How to Survive a Long Flight

So you’ve booked your flight and accommodation. You’re all excited. You check your flight details and whooooop – you’ve got a 15 hour flight. What? How will I survive a fifteen-hour flight?! Here are some tips and tricks on how to survive a long flight.

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How to survive a long-haul flight

How to Survive a Long Flight

1. Wear Comfortable Clothing

This is not a fashion show or beauty pageant. Unless you have to head to a meeting or event immediately after your flight, prioritise your comfort. Think of an outfit that you will be happy to sit in for over ten hours. Preferably something loose and not too tight fitting. Avoid any open-toed shoes for safety and hygienic reasons as well as any shoes that are too tight, because your feet can and will swell because of the high altitude.

Also remember that flights can get kinda chilly, do pack in some layers that you can add and remove accordingly. If you are trying to save space in your luggage and opt to wear your biggest coat and chunkiest boots, make suer that you pack in alternatives.

2. Choose a Good Seat

Do your best and plan ahead. The earlier you book, the more options you have when it comes to seating. If you book last minute, you may be stuck with any available seat with very little options.

Here are some tips for choosing a good seat:

  1. If you need to use the bathroom often, or if you like to move around in general, opt for an aisle seat
  2. If you’d like to stay clear of any kids and crying babies, make sure to stay away from the front of the plane which is usually reserved for parents with young children
  3. If you need more leg room, opt for the exit rows
  4. If you plan on sleeping for most of your flight, get a window seat

3. Choose a Good Airline

Do your research on different airlines before booking your plane tickets. Look at their reviews and see what other people are saying about their flight experiences. Choosing a good airline can be the difference between a good long-haul flight, and one of the longest, and probably the worst experience in your life.

Some airlines rated as good for long-haul flights include: Emirates, Singapore Airlines, and Qatar Airways.

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4. Bring some go-to Items

Consider bringing along some in-flight essentials. These can include: neck pillows, earplugs or noise-cancelling earphones/headphones, eye masks – and anything else that you think will help you feel comfortable on your flight.

Remember to keep in mind that you will be carrying these items around, so leave the 400-page book at home and try not to bring anything that is going to cause unnecessary trouble

To see a checklist of packing essentials, check out The Ultimate Travel Packing Guide and Checklist.

5. Snacks

On almost every long-haul, international flight, you will be fed and offered drinks. However, it may not be what and when you are expecting. Sometimes you will be flying through different times zones which may mess with your meal times. To save yourself the feelings of feeling hungry or dehydrated, bring your own snacks onto the plane. But be sure to check the rules and regulations first. You can buy snacks after you’ve passed security before boarding your flight.

Some good snacks include: cereal and energy bars, nuts, and dried fruits.

6. Stay Hydrated

Becoming dehydrated on a plane is very common because of how dry it can be. Make sure that you drink plenty of water throughout the flight – though not too much or else you’ll be running to the bathroom every hour. Just make sure to drink enough to keep yourself hydrated.

Hydrating doesn’t only mean drinking water, because you may find that your skin is affected too. Bring a small moisturiser and some eyedrops along with you. If you wear contacts, be sure to opt for wearing your glasses as wearing your contact lenses for a long period of time can be dangerous.

7. Consider using a Sleeping Aid

If you have trouble sleeping on planes or in general, you may want to consider a sleeping aid. These can include natural methods, over-the-counter sleeping pills, or prescription drugs. It’s important to remember to try these BEFORE your flight. You wouldn’t want to be dealing with unexpected side effects that could make things a whole lot worse for you.

Different methods affect each person differently. You will want to try and see which sleeping aid works best for you. You may also want to consult a doctor and get a professional opinion.

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8. Move Around

Avoid sitting for extended periods of time as this can cause muscle spasms and other aches and pains. Stretching your legs is not only a good idea because it will help your blood circulation, but it will also reduce the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

You can do little exercises while you are in your seat, but also try and get up every 2-3 hours.

9. Avoid too much Makeup

Again, this is not a beauty pageant. If you are going to be on a long-haul flight, the worst thing you can do for your skin is add layers of chemicals to it. The plane cabins are already dry and can affect the condition of your skin, so you don’t want to make it worse by wearing too much makeup.

10. Relax

Forget about all your worries. There’s usually no mobile coverage unless you’ve opted to purchase an on-board WiFi deal so there’s no need to worry about social media and what everyone else is doing. You will also have a cabin crew waiting on your every need. Use this time for yourself. Read that book you’ve always wanted to or watch that movie that you’ve always said you were going to.


If you enjoyed this post on how to survive a long flight, check out some of my other posts: 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Travelling Abroad, Seven Advantages of Travelling Solo, and How to Overcome Homesickness.

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