Tips of the Trade

Tips On Surviving Long Haul Flights

If you have flown long haul flights then you know they aren’t a piece of cake. Everyone’s definition of long haul is different. Some people feel anything over 3 hours is too much, while others go well beyond doing 12 plus hours. It’s a good idea to do some research into exactly what happens with long haul flying, as it can have a variety of effects on the mind and body, but there are plenty of ways you can prepare to make it easier for yourself. Here are some tips for surviving long haul flights.
Tips On Surviving Long Haul Flights ©2015 HollyDayz

1. Break Your Trip Up!- If the idea of sitting on a plane for hours on end doesn’t seem like your cup of tea, then do a layover. You can get off the plane, walk around, and grab some real food. If you have a long enough layover, take the opportunity to explore the city you are in.
2. Wear Comfortable Clothing! – You’re going to be mostly sitting down for the majority of your flight, so you should be comfortable. Clothes that give you some mobility and are loose fitting are best.
3. Drink Water! – This is an in general flying tip, but on long haul flights even more important. Planes have such dry air and it is important to keep hydrated.
4. Have Your Carry-On Essentials! –There are certain things you may need while on the plane. Your music, iPad, or a pillow. Make sure you have whatever you may need. Here are some of my carry-on essentials.
5. Pick A Good Seat If You Can! – If you are really tall you may need an emergency exit or somewhere that has a little extra legroom. If you get up a lot, then your best bet is to get an aisle seat. If you want to get a better idea of the seat you are getting, check out the app Seat Guru.
6. Get Up And Walk Around! – Stretch your legs. Take a walk down the aisle or stand up. You will feel so much better.
7. Bring Compression Socks! – Besides standing up and moving around, you may also need some compression socks! These will help the blood flow better and not help your ankles to not swell up. It will help to avoid blood clots!
8. Moisturize Your Nostrils! – Since the plane has so much dry air, it can cause your nostrils to dry up. This is a great way for germs to enter your body and make you sick. To prevent this take a nasal spray with you. If you’re concerned about all the germs that you might come across on the plane or in an international airport, you might want to think about taking a bottle of Hand Sanitizer along with you on your journey.
9. Entertain Yourself!- Watch a movie on the inflight entertainment system. Watch some movies on your iPad. Listen to some music. This is also a great time to read that book you have been wanting to get around to.
10. Take A Sleep-Aid!- If you are looking to fall asleep, but know you won’t be able to this is a great option. I suggest melatonin since your body can naturally produces this. Then you can get your beauty rest and sleep away all if not part of your flight. You might also want to use this sleepify sleep calculator or a similar tool, simply input the time you’d wish to wake up (perhaps a little just before you touch down will do) and the calculator will work out what time you should be falling asleep to wake up at the natural end of your sleep cycles, hopefully meaning you can wake up from your flight feeling more refreshed and like you’ve actually had a good sleep!
11. Bring Snacks!- You may see flight attendants walking around with some $4 M&Ms or tiny packets of pretzels. Bring your own favorite snacks. You can munch whenever you want and eat what you want. Just make sure if you are bringing and not buying at the airport that you are in line with the TSA (yup there is an app for that) rules.
Hopefully these tips will help you survive your next long haul flight!
Do you have any tips on surviving long haul flights?

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  • Demetra

    These are all great tips for long haul flights. My favorite tip is to take a natural sleep aid. This is something I will keep in mind for y net long flight.

    • Holly Dayz

      Thank you. The melatonin is great.

  • Kita Bryant

    Bring lots to do. I know I would get lots of reading done if I were on a long flight. Great tips!

    • Holly Dayz

      Thank you. It is always important to have things to do.

  • Allison Jones

    I go on long haul flights so frequently that they’re starting to get easier and easier. A few years ago, I thought an 8 hour flight was never ending and a few months ago when we flew over to Japan, I noticed that the 14 hours flew by. I prefer nonstop flights, but entertaining myself and picking a good seat really helps! I always try to fly business class if the flight is over 6 hours and if that’s not an option, I at least try to do economy comfort and avoid middle seats at all costs.

    • Holly Dayz

      Yea they become easier the more you take. Although sometimes you just want off the plane. I prefer non stop as well, but everyone has their own comfort level.

  • Chasing Joy

    These are good tips. I’d be in the anything over 3 hours is a long haul group. I always try to sleep on the plan.

    • Holly Dayz

      So do I. I knocked out on my last flight lol.

