11 Tips For Surviving A Long Haul Flight

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It’s taking me a lot of effort to write this post, because all I want to do is lie in bed and chain watch Orange Is The New Black until I fall into some wonderful, dreamy, handsome deep sleep.

But nope, I’m typing, and about to dive head first into a little something from the mini bar to keep me powering through.

(But seriously though, minibars in Thai hotels are cheaper than Tesco Express and it is pure heaven <3).

So yeah, here’s a few handy, helpful tips I’ve picked up in the past year or two about keeping comfy, cosy and feeling fresh as fuck on a long haul flight.

Hope they help you, baby gurl huns.

Cos ain’t nobody got time to feel like a Snorlax wearing a corset who’s been locked in a freezer with crying banshees.

Nuh uh.

 

1. EASY SHOES

I wish I could think of a sassier name than ‘easy shoes’, but I hope you get what I mean – basically shoes that are super easy to take on and off.

Some airports demand everyone takes off their shoes to go through security, some demand you do only if they’re clunky (looking at you London) and some don’t at all.

Essentially the more minimal they are, the less chance of having to take them off you have, and the less fussy they are, the easier you’ll be able to slide ’em back on again.

I personally go for flip-flops or sliders so that I can whip them off on the plane within seconds and stick on the biggest, fluffiest pair of socks.

 

2. SOCKS

Because you might as well make yourself at home if you’re in for the long haul. Stick the biggest, fluffiest pair you own into your hand luggage and prepare to fight that heinous air con to the death.

Seriously though, ALL the comfort <3

 

3. SNACKS

Plane food is awful. It’s bad. It’s frightening. I had a ‘mushroom risotto’ on my British Airways flight that looked like vomit mixed with leaves, it was 102% not the one. I secretly think they keep economy food so hideous so that you feel pressure to upgrade, but whatevs.

Once through security it’s always one of my fave parts of the airport experience to get a little heavy handed in Pret. A bag of popcorn, a LOVE bar, maybe some fruit, or even a sandwich. There’s nothing worse than getting hangry at 30,000 feet. Nuh uh.

 

4. WATER

As darling as it is that airlines give you like three teeny tiny Sylvanian family size thimbles of water throughout a 12-hour flight, unless you stalk them for the entire journey, it’s also super nice to y’know, not have cystitis upon arrival at your destination.

So whilst at Pret, also stock up on a big ol’ 1 litre bottle of water, to keep you feeling just a little bit human and make your pee only mildly yellow rather than radioactive.

 

5. COMFY PANTS

I mean, yeah sure maybe this is an obvious one, but I just wanted to give a girl a head’s up.

DO NOT SAVE YOUR FAVE PANTS FOR THE PLANE, YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE PICKING BLACK LACE OUT OF YOUR CRACK. Save your comfy period pants for the flight because man, when you’re sitting on your toosh for such a long time you want it to feel cloaked in Primark’s comfiest cotton big girl pants.

 

6. TWO BAGS

Most big long haul airlines will let you take two bags on as hand luggage – a carry on and then a handbag/laptop case.

I always take a small cross body bag for the essentials like my mobile, boarding pass, money and passport and then a bigger bag (usually a beach bag to save room in my suitcase) with all my flight extras like snacks, socks, books, notebooks, laptop and water.

It stops you losing your passport every 7 seconds, which is always nice.

 

7. MAXI CARDIGAN

You might have seen my almost-dressing gown in this outfit post, and it has transformed my comfort levels on recent flights.

It’s like bringing your fave blanket on a plane without looking like you’ve got completely carried away and are about to whip out a hot water bottle, slippers and your fave night cap glass (all seriously good ideas tbh).

You could also bring a supersize scarf, but I prefer the maxi cardigan approach (check your local Primark for one) because it means you can forget dragging a jacket around with you too. You can also stash in your second-hand luggage bag when nope, it’s too hot.

 

8. IN-FLIGHT BEAUTY

I try not to wear make-up on flights longer than a few hours (because ain’t nobody wanna have smudgy eye-liner and crispy skin on arrival in a new country) and so try and practice the most basic of skincare routines whilst in the air.

It involves lip balm, hand cream, and a heavy duty moisturiser (my fave is Clinique’s Mosture Surge Overnight Mask).

 

9. POST-FLIGHT BEAUTY

Before leaving the airport there’s NOTHING better (aside from maaaaaaybe a cheeseburger) than having a little freshen up so you feel almost human again.

Yeah, you could do this on the flight, but most of your fellow passengers will make dashes for the bathroom in the last hour and gah, toilet queuing is not the one.

A toothbrush (you might get this on the flight), face wipes, deodorant and perfume all seriously help a sister out. Pack ’em in your clear liquids bag in your hand luggage (Superdrug do a good size small-ish one) and prepare to feel a *bit* like Kendall Jenner.

