If you are heading to a far-flung destination it usually means you need to spend several hours in the air. This can either be a great journey or a very boring waste of time, depending on how you manage it. The secret to surviving long-haul flights is to maximise the experience, and these tips can show you how to do it:

  1. Do Your Research

Before any trip, you should do extensive research on the flight options you have. Using tools such as ITA Matrix you can see which airlines fly to your chosen destination. You can then look into each carrier and see what they offer in terms of onboard services and comfort.

If you are driven by price, you may want to opt for a budget airline, which for longer flights will mean taking snacks and entertainment with you. There could be a small increase in price by taking another airline which provides food, drinks, and movies, which on a long haul flight can make a big difference. Have a read of airline reviews, some are known for their exceptional services, such as Singapore Airlines and Virgin Atlantic. Others you may not have heard of but do provide a nice onboard experience, for example, Qatar Airways has a good rating on Skytrax.

rows of seats inside the cabin

Also, take a look at the seating, leg room is important to consider if you are average height or above. Seat Guru has all the information you need when comparing levels of comfort.

Sometimes there is a break in the flight and a layover can be a great opportunity to explore a city en route. Some airlines even offer free tours! If you do have to spend time in an airport between connecting flights, there are plenty of ways to make the wait it less painful.

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If you need travel advice, request a free 30 minute coaching session. In the chat Annie will help you choose a destination, create your itinerary and review safety precautions. Or she can discuss how you can incorporate more travel into your life by saving, making money, travelling for free or being paid to travel.

plane coming into land after a long haul flight

2. Be Prepared

It is a good idea to wear comfortable clothes and to layer up, especially if you feel the cold. Sometimes blankets are provided and sometimes they are not, which can make your journey bearable or unbearable.

You need to be prepared for a significant amount of time in the sky with access to what you can bring into the cabin. Whilst bearing in mind the hand luggage restrictions, you can pack a survival kit. This should contain anything you need to get some sleep, including earplugs, an eye mask, and a travel pillow. Throw in some food, or your favourite snacks too, as you might not get or like the onboard catering that is available.

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If you have any portable electronic devices then load them up with entertainment before you leave your home. Movies, music, podcasts, books – enough to keep you going in the air, layover and if there are any delays.

Alternatively, you might want to do some activities that you never usually get time to do – draw, edit photos, organise your documents, write a novel etc. Taking your laptop, notepad or sketchbook is always a great idea.

For nervous fliers take the time to put some measures in place to help you with the experience. There are several ways you can reduce the fear of flying by following these tips.

Like this post? Subscribe to the Soulful Travel newsletter for Annie’s packing checklist plus travel related advice, news, competitions and more. Sign up here.
If you need travel advice, request a free 30 minute coaching session. In the chat Annie will help you choose a destination, create your itinerary and review safety precautions. Or she can discuss how you can incorporate more travel into your life by saving, making money, travelling for free or being paid to travel.

3. During the Flight

When you are on the plane you can do several things to make your journey nicer. You can move around the plane to stay active and get a little exercise, as long as you do not disturb other passengers, the aisles are not a gym or yoga mat!

Whilst on board, it is advisable to stay hydrated, and you can ask for water at any time during the flight. Most airlines serve alcohol, some do not or charge for it, which may be something you like.

view from an airline window seat over a city

Long haul flights are an opportunity to make friends, you never know who your seat neighbour could be. Alternatively, the cabin crew usually have a few insider tips on your destination and can offer some helpful advice. Just don’t ask them before they are about to start dishing out dinners.

Most importantly the time in the air is a great chance to fully relax. With everyone having such busy lives it is rare that you can find the time to just be. Savour the moments away from the norm and embrace the feeling of (semi) forced empty minutes, that are not draining your energy or emotions.

Part of travelling is getting there and back and should be an enjoyable experience. With these tips, you can make a long haul flight simply super. How do you survive long periods of time on a plane? Let us know in the comments below:

Like this post? Subscribe to the Soulful Travel newsletter for Annie’s packing checklist plus travel related advice, news, competitions and more. Sign up here.
If you need travel advice, request a free 30 minute coaching session. In the chat Annie will help you choose a destination, create your itinerary and review safety precautions. Or she can discuss how you can incorporate more travel into your life by saving, making money, travelling for free or being paid to travel.

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