How to survive a long haul flight

Travelling is always a very exciting time in our lives. Nothing is quite like exploring new countries, learning about new cultures and trying delicious local foods.

Often the only problem is getting to your destination. Long haul flying can be an unpleasant experience, especially when you have to sit in an economy class seat for more than six hours.

There are a number of reasons for this. Long haul flying can play havoc on our bodies. It can leave us tired, dehydrated, stressed, jet lagged and grumpy!

Luckily, there are a number of precautions that you can take that will make a long haul flight that little bit more bearable.

1) Essential items in your carry on luggage

By packing a few essential items in your carryon luggage you can help ensure a better flight.

  • Earplugs and eyeshades

Sleeping properly is almost impossible on a plane but these two little items will go a long way in helping to ensure that you at least get some sleep. Airlines will often give them both to you, but take your own in case they don’t.

  • Neck pillow

A neck pillow is perfect to give your neck the support it needs while you sleep. This helps to ensure that you don’t land at your holiday destination with… well, a pain in the neck!

  • Sleeping tablets

If you struggle to fall asleep during the flight, consider a low strength sleeping tablet. Always consult your doctor beforehand however.

  • A boredom reliever

Bring something with you to relieve boredom. It could be a tablet filled with movies, a hand held gaming device, an MP3 player or a good old book!  

2) Hydration

Because of the low humidity found in an airliner (around 20%), our bodies can become dehydrated very quickly. This is amplified on a long haul flight. Be sure to drink plenty of liquids but steer clear of coffee, tea and alcohol. These will only dehydrate you further. Choose water or energy drinks that will help to replace any electrolytes that you will lose through the dehydration process. Aim to drink at least two cups of water every hour.


3) Confinement

Nothing is worse than spending 15 hours cramped up in an economy class seat. Do not only get up and walk around when you need to go to the toilet but rather leave your seat for at least 5 minutes every two hours that you are awake. Not only is it good to get out of your seat for a change of environment, but moving around can help prevent blood clots caused by deep vein thrombosis, a potentially fatal aspect of sitting down in the same position for too long.


4) Eat protein to combat jet lag and tiredness

Studies have shown that eating protein both on the flight and after you land can go a long way in combatting both jet lag and general tiredness.


5) Try to choose great seats

Although this is often difficult, try to choose an aisle seat. By hydrating often you will be making a few trips to the bathroom! Use Seat Guru to help you select great seats and avoid terrible ones.


6) Sore ears

Often the low pressure in the cabin on the aircraft can cause very sore ears. Try sucking on a sweet, swallowing or yawning to help your ears to “pop” on a regular basis.


By following these easy tips you can ensure that your next long haul flight will be just that little bit more pleasant.

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