How to Survive a Long-Haul Flight

Since Steve and I are leaving in just over a week I figured that now would be a good time to share how I prepare for a long-haul flight.

We hate the long-haul flight, but unfortunately it’s necessary when traveling to to the other side of the globe. It’s got to be my least favorite part of traveling…maybe even worse than dealing with visas. Anyway, I’ve done tons of them and I’ve gotten quite systematic in my planning for them. Here are a few tips for surviving your next long-haul flight and staying sane in coach, so hopefully you won’t arrive to your destination a hot mess.

1. Comfy, breathable clothes that you can layer. I like to wear leggings layered with a tunic or dress…so I don’t look like I just rolled out of bed, left the gym, etc. and a cardigan. Don’t wear anything too tight…it will constrict circulation, increasing your risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis and could possibly cause digestion issues and abdominal pain.


2. A scarf or Pashmina…it can keep you warm when the AC is cranked up or double as a pillow. Need some scarf inspiration, check out fashion blogger Wendy Nguyen’s video. So many great ideas to revamp the same old boring scarf. She really has some great ideas.

3. Comfy Slip-on shoes. You’ll be able to breeze through security without dealing with laces. Plus, they pack flat…and if you get the right ones they’ll be super comfy too.

4. Water bottle. Whether you take an empty one through security and fill up on the other side or buy one once you’re past security you’ll be happy you have a water bottle. The hydration will save your skin and your ‘tude.

5. Catch some sleep….and I’m not talking about the melatonin or Ambien induced type or drinking until you pass out…the last method will only lead to being brutally hungover for the final hours of your flight. Pack a pair or two of earplugs, an eye mask and an inflatable neck pillow to make your sleep as comfortable as possible.

6. Entertainment…Keep your waking hours as pleasant as your sleeping hours and pack multiple forms of entertainment: Kindle, Ipad/Ipod, book, and/or a magazine or two. My husband likes to pack an extra set of ear buds…so he can give them to the obnoxious kid playing video games at full blast while the rest of the plane is trying to sleep. I love this idea.

7. A Carry On “Personal” Bag. Make sure it has enough pockets to keep you organized, if it has a zipper that’s an extra bonus. I’m taking my Courier camera bag as my carry on personal item on our upcoming trip…it doesn’t look like a camera bad, it’s really sturdy and has enough pockets to stow important documents, sunglasses, snacks, etc and it fits nicely under the seat.

8. Snacks. With all the in-flight cuts this is even more true now than it was 10 years ago. Pack a snack…you, your travel buddy and your neighbors will thank you.

9. Mini personal hygiene kit. I always pack a mini toothbrush/paste (like the Colgate Wisps), some face wipes, tissue, chapstick, hand sanitizer and moisturizer. A couple of minutes freshening up in the bathroom will help you feel less grimy, and if you’re like me probably less irritable too.

10. Get up and move around…we’re not meant to sit in cramped spaces for 10, 15, 20 hours.. Walk the aisles and do some stretching, it will make you feel human and reduce your chances of deep vein thrombosis. Compression socks may also be a good idea, although I’ve never tried them, so I cannot vouch for how good they are. CNN Travel has some good ideas for gentle in-flight yoga, although people might think you’re crazy if you’re doing Warrior III in the middle of the aisle.

11. A pen/ journal. Entertainment (hangman anyone?), exchanging info, and filling out those annoying immigration/customs forms.

Did I forget anything? Leave some advice for other fellow travellers.

Bon voyage!!!



2 thoughts on “How to Survive a Long-Haul Flight

  1. Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely believe this website needs much
    more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read more, thanks for
    the advice!

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