How to survive a long haul flight

How to survive a long haul flight

Surviving eight-plus hours in a cramped, poorly ventilated aircraft cabin can seem nothing but highly unappealing. Nevertheless, we have found that there are several ways to make the experience marginally more tolerable. With a little preparation and a few additions to your hand luggage, you can emerge from your flight feeling relaxed, refreshed and ready to begin your holiday. To find out how to survive a long haul flight, take a read of our complete guide.

How to survive a long haul flight: A guide

Statistics from a survey carried out by the Telegraph back in 2016 showed that 16 out of the top 20 holiday destinations involved a flight more than 12 hours long. Nowadays, due to low-cost airlines, the demand for long-haul leisure travel is significantly increasing. Nonetheless, although a large majority of us are willing to suffer these tedious long-haul flights, it is something that is, more often than not, endured rather than enjoyed. In order to make your experience slightly more bearable, we have thought up of several ways to survive a long haul flight, based on only past experience and the benefit of hindsight.

long haul flight

Choose a good airline

Do some research, before booking your flight, into the best airline for long-haul flights. Take a read of previous reviews to get an idea of how other passengers experienced the journey. It is also worth comparing different aspects of each airline such as leg-room measurements and quality of food provided. If you’re fastidious about either of these features of a flight, then it is worth conducting meticulous research. There are several airlines recognised for their quality of long-haul flights. Air New Zealand, Virgin Atlantic and Emirates are all known for their high standard of both service and comfort.

Wear comfortable clothing

This piece of advice should be fairly apparent. Choose an outfit you are willing to wear for ten hours straight that will maintain a constant level of comfort. We suggest wearing several loose layers and avoid outfits that will restrict you to one constant temperature. We also advise leaving your jewellery in the hold; it will only set off the security alarms, get lost or cause you discomfort. It is also best to avoid wearing footwear that’s too snug; your feet may swell at high altitudes. Nonetheless, if you’re limited for space in your luggage, then wear your biggest pair of shoes and take a small pair of comfy slippers in your hand luggage to change in to.

child on plane

Reserve a good seat

It is essential that you initially bear in mind how the seat you have reserved will impact your comfort throughout the journey. For some in-depth advice on how to reserve the perfect seat, have a read of this guide. However, for a shorter summary, take a read of these tips.

If you require extra leg room, then opt for a seat along the exit row. If you would like to avoid sitting anywhere near noisy children, then stick to the far end of the plane (most airlines make special provisions for children on international flights at the front of the plane). And lastly, if you know you like to get up and move around the plane, then make sure to book an aisle seat. By doing so, you have the freedom to walk around as much as you like without hassling the people sat next to you.

sleeping man

Be prepared for sleeping

There are a few essentials we suggest including in your hand luggage for when you need to sleep. Pack a lightweight blanket and purchase a good quality travel pillow. This will help to improve the sleeping experience and prevent neckache. It is also worth investing in a pair of earplugs and sleep mask. This way you can block out every other person on that flight and achieve an admissible amount of sleep. Finally, make sure to pack some basic toiletries into your hand luggage. Purchasing a travel size toothbrush, toothpaste and hairbrush will help you to feel slightly more refreshed whenever you land. Some other toiletries worth considering include;

  • Face Wipes
  • Moisturiser
  • Lip Balm

Keeping your skin moisturised and hydrated will only help you to feel rejuvenated and ensure a comfortable long-haul flight experience. Just bear in mind, that any liquid products you do take in your hand luggage must be no more than 100ml and must be placed in a sealable clear plastic bag.

cereal bars

Pack your own food

Although you will be provided with food on a long-haul flight, the quality of it can be seriously dubious. Furthermore, when you are travelling through time zones, the timing of breakfasts and dinners can get confused. The time you are used to eating your morning meal may not be the time the airline provides breakfast; you could end up having dinner at breakfast time and supper first thing in the morning. To prevent any bouts of serious hunger, make sure to take enough slow-energy releasing snacks with you. Cereal bars, dried fruit and nuts are all foods guaranteed to keep you satisfied for longer periods of time.

It is also important to stay hydrated throughout the flight. The chances of becoming dehydrated on a long-haul flight in a dry cabin are fairly high. In order to prevent this from occurring, make sure to drink plenty of water and avoid drinks like tea, coffee and alcohol. Due to liquid restrictions, you may need to purchase a bottle of water at the airport, but nonetheless, make sure to take one on board with you. If you simply take an empty bottle in your hand luggage, you can ask the cabin crew to fill it up with water periodically.


Through the implementation of all the advice we have suggested above, you are far more likely to have pleasant long-haul flight, rather than a barely tolerable experience. There is no easy way to make a ten-hour flight less tedious, but by taking on board our advice, you can look forward to a more enjoyable journey. If you have found this article to be beneficial to you in any way, please feel free to share on your social media. For reliable airport taxi transfers in Milton Keynes, get in touch with Admiral Express today.