How to survive a long haul flight

Ugh, long haul flights, who actually likes them? Probably no one! The longest flight I’ve been on was from Mississippi to Germany and then back. Eleven hours cooped up in a plane with strangers is no fun at all! I had never flown alone before and it had been a long time since I flew at all. I was a nervous wreck to say the least. I was surrounded by people not speaking my language and sitting next to someone who didn’t say a word to me the entire trip. I know most people would be thankful for the quiet passenger, but it would have been nice to have a little conversation to take my mind off of my nerves.

Nevertheless I survived that first trip alone. Along the way and after traveling a bit more I have picked up a few tips and tricks to make my flights a little bit easier. So if you are like I was maybe this will help you and ease your discomfort while flying for those long hours.

#1 Travel at night

If you can, try to book overnight flights. That way you can sleep on the way to your destination. I know sometimes you have to fly during the day. ( Like on my way back from Germany and Ireland) But, when I am traveling TO a destination I try my best to fly at night.

#2 Keep your regular sleep schedule

The night before your flight you might think it’s a good idea to not sleep and then you will sleep on the flight over. Please don’t make the same mistake I did. When I flew to Germany in 2015 I decided to stay up as late as I possibly could so I would be extra tired. This backfired big time. I was so exhausted that I couldn’t rest and made my trip worse than it should have been.

#3 Moisturize

Riding in an airplane sucks the moisture right out of your skin. When I fly I have learned instead of using my regular day cream I use a nighttime moisturizing cream instead. It helps your skin more than you know! Also hand cream and chap stick or lip a moisturizer is so important as well.

#4 Water

DRINK LOTS OF WATER! I can not stress this enough. Bring your own water bottle and the flight attendants will fill it up for you. Not only will the water help keep you and your skin hydrated it will also help curb jet lag AND you have an excuse to get up and use the restroom during the flight. I know many want to drink soda and alcohol but those just dehydrate you more.

#5 Move around

Get up and move around as often as you can. At least once every hour. Get up walk around, stretch your legs, and use the restroom. Whatever you have to do to keep moving and your blood circulating. If you stay seated for the entire trip you run the risk of having a blood clot. Who wants to start their trip off in the hospital after they land?

#6 Compression socks

I recommend you wear compression socks. Especially if your feet and legs swell during the day normally anyway. They actually make some really cute ones these days. They literally can save your life.

#7 Slip on shoes

Photo by Mnz on

Wear shoes that are easy to get on and off. Or bring slippers to change in to. Not only will this help you breeze through security they are easy to get on and off during your flight. Who wants to sit with their shoes on for eleven hours? Not I!

#8 Bring a light Blanket

Photo by Lisa Fotios on

Airplanes can be super cold! Bring a light packable blanket to keep yourself warm. The airline may not always supply one for you. Who wants to spend their whole flight uncomfortably cold?

#9 Travel Pillow

Bring a good travel pillow, one that has good neck support. My poor little travel pillow has seen better days so I will be finding a new one soon. It saved me on those long flights. I don’t know why but when I fly my neck always ends up hurting. These pillows definitely help.

#10 Utilize what they do give you

Photo by Tiago Cardoso on

Many airlines do offer a pillow and blanket for those long haul flights (not all). What I like to do with mine is sit on them! I couldn’t tell you how much of a difference this makes. After sitting for so long in basically one position your whole body hurts. If you don’t want to use the pillow and blanket as intended this is another great way for you to use them.

#11 Eat light

Photo by Vincent Rivaud on

So we all know that airline food is kinda bad. My suggestion is bring light snacks that don’t cause gas. You will already be cooped up on a little plane surrounded by strangers. You don’t want to make it any more awkward than it already is. Your digestive system will be sluggish anyway so you don’t want to make things worse.

#12 Medication

Photo by on

As I have gotten older I’ve had to start taking dramamine before a flight for motion sickness. I seem to do fine on boats, trains and roller coasters. But for some reason flights have begun to bother me. I normally take the non-drowsy formula but it still makes me pretty sleepy. Which is another reason I suggest taking an overnight flight where possible. I am sure there are other products that may help with this problem but this is the one that works for me.

I’m sure there are more than just these 12 methods of surviving long haul flights. But, I have found these work for me. Maybe I will discover more ways in the future so I will definitely update this if I do. If you are looking for a great place to take your next adventure or to take your first trip I suggest reading The Safest Countries To Travel To In The World. Do you have any tips on surviving long flights? If so share them with me below! I’d love any extra tips or tricks I can use in the future.

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