Short flights are fun. Short flights aren’t even that different from a train or bus ride. Long-haul flights are something entirely different I had to realize on my first trip to the US 10 years ago and several other times ever since. Staying seated for an unnaturally long time, sharing way too little space with way too many people – long-haul flights frequently pose several challenges at a time. Being a frequent traveler myself and having traveled from Europe to Canada just recently I would love to share with you guys what I have learned throughout the past decade on what we can do to survive a long-haul flight.
I cannot. Stress. This. Enough. Staying hydrated is always super important for our health and even more so on the plane. The air on the plane can be pretty dry and with all the stress and excitement that comes with a long trip we can quickly forget to drink water regularly throughout the day. If you don’t want to rely on the drinks served by the cabin crew be sure to get a bottle of water after the security check or bring an empty bottle that you can fill before boarding the plane. I would recommend sticking to water or juice. Try to avoid alcohol as a long-haul flight and a possible jet lag are stressful enough for your body already.
Of course eating is just as important as drinking when it comes to surviving a long-haul flight. Be sure to stick to food that’s easily digestible and that you know your stomach reacts well to. If you’re not sure if the food served on board will meet these requirements for you you can always contact your airline in advance to order a specific meal. There’s usually a variety of meals available that cater to many different kinds of health requirements and lifestyle choices.
Try to be as comfy as possible
Comfy clothes are a must on a long-haul flight. Avoid everything that will start cutting into your skin after a while – for me this even includes swapping the bra for a bralet or simply not wearing one at all. Also, choose shoes that aren’t too complicated to take off – you might want to swap them for a pair of wool socks in order to be more comfy. Be sure to have a warm sweater and/or blanket at hand in case you get cold. I also love having an inflatable pillow with me. It takes up minimal space while deflated and comes in so handy when I want to take a nap. Which leads us to…
Sleep according to the time zone
I personally love to get some rest during flights. Now this is of course optional but it can be beneficial to sleep according to the time zone at your destination. This will help your body adapt and can reduce the risk of jet lag. Simply check a time zone map before you leave and take note of where you will be when and what time it’s going to be.
Get up and stretch regularly
This is really important during long-haul flights. Whenever you get up to use the bathroom (which should be necessary every now and again if you’re drinking enough water!) be sure to stretch your arms and legs and walk around a little. On long-haul flights I always prefer the aisle seat as it’ll allow me to get up whenever I want without having to climb over several people.
I personally love watching Disney movies during long-haul flights. Whatever floats your boat, right? 😀 Be sure to bring a book / magazine / e-reader as well to change things up a little or in case the entertainment system isn’t working for whatever reason. What I also love to do on the flight home (!) is organizing all the hundreds and thousands of pictures I took during the trip 😀 This way I’ll have them all ready and organized once I get home.
Don’t become a zombie
There are a few little tricks that help me feel human even during long flights. Pack a travel sized toothbrush and toothpaste and brush your teeth for a fresh feel. A refreshing spritz of Thermal Water can help you feel more awake and it will re-hydrate your skin. And of course my all-time lifesaver: dry shampoo. It will instantly stop your hair from getting greasy and will make you look and feel far more human.
What are your hacks for surviving long-haul flights? Let me know in the comments!