Tips for Surviving a Long-Haul Flight

Visiting all corners of the globe and in between is every traveler's goal but half the journey is getting there.

Let's face it, we all dread riding on a plane for more than 5 hours. Don't worry, we've got you covered with our tips to help you survive the long-haul flight.

1. Book your flight well in advance

As soon as you've finalized your travel dates and destination, start looking for flights. The earlier you book, the more seats will be available, which allows you to get your first pick. 

2. Choose your seat location wisely

Every airplane seating plan is different and seat preference is subjective but generally, most people want to sit in a quiet area of the plane. In our experience, a seat in the middle of the plane is your best bet. You'll want to avoid the food prep areas near the flight attendants, the front or very back of the plane, and be cautious of sitting near the bathrooms. These are high traffic and noisy spots. 

airplane seat

3. Cash in those airline points to upgrade

The alternative to praying for a good seat on a flight is to use your accumulated points for an even better seat. You can use your points for a partial redemption or save them for upgrading later. All the seats in premium economy and business class are lush, you won't regret it. 

4. Check in early to make a seat change

Between the time you booked your flight and your travel date, passengers may have switched seats, flights, or canceled their trips altogether. If you take a look at the seats available when you check-in and maybe another time before you board, you could score a better seat than before. Take advantage of any empty rows.

airport check in

5.  Pack a light carry on

If you're bringing any carry-on luggage, be sure to pack light and small. You should have something that can be easily stored away and retrieved when needed. You already have limited space on a plane, you don't need something bulky getting in the way.

6. Bring some essential toiletries

Bring a travel toothbrush, toothpaste, wipes, moisturizer, hand sanitizer, eye drops, or any other toiletries. These small things will help you feel rejuvenated despite the long ride. 

7. Don't dress to impress

Airplane temperature and humidity change throughout your flight so dress comfortably. Wear easily removable layers so that you can change quickly if you get hot or cold. Sweats and leggings are always good options. To add to that, wear casual shoes that you can slip on and slip off in an instant. 

8. Pack some comforts from home

Resting or sleeping on a plane can be challenging but some things can help mimic a peaceful environment. Bring some earplugs to block out that noise, wear an eye mask while you're dozing off, and use a pillow to avoid neck strain.

noise canceling headphones

9. Bring your own noise-canceling headphones

Another way to drown out that excess noise on a flight is by using headphones. Don't rely on the headphones given out by the airline, bring your own noise-canceling ones. You can watch shows or listen to music without any distractions.

10. Wear glasses over contacts

This might be an obvious tip but don't wear your contacts on the plane. Normally, contacts tend to dry out your eyes, and wearing them for long hours doesn't help. Plus, handling your contacts and solution in a tiny airplane bathroom isn't pleasant. Go for your eyeglasses that can be taken off before your nap.

11. Buy some snacks before the flight

Airline snacks sometimes just don't cut it. Stock up on your favorite snacks before boarding the plane. That way you'll have your own stash to raid at your convenience.

12. Be smart about what you eat

Carefully choose your in-flight meals and snacks. Look out for allergies, things high in sugar, or anything that would cause you to have digestive difficulties. Remember, you're stuck on that plane for a while.

13. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Drink tons of fluids on your flight. No, we're not talking about alcoholic beverages, we're talking about water! Drinking water will hydrate you, aid in digestion, help carry oxygen to your cells, and keep your body functions going while you're exhausted.

airplane reading

14. Bring extra reading materials

Pack your favorite novels or ones you've yet to dive into. What better way to spend your free time on a plane than to catch up on some reading.

15. Download movies or podcasts

You can't always depend on flight technology so to pass the time, why not download your favorite series or podcasts on your devices.

16. Bring extra power

If you're bringing along devices on the flight, be sure to also bring some extra power. You wouldn't want to have a dead phone as soon as you land.