Long haul flight essentials & tips

Going on a trip is an exciting experience.

You count down the days. You can’t wait. But when the day comes closer and closer, you realise that not everything about the event is fun. You have to prepare for the trip, and it can be pain in the neck. Also the journey itself is tiring enough, especially if you are traveling long haul.

To help you prepare for the trip here we are sharing some of our best long haul fligh tips. Because if you prepare for the trip well, you will get to your destination well-rested and ready to explore. Or, at least not worn out and fed up. And, believe us, it isn't the best mood to be in on the first day of your trip!

How to have a pleasant journey? How to make the journey easier?

Here are our tips on how to survive a long haul flight.

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How to survive a long haul flight

Here are some of our best long haul travel tips.

1. What to pack in your carry on?

Pack a carry on or a personal item before going on a trip.

Put there all the essential items you might need during the flight.

Even if you are entitled to one cabin bag and no personal item, prepare a small bag which you can place on top of the rest of your stuff in your bag. Later, when storing your bag in the overhead bin, take the small bag out and put it under the seat in front of you.

What to take on long haul flight?

First create a packing list to make things easier.

Pack toiletries you'll need on the plane.

However, don't forget about carry on luggage restrictions.

You must remember, that you are allowed to take only travel size containers on the plane. Each container must not be larger than 100 ml, provided the total volume of all the containers in your carry on bag does not exceed 1 litre. All travel containers must be packed in a clear ziplock bag.

Full size toiletry bottles must go in your checked luggage.

Most travellers don’t use much toiletries during the flight. For me it’s a lip balm for moisturising dry lips, hand cream for dry hands, hand sanitiser and / or wet wipes before the meal.

Don’t forget to take a pack of tissues with you. It will come in handy, if you develop a runny nose during the flight.

It’s also a good idea to throw in a couple of waterless toothbrushes in your bag. Or brush your teeth as usual, just don’t use the water from the tap. It’s not potable. I also pack a foldable hairbrush with a mirror.

Don’t forget about your medicines!

Pack your first aid kit in carry on luggage not checked in luggage. You might need your medicines during the flight, especially if you have to take prescribed medicines.

Don’t forger about water either!

Often overlooked water in fact should be on the top of your long haul flight essentials list.

If it’s a long haul flight, it won’t be enough with one small, 500 ml, bottle even if some drinks are included in the price of the ticket (mostly they are). Take a refillable water bottle and fill it up with water after you have gone through the airport security check. Or buy bottled water, if there isn’t where to refill your bottle.

Also take some snacks with you.

Even if you are traveling with a full service airline which provides their passengers with food, chances are that you’ll want to snack on something on the plane, or before the flight, at the airport.

Here is a list of foods and snacks that fare well on a plane.

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2. Entertainment

Think about entertainment before your trip.

Think about what you'll be doing on the plane.

If you are travelling long haul, most probably there will be an inflight entertainment system with movies, TV shows, music and even some games. If you prefer to watch your own movies, bring an iPad or a laptop.

Or pack a book if you prefer to read. If you are traveling often, consider buying an e-book reader (e.g., Amazon Kindle).

If you want to enjoy music (or movies) to the fullest, get yourself noise cancelling headphones which quell airplane cabin noise, as well as background noise.

Don’t forget to pack a power bank and USB cables.

It’s likely that you'll have to charge your devices at some point.

3. How to sleep on a plane?

If you are a light sleeper, pack a mask and earplugs.

Because it gets noisy on a plane.

The best earplugs are those which are specially designed for air travel. Such earplugs relieve ear discomfort by filtering and regulating air pressure.

Travel pillow will help you feel comfortable while sleeping on the plane. There are several types of travel pillows. If you do a research you’ll quickly realise that there’s a pillow for everyone. Some of them are designed for side sleepers, some of them are designed for those who doze off with their heads on the tray tables, and some are for lumbar support.

My favourite are chin supporting travel pillows.

For more tips check out our guide to sleeping on a plane.

4. What to wear on a long haul flight?

What to wear on a long flight?

Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.

Clothing must be comfortable and not bulky, yet warm enough to keep you cosy in an air conditioned plane where it can get chilly.

Wear loose or stretchy trousers that don’t dig in your skin, and shoes that you can remove easily.

Wear warm soft socks. Pack extra socks in your carry on and change them before the flight.

Experienced travellers recommend to wear airplane compression socks that reduce swelling and maintain regular blood flow.

Take a shawl or a compact travel blanket, if you get cold fast.

Most full service airlines provide passengers with a blanket and a pillow, but if you are travelling long haul with a low coster (e.g., Norwegian), you’ll need to carry your own pillow and blanket (or a shawl).

Recommended reading: The ultimate pre-travel checklist, Traveller's checklist for holiday and business travel.

Remember - whenever your flight is delayed, cancelled or you've been denied boarding - you might be entitled to flight compensation. Contact us to get it sorted out right away!