I’ve been a frequent traveler since I was a child and have done countless long-haul flights over my lifetime. At one point in my life, flying between Europe and North America became a pretty regular activity and I simply had to build my own list of long-haul flight hacks to survive.
It’s funny how SITTING can become such an exhausting activity and that you have to prepare for it – physically and mentally – to have a comfortable trip.
Here are 15 handy tips and tricks that’ll make your next long-haul flying experience at least 15 times better. Long flights can be comfortable and pleasant too!
Let’s get started:
15 hacks to get you through your next long-haul flight
This is absolutely a staple item for me and I cannot imagine travelling without it. Unless you are one of the lucky people who can sleep standing up or happy with your zombie-self after not being able to sleep for a minute on a 12-13 hour flight, you need something to support your neck on those uncomfortable plane seats. These pillows are really the best.
Blanket or Scarf
Take a shawl, blanket or scarf with you that you can wrap yourself in when it gets cold. Planes are especially cold during night times, after dinner is served and sometimes the thin airway blankets are just not enough.
Moisturizing lip and hand cream
The air conditioning in planes and airports make the air super dry and you’ll likely begin to feel this after a few hours on your skin. To avoid drying up and having tense skin, carry a travel size mositurizer with you.
Soft, warm socks
Again due to the air conditioning, planes can turn into a freezer after a while. Throw a pair of warm socks in your bag and just enjoy the comfort while you binge watch some movies on the entertainment system or keep cozy as you sleep.
Snacks that won’t smell or crumble
You’ll be served food on most long-haul flights, but it’s still a great idea to prepare your own healthy snacks for the trip. Use different sizes of Tupperware’s and Ziploc’s to carry sliced fruits, nuts or granola. Sandwiches and crackers and cheese are also a life saver in case you don’t like the airplane food (and who loves airplane food, am I right?).
If you can’t sleep or concentrate with noise around, bring your earplugs. They are super light and tiny but valuable as gold on flights! It just makes reading, working or sleeping much more comfortable, especially when there are kids on the flight – and there’s never a guarantee that there won’t be! So better be prepared than annoyed.
Go to a supermarket or bookstore and get some of your favorite magazines that will keep you entertained and inspired (aren’t long flights are great for inspirational moments?) during your long and boring flight. You can even start getting ideas for your vision board or next travel destinations as you scroll through!
A great book, tv show or movie on your iPad
You’ll have plenty of offline time on the plane and in case you’re not a very good sleeper or your flight is during day time, you’ll be thankful for the great book or movie that you have with you. It’s a great opportunity to catch up on that book you just haven’t been able to read past page 10.
Don’t put on makeup before flying
You might not want to onboard without makeup if your flight is during the day, but skipping the mascara and foundation will be a good idea for your skin. As the air dries up in the plane, your eyes will feel really uncomfortable with a day-old mascara, and your skin won’t be able to breathe with foundation for too many hours. You can either board without makeup to make it simple, or remove the makeup after departure and put on fresh makeup before landing in your destination.
Wear comfortable underwear and clothing
Believe me, you’ll hate yourself for wearing a bra that is uncomfortable or jeans that are too tight or too low rise that you have to keep pulling up every time you move. It’s not worth the uncomfort. Leggings and strech clothing with cotton fabric are perfect.
Power Bank/USB cable
Do you also fear that your phone might run out of battery? It certainly became a nightmare for a lot of people – including myself 🙂 Ensure having a charged phone by carrying a power bank or USB cable that you can plug in to the entertainment systems of most planes these days. And needless to say, but don’t forget to charge your power bank before the flight.
Did I say that planes and aeroports have very dry air? Yes, I did. Hydrating is essential to maintain a healthy skin on long-haul flights and hydrating sprays are perfect for this. You’ll feel refreshed and cleaner in seconds. Bonus is that they smell really good too! Try one that has rose water.
Antibacterial Tissues or Gel
A disenfectant gel or tissue is much needed on flights (short or long), since you’re touching so many places that have been touched by other people before you. Did you know that planes are one of the places with the highest risk for getting germs and viruses? Yep, it’s true. Make sure to carry something to clean your hands and use it often!
You never know if a flight will be extremely hot or freezing cold. Sometimes you experience two completely different seasons on the plane, so wear layers. Have something that you can easily put on and take off if needed. A cardigan or sweatshirt with a zipper are perfect over a tshirt.
If your ears feel funny or blocked when the plane departs or lands, make sure to chew some gum at those times. It really helps to avoid that uneasy feeling. Children are also really annoyed when they feel this in their ears and most of them can even start to cry when it happens. Simply chew gum to avoid it and save yourself and the poor kids from hurting ears. Bonus: gum is always a good idea for fresh breath!
What are some of your tips and hacks for long-haul flights? Do share in the comments and let’s expand the list together! ??