 

10. EYE MASK

Again, some airlines give these out to you and leave them on your seat along with headphones and with other airlines you have to ask. But if in doubt, buy one before you leave.

Not only are they a dream at shutting out the reality that lol good one, you’re trying to get a full night’s sleep on a plane, but they’re super handy at attempting to break past the harrows of jet lag at the other end.

I also recommend using a sleep ointment roll-on on your pulse points to help you relax into a nap on a flight. (I love this Neom one).

 

11. AUDIO BOOK/ PODCAST

As much as I love settling into an in-flight film with a glass of Diet Coke because I’m mad crazy like that, I often find closing my eyes and just listening to something far better for the ol’ relaxing thing.

You’ll all know by now that I swear by listening to Stephen Fry read Harry Potter (which is available via Audible), but Serial is a babin’ (and hideously addictive) murder mystery podcast if you haven’t already listened to it.

 

What do you do to help make your flight more comfy and relaxing and less GET ME AWAY FROM THIS PURE LIVING HELL?

 

 

  • HP all the way, I listen to it on long car journeys, flights, when i’m feeling stressed. That’s a LOT of hours of pure tranquil joy. So much so my Dad uploaded all the tapes and CDs we had as kids to MP3s, bought me a cheap pretend ipod and uploaded them ALL onto it so I’ve got it all together on one device <3 Yep, I'm 24…and whatttt?? Alice xx

    http://www.woodenwindowsills.co.uk

  • Podcasts & Audiobooks are my bae too! To be honest I end up just taking a codeine and sleeping for the whole flight!

    Shiana xx
    http://www.shianajarvis.com

  • These are some great tips I did most of these when I was on a long haul flight and it helped so much! Definitely agree with bringing your own food the smell and look of the plane food made me want to be sick!

    Ella xx
    http://www.inellaselement.co.uk

  • Love this! I’ve never been on a long haul flight but I plan on flying somewhere amazing soon and these tipps definitely come in handy. So thank you for that 😉

    Love, Kerstin
    http://www.missgetaway.com/

  • Some really great tips! I agree with the fluffy sock, I always do this and comfy pants! An eye mask is a great idea too. Sophie x

    https://stylestarsandsparkle.blogspot.com

  • I’ve never actually been on a flight longer than 6 hours, but if I’m ever on one any longer I’ll be sure to take these tips into consideration! I basically just binge watched a tv show for 6 hours and ate alot of haribo :/

    Katie // wordsbykatie.com

  • My friend and I use mouthwash on long work days – just a quick freshen up, and it makes you feel semi-human again. So I’m going to do that on my next long-haul flight, have a quick swish mid-flight and just before I land.

  • I’m flying to Bali and Australia in a few months time and I honestly NEEDED THIS. My last long haul flight came straight from Hell. This time around, I’m pamperin’ all the way. I would never have thought to bring fluffy socks either, what a good shout!

    Leigh | thewritingcampbell.wordpress.com

  • Miranda

    If you’re on o2, you can use the priorities app to get 3 months of Audible for £1.99 including 3 books to download. I signed up and have just finished listening to HP: Deathly Hallows after reading about it on your blog. Good call 🙂

  • I’m one of those weirdos who actually likes airline food lol BUT I do get very hangry when I’m at the back of the plane and end up with the choice that no one really wants! Seems to happen every time I fly with Delta so they’re no longer on my Christmas list lol x

  • Rhi

    Thanks for these awesome tips – I’m going on my first long haul flight in September and there’s a few things on here I wouldn’t have thought to pack!! x

  • han

    Comfy pants. Always

    Hannah | Oh January

  • Great tips! I’m from NZ but live in the UK, I go home every 1-2 years and those long haul flights fill me with dread! On another note, I’m living for your blog Hannah! Are you able to do a post on how you’re able to constantly stay inspired and think of new content? Seriously, you churn them out, I take almost a whole day to write one – Go girl! xx

    http://www.heygeorgiegirl.com

  • Rachel

    Another tip is to use ‘dry eyes’ eye drops. All the air con plays havoc with my eyes!

  • I love this post! Makes me excited for my first trip to America in December!!

    Love your blog Hannah!! 🙂

    xx

    http://www.sophieevelyn.co.uk

  • Suzanne

    Sounds like you are having a fab time in Thailand!
    Serial (season 1) = best podcast known to man. I kinda wish I hadn’t already listened to it so I could discover it aaaaall over again!
    Also, I recenly got back from Marrakesh where I took a Marco Polo guide book after reading your New York planning post. I loved it, the maps made getting around super easy and there was lost of interesting info when sightseeing – will definitely be buying again for my next trip! Thanks!

