In Flight tips/ Travel Advice

How To Survive Long Haul Flights: Top 10 Tips

I love travelling and visiting exotic places. The one part about it that I don’t love as much are the long haul flights. I like to think I deal with long flights quite well (being a short girl has its advantages every now and then!) and since I know a lot of people don’t, I figured I’d put together some advice on how to survive long flights. Read on to find out my key suggestions for how to survive a long haul flight, and arrive at destination not feeling horrible.

10 tips to survive long flights

Get an aisle seat

I’m a fan of the window seat on short flights, but I recognise that it’s just easier to get the aisle seat if you can on long flights. That way you can stretch your legs and don’t have to climb over the people sat next to you every time you want to go to the toilet or for a walk. Whether that means checking in online beforehand, or showing up at the airport early to ask for the aisle seat, it’s really worth it!

Sunset over Florence, Italy, shot on Sony DSCWX500

Sunset over Florence, Italy

Stay active while you’re at the airport

You’ve got however many hours of sitting down to do once you’re on the plane, make the most of not being stuck in a seat while you can! Walk around and explore the airport a bit before getting on the plane. I like getting snacks and checking out the bookstore while I wait for flights, who knows, your next favourite book might be there waiting for you! I like staying active while travelling in general, if you struggle to stay fit on the road you can check out my top tips on how to do so here.

Be the last to board the plane

You never know, if the flight isn’t full you might be able to ditch your seat and grab an entire row to yourself (pretty handy if you want to sleep!) or even just an extra seat to stretch your legs. But you won’t know that for sure until everyone else has taken their seats. There’s nothing quite as awkward as taking up a whole row just to then have to shuffle when another passenger arrives.

Cape North

Cape North, Norway; the most northern point in Europe

Go for a walk up and down the aisle every now and then

This one is an important one not just to pass some time, but also from a physical point of view. Sitting down for too long isn’t good for the blood circulation in your legs, so getting up every now and then ensures you stay healthy, and it breaks up the flight a bit.

Bring with you something to do

Most long haul flights will have inflight entertainment, however there’s not way of knowing beforehand if it will be good and actually entertain you for the whole flight. Bringing a book or videogame with you can’t hurt, and will ensure that you have something with you that you know you will enjoy to spend a few hours of your day doing. Even better, if you have work to do bring your laptop, you’re stuck in a seat for ages anyway, better to try doing something productive with the time!

Red Square

Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, Russia

Bring some snacks 

Yes there is food on the plane, but what if you don’t like it? Or the breaks between meals are too long and you get hungry? It’s just easier to bring some snacks with you that you know you will like.

Stay hydrated!

This one is really important, flights rare so dry because of all the air-conditioning, make sure you drink lots of water and stay hydrated. Similarly to the food, yes there is water on the plane, but having your own bottle wills ave you having to get up every time you want a drink.

Dubai desert

Exploring the desert in Dubai

Bring some moisturiser 

Now I’m not sure whether this has any scientific foundation but it’s a personal favourite of mine that I like doing. Airplanes always have really strong air-conditioning; this will make your skin drier. If you’re coming back from a beach holiday and have been working hard on your tan, you don’t want to lose it already on the flight back! I like moisturising during flights (within reason, it’s usually just my face and arms, please don’t get naked on a plane).

Bring a scarf 

Scarves are multi use. You can use it to cover yourself if it’s chilly, or you can put it over your face if you want to sleep or use it as a blanket! It’s always handy to have one also once you arrive at destination too.


Sunset over Westminster in London, UK

Try to sleep to get over time zone differences

Depending on where you’re headed, there might be a time zone difference, and there’s nothing quite as bad as reaching a new destination and being completely knackered because of the time difference. The best way to overcome time differences is sleeping on the plane to adjust your biological clock. This is obviously quite hard, sleeping on planes doesn’t come easy to most people, but if you follow some of my previous tips, you might be able to!

You are now ready to survive your next long haul flight! That’s my top advice on things I do to survive long flights, what do you guys think? Do you do different things to handle long haul flights? Let me know in the comments below!

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We all love travelling and going to exotic places, but taking long flights? Not so much. If you're planning a long flight soon and not sure how to deal with it, you'll want to check out these top 10 tips on how to survive long flights.

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