After taking so many long, mainly overnight, flights I have learned what I need to do, and bring, on those flights to keep my sanity! Now I don’t dread long flights at all, in fact I quite look forward to them now. They give me a chance to catch up on watching things, reading etc. A long flight can actually be very enjoyable if you plan ahead, and know what to expect.
1. If it is an overnight flight, don’t bet on sleeping. I used to get really stressed up about having to sleep on an overnight plane journey. I really wanted to arrive fresh and ready to go, and have that first day put to good use, not spent cat-napping or worse, going to bed. After years of fighting the sleep monster I finally gave in to him, and it has been the best thing for me. Now I just don’t stress about it. If I fall asleep – great, but if I don’t, I know I will be fine. I either read or watch the entertainment system, and sometimes I will just naturally drop off. I could take something to make me sleep, but I hate that hungover feeling the next day. If you can’t sleep you will only stress yourself out worrying about it. By all means take something if you need to, but try not to stress about it all.
2. Take snacks. I always get hungry, even if I have eaten prior to boarding, and it is nice to have some well-chosen snacks on hand for those times. Sometimes if you wait for the meal on board it isn’t a good meal, or it just isn’t filling enough. For some reason I always crave chocolate at some point during the flight! Snacks are especially important if you have kids – a constant supply of snacks might just be what saves you! I was once on a flight where my seat mate proceeded to take out a whole loaf of french bread, cheese and butter, and he made a very large sandwich which he proceeded to eat! It looked really good!
3. Eat a meal before you board. I used to not do this and wait for the in-flight meal, but I have had some times where what I wanted wasn’t available, or I just didn’t really like the meal, and I was left hungry. The meal portion sizes I swear are also getting smaller on planes, and they are just not filling anyway. But don’t eat anything that is likely to upset your stomach or cause you indigestion on the flight beforehand. Eat something fairly bland, but tasty.
4. Take a blanket. I know they give out blankets on the plane, but do you really think they wash all those blankets? See this article here about germs on planes! I like to have my own, knowingly washed, blanket to cover me. I am always cold on night flights, so I usually use my own blanket, and then use the blanket they provide on my lower half, where I don’t have to worry so much about it not being so clean! This 3-in-1 travel blanket is a blanket, back roll, and travel pillow all in one and Here’s a pretty luxurious travel blanket! Same with the pillows! Take a good travel pillow that you know is clean! This one is a wrap-around that will help with head roll!
5. Take slip on light shoes or slippers. I like to take my boots or shoes off on a flight, but those carpets are pretty dirty, not to mention the toilet floors. I pull on socks for when I am sitting in the seat, but when I need to get up I always pull on slip-on light shoes. I just don’t want to deal with dirty carpets and those scary toilet floors!
6. Take a wrap or big scarf. This again is a comfort issue for a chilly flight. This can be in addition to a blanket, or instead of.
7. Download movies and TV shows on your phone or device to watch in-flight. Sometimes there just aren’t movies available that you want to watch, or you have seen all the good ones. It can be a little treat to save a particular movie to watch on the flight, something to look forward to! You can also catch up on entire series of TV shows – how about finally watching Game of Thrones or something you have always wanted to watch?!
8. Bring a charger. Phone and device batteries can always run flat, especially if you are watching movies etc on them. Bring a portable device to make sure that you don’t run out of battery. There is nothing worse than arriving at your destination with a phone that is out of battery and doesn’t work. Here is a great one that is easy to carry.
9. Bring reading materials. If you don’t want to watch tv and movies, have a good book to hand to get absorbed in, or a supply of magazines. Audiobooks can be great for in-flight entertainment – as you can just sit back and listen comfortably. Audiobooks now has an online download and streaming site for audio-books, and what’s more they currently offer a free trial.
11. Bring headphones or earphones. Those little flimsy headphones that most airlines give out are not only used by numerous people, they are also not the best sounding. Try noise cancelling headphones, or just bring your own ear buds.
12. Moisturizer! Flights are so drying. Bring moisturizer for in-flight moisture relief. My hands always get really dry, so I always pack hand cream, and usually a light moisturizer for my face.
13. Pack your bag well. I always have what I need on the flight, but so many times I just cannot find it easily. There isn’t much room in the seats as it is, and having to scramble around finding something in your bag in the small space you have available on the floor can be no fun at all. If you pack your bag well, with a space for everything planned ahead of time, you will find it much easier to locate what you need during the flight. Try having separate little bags or packs inside your bag, such as a travel case for your medicines.
This pack of small see-through travel pouches allows you to see what they contain and they can be located easily. Pack your small electronic items, such as headphones, charger etc in a case where they can be easily found and kept together.
14. Bring water. Whilst you cannot take your own water past security, you can purchase water in the stores inside the airport after clearing security. I always purchase a big bottle of water for the flight. I have heard many stories of the water on the plane not being the most clean, so I then know I have clean water to hand. Some airlines do give you a little bottle of water, but it is usually too small to last the entire journey. You could also bring an empty water bottle with you, and just fill it up at the water fountains in the airport, as long as you are past security you can take that bottle of water anywhere. Whilst we are on the subject of water – don’t use airplane water in the bathroom to brush your teeth. Some studies have shown it to be full of germs. Use either bottled water or just take along a small bottle of mouthwash and rinse with that instead.
15. If you are worried about having to go to the bathroom, get an aisle seat. Whilst a window seat can be more comfortable as the wall provides an extra place to rest against, there is nothing worse that being worried about waking the sleeping person next to you because you need to go to the bathroom again!
16. Disinfectant wipes. OK maybe I am a clean freak – but those planes are cleaned pretty fast and they definately do not wipe down the entertainment controls, the fold-down tray tables etc during each flight. I really don’t want to deal with a possible ill person’s germs all over the things I am going to use for a long flight. I always wipe down the space around me when I first board the aircraft with wipes. Most of your fellow passengers won’t think you are weird – in fact one flight I took everyone was asking me for them so they could do the same!
17. Wear comfortable clothes and bring layers. I always have a sweater or a cardigan for a flight, as well as socks. I don’t wear anything like jeans where I will have a belt – as that can be really uncomfortable when trying to sleep. Leggings and sweat pants are ideal, but don’t look like a slob. Wear comfortable, fairly loose-fitting clothing and wear layers.
18. Baby wipes. Not just for your baby! I use baby wipes for a multitude of things. I use them to freshen and clean my hands, and also to deal with spillages on my clothes. They are also useful for wiping down your body if you are sweaty and feeling nasty after a long flight.
What else do you recommend for a long flight?
This article contains affiliate links. This means that if you click on a link and purchase something I will receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you.