  • Yours is about the first post I’ve ever clicked through to from BlogLovin and I’m so glad I did. I just interrupted my daughter several times in the middle of her maths homework to read snippets aloud to her. Hilarious and so wonderfully British!! Especially love the pants tip – oh yes!

    I take a drawstring bag with me as my second hand luggage bag. You can bring it on board empty inside your main one, then decant the essentials into it before wedging your beach bag in between other people’s suitcases in the overhead locker. Draw the strings tight and you can store it underneath the seat in front without your water bottle or bluetooth headphones rolling across the aisle.

  • I love this post!! Having been on so many long haul flights and feeling utterly crap from being uncomfortable, I will make more of a effort to future think.

  • I looked like SUCH a tramp on my last long haul flight but I was cosy af. Getting off the plane and going straight to the bathroom to freshen up after my flight to LA was a total highlight. Especially after Cara Delevigne walked past being papped and I actually felt like a sloth. LOL.

    Milly | Mini Adventures

  • ON the flight back from Mexico, they ‘forgot’ to load my vegan meal so I had nothing for 9 hours! I was lucky to pick up a burrito but seriously I was STARVING, come on economy. Always go on a flight looking like a hobo, much more comfortable 😉

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Beauty Wellbeing

  • Great tips! I’m going to New York in the summer and I’ve never been on a long haul flight before so these are great 🙂

  • These are some great tips! Totally agree with every single one of them and just to highlight on in-flight beauty, hand cream and moisturiser are a must have for me. I have really dry skin. One time I decided to travel without them and left the plane with flaky skin. Learnt my lesson and have never been without them since.

    Love, V.
    http://www.vrogue.co

  • Compression socks a must.
    An EMPTY water bottle to fill after security, unless you want to pay a fortune.
    Snackable fruits and vegetables (carrot sticks!!) are good for not having, um, “issues” after keeping your intestines smashed up for hours. An apple a day….
    Your own headphones. Even if you decide to sleep and you don’t have noise-canceling headphones, regular ones will reduce the distractions.
    For flights of 7 hours or longer, HALF a sleeping pill–just enough to get you to sleep in an uncomfortable position but not so much that you’ll be groggy when you’re trying to get off the plane and through immigration at destination.
    Inflatable neck pillow (so you aren’t lugging around one of those fat ones) to keep your head from falling down and jerking you awake.
    Though I tend to binge-watch movies myself. Time flies.

    • These are all really good suggestions – will definitely be coming back to this next time I have a long flight. British Airways have these little bits on the head rest that pull out and act like a neck pillow and they are AMAZING. Waiting for all the other airlines to follow! x

  • Tracey

    On most long-haul flights the crew will leave water out at their work stations – it’s a good excuse to get some movement and grab a couple. As well as eye drops, I take a spray for my nose as the air con dries it so much it bleeds 🙁 A good tip before you fly is to bag some free samples of things like moisture masks – slap it on and relax (and as long as it’s clear you won’t look like a weirdo). This Works is fab for sleep sprays, they do mini ones that are handy for flying (but spray discreetly as some people get annoyed!).

  • Moisturizer and more moisturizer, plus saline for dry eyes. I also find doing some of the trip homework and lists of what I want to see helps pass the time.

  • These are great tips. I love listening to podcast while I’m traveling.

  • Spot on!

  • Totally agree! 🙂
    And I would also add a pillow neck for better sleeping & ear plugs for not listening to your fellow passengers snoring 😉
    Cheers,
    Umberta
    http://thesecretlifeofanactress.blogspot.com

  • Alys

    No mention of my personal fav? DRAMAMINE! Who cares when you’re asleep?

  • Amy

    The thought of being on a flight that is long enough to require an eye mask makes me want to have an anxiety attack! Flying makes me so claustrophobic, I can barely handle an hours flight across the country. I can’t even begin to imagine a long haul flight! Scary scary stuff.

  • Cat

    Great tips. I would also add OTC medications. Nothing is worse than being sick as a dog on a long flight. Bring tums (in case your tummy is got working with that food), ibprophen, cold medication.

  • I love how unfiltered you were in this post. Although I found myself chuckling at some parts- wearing your period panties – I couldn’t help but also nod my head in agreement. I’m also happy to hear that I’m not the only one who likes to take her shoes off and wear comfortable socks to my destination 🙂 Great tips!

    xx- Tanka

    http://www.sprinkleinhappiness.wordpress.com

  • Thank you for these fab tips. I going Dubbo to Shanghai via Sydney in September, then back via Hk overnighter.

  • I was laughing so hard at the “comfy period pants” hahah 😀 This is really a good tip for flights 😀

    http://livialinette.blogspot.co.at/

  • I love these tips! My best airplane tip is definitely the maxi cardigan because it can double as a blanket 🙂
    xx Alyssa
    visionsofnyc.blogspot.com


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