  • Bree

    These are super useful tips! I read about a lady getting a blood clot recently. She died on the plane >.< I know extended flights can cause people in good health to get blood clots – your tips can make sure you are keeping circulation going among other things. I will be sharing!!

    • Holly Dayz

      Oh wow, that is really sad. It is important to keep healthy on the plane. Getting up and walking around helps a lot.

  • Mimi "MimiCuteLips" Green

    I’m going to try a lot of these tips, I would love to go to Hawaii. The thought of a 10 hr flights makes me say HELL NO! With your tips I just might make it after all. I don’t want that to be the reason why I don’t see the world.

    • Holly Dayz

      I think you will not only make it, but have a great time. The flight will be worth it.

  • Jonna Scott-Blakes

    I totally need this! I just started flying last year, and the longest flight I’ve been on was 4 hours. 1 hour of that was sitting on the runway waiting to take off due to weather. I can’t imagine being on a plane for more than 4 hours but I plan to fly to NOLA this summer. These tips will come in handy.

    • Holly Dayz

      I am glad these tips will help you out. I love New Orleans! I know you will enjoy it.

  • Tanay

    Oooooo compression socks! This is my first time hearing that tip!!
    So many people want to take just a straight flight to get it over with. I never thought of layovers as an opportunity to actually take a break from a long flight! Makes sense.

    • Holly Dayz

      Yea those things come in handy! The layover not only gives you a break from a long flight, but if it is long enough you could explore a new city as well.

  • val_unapologeticallyus

    These tips are perfect! My carryon saves me everything and is always stuffed with the essentials to make it through. A charged cell phone and walking around to stretch is so important.

    • Holly Dayz

      Thank you. Yea if your games and music are on your phone then to keep it charged up is important.

  • Staci

    Great tips. I hate long flights. I’ve never considered the relaxation tips. Compression socks are heaven!!

    • Holly Dayz

      Thank you. Long flights aren’t my favorite, but I don’t mind them.

  • Tyra

    Love the idea for the nasal spray! My flight from Chicago when I was delayed and it took 21 hours to get home felt like a long haul flight since we were sitting on the plane for hours. Nasal spray would have been good then because I caught a cold a few days later!

    • Holly Dayz

      Yea, you gotta keep those germs out of your body! Planes are so dry with circulating air and germ infested people lol

  • Kasi

    Great tips for long flights! My first super long flights were last summer, and the movies, aisle seats, pillow, water, and snacks definitely were clutch! I really hope I remember to get some compression socks for my next trip to Brazil in May because my ankles always swell up when I travel in the summertime!

    • Holly Dayz

      Thank you. Whatever you have to do with in reason to be comfy I say go for it. Those socks should help. I remember I wore some sneakers that laced up and strapped across and it compressed for me so I wouldn’t swell.

  • Nicole M Williams

    These are totally useful tips! Totally gonna recommend this to friends as well

    • Holly Dayz

      Thank you. Glad it can be helpful

  • Marlynn Jayme Schotland

    These are all great tips! I never thought about bringing nasal spray but that’s a good point about cabin air and germs. We do long haul flights (12-13 hours per flight) with the kids when we fly overseas and sometimes I like breaking it up with layovers and other times I prefer direct flights. I make them activity packs that they can break out when they’re bored with the movies and electronics.

    • Holly Dayz

      Thanks. That is great that you make activity packs. Great idea.

  • Becky @ Disney in your Day

    Anything over 6 hours feels like a long haul to me. I definitely like taking a sleep aid such as melatonin (or sometimes I’ll just use dramamine) to help me get some sleep!

    • Holly Dayz

      Melatonin does wonders. I usually knock out with it within 30mins or so.

  • Leah

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing these!

    • Holly Dayz

      Very welcome

  • Danielle Greco

    I had no clue that if your nose gets dry, germs can enter easier… SO good to know! We travel allll the time and I would have never even thought of that. I will have to use nasal spray next time. Great post!

    • Holly Dayz

      Thanks. Yea that dry air can cause issues.

  • 2travellingsisters

    Great tips Holly!! Keeping ourselves hydrated and avoiding alcohol is one of the best ways to survive long flights.

    • Holly Dayz

      Thank you. It is the best way although folks love their alcohol.

  • Tiff @ Sip The Tea

    I stay up all night before long flights so I can sleep the entire flight.

    • Holly Dayz

      That is a great if you are able to do it!

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