There are always two sides to long haul flights. The good news is that you’re going to explore somewhere far from home and embrace the adventures awaiting ahead. But the downside is, the long haul flight process can be a nightmare. As a travel lover myself, I’ve taken several long haul flights, from Kuala Lumpur to Tokyo, from Tokyo to San Francisco, or from Kuala Lumpur to Auckland in New Zealand. The longest one I’ve taken is the 17-hours flight from Los Angeles to Singapore. But to be honest, I actually enjoyed the flights more than hating them. So, in this post, I’ll tell you exactly how you can enjoy your next long haul flight too!
This post will be about the things you can do during the long haul flight, essential stuff to bring onboard, and some tips & tricks you can use to truly enjoy the flight. Also, I’ll only be focusing on economy class flights.
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Okay, enough talking. Let’s dive in and see how to enjoy a long haul flight in an economy class!
What to Do During a Long Haul Flight?
Plan What’s Next in Your Travel Itinerary
Daydreaming in a long haul flight is the ultimate activity to waste time. But I understand sometimes it’s very peaceful when you’re flying, I get it. But if you haven’t done planning your travel itinerary, now is the time to do it.
Plan for what if things go wrong and you have to change your plans. What are the Plan Bs? Got your travel itinerary planned? Well, plan further ahead! There are many things you can plan on your flight!
Write Your Travel Journal or Diary
Now, this might not be the most time-killing activity on your long haul flight, but I love to do it. The journal is something that I procrastinate a lot, so I think in a flight, it’s the best time to really pen down everything that happens.
You should definitely do this if you’re returning home from your vacation, to record down all the experiences, memories, and even expenses. If you don’t have a travel journal, this one is amazing and costs less than $20.
Pick a Few Movies and Enjoy!
Most of the airlines have pretty decent movie playlist. From the hundreds of movies, you should be able to find one for yourself, but I understand that sometimes you can’t.
Well, then download some movies you like into your tablet and watch them on the flight!
Read That Book!
It is time to read the book you said you will finish last year! I have a habit of bringing a book with me wherever I travel to, just to kill time when I’m stuck in a situation where all I can do is wait.
If you don’t have a book you feel like reading, what about the diaries and journals you’ve written? Or else, read the guidebook on the destination you’ll be landing on.
Most of the time, we don’t bother to make too much research about our destination until we arrive. But doing this will get you more excited and ready for what’s ahead.
If you’re thinking about the weight of the book, an e-book is a good idea too!
Check out these Amazon’s best travel accessories under $20!
What to Wear For Long Haul Flights?
When we are flying long distances, we don’t want to wear anything too fancy. I won’t recommend exactly what to wear for both males and females because I’m not an expert in fashion. But I do have some advice if you’re doing this for the first time.
Always wear non-cotton clothing. I know some travel blogs recommend cotton clothing but I don’t. Cotton absorbs moisture pretty quickly and is very hard to dry in case you spilled something on your clothes. I recommend wearing microfiber shirts, as it’s more flexible, doesn’t smell and does not absorb moisture that much.
Wear clothes that are large enough to not restrict your movement even a slight bit. Tight clothes are very irritating especially when you’re trying to find yourself a comfy sleeping position.
Never wear jeans. Jeans are a nightmare because it’s not at all flexible and might cause uncomfortable sleep. Slim-fit jeans are even worse. You really don’t want your lower body to feel strangled all the time. A little nuisance can lead to huge irritation, and you can’t do anything because you’re flying. Your pajamas pants might be a good choice.
Sandals are your good friends. I hate wearing covered shoes onto long haul flights because my feet can sweat, and it’s uncomfortable to sleep with my shoes on (for me). Instead, I wear sandals and a pair of socks. When I’m going to sleep, I wear socks because my feet are cold.
Long Haul Flight Essentials to Bring Onboard
I wouldn’t elaborate on all the essentials things to bring on board, but here is a list that you can certainly refer to when you’re hopping on a long haul flight.
