The Complete First Timer’s Survival Guide For Long-Haul Flights

For any first time long-haul traveller, whether for the purpose of vacation or business, sitting down in a place for about 6- 20 hours no doubt will be stressful and uncomfortable.

Hence, to make your trip comfortable, bearable and enjoyable as a first-time long-haul traveller, there are a few things worthy of note.

When it comes to commercial airlines, flights are basically categorised into long, medium or short-haul flights as there is no standard international definition. Instead, different airlines use geographic boundaries or air time.

According to travel agency, Travelstart, a flight can be considered to be a Long Haul Flights if the travel distance is going to take a period of 6 to 12 hours before getting to the final destination.

So, are you a first-time long-haul flight traveller and thinking of how to reduce stress, boredom and discomfort on the flight, then, below are some tips to help you.

Move your feet and ankle

You should move your feet and ankle occasionally while sitting for long-haul travel will encourage regular blood flow. Part of the problem of sitting for a long time is that gravity encourages blood to pull in your feet and ankles. Without fresh blood being delivered to your legs, they become swollen and painful. Moving your feet and legs occasionally prevents the blood from collecting in this way.

Watch your position

Although long-haul flights can be stressful and uncomfortable, however, trying to ease your discomfort by crossing your legs or curling up in your seat is not always the best option. This has the same effect as wearing tight clothing. Blood flow is restricted, encouraging fluid to build up in your legs, rather than circulate towards your heart.

Don’t pack too much load

Ensure not to carry too much stuff on a long-haul flight as this could burn you. Note that anything that is under the seat in front of you just means less legroom and more cramped living space for a number of hours.

Avoid tight-fitting clothes

For your comfort, a long-haul flight is not the time to prioritize fashion over comfort. Instead opt for breathable, loose-fitting clothes that will allow you to be yourself and also let you move freely. Also, wear shoes you can easily slip off, and hold a sweater, pashmina or blanket just in case the plane is chilly.

Choose your seat wisely

You can’t choose whether or not you will experience leg cramps on a flight, but you can usually choose where you want to seat.. Book an aisle seat instead of a window seat, as it will allow you to periodically stretch your legs without disturbing the person next to you.

Stay hydrated

There is something about the physics of air travel that sucks every molecule of moisture out of your body. So, you need to drink lots of water whether at home, at the airport, and on the plane to keep yourself hydrated.

Exercise before your flight

Exercising a few hours before your flight can help burn off some extra energy and relieve your leg’s restlessness later on. If you don’t have the time for a workout in the busy pre-flight hours, try to stay active right up to the moments before boarding. You should walk, stand, stretch, and browse the airport shops to keep your legs busy.

Pack your medications/ other necessities

There are lots of must-have items for your carry-on bag, most especially, pack extras of any medications and over-the-counter drugs you might need on the flight. You don’t want to be stuck halfway through a 15-hour or more flight without a medication that you normally rely on. Ensure to pack basic toiletries, chewing gum, earphones, earplugs, travel neck pillow.

Make a backup entertainment plan

Don’t just assume you will watch movies provided by the airline. Download TV episodes or a movie onto your laptop, tablet, or phone as the ones available movies might not appeal to you. You can also download books and audiobooks to read and listen to respectively. Bring a portable battery pack for the device you’ll be using for entertainment. You should also have an extra battery pack if possible. Reading is one of the perfect ways to drown your worries and relax during the flight.

Eat and sleep

Sleeping on a flight can be difficult thanks to the cramped up spaces. Only a lucky few manage this difficult task. In between, you can eat. Just make sure you are eating healthy.

Things To Consider After A Long Haul Flight

After completing a long haul flight, you should have exhausted your strengths, get tired, or feel unusual. This is a good opportunity for you to explore some useful “After Long Haul Flight Exercises” that will help regain your strengths. Travelstart Travel Agency suggest the following exercises.

  1. Consider Yoga
  2. Go jogging
  3. Light physical exercise
  4. A hot shower to boost circulation and the infographics below might be a good reference for this guide.