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13 ways to survive a long haul flight

13 ways to survive a long haul flight
13 ways to survive a long haul flight
13 ways to survive a long haul flight
13 ways to survive a long haul flight

13 ways to survive a long haul flight

story by: Anna Sarjeant

So you’re off on an adventure of epic proportions and all that stands in your way is one jolly long flight. Fortunately, we’re no longer living in the dark ages of air travel; with all of today's mod cons and high-end entertainment, your long haul flight can be just as exciting as the end journey.


Flights can still be lengthy. Here’s how to survive your next day spent sitting in the clouds.   


1. Dress in comfortable layers
Well durr. But do it. Sometimes it’s hot, sometimes it’s cold. Sometimes the blankets are a trifle thin. Sometimes the food induces a post-dinnertime sweat (we have no idea why). The answer to all these issues? Wear layers.

2. Make a sleepy playlist
Anything that will serenade you to sleep after dinner service has concluded and you’ve enjoyed your two glasses of sleep-inducing Shiraz.  


3. Take your own headphones
Noise reducing ones if possible. Not only will you cancel the noise of shufflers, snorers and night walkers, you can dismiss the airline’s own head phones which are, how shall we put this, tittering dangerously on the tinny side.


4. Pack all these things….

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste – Because talking to custom officers after a 12 hour flight is especially awkward with furry teeth.
  • Lip balm – Dehydration at 30,000 feet is going to zap all moisture from your usually very luscious JLs.  
  • Hand lotion – As a one off, this extra gloopy mixture of moisture can also be slapped across your face, neck, legs, arms etcetera. Because in the sky, every inch of your skin suffers from altitude dehydration. Take a potent one so you also smell good/better. 
  • Face wash – Air conditioning. Clogged pores. Enough said.
  • Ear plugs – Did we not already mention the night shufflers?
  • Thick socks – Cosy tootsies will help you fall asleep.
  • Hand tissues - For spills, wayward plane food and snotular noses! 

Wrap your eye mask around your wrist
Do this at the airport and you’ll have it on-hand (punny!) whenever you feel the need to snooze. Saves you scrambling about in the overhead locker for five minutes – oh and look at that, you’re wide awake again.


6. Have these to​ hand at all times:
Pop all these things in your chair pocket and you won’t be up and down delving into the overhead locker all night.   

  • Eye mask – See above
  • Passport, pen and boarding card – For filling in immigration cards. Hello New Zealand!
  • Water
  • Music/entertainment and headphones
  • Scarf - See scarf fortress below
  • Toiletries bag
  • Phone charger/USB charger
  • Snacks

Take a neck pillow

Yes they’ve been around for years and no there’s nothing revolutionary about them, but the difference between a long haul flight ​with a neck pillow, and one without is substantial. Put simply, it’s the difference between ​six hours sleep, a stiff neck and a good mood.

8. Take your charger on board
Free electricity! Also saves you arriving at a foreign (and mind boggling) airport with zilch battery to Google what you need to Google. Most planes have a USB socket to get your juices topped up.  


9. Take an empty water bottle
You dehydrate twice as fast on a plane than you do at land level. So drink twice as much. Fill an empty bottle after customs (many airports provide free drinking water) and sip it throughout the flight.

10. Pop your devices on airplane mode
Because you’re told to and no one likes a rule breaker. But also, what’s the point in draining valuable battery when you can’t even Snapchat, Instagram, watch cute dogs being outrageously silly on Facebook….makes sense.

11. Take a small bag within a big bag
Everything you need in the big guy. Essentials in the small. Otherwise you’re stuck with the giant oaf of a bag stuffed under your seat and that is leg space you CANNOT afford to lose.


12. Pack a snack
Granted, long haul flights are packed to the rafters with snacks, simply ding the steward and they’ll come running with something delicious. However, sometimes you just want to eat a Snickers without causing a stir. So pack one in your small essentials bag (see above).


13. Build a scarf den
Wear a scarf to the airport and you instantly have a second blanket if the air con on your flight’s going full pelt. What’s more, you can build an on-board den. Okay, so you might look ridiculous, but shutting out the light, minimalising noise and maintaining some inner heat will all help you fall asleep quicker.

...Plus you can call it something fun like ‘Flight Fortress’ and name yourself (insert name) The Great. Or not. Whatever.

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