Ah long-haul flights. The thought of sitting on a plane for more than 8 hours does not sound appealing to most people (but it’s worth it in the end, right?). In this guide, we will provide nine tips on how to survive long-haul flights.


Image by WikiCommons user Altair78

1. Stay Hydrated!

Airlines typically provide customers with a lot of water. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, grogginess and greater discomfort. Constantly drink water throughout the flight and perhaps bring your own bottles of water. Drink small amounts of beverages that can dehydrate you such as caffeinated drinks and alcoholic drinks (though coffee in moderation can actually be hydrating!).

2. Choose the Aisle Seat

Very few people would be able to sit still without going to the toilet for more than 8 hours. Sure, the view is a lot nicer if you sit by the window but getting by people can get awkward. Sitting on the aisle seat would grant you the easiest access to the restroom. Moreover, it would generally be easier for you to leave the plane if you sit on the aisle seat.

3. Move Around a Bit

Doing so would prevent that uncomfortable feeling below the waist after long hours of sitting. Do gentle exercises and leave your seat every 30 – 50 minutes or so.

4. Wear Comfortable Clothes

Frequent fliers would know that plane temperature can have great variation. Be adaptable and ensure that you can put on or take off comfortable clothing to suit your needs. Of course, what you’re wearing will depend on where you’re flying from or headed to. Adaptability is the key here!

5. Keep Yourself Entertained

As if long-haul flights aren’t physically straining enough, boredom is also another factor that gets to a lot of people. Fortunately, modern flying has made it easier to survive long-haul flights by introducing a more diverse in-flight entertainment. If none of the provided in-flight entertainment appeals to you, use Spotify Premium (students get a discount!) or Netflix’s offline mode on your phone, tablet or laptop. If you’re feeling sociable, communicating with fellow travellers can help pass the time. You might even make new friends!

6. Be Relatively Well-Rested Prior to Boarding

Although sometimes easier said than done, feeling well-rested before a long-haul flight is a must. It might also be a good idea to gradually adjust your body clock to the local time of your final destination.

7. Consider Using Sleeping Aids

Sleeping on the plane can be a challenge to some people. Consider bringing sleeping pills (consult your doctor or pharmacist), ear plugs, travel pillows and/or sleep masks along with you.

8. Bring Snacks

Some airlines are generous when it comes to snacks but just in case, bring your own snacks and water in case you get hungry or thirsty.

9. Pack Smartly, Pack Lightly

This applies not only to surviving the long-haul flight but also when you are in your final destination. Experienced travellers would tell you that you only pack what you absolutely need and make the most of your bag space. Heavier bags are more awkward to carry with you! If you need any medication, make sure you place it in your personal bag or carry-on luggage rather than your checked-in luggage! Also consider vacuum packing your stuff and using sturdy reusable liquids bags (better for the environment too!)

Long-haul flights can be very stressful so hopefully this quick guide would help you survive them!

Check out our guide on how to beat jet lag here.