My dad’s been a regular jet-setter since he retired! It feels like he’s always off on an exciting trip somewhere, so he knows a thing or two about being well prepared for flying. His long haul flight tips help me make sure I’m fully prepared to survive every long haul flight I take:

Don’t Assume That Cheaper Equals Better

It’s so tempting to snap up budget flights, but I’ve learned the hard way that you need to check the fine print! Cheap flights can mean cramped seats and exhausting layovers in bad airports. Ugh! I’ve reached the age now when I’d much rather pay a few hundred pounds more for the sake of arriving at my destination unknackered.

Get an Upgrade

On most airlines, the step up from economy to Premium/Business class brings a huge amount of extra comfort in the shape of extra legroom and wider seats. Paying for an upgrade or using up frequent flyer miles is your only way to guarantee the seat you want, but you might just snag an upgrade at the airport if you’re lucky (and you dress smart). 12+ hours in a comfy seat with room to stretch is a whole lot better than 12 hours in a cattle class seat.

Prebook an Aisle Seat

I had a middle seat nightmare when flying home from Australia, many years ago. Needing to visit the loo after a long snooze, I gently tapped the shoulder of the elderly gent in the aisle seat next to me, asking him to let me pass by. That’s when I realised he wasn’t sleeping – sadly he had passed away while I slept!!!

I’ve also get seriously uncomfortable if I sit for an extended time, so I have to get up and walk around (and visit the loo) quite often. Pretty irritating for other people if they have to keep moving for me! And dad’s tip is that aisle seats put you in ‘pole position’ to grab your bags and make a quick exit when you land. Essential if you’re travelling on business.

Snag a Blanket and Pillow As Soon As You Are Seated

Most airlines provide blankets and pillows, but yours could get snaffled by other passengers if you don’t lay claim to them straight away. (Been there). Memory foam travel pillow are great, but if you’re travelling light, they take up a lot of space!

Pack The Right Stuff in Your Cabin Bag

Stashing the right kit in your carry on bag makes all the difference to how comfortable your flight is. You’ll want plenty to read/watch, comfy spare clothes and nutritious snacks. Don’t forget to charge all your tech to last throughout the flight and pack something to freshen up with.

Read what I can’t travel without taking in my cabin bag

Have a Glass of Fizz then Drink Plenty of Water

Drink water as much as you can because dehydation is a major issue on long-haul flights. It doesn’t hurt to have a glass of fizz, but don’t drink your own body weight in alcohol if you want to feel human when you arrive.

A cheeky glass of fizz to get us on our way to Beijing.
A cheeky glass of fizz to get us on our way to Beijing.

Arrive in The Morning and Stay Awake

The best way to avoid jetlag is to book a flight that arrives in the morning, wherever you’re going. When you arrive, keep going all day then get a good sleep that night. Your circadian rhythm (internal body clock) will return to normal faster if you manage to stay up all day on arrival. You might still feel less than optimal for a good few days when you arrive though.

Have an awesome day

Coralie β™₯

What are your hacks for surviving long haul travel? Please share them in the comments below

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Long haul flight tips

Long haul flight tips


Coralie is the Sparkles at Sparkles and Fizz. A 50-something mum and blogger, a wee bit obsessed with sparkly things and fizz. Coralie writes about her real-life and travel adventures. She's not averse to gin and she lives life to the max.

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