Tips for Long Haul Flights

There’s nothing quite like travelling the world. Seeing new places, meeting different cultures and watching the world go by. Travelling can seem glamorous at times, but if you’re like me and sitting in economy class, a long-haul flight can destroy even the strongest of spirits.

I’ve had my fair share of looooong flights, and I used to be one of those “I can’t sleep on planes” people. Now? I can easily get a good 7 hours sleep, even in those tiny legroom seats (here’s to looking at you, RyanAir). I’ve been on over 30 flights in the last year, and wanted to share my tips for how to survive long haul flights.

tips for long haul flights
  1. Hydration: We all know that water is good for you, but up in the air you’ll become dehydrated faster. You’re basically flying in the Sahara desert - humidity is around 10-20% due to the plane’s air circulation, compared to the normal 30-60% humidity in your normal, ground-dwelling days. Arm yourself with a big ol’ water bottle, and make sure you’re drinking regularly. Don’t chug it all at once, otherwise you’ll just need to be that annoying person who uses the toilet every second. Every time that drink cart comes past, make sure you always get a cup of water with whatever else you order (I’m a sucker for alcohol when I fly) and you’ll stay hydrated.

  2. BYO Snacks: Whether you hate or love (who are you) plane food, it’s not going to be the healthiest option that keeps you full. Bring your own snack box with plenty of options to keep you entertained. Nuts and dried fruits are two of my favourites, and also a few squares of dark chocolate never goes amiss. If you’re trying to avoid the dreaded jet-lag, aim to eat at times you’d be eating were you in your destination. By bringing your own snacks you’ll avoid the last-minute temptation of airport snacks, regulate your eating timetable and keep yourself that little more entertained.

  3. Seat Choice: One a short 1-2 hour flight, it doesn’t matter where you sit. When it comes to long haul flights, your seat choice can make or break a flight. Most airlines will offer seat choice for long haul flights, around the same time as check in. Always make sure you check in as soon as you can, and choose that seat wisely. Window seats are best for sleeping (free head rest), but if you’re like me and want to walk around a lot (no DVT for me), the aisle seat is the way to go. Don’t try to be clever and choose a middle seat when you’re first checking in - it won’t deter other people from choosing the two beside you… I learnt this the HARD way on a flight to the UK.

  4. Sleep Necessities: When you’re on a long haul flight, sleep is a must. If you don’t sleep on the plane, your jet-lag will be so much worse and can ruin the first day of an exciting trip. Invest in a memory foam travel pillow and a silk sleep-mask to make sleeping more comfortable. If you’ve got the cash, splash out on a pair of noise cancelling headphones, or, if you’re lacking in that department, spend a few dollars on ear plugs to drown out the crying babies, loud music from your neighbour and constant hum of the aircraft.

  5. Little Luxuries:  If you’re travelling in economy class, then luxury won’t be at the top of your mind. However, it’s easy to create a more luxurious travel experience for yourself. Invest in skincare that will keep your skin glowing during the flight, so you don’t walk off it feeling gross! Here are my personal favourites:

    • Temple Spa Quietude Calming Mist is an aromatherapy mist that I take everywhere with me. It comes in a 30mL travel size, and has an instant calming effect. If you’re worried about spraying it in the air, you can spray on your travel pillow or clothing to create your own sanctuary!

    • Dr Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Marine Collagen Lip Cushion is a very intense lip treatment that not only hydrates, but delivers definition to the lip line and helps to say bye bye to mouth wrinkles.

    • Cult 51 Luxury Day Cream is the ultimate cream that goes beyond anti-ageing. It absorbs super quickly, and leaves your skin feeling soft, silky and hydrated. It honestly never leaves my handbag and is a necessity for long haul flights.

    What are your top tips for long haul flights? I’d love to know!

Ellie ParkerComment