During the past few years, I have been traveling quite a lot and been on a lot of long-haul flights. I learned a few things along the way to make the experience feel as good as it can be. So here is some advice that might help you survive those long hours of sitting on a plane…
Before your flight
I always try to pack my snacks ahead of time, when I am at home. It usually helps me to make healthier choices, like packing nuts, a protein bar or an apple. If I don’t the have time/opportunity for that, then what I do is pick up a Nut Trail mix at the airport or a salad from one of the little shops. I also try to buy a big bottle of water (after security of course) before hopping on the plane. I often find that you don’t get enough water during the flight and staying hydrated is really important. I know that in some airports, especially when you are flying to the U.S, you have another security check at the gate, which prevents you from taking drinks with you on the plane (that’s a bit annoying). I would then suggest that you invest in one of these empty plastic bottles that you can fold in your bag and ask a stewardess to fill it with water once on board.
Another tip is to wear comfortable clothes. I usually wear sportswear with some trainers. Avoid tight pants that will make you feel uncomfortable during the flight, as well as high heel shoes; these are not very practical to walk around in or to your next flight. If you really do want to wear nice clothes, maybe think about a change of clothes for the plane that you could put on just before boarding.
In my carry-on bag
The first thing I usually pack is a good book and a magazine. At the moment, I am re-reading “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert. I can’t help it, I really love this book 🙂
For more entertainment, I also pack my iPod with all my music and my iPad with some games and TV shows on it.
The next thing to think about is your comfort. A neck pillow is more than useful if you don’t want to have a sore neck when you wake up. I am a big fan of this one from CABEAU, the Evolution Pillow. It is made of memory foam and has raised sides to provide the best support for your head and chin. It is so comfortable, and the pillow can compact down to a tiny ball so it hardly takes any space in your carry on! Trust me, it’s the best thing I’ve ever bought! 🙂
I also pack earplugs, in case there is a bit too much noise on the plane, as well as some socks as I tend to get pretty cold during the flight. I bought these socks at Bath and Body Works, they are the ones with Shea butter on it, they are so soft!! And let’s not forget the eye mask!
I also have a little wallet with my passport, itinerary, boarding pass… It just makes it easier to access everything. I have my phone of course and also a USB charger as my battery doesn’t usually last very long. And a pen to fill out customs forms.
In my toiletry bag I have some make up remover wipes, I like to get rid of my make up as soon as I get on the plane and allow my skin to breathe. I also pack a toothbrush and toothpaste with me to brush my teeth after each meal. I have some moisturiser as the air is pretty dry and some make up, perfume and a hairbrush to look fresh on arrival 🙂
Last but not least, the hand sanitiser. It’s really useful at the airport and even before eating any food on the plane. This one is from Body Shop and smells like Coconut! Yum
On the plane
For long-haul flights, I usually prefer the sit on the aisle side as it is easier to get up and move around the plane.
The main thing is to remember to stretch your legs every couple hours. It is especially important if you are at risk of DVT (deep vein thrombosis).
Even if alcoholic beverages are free, try to stick to water; it is really important to keep yourself hydrated as alcohol will dehydrate you and make you feel way worse on arrival.
Sleeping in economy is not the most comfortable thing I have ever experienced but trust me a bit of Zzzz is better than nothing. Try to get as comfy as possible using neck pillow, earplugs, eye mask…
I hope these tips will help you for your next trip. Over to you now! What are your travel tips? What was your worst or best experience on a long distance flight? And what do you pack in your carry-on bag?