Long haul flights can have a significant impact on your well-being and adjustment to a new country. Various factors, including plane food, uncomfortable seating, jet lag, sleep deprivation, early morning departures, dehydration, and prolonged periods of boredom, can all contribute to feeling less than optimal upon arrival at your destination.

Being well-prepared can make long haul flights much more enjoyable.

Bringing your own travel food

When preparing for a long haul flight, it’s important to consider the food options available on the plane. Many people, like myself, dislike the taste of plane food. To avoid relying on in-flight meals, it’s a good idea to pack your own snacks. These can be conveniently stored in a zip lock bag or small plastic container to minimize space in your bag. Some nutritious and easy-to-pack options include dried fruit, nuts, salad wraps, homemade granola, vegetable sticks, and fresh fruit.

Comfortable, loose-fitting clothing

When you fly, it is advantageous to dress in comfortable and loose-fitting attire, like clothing with layers, shawls, and slip-on shoes. Additionally, it is beneficial to include items such as travel socks, a loose-fitting cardigan, a blackout sleep mask, and sunglasses in your packing list. These essentials will contribute to a more pleasant and convenient travel experience.

In order to stay warm and comfortable, I prefer wearing loose-fitting clothes and wrapping myself up with a cosy scarf. This allows me the freedom to snuggle up or stretch out without feeling constricted by tight clothing. Additionally, when travelling to conservative countries, I make sure to dress appropriately by covering my shoulders, and chest, and opting for longer dresses or pants.

When travelling on an airplane, it’s crucial to keep in mind that the cabin temperature can often be quite chilly due to the air conditioning. To ensure your comfort throughout the journey, it is recommended to bring a warm jacket or a hooded jumper.

BYO Entertainment

If you find yourself uninterested in the in-flight entertainment options, it’s helpful to have a backup plan. Bringing a fully charged laptop, iPod, iPad, or Kindle, for instance, not only provides an alternative to in-flight entertainment but also allows you to be productive or engage in constructive activities during your flight. You can utilize this time to edit and organize the photos from your previous trips or download and listen to podcasts while you unwind.

Keep Hydrated

stay hydrated on plane

Staying hydrated while flying is crucial, as the lack of air humidity on flights can increase the risk of dehydration. To prevent this, it is advisable to avoid consuming alcohol before, during, and even after the flight for at least a day. This precautionary measure can greatly contribute to maintaining hydration levels.

It is important to prioritize drinking water while travelling instead of coffee or soda beverages. It is recommended to drink enough water during your flight, even if this requires asking the flight attendant for additional bottles. Additionally, keeping a small bottle of coconut oil (under 100ml) on hand can be beneficial for moisturizing the skin. It can also serve as a useful lip balm.

Move

When travelling on an airplane, it’s important to stay active to prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). Instead of remaining seated the entire time, try moving your feet around under your seat or stretching them out under the seat in front of you. Additionally, it’s advisable to stand up and walk around every hour or so, even if it’s just to use the bathroom or stand near the back of the plane where the bathroom and kitchen area are located. Wearing travel socks and regularly moving and stretching can greatly reduce the risk of DVT, a condition often experienced by passengers during long flights.

Medications

Maintaining a consistent medication routine is crucial while on board, especially if you typically take the medication with breakfast in the morning or with dinner at night.

When travelling, it is important to remember to bring your prescription medications with you, as you may be asked to present them at security. Additionally, it is a good idea to pack painkillers in case you experience headaches during the flight. Another helpful item to include in your travel bag is tiger balm, which can provide relief for sore muscles and pain.

When preparing for travel, it’s important to have a well-stocked travel pack. Some essential items to include are a toothbrush, face wipes, bandaids, alcohol wipes, plane socks, an eye mask, lip balm, probiotics, charcoal tablets, and more. These items can help ensure a comfortable and prepared journey.

Neck Pillow

neck pillow plane

Neck pillows are essential for comfortable long overnight flights, as well as for extended train and bus rides during your travels. If you’re short on space, consider choosing a blow-up neck pillow option.

Seating

If you want to have a more comfortable long-distance flight, it’s important to choose the right seat. When booking your flight online, you are usually given the option to select your seat. It’s worth noting that seats located at the front and back of the plane, near the bulkheads, often provide more legroom. Additionally, exit row seats also tend to offer extra space for your legs.

emergency exit plane

Get more leg space at exit row on the plane

If you choose a seat near the bathroom on a plane, be aware that it may not be the most peaceful location. People tend to congregate in this area and engage in conversation while stretching their legs. However, if you opt for an aisle seat, you can easily get up from your seat without inconveniencing others or having to climb over them. If you’re unsure which seat is best for you, websites like www.seatguru.com can provide more information and guidance.

Do you have any additional suggestions to make long haul flights more comfortable?