9 Tips to survive long haul flights

If you’re wondering how to survive a long haul flight, you’re in the right place.

Flying is exciting but long haul flights are not an easy task, especially when you’re not traveling on first or business class.

Sometimes small details make the difference. In this post you will find my survival tips and tricks for long haul flights, learnt after 2 years of constant travel.

Before and after your flight: fancy a massage?

I have recently acquire a new routine the day before and the day after any long haul flight: some me time for a body massage or facial treatment – and it makes quite a difference!

Try next time, and you can thank me later!

Fly on business class – or make the most out of economy class

Flying on business class with comfy seats and much more space makes such a big difference.

Of course business class is not the most affordable option, and chances that you get upgraded for free are minimum. But there’s still a solution: you can always make the most out of economy class to make it feel nearly like business class!

Firstly, kindly ask when checking in if you can change your seat to emergency exit. If they’re free they will allocate you there and you’ll get extra space for your legs! You might get lucky and get a free upgrade if there aren’t free seats.

To feel like in business class, pack a pijama, noise canceling headphones and a kit with your essentials – keep reading to find more about this!

Make use of the lounges

Facilities vary a lot between lounges and airports. Some of them even have a swimming pool, like the one in the picture below taken at Doha airport.

Some lounges are invite only, others are available for business class passengers from certain airlines, while you can pay at the door in many others. Prices vary between 15-99$ and you can access too with membership cards like Priority Pass.

Doha airport lounge

Enjoy your layover

If your long haul flight includes a layover or stopover at the airport, try to make the most of it.

Some airports make it easy to visit the cities:

  • In Shanghai, you can get a 3-day visa on arrival and you can get to the city center quickly on the maglev, one of the world’s fastest trains.
  • Geneva, Porto and Lisbon airports are less than 30 minutes away from the city center on public transport.
  • In Istanbul, there are day tours available for passengers transiting on a long layover.
  • In Dubai, Emirates offers free accommodation for those transiting for more than 5 hours (restrictions apply).

Other airports are well worth a visit:

  • As pictured above, Doha airport has an amazing swimming pool and spa available for a fee, and it’s free for business class travelers!
  • Singapur is probably world’s best airport and it deserves a visit. They have the largest indoor waterfall in the world, a swimming pool and much more.
  • At Seoul airport, you can skate or even play golf!

Wear comfortable clothes (or pack a pijama)

If you’re going to spend 6, 12 or 15 hours on a flight, make sure to feel as comfortable as possible.

In business class, they usually give you a pijama and socks so you can feel comfy. If you’re flying on Economy class, just bring your own!

My tip? Pack a light pijama on your hand luggage! Just make sure to wear one that goes unnoticed.

You can buy yours here.

Beauty tips for long haul flights

Long haul flights can damage our skin, so you better be prepared.

These are my vital beauty essentials for every long haul flight:

  • Facial booster: to strengthen your skin and provide a shield against pollution and radiation.
  • Sunblock +50: UVA radiation is stronger up in the sky. Make sure to wear sunblock every time you fly and reapply it every couple of hours.
  • Eye pads
  • Lip balm

Never fly again without noise canceling headphones

If you appreciate silence as much as I do, you will love this tip.

I’ve never realized how noisy the flights were until I first traveled with my noise canceling headphones. Wearing them, you won’t be bothered by noisy passengers and you will get to rest much better.

Wear compression socks

This is the best thing you can do for your legs and feet on a long haul flight.

As a DVT patient myself, I know first hand the importance of wearing compression socks or tights during long haul flights. You won’t get swollen feet anymore if you start using them!

You can buy them here.

Pack your essentials

Service varies a lot between airlines.

Some airlines have amazing food and entertainment on board, while others are really basic – sometimes you don’t even have your own screen!

Make sure to get your own entertainment! I always download a few Netflix movies and TV series, Spotify music and a couple of ebooks to keep me busy for a few hours. It’s a remote possibility, but the on board entertainment can go down for the entire flight (I had that happening once!).

I highly recommend you packing a small kit with your flight essentials and keep it always ready so you will save time and you won’t forget anything next time you travel.

Think about your essentials! These are mine:

  • Eye mask
  • Sunblock
  • Lip balm
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • A hair brush
  • A little mirror
  • Tissues
  • Medication
  • A small pen for custom forms

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