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Surviving long-haul flights

Surviving long-haul flights takes some experience. I’ve been on my fair share of long-haul flights throughout my years of travel. I have developed some routines and habits in order to make my time on the plane easier and more comfortable. My flight to Dubai was one of the longest I’ve been on. This meant spending a total of 17 hours and 39 mins on planes to get there and 23 hours and 34 mins to get home. Without proper preparation, a long-haul flight can be miserable. Here’s what I do to survive super-long flights.

Related: Travel: Should you plan every moment of your trip? Or go with the flow? 

Surviving long-haul flights; All the tips & tricks you need!

Dress Comfortably

To me this is one of the most important factors, you can still look cute and be comfortable at the same time. You will also want to consider layers, planes can become cold and uncomfortable. Be prepared with a light jacket or scarf and some socks if you didn’t wear closed shoes. Sitting on a plane with a belt that keeps poking your stomach, too-tight pants digging into your waist or an underwire that keeps digging into your armpit gets old really quickly.

Hydration, Hydration, Hydration

Airplane cabins are very dry, this ups your chances of becoming dehydrated. I always carry a refillable water bottle with me and fill it up in the airport before I leave. Try to avoid alcohol; if you can’t survive the flight without out it, try to limit your intake.

Moisture is important

I pack my facial moisturizer, hand lotion, lip balm, and a moisturizing face mask in my carry on bag. I don’t care if I look crazy, my skin will look amazing when I land. I also tie my hair up to avoid it being frizzy and dry when I land.


In my carry-on toiletry kit, I always have a travel-sized deodorant, toothbrush & toothpaste, hand sanitizer, wet wipes, lip balm, a face mask, and face wash. While I do not enjoy spending a lot of time in airplane lavatories, it’s necessary to practice good hygiene. It helps you to feel refreshed and cleaner at the end of your flight. You don’t want to arrive at your final destination smelling musty.

Related: Ten Things I Learned About Dubai


While most flights longer than 2 hours nowadays offer in-flight entertainment, I still try to bring something to read or load up my iPad with a movie or some books. This came in handy on a recent flight to Italy when the screens on my flight were not working properly and had to keep on being reset. There were parts of the flight where it did not work at all and having my own entertainment came in handy.


You’ll definitely be served food on flights 4 hours or longer but you don’t want to be stuck with an option you don’t or can’t eat. I always have some snacks in my bag as a backup. Dried fruits and nuts and granola bars are my go-tos. 

Extra clothing

It’s all about being comfortable, I always pack an extra pair of socks, underwear, and a change of clothes just in case. You could have a spill, you never know. Bonus: if your bag doesn’t arrive at the same time as you, you don’t have to be stuck in the clothes you traveled in. 

Hair Scarf/Bonnet

If you have natural hair it’s super important to protect it from snagging or getting dried out. I am not scared to wear a head scarf or bonnet on the plane, I have seen people do far worse. Don’t forget to pack your silk scarf or bonnet in your carry-on to keep your curls happy.

Related: Keep Up With Me on Instagram

Move Around

Stretching your legs not only feels great, but it is necessary on a long flight. Keep your circulation going by getting up every few hours and walking up and down the aisle. I also do stretches while in my seat, rolling my neck, stretching my shoulders and arms, and wiggling my toes.

Reserve Your Seat

To avoid getting stuck with a horrible seat assignment, try to reserve your seats before your flight. If you prefer a window or aisle seat you may want to book it beforehand. Getting stuck in the middle seat on a long-haul flight is a special type of torture.

Catch some Zzzz’s

Getting rest on a long haul is essential! It can be challenging, but it is doable. Prepare by bringing the things you need to make yourself comfortable, this is different for everyone. I’m talking neck pillows, ear plugs, eyemasks, and blankets; what helps you sleep on a plane? If you have a hard time sleeping, consider a sleep aid, and consult with your doctor first.

Upgrade If Possible

If your budget allows it, I recommend upgrading your seat to the best one you can afford. Having extra room is always better on long-haul flights. It’s far more comfortable to be sitting in business or first class for super long flights. If a business or first-class seat is out of your budget, even premium economy is a better option in most cases. In premium economy seats you usually get more legroom or larger seats depending on the airline.

Long-haul flights don’t have to be miserable as long as you are well-prepared. Let me know if you try out any of these tips on an upcoming flight. I promise you that a little preparation will make your long-haul experience ten times better. Surviving long-haul flights should be a little easier for you once you implement a few of the tips and tricks I shared.

surviving long haul flights
surviving long haul flights

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