The Top Tips for enjoying a Long Haul Flight

Let’s face it, long haul flights can be tedious. Unless you’re sitting in the luxurious comforts of First or Business Class, you’ll usually have to make do with sleeping upright and having your meals served to you in foil trays. After watching a few movies back-to-back,trying to get into a decent sleeping position, you find yourself clock watching! 

Yes we’ve all been there, but luckily there are a few things you can do to make your journey as comfortable as possible. If you’re embarking on a long-haul journey any time soon, here are some things you can do to turn your flight into a relaxing bit of down-time.

1. Window or aisle?

Picking the right seat is half the battle. The worst seat by far is the middle seat, which means you’re stuck between a bunch of other people. If you would like to be able to get up for the bathroom without clambering over anyone, you might want to pick an aisle seat. Alternatively, if you need to be able to rest your head when you sleep, you should pick a window seat. Take a look at the seating plan of your aircraft when you book your tickets, and choose the best possible seat available. Front-row seats often have extra leg room, but that often means your in-flight entertainment system folds out from the arm rest. Meanwhile seats near the emergency exits sometimes have restricted recline. If you sit near the front of the aircraft that often means you’ll be the first to receive your meal, while passengers at the back will have to wait and may not get their first meal choice. If you are sitting in a seat close to the galley or lavatories, you may be disturbed by cabin crew and odours.

2. Pack a travel kit

You may be given an amenity kit onboard the aircraft, but just in case it’s best to pack a little emergency travel kit with a toothbrush, toothpaste, moisturiser, socks, eye mask, ear plugs, lip balm and pain killers. This way you can freshen up in the bathrooms during the flight. Bring a blow-up pillow with you so that your neck will be supported when you try to sleep.

3. Wear comfortable clothing

You’ll want to wear clothing that will make you feel comfortable, so ditch the tight jeans. Women, for instance, could wear leggings and a loose fitting top or poncho, while men should opt for comfortable trousers and shirts made from natural fabrics to reduce sweating. You can always carry a change of clothing if you need to dress smartly when you leave the plane.

4. Wrap up warm

With all that air conditioning it can get really cold on flights, so it’s always wise to layer up with a sweater and some thick socks. You might even want to bring a light scarf, or your own travel blanket for the journey.

5. Prepare some snacks

Airline meals aren’t always the most delicious of meals, so you might want to come prepared with some snacks. Foods like nuts, protein bars, dried apricots, individually wrapped cheeses and beef jerky are easy to bring on the plane. For a healthy snack you could bring a bag of celery and carrot sticks. If you’re planning to bring sandwiches, use fillings that won’t make them go soggy, or better still, pack a bagel filled with cream cheese.  Some countries including the USA and Australia, have strict regulations about what is allowed through their Customs channel so all items need to be consumed on the flight to avoid any importation issues.

6. Bring entertainment

Long-haul flights can be a little bit boring, so make sure you fill your iPod with the latest tunes and load your tablet or laptop with the latest movies. Bring a new book to get stuck into, or download a few books onto your e-reader over WiFi before you board the aircraft.

 7. Move around

 It’s essential to get up every now and again to stretch your legs and get the blood circulating. Wear flight socks and move your feet in a circular motion when sitting down to help prevent deep vein thrombosis.

8. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and fizzy drinks

While it can be tempting to take advantage of that free bar, try to cut back on alcohol and caffeine consumption during the flight as it will only make you more dehydrated and make it more difficult to sleep. Fizzy drinks can make you bloated, so stick to water and fresh juices.

9. Put all your essentials in your seat pocket

To avoid having to reach into the overhead locker every five minutes, take out all your essential items and put them in the seat pocket in front of you for easy access. Just don’t forget to take them all out before you disembark at the end of your journey.

10. Set your watch to the timezone of your destination

Jetlag is a common annoyance when traveling to long-haul destinations, so it’s a good idea to set your watch to the timezone of your destination as soon as you board the aircraft. Try to adjust your sleep patterns a few days prior to the flight and you’ll have a better chance of beating it.


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Mother of three grown-up daughters I am the ultimate multi-tasker and am passionate about my role as Silversurfers Website Editor and Social Media Manager. Always on the lookout for all things that will interest and entertain our community. Fueling fun for the young at heart!

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