- Face Mask – to moisturize your face due to the dry condition in airplanes
- Water Bottle – to keep yourself hydrated
- Power Bank & Charging Cable– just in case there are no electric sockets
- Eye Mask – helps you sleep easier
- Tissue Papers/Wet Wipes – in case you spill anything
- Deodorant – you’ll know if you need it
- Book or e-book – to kill time
- Travel Journal – record your activities and experiences, or plan your itinerary
- Neck Pillow – the travel pillow helps you sleep much better
- Toothbrush and Toothpaste – if you plan on brushing your teeth onboard
- Hand Cream – keep your hands moisturized due to the dry condition
- Socks – to keep your feet warms after removing your sandals (I recommend wearing sandals because it’s much easier to put on)
- Earphones – because those provided by the airlines suck
- Waist Bag – to keep your electronics and important documents
- Dry Snacks – in case you get hungry or just want to munch on something
- Compression socks – made to ease discomfort and swelling in your lower legs
- Earplugs – so that you won’t hear the annoying kid behind your row
Optional Stuff to Bring Onboard
- Sleeping bag – which can be used as a blanket if you hate cold
- Jacket – again, if you hate cold
- Gloves – refer above
- Your own cutleries – if you’re against plastic cutleries
- Clothes to change
Tips & Tricks for Long Haul Flights
Choose a Comfy Seat For Yourself
Choosing a good seat for yourself is probably the best thing you can do to ensure an enjoyable flight. And guess what, it’s easier than you imagined. While trying to find the balance between good airlines and affordable deals, here are something you should look at before purchasing your flight ticket.
First of all, choose an airline that provides good service, helpful attendants, and comfy seats. A good airline does not necessarily mean an expensive flight ticket. If you book early, you can secure yourself a flight with an amazing airline at an affordable price.
Check out Airline Quality, where you can check the reviews and ratings of a particular airline before deciding whether you should book with them. You can also check the reviews on the airports around the world, as well as the lounges. It’s a very handy website to help you plan your flight.
Other than that, you can visit Seat Guru, which has reviews and ratings of the seats of different airlines. With this website, you can simply enter your flight number and date, and you’ll find the layout of your airplane you’re flying in. Read about the reviews and decide which seat is the most comfortable for yourself.
Here’s my little tip. If you’re good at drinking the least amount of water and sleeps well, I recommend sitting near the window. But if you need to stretch your legs often, and needs to go to the lavatory frequently, then the aisle seat if probably the best. If possible, I won’t recommend choosing a middle seat unless you’re traveling with someone.
Sitting at the emergency exit row also gives you a little more legroom, which is great if you need to stretch your legs often!
Keep Yourself Hydrated!
The air condition inside an airplane is dry. You might not even notice it if you’re flying short distances in the past. Keeping yourself hydrated is very important, but there’s a catch.
There are two things to do. First, drink just enough water to keep yourself hydrated without feeling the urge to pee too often. If you’re sitting near the window, it’s very awkward to keep asking people to let you through for the toilet. If you’re sitting by the aisle, then it’s a different story.
Second, apply moisturizers, creams, masks or whatever you feel necessary. I don’t know much about the cosmetics stuff, and I don’t really apply these creams when I’m flying, but I guess I should tell you about that. Because there are a lot of people doing that.
Yes, I know falling asleep is essential when it comes to long haul flights. You might think alcohol is one of the best “remedies” for sleeping, but it’s not. Alcohols can make you sleepy fast, and fall asleep real quick, but there are some minor consequences. And we don’t want them in the long flights.
Alcohol makes you dehydrated! The air condition in the airplane is already dry, drinking alcohol will only worsen the situation. Other than that, alcohol is also diuretic, which means it makes you want to pee more often and therefore disturbing your sleep more frequently!
Bringing Your Own Snacks
For me, I get hungry when I get bored, and I bet you’re pretty much the same too. When I get hungry, I get ‘hangry’, and my mood is basically ruined.
2-3 meals on a 17-hours flight are unacceptable. So, it’s important that you care about your own craving and bring some dry snacks onboard. Healthy, dry snacks like nuts or dried fruits are great options.
Ready For Your Next Long Flight?
Here are what I’ve got to offer for your upcoming long haul flights. I hope you find them helpful, and hopefully, the idea of long haul flights won’t be haunting you anymore. Personally, it’s an enjoyable experience for me, as long as I don’t do it too often. Getting disconnected from the world is a good idea once in a while. If you like this article, share it with your friends, and leave your feedback in the comment section below! Travel safe and enjoy your flights!
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