Long-haul flights present a multitude of challenges. Here are six tips to arriving at your destination feeling fresh and ready to go. Airports in new cities or countries take time to navigate. It’s easier to do so when you are alert after a long flight.

Tips for a long-haul flight.  
Photo by  Suhyeon Choi at unsplash.com
Tips for a long-haul flight.
Photo by Suhyeon Choi at unsplash.com

Prepping for a Long-Haul Flight

Accordionists can play some beautiful music, but when our necks and backs feel like accordions at the end of a long-haul flight, the accordionist is not to blame.  Prior to moving abroad, I just assumed that part of long-haul flying was discomfort.  I was wrong.  There are two types of travelers, seasoned and not.

When you live abroad, travel by airplane becomes part of your routine.  Many times flights are for your visa.  Countries only allow you to stay, even as a worker, for 90 days meaning every 3 months you have to fly out to fly back in.

I think prior to living abroad at 35 years old; I flew 20 times throughout the course of my life.  I think in my first year I came close to doubling that number and now am well past 100 flights. 

How to Survive a Long-Haul Flight

So how do travelers fly multiple long-haul flights regularly?  Through keen observation, I uncovered some of their tricks of the trade and will impart their wisdom to you.

  1. Most of us watch TV at home.  We take off our shoes and put our feet up on the table or ottoman.  While putting your feet up on the chair in front of you is a no no, taking off your shoes during a long-haul flight is acceptable and recommended behavior.
  2. Which brings me to point two.  Get up and move a few times during your long-haul flight.  You can stand up and sit down a few times, walk back and forth to the airplane bathrooms, just move.  You don’t want to arrive after your long-haul flight with swollen feet .
  3. Drink water and plenty of it on a flight.  No need to be thirsty after a long-haul flight.  Walk back and get a drink of water on the airplane, killing two birds with one stone. Easy.
  4. Covering your eyes to sleep is a way that I find tricks my brain into thinking it’s night on an airplane. Long-haul flights are best used for sleep not catching up on movies and TV unless you can’t sleep.  You will spend the first few days fighting jet lag, regardless. Having sound flight sleep, helps.
  5. Just like at home, how you sleep affects your body and in your bed I imagine you have a comfortable pillow. I was a holdout. I thought neck pillows on long-haul flights were a marketing scheme. I bought one and my opinion stuck. It was a waste of money on a flight.
Long-haul flights are rewarded either with a return home or a new destination. 
Photo by Sacha Verheij at unsplash.com
Long-haul flights are rewarded either with a return home or a new destination.
Photo by Sacha Verheij at unsplash.com
  1. Leading me to entertainment. Bring your own headphones with an airplane adapter. The comfort alone of wearing something you’re used to on an airplane makes a movie, tv or music much better.
  2. Lastly, is food. I go by the motto that airplane food, even when it tastes okay, has the caloric value of a piece of cardboard, zero. Bring food that you want to eat on the airplane and that you can get through customs. If your long-haul flight is 12 hrs, bring 1200 calories. Being hungry upon arrival after a long-haul flight is a sure way to start your vacation on the wrong foot.  

There is no getting around it. Long-haul flights are a challenge. Airplane space is confining and there’s a point where we all want to ask, ‘Are we there yet?’ on a flight. Follow these steps and your next long haul flight might not leave you feeling like a musical instrument.

What are your tips and tricks? How do you a survive long-haul flight? Is the airplane you preferred mode of travel? Let us know in the comments down below.

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