How to Survive a Long Haul Flight

long haul flight

If you are on a long haul flight and sitting in economy class, you’ll quickly realize that travel can be an uncomfortable experience.  Cramped quarters, small seats, no leg room, and not being able to move can make the most sane of us crazy.  However, if you know the right travel tips and tricks, you can improve your flight, stay calm, and enjoy your long haul flight. Read on to learn more!

Upgrade Your Seatlong haul flight

If you are flying in economy class, you will notice that there isn’t a great deal of leg room. If your journey is only for an hour or so, it may not be too much of a problem. However, for long haul flights, you will want to pick a seat that is more comfortable so you can stay happy and sane throughout the journey. You may be able to upgrade to economy plus or business class seats that give you that much-needed leg room. Be sure to ask when you arrive at the airport. Although it will likely cost a bit more, you can’t put a price on comfort.

On some air carriers, when selecting a seat, you have to pay a fee. I usually fork over the money to do this to ensure I get the seat I want and to make sure those traveling with me are sitting next to me. As irritating as those little add-ons can be, if you can afford the extra cost, it’s worth it. Choosing where you want to sit and with who can make all the difference in the world on a long haul flight.


Wear Comfortable Clothinglong haul flight

The clothes that you wear for your flight can have a massive impact on how comfortable you feel. Try to refrain from wearing anything that’s tight, including your shoes. It’s best to keep yourself as comfortable as possible, so you can relax and unwind when in the air. Also, avoid wearing shorts as most plane cabins are kept cool during a long flight; better yet, bring a coat, large scarf, or light blanket. If you’re wearing sandals, pack clean socks to keep your feet cozy while onboard.

Pack the Essentials

When you hop on a long haul flight, it’s imperative that you pack essential items to ensure a peaceful flight. Items like headphones, ear plugs, an eye mask, and a small snack are simple, yet comforting travel items. Pack a good travel pillow and only bring minimal items on board to make sure you maximize the leg room under the seat in front of you. Some travelers enjoy bringing lotion due to the dry air, toothbrushes and toothpaste to freshen their mouths, others wear compression stockings, and some bring small sanitizers to clean the tray table and arm rests. Just be sure to pack what will make you most comfortable while being stuck for several hours in a very confining space.


Avoid Caffeinated and Alcoholic Drinkslong haul flight

If getting some sleep is your top priority when flying, be sure to avoid caffeinated and alcoholic drinks, as they may disrupt your ability to sleep. Drinks full of caffeine will dehydrate you and the last thing you want is to arrive at your destination feeling sluggish and run down. If you’re flying in economy, ensure you pack your own water bottle, so you can stay hydrated throughout the flight. Avoid using tap water from the plane’s washroom sink, as you can never be certain if it’s safe to drink. Many airports have water bottle refill stations so you can fill your own water bottle after the security checkpoint.

Stay Calm and Relaxed

Flying can take its toll on your physical and mental health. If you are seated next to an unruly child, incessant talker, or loud family, the experience can break even the sanest of people. There are various supplements and medications on the market that can help keep you relax, such as CBD hemp oil. The oil is said to be beneficial for issues such as muscle pain and anxiety, so if you feel that CBD hemp oil could benefit you, be sure to look out for the best products on the market, as quality is important.

You can also bring your favorite soothing sounds on board, meditate, practice deep breathing, or try calming aromatic oils. There are many alternate methods to keep you calm in the air, while avoiding alcohol. Be sure to check the airline’s carry-on policy for what you can bring aboard your long haul flight.


Pack Plenty of Entertainmentlong haul flight

The last thing you want on your long haul flight is to be bored. Packing items that will keep you occupied is the best way to travel. Whether it’s packing a book, playing cards, or a computer loaded with of movies, bring something that interests you to help the time fly by.  If you are bringing a tablet onboard, ensure you pack it with plenty of content. Loading it with games, music, and movies will provide you with plenty of choices to stop boredom in its tracks. Make sure all electronics are fully charged before you head to the airport and pack your charging plug/cable, so it can be recharged for the flight.


long haul flight



Other tips:

  • Get up and walk on the plane as often as you can to keep your blood moving and your mind at ease.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask the flight attendants for more water or snacks if you need them.
  • Pack Benadryl to help yourself relax and fall asleep.
  • Always remember that the ‘moving’ part of your trip is not the memory you will cherish, so even if your flight isn’t comfortable, know that you will be at your destination soon.


Flying on long haul flights can be stressful for even the most experienced traveler. Utilizing the tips listed above can make a difference to your journey, and keep you calm, relaxed, and most importantly, sane!  

What’s your “go-to” travel hack for a long haul flight? Let me know in the comments.

Happy Travels!


long haul flight

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