I have spent many hours in the air in what would be considered long-haul flights. Learning how to be organized and prepared for long travel is crucial on how successful your flight will be. Are you wondering how to get through a long flight? I fly economy and for some, this can be painful. I feel well versed in how to survive these flights and I’m here to help!
Do you get excited to fly? I do! Because I know that I am going to end up somewhere fun!
What I bring on board to help alleviate
If you can figure out how to alleviate all those, then you’ve got this! I want to be COMFORTABLE!
Before your flight get organized.
Check to see if your flight has in-flight entertainment because some airlines have very basic in-flight entertainment or none at all. Most planes do have it but If your flight doesn’t, figure out what you need to entertain yourself and possibly your kids.
Download any movies, music, books (e-readers) etc that you want to watch, listen or read while on the plane. Do not depend on airport internet or the airplane internet to download large files.
Make sure all your electronics are FULLY charged before getting on the plane. Some airlines offer a power outlet or USB port at their seats, but not all planes have power sources at the seats. So just be prepared. I bring a phone charger and laptop charger with me on the plane. Also, if you have a layover somewhere it is nice to have your laptop power charger.
Purchase snacks that you love and will help you get through a flight. For me, I really enjoy snacking and this is my time to eat what I want! Try to stay away from salty foods. Chocolate, crackers, cheese, almonds, hard candy, gum, dried fruit are some of the snacks that I bring. What will satisfy you for a long flight? If I’m hungry, I get a little cranky. Airplane food never fills me up besides the fact that I rarely enjoy the food. So I rely on myself to bring goodies and food that get me through a flight. Nothing better than a good food-high! No hunger for me.
Reserve good seats. Are you a window person (you get views and most importantly for me – you get something to lean on), or are you an aisle person (for easy access to the bathroom)?
Try to book flights that arrive in the morning. We do this mostly when we can. And when we arrive at our destination we drop off our bags at hour hotel/Airbnb and power through the day and get a good sleep that night. We don’t take a nap when we arrive. We just go to bed early that night and it is amazing how well we do with feeling less jet lag.
Dress comfortably. As you know, layers are the best way to fly. If the plane gets hot or cold this will help you survive. I wear comfortable pants (usually leggings), a loose shirt, slip-on shoes, and a warm sweater.
You would never know I wear a travel belt under my clothes. It’s very comfortable and holds my cell phone, money, passport or whatever I need. After I go through security, I put my phone in the travel belt. It’s a great way to have your phone close-by and always on you! I wear this travel belt whenever I travel and it’s good for preventing theft. No one knows you are wearing it.
How to combat boredom! You know what works best for you. For me, reading a book and watching a movie easily helps me from being bored. What would you enjoy? Maybe perusing a magazine, working on a crossword puzzle, sudoku, listen to music, sketchbook, write in a journal, listen to a podcast, or how about editing images/videos on your computer.
Sanitize everything you’ll be touching with disinfectant wipes! I don’t bring the entire package of disinfectant wipes. I take a few and put them in a little sandwich bag. Make sure to wipe the seat pocket which is known to be a germ collector.
I put everything that I need – snacks, hygiene kit, etc in a bright colored small bag in the seat pocket. I then place my carry-on bag near my feet under the seat in front of me. I don’t want to have to keep getting into my bag for everything I need. I also place my water bottle in the seat pocket.
Stay hydrated. A great way to avoid jet lag is to stay well hydrated. Stay away from coffee and alcohol. Both those drinks will dehydrate the body. Not drinking and retaining enough water can certainly make you feel fatigue, so be careful! I always bring my empty water bottle through security and fill up at the water station after going through security. I also bring herbal tea with me. It’s easy to get a cup of hot water from a flight attendant.
If you don’t know this already, the free headphones you’re given on airplanes suck. How do I know this? Well, I used them for years not caring too much about quality headphones until one day I was on a flight and couldn’t hear the dialog well of a quality movie. I asked my husband to borrow his headphones for a minute and I couldn’t believe the difference in my hearing the dialog and not hearing it. It was a NIGHT and DAY difference! So you can guess what my Christmas present was a couple of months later ; ) Be sure to bring along your own headphones! I have noise-cancelling larger Bose ones – and I love them!
EDIT: A few years later I got smaller one earbud size headphones that are also noise-cancelling Bose. I LOVE these because they are so small. Take up way less space then the larger ones. These are the ones I use now.
I purchased some headphones for my parents long-haul flight that cost in the $60-70 range. I will have to update this and let you know how well they work.
MY LIST OF WHAT I BRING IN MY FLIGHT PURSE:
I’ve looked long and hard for a travel purse. Bringing this on flights has been a lifesaver. I can fit everything inside with the exception of my neck pillow which is in a sack and clipped onto the travel purse.
I never go on a flight without my neck pillow. This is essential.
I bring a blankie! Yes, I always bring this travel blanket on every long flight. It is a comfort to know that I won’t be freezing cold on the plane and I can sleep warm and comfortable. A travel sack keeps it all tidy and compact.
Do you know what helps me get better quality sleep? An eye mask! It doesn’t bother me if my seat-mate wants to read or is watching a movie at 3:00 o’clock in the morning. Because I don’t see anything while wearing the mask.
I bring an extra pair of socks to keep my feet warm. This is a must. I hate cold feet.
Alleviating fatigue! I know what works best for my body to try and sleep. I do quite well and feel refreshed after a flight. Pay attention to all my tips to see what works best for you. The best tips for me that helps me sleep is my blankie, neck pillow, and eye mask. I sleep pretty well considering I’m in economy.
Get up from your seat every couple hours and take a walk about and do some light stretching.
Hygiene kit: travel toothbrush, moisturizer, lip balm face wipes, hand wipes (sanitizer), contact lens kit, eye drops, glasses, tissues, panty liners, body wipes, small hairbrush, tampons, anti-diarrhea medicine. (If you have any problems onboard this medicine can help get you through a flight). I put a few drops of Lavender essential oil on a cotton pad and place in a sandwich bag. If there are any smells you can’t stand, this can help you get through it. Also, I get occasional earaches. Lavender oil on a cotton pad placed over my ear helps relieve those darn earaches.
Bose Noise Cancelling Ear buds
Passport Cover w/ pen
Extra Pair of Socks
No Jet Lag
I hope some of my tips help you figure out how to survive a long flight on a plane. I really appreciate and enjoy watching movies and reading. Sometimes not having an assignment due and just chillin’ on a flight is good. I can’t say I always felt this way about flying. But over the years I have gotten myself organized and prepared! If you do this, you’ll find long flights not so bad. I actually relax and enjoy myself – knowing I’ll be somewhere awesome soon. Enjoy the journey!