Looking for ways on how to survive a long flight? These long haul flight tips will help you kill the boredom and stay comfortable while flying in economy.
However excited you might be for that highly anticipated trip, moments will come when you get a little bored on the plane.
Amongst the crying babies, the long awkward silence while everyone is sleeping, chances are high that boredom will kick in. But long flights don’t have to be boring and terrible as long as you do some preparations beforehand – yes, surviving long haul flights require prepping.
So how exactly do you survive a long flight? Here are the long haul flight tips with guidelines on what to do on a long flight not to get bored.
But before we get into the details of the long flight tips, what exactly does a long haul flight mean?
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What is a long haul flight?
Even though there is no international definition of what a long haul flight is, commercial airlines categorize any length journey longer than (4100-4800km) as a long haul flight and one shorter than (1100-1500km) as a short-haul journey. You can read more about this from here.
But let me just break it down a little to make it clearer. So how long is a long haul flight? A long haul flight is one that lasts between 6 to 12 hours whereas one that is less than 3 hours is termed as a short-haul flight.
So now that we know what a long haul flight is – if your upcoming flight lasts more than 6 hours then read on to get the best long haul flight tips and tricks plus the best things to do on a long flight.
Long haul flight tips: How to survive longs flights in economy
1. Watch a movie.
Most long flights have put in place screens where passengers can entertain themselves by watching various movies. The advantage is that, if you’re a movie person just like me, only 3 movies can help you survive through the longest part of the flight.
2. Listen to Music.
Not a movie person? Indulge yourself in your favorite music. This will work if you have music on your phone! So if you know you’re heading for a long flight, download music on your phone beforehand and make sure you take these noise-canceling earphones for that.
3. Listen to a Podcast.
These days Podcasts have become a great source of inspiration and many people are jumping on the bandwagon of being apart of something cool and exciting.
So if you saved a couple of podcasts that you couldn’t listen to because of not having enough time, now is the perfect time to listen to them as a means of getting the knowledge and killing boredom while flying.
4. Read your favorite book.
Whether you carried a hard copy book or brought one of these cool Amazon kindles, being on a long flight is the best time to complete that book that you’ve been longing to know how it ends.
Don’t worry if you’re the kind of person that only reads in a quiet environment, its probably going to be quiet for a long time, so sit tight and enjoy that book.
Even when you don’t fancy reading that much, reading while on a long haul flight might be your turning point into becoming an avid reader or at least an amateur one.
5. Play games; these could be games on your phone or board games.
Since we looked at the best packing tips to travel light in my previous post, board games may not be the perfect games to go with on a plane since they take up some space in your luggage but if you carry some, don’t get overboard, just carry one which I am sure will be enough.
So this is why I recommend phone games; My favorites are Temple Run and Candy Crush (don’t judge me, candy crush is like my guilty pleasure and it is super addictive).
Other highly recommended games you can download to kill boredom while flying include Monument Valley, the good old Solitare, and many others depending on your taste.
6. Enjoy the views from the plane window
If you were lucky enough to get a window seat and you’re not afraid to look out of the window, this could be a very important tip to survive a long haul flight.
Practically you might not spend hours looking outside the window for that perfect Instagram worthy clouds shot, but it will definitely kill a few minutes of the boredom.
Although, if you’re a nervous flyer and afraid of heights, this tip might not help but rather make you panic, so you can just skip to other long haul flight tips.
Related post: Best tips for first time flyers
7. Survive a long haul flight by staying hydrated.
There is nothing that can wear you off during a long flight like being dehydrated. Being dehydrated will make you more tired and you’ll eventually get fed up with the entire long travel.
This is why I advise you to stay hydrated by taking this collapsible travel water bottle in your carry-on so that you can refill it with water every time you run out of it.
8. Survive a long flight by writing
If you’re a writer or a blogger like me, long flights are the perfect time to catch up on your writing!
Do you have that killer blog post or article that’s been sitting in your draft for quite a long time? Why not embark on it. You have plenty of time to finish it without the hustles of life that have been stopping you from completing that milestone.
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9. Wear comfortable clothes
One of the best ways to survive long haul flights is to wear comfortable clothes. Since you’re going to be in the same clothes for long in one place, make sure that the clothes you choose to wear are comfortable.
For starters, putting on heels is a no, choose sneakers or flip flops instead, wear compression socks as they will keep your feet dry and comfortable. You can also walk in these compression socks in the plane without any issues if you choose to take off your shoes.
For my long flights, I always opt for a pair of leggings like this one or these sweat pants and this long-sleeved merino wool top. But also remember to carry this fleece as it gets chilly in the plane. But regardless of what you choose to wear, make sure that it’s extremely comfortable for you.
