Looking and feeling good after a long haul flight is a bit of an art. So I’ve packed all of my long haul flight tips into one bumper post for your convenience. I’ve perfected my techniques on MANY trips and through hours of research.
It took me a while to figure out what to wear, what to pack in my carry-on, what to do about my skin and countless other issues that come up when you’re thousands of feet above the earth in a metal tube full of people (and germs). These little hacks, tips and long haul flight essentials can help you to avoid jet lag and arrive at your destination looking and feeling fabulous.
My Top Long Haul Flight Tips
1) KEEP IT CLASSY – If you want to make a HUGE difference to how you feel after a long haul flight then splash out and book yourself a premium economy, business or even first class ticket. You don’t always need to take out a small mortgage to afford it. Lots of airlines have a bidding system for an upgrade.
There’s a certain level of extra comfort that comes with anything above economy class. Even premium economy can make a big difference. The extra amenities, bigger seats and more legroom can really help you to relax, get more sleep and feel fresher after your flight. You can read my Aer Lingus Business Class review or my United Polaris Business Class review if you want to what you get for your money with a business class ticket.
2) STRETCH – To keep the blood flowing and stop you getting any cramps or feeling stiff, it is best to get up and take a little walk up and down the aisle every so often. You can also do simple stretches while seated. Here’s a