, even the ones that have yet to come.

Remember to stay hydrated, bring the mentioned essentials and stretch when you can.

At the end of the day your mental outlook on travel will ultimately effect how your journey turns out.

So, if being prepared helps you relax and induces positivity, why not try out these suggestions. Help bring forth that energy into your life and make your long haul flight feel easy-peasy. 


You got this!

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