10. Take your own snacks
Airlines always provide meals for long flights but it’s not always done at your own schedule but their own. So pack up a few snacks to munch on while flying should you get hungry before they serve the plane’s meal.
But be sure to check with TSA before to confirm that the particular snacks you want to pack are allowed.
11. Pack a warm scarf
One of the best long haul flight tips is to always carry a scarf. Even though airlines provide a blanket, I always find them light – so I never feel as warm as I would like to be.
A large scarf like this one will keep you warm and cozy even you take the longest flight ever.
12. Don’t leave behind a travel pillow
Taking a travel pillow is one of the best ways to survive a long haul flight. And since plane seats are not the most comfortable, you’ll need a travel neck pillow to guarantee comfort throughout your entire flight.
And by all means, sleeping is inevitable on a long flight- so carry a travel pillow so that your neck doesn’t suffer after that long haul flight. I like this travel pillow because it’s super comfortable and packs lights – you can just clip it onto your carry on bag and you’re good to go.
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13. Walk around the Airplane aisle from time to time
We all know that economy seats don’t have enough leg room! This can be a huge challenge when you’re flight is pretty long – it gets even worse when you’re a tall person.
Will little leg room, you’re legs are bound to suffer and that’s why walking around from time to time to stretch is one of the best ways on how to survive a long fight.
14. Take an eye mask and ear plugs
Some of the important carry on essentials for a long flight is an eye mask and earplugs. An eye mask will block out all the light to create a perfect condition for you to sleep and these earplugs will keep out all the noise to maximize your comfort.
I like this eye mask as it not only blocks out all the light but its also soft on the eyes.
Related post: What to do at the airport on a long layover
More tips on how to survive a long flight
Still wondering what to do on a long flight? Here are more long haul flight tips to take you through the journey!
If the above long haul travel tips are not enough for you or not up to your liking, just continue reading for more amazing flying tips.
15. Read more about your destination!
For whatever reason you’re traveling, you probably want to familiarize yourself with the destination – Whether it’s looking for co-working spaces, best restaurants in town, amazing tours to go to, or even how to navigate around!
What better way to make a recap of the information than when you’re actually flying there! This is one of the most efficient ways of surviving a long flight while being productive at the same time.
16. Go over your trip and itinerary
Instead of just reading about your destination, go over your trip once more to see if there are any adjustments needed.
Just make sure not to change your entire itinerary just because you’re bored on a flight, but make minor adjustments only if needed. Also, confirm again how you’ll be leaving the airport to your ultimate destination.
Related post: How to plan a trip step by step
17. Chat with fellow passengers
Sometimes surviving a long haul flight requires actual talking or else you’re bound to doze off. If you’re seated in a row where your neighbors seem less occupied with something, why not say hi or better yet start a conversation with them.
I have to warn you though, not because someone seems unoccupied means they’re in a chatty mood. Some could be just meditating or thinking about really important stuff and some could be plainly not interested in chatting.
So be courteous enough to read the situation – the first few words should let you know whether someone wants to talk or not! You wouldn’t want to kill your boredom by bothering someone else.
18. Learn a few words and phrases of your destination’s local language
There is no better time to practice some words of the local language than this! Using Duolingo is absolutely free and one of the easiest ways to learn a new language.
If you had started leaning already, polish your language skills but if you hadn’t started yet, during the long flight can be the perfect time to start.
19. Go over the flying safety guidelines again
Airlines always provide safety guidelines during the flight just placed in the back pocket of the seat in front of you.
Although the air hostesses go over the flying safety guidelines as soon as you board the plane, you may want to go over them once more especially if you didn’t pay attention the first time.
You could do this just to remind yourself of the safety measures or you’ve exhausted all the long flight tips there could be and the only option to keep yourself busy is by reading the airplane safety guidelines. This doesn’t completely rule it out as one of the long haul flight tips, but I’d imagine it would be the last resort.
20. Sleep!! Yes catch some sleep
Wondering what to do on a plane to kill that boredom? Sleep !! I’m sure there are some people who plan to sleep on the plane and they’re always looking forward to it.
Well, that’s not me – sleeping on a flight is actually my last resort especially when I am out of things to do on a flight or when I am completely tired!
But sleeping is actually a good tip to kill boredom while flying and get those good hours of sleep that you might have missed out while running around on your day to day life.
Now that you know all the long haul flight tips to kill boredom, don’t be afraid to book that 10 or 20 hours flight if it saves you some bucks since the main goal for us backpacker is to travel on a budget.
Do you have more tips on how to survive a long flight that work for you? Share them with me and other readers in the comment section.
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