Most of my flights are long haul flights and I have tried to turn making them as comfortable possible has turned into something of a life goal for me.
How to Survive a Long Haul Flight
- Dress comfortably
While I don't promote dressing like a slob ever you don't need to dress to impress either. Forget the skinny jeans and high heals.
Your body tends to well at high altitudes so wear things that stretch. That means jeggings, leggings, and comfortable tights.
Your feet, being part of said body, tend to swell too. Wear shoes that aren't very tight. loafers and other comfortable fitting slip on shoes are good.
Also, plains end to get cold. Please, for heavens sake, don't wear short anything.
- Fuzzy Socks
Fuzzy socks may not seem like a make it or break it thing, but when you're stuck on a flight for what feels like for-ev-er you don't want to have cold and/or uncomfortable feet.
What you do want is something comfortable that makes you feel a little bit pampered. I guarantee you, your own pair of comfortable fuzzy socks will make you feel more at home and more comfortable.
I don't tend to nosh a lot during the day (unless I'm stressed...). Even when I'm stuck for hours and hours on a flight. However, when I do want something I can't stop thinking about it.
The trick to snacks on a flight is that you don't want to go for salty or sweet food because it's harder to taste those at high altitudes. Instead go for savory, sour, butter, spicy, and such.
My go to treats are: dark chocolate, dark chocolate with nuts, orange flavored dark chocolate, dark chocolate covered orange peels dark chocolate covered coffee beans, dark chocolate covered nuts.
Okay so I like chocolate… but you see the pattern? Flavor that is not dependent on salt or sugar.
- E- Reader
I have a strong and unabiding love for hard cover books with thick paper and the smell that comes with them. That said, my first trip out of the States as an adult was to Israel for a month and a half. Being a bookworm I brought a stack of books with me, which I never ended up using, and paid the price for it on the way back. Literally.
My suitcase was overweight. Luckily at the time it only cost something like $25 for overweight luggage. Needless to say, I learned my lesson and don't carry books with me anymore when I travel.
Still, I get bored easily and watching whatever movies the airline may or may not provide is not always a great options. So, I bought a Kindle Paperwhite. I knew it would be light, easy to carry anywhere, had a long battery life, and I have a whole library at my fingertips. What I didn't know was that I'd find it so comfortable to use and that it would become my second favorite way to read.
- Podcasts and Audio Books
Believe it or not I had a 15 hour flight not including short layovers where I few from Israel to New York and spent the whole time listening to podcasts. I find this to often be a very productive way to use my time because I learn a lot from episodes I listen to. I just download the podcasts before my flight and/or during a layover and then I'm all set for hours.
- Bring your favorite tea or coffee
This goes back to the fuzzy socks thing. When you're stuck in a flying sardeen can for hours with strangers any bit of comfort goes a long way. Bring a little bag with your favorite coffee or a few packs of your favorite tea. Drinking your favorite drink can be such a relief during the long leg of your flight.
- Keep what you need in your personal item NOT you carry on
Since your carry on gets stored in the overhead bin think of it more like a check piece than a personal item. Don't put anything you want easy access to in it.
In fact, if possible don't put anything valuable in it either because sometimes airlines take it from you and check it. You can even ask them to if you want to. Still, not safe.
What you will have access to is your personal item. This is where I keep my snacks, tea bags, laptop, ereader, fuzzy socks, jewelry in my travel jewelry box, and more.
- BYOB - Bring Your Own Blanket
Unless the blankets are still wrapped in plastic chances are they've been used before - ew. So, bring your own blanket.
Airlines don't generally count blankets and pillows as a personal item. If you're worried they will call the airline to check first, but really, they shouldn't.
- Bring Your Own Pillow
Since we are on the topic of blankets and pillows, bring your own pillows too. Again, there is a good chance someone else has already used the one the airline provides. So if possible bring your own.
- Bring your own earbuds or headphones
Since there is a good chance you will be using earbuds for a good part of the flight by watching an in flight movie or listening to in flight music, it pays to bring your own.
All you need to make it plane friendly is an adapter which you can get for cheap. Make sure to also bring an adapter to make sure you can plug your earbuds/headphone into the plane. If you don't, you may be able to only hear out of one side.