How do we survive long flights?
Having visited over 60 countries in the last 5 years we have survived many long haul flights. A LOT of long flights. So we feel highly qualified in giving you guys tips on how to make your own long haul flight much more bearable.
Unless you are one of those really rare and really weird people who love nothing better than a nice long flight chances are you dread the thought of flying in an aluminum tube for 10 to 15 hours. You aren’t alone. Most of us dread prolonged habitation of an airplane.
We do have a lot of experience with these sort of things, and we’re here to help you survive and perhaps even thrive after your next long flight. So never fear, brave traveler, we have a whole bunch of tips to help you survive that hellish long haul flight.
Preparation BEFORE a long flight is crucial, but there are many things you can do WHILE on a long flight that can make the entire experience (and the day after) much smoother.
Implement these pro tips into your flight plan and stop dreading your next long haul flight. Book your ticket, pack your bags, and go off and see the world!
Table of Contents
Tips for Long Flights
Surviving Long Flights – Hydrate!!
Being in an airplane dehydrates the human body. How do we know? Science. Science told us, and we believe science. Also, it’s pretty obvious. Dry mouth, bad breath, light headache, red eyes; these are all signs of dehydration.
The air inside of an airplane is very dry, drier than the air in the Sahara Desert. The lack of moisture will clog up your sinuses, wrinkle your skin, and provide that not-so-pleasant throbbing in your temples we all associate with a stress headache.
You know what else dehydrates the human body? Salt and alcohol, which are two key ingredients in all of our long haul flights. Since you will be consuming salty food, salty snacks, and probably having a few drinks you’re going to dehydrate yourself rather quickly.
It is essential to your well-being during and after the flight to hydrate yourself often. And no, cheap beer isn’t the solution. For every glass of booze you consume, have two glasses of water ready to down. If you aren’t drinking adult beverages you should still consume a glass of water per hour, at minimum.
This means you will have to get up and go to the bathroom quite often, but it’s better than feeling like a dried out carcass by the end of your journey. Getting up and walking around is good for you anyway.
Speaking of which…
Get Up and Stretch
Getting up to stretch every hour or two is an excellent idea for more than just the practical reasons. It can literally save your life during long flights due to it countering something known as Deep Vein Thrombosis. We won’t bore you with the details of how D.V.T. can kill you, but stretching and moving around prevents it. And that’s a good thing.
We want you to stay alive, after all.
The other obvious effects of stretching and moving to release tension in cramped legs, sore backs, and stiff necks are …obvious.
Here are some great stretches to learn, and to do, on your next long flight.
Bring Some Comfy Socks
Never underestimate the power of being comfortable on a flight. Comfortable snugly socks are just one of the ways you can make a long haul flight feel like a cuddle party. You can also bring some pjs to change into if you really don’t give AF what people think as long as you stay chillin’.
Here are some comfortable socks for women and comfortable socks for men we recommend.
Invest in a Neck Pillow
Some people love these. Some people don’t. A good neck pillow can be a lifesaver for the awkward sleeper on a long flight, and save you some neck pain and headaches during or after. Try out a few before you decide on which one is for you. Like tuxedos and wedding dresses not every neck pillow is the right neck pillow for you.
Here is an inflatable neck pillow that won’t take up much space in your carry-on.
If you are an avid podcast listener there is a good chance you actually enjoy long commutes. A flight is the perfect time to catch up on podcasts while doodling or doing a sudoku.
Music. It makes everything better. Bring some with you when you get on a plane. Duh. Just remember that you need to have a premium Spotify account if you want to save music for listening later, so have a bunch downloaded and ready to go.
Try some of these headphones for maximum enjoyment.
Block Out Everything
If you want to catch up on sleep while on a plane, or just want to experience as little of the flight as possible you should sleep. And the best way to make sure you sleep well is with the previously mentioned neck pillow, an eye mask, and the secret ingredient – ear plugs.
Ear plugs are an essential travel item to pack for most backpackers and long term travelers, and they will certainly come in handy on a long flight if you want to block out anything from crying babies, to the sounds of your plane crashing (j/k). Anyway, buy some.
Read a Damn Book
Not enough people read these days. Don’t be like those people.
Reading has been a quintessential travel distraction for centuries, and books can take you away to other places and worlds. Which is great if you need a bit of escapism during your flight, but when you don’t feel like watching whatever crappy Marvel movie is playing on the tiny screen in front of you.
Here are some of our favorite travel books, just in case you need a bit of inspiration while flying.
Bring Your Own Snacks
Don’t rely on the airline to keep you sated, bring your own snacks on your next long haul flight. You’ll save some money while flying, and have your favorite comfort munchies on hand. Big plus if they are not salty. Bigger plus if they actually help to hydrate you.
Some hydrating foods for long flights include cucumbers, carrots, celery, and if you are feeling adventurous strawberries and blueberries. The first three should be much easier to travel around with, as they wont get smushed in your carry on. Bring some dipping sauce if you have spare room.
Stay Creamy, Bring Lotion
Don’t end up feeling like a lizard person after a long flight. Fight dry skin and all that comes with it by bringing a travel sized tube of hydrating lotion with you on a long flight. Offer some to the person sitting next to you to score big points.
Eye Drops Make You Feel Good
The same way airplane air dries out your skin, it does so to your eyes as well. Keep your big beautiful peepers feeling good with some soothing eye drops every few hours.
Zinc and Vitamin C Bomb
Airplanes are giant germ tanks. It is known.
To be in an airplane is to be surrounded by germs. Whether on the tray table in front of you, the entertainment screen, your arm rest, or floating around in the recycled air there are nasty little germs all around you.
A great way to give your immune system a much needed “flight boost” is to take vitamin c with zinc before, during, and after a flight.
Trust us, these little pills can make the difference between a healthy happy you, and a miserable post-flight you.
Keep Fresh with Toothpaste and a Tooth Brush
Get the taste of airplane food out of your mouth and refresh yourself with your handy travel toothbrush and travel sized toothpaste. Essential to feeling like a real human being ten hours into a long haul flight.
Don’t be a Douche
It’s easy to lose patience when you are trapped in penis shaped aluminum tube which is hurtling through the atmosphere at speeds that would flay the skin from your bones. Cramped conditions, the wafting smell of airplane food farts, the snoring stranger with his head on your shoulder, a crying baby or three…it all adds up on the ol’ stress meter.
We feel you, we really do.
This is why when you are on an airplane with 200 other people you have to try your damn hardest to be at your very best. Be nice to the people around you, smile, show some consideration, don’t abuse the flight staff, and most importantly, keep your cool.
You’ll make the flight better for yourself, and for everyone else trapped in the flying penis tube with you.
And there you have it guys, our top tips for making sure your next long haul flight isn’t your last. Travel well, and we’ll see you guys on the road (errrr, or in the sky!)
Disclaimer: We have included a few handy little affiliate links. We receive a small commission for any sales made, without any additional cost to you, our dear reader.