Fly Like a Pro: 11 Hacks for Nailing Your Long-Haul Flight

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Megan Bryant is a passionate writer and traveler who has combined her two loves to help others fulfill their traveling dreams. When she isn’t writing, she’s usually curled up with her 3 Dachshunds and a good book or planning her next adventure—wherever that may be.

There is only one thing stopping you from relaxing on your vacation getaway, and that is a long-haul flight. Long-haul flights are by no means the most enjoyable part of any vacation, and they can even put people off booking trips entirely. I mean, I don’t blame them because, let’s be honest, who really wants to sit confined to a plane seat for hours on end?

However, although long-haul flights aren’t ideal, the outcome is well worth it, and there are some things you can do to make the experience a little bit more bearable. So, If you’ve got a long-haul flight coming up, keep in mind the following tips.

Choose Your Seat 

Plane Seat
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You can usually reserve your seat when purchasing your plane ticket or when you’re checking in online before your flight. The seat you choose can really make all the difference during a long-haul flight which is why it’s best to reserve your seat as early as possible.

If you want more legroom, opt for exit rows. If you like walking about the plane and having access to the toilet, choose an aisle seat. Travelers who prefer resting their heads up against a surface will benefit from a window seat. And those who wish to hopefully be seated away from children should choose seats at the back of the plane. 

Pack Plenty of Entertainment

Reading on a Plane
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Nowadays, long-haul flights entertain. But that isn’t to say that you’re actually going to like the entertainment. It’s always wise to bring along a book, a portable games console, or download shows and movies to your phone, just in case there is nothing on the plane’s movie library that interests you. You’ll be on the plane for 6 hours + afterward, so one movie really isn’t going to cut it.

Charge All Your Devices

Charge Devices
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Some planes now have USB sockets to charge your phone or tablet. But you shouldn’t rely on this. You should always fully charge all your gadgets before leaving for the airport so you know that your phone, iPad, or ebook won’t run out of battery halfway through your flight.

Wear Comfortable Clothing

Comfy Clothes on Plane
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I’ve never understood how people can wear jeans or even suits during long-haul flights. Do yourself a favor and wear comfortable, breathable clothing, as being uncomfortable will only make your flight experience ten times worse.

Bring Snacks

Snacks on Plane
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Flight attendants will bring round snacks at allocated times throughout the flight. However, airplane snacks are not enough. Go to your local supermarket before your trip and purchase your favorite candies, chocolate, or biscuits to enjoy throughout the flight.

Bring a Neck Pillow

Neck Pillow 1
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Neck pillows can really change the game when it comes to long-haul—or even short-haul—flights. So, if you haven’t already got a neck pillow, you should definitely go out and get one. The extra support from a neck pillow can help you drift off into a peaceful slumber, even in the most uncomfortable of airplane seats.


Water on a Plane
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It is so important to keep hydrated on a plane, as many people suffer from dehydration thanks to the low humidity in the air. While flying long-haul, drink plenty of water throughout the flight and avoid carbonated drinks, tea, coffee, and alcohol. The best thing to do is to grab a bottle of water at a shop in the airport and ask your flight attendant to refill it throughout the flight.

Stretch Your Legs

Passenger on Plane
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Stretching your legs is equally as important as not only does it help with boredom, but it also reduces the risk of deep vein thrombosis by circulating your blood down to your legs. Even if you walk to the toilet and back, movement will be your best friend during long-haul flights.

Don’t Over-Pack Your Carry On

Carry On Luggage
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Plane seats are extremely cramped, and if you want to get something out of your suitcase without getting hot and flustered, it’s best to pack lightly. Keep only essential items in your hand luggage and pack them so they’re easy to get to when seated.

Purchase Noise Cancelling Headphones

Headphones on Plane
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Noise-canceling headphones can help block out the sounds of the plane, people talking, other people’s movies, and crying children, so if you have noise-canceling headphones, make sure you pack them—the plane headphones just don’t cut it!

Pack Toiletries

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Some people like to do a full skincare routine while on the plane, whereas others don’t travel with any toiletries at all. The type of toiletries you take is completely up to you, but you’ll at least want to pack a toothbrush and toothpaste to freshen up before landing. Lip balm, moisturizer, face wipes, deodorant, and a comb may also come in handy. 

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Lake Tahoe
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Arches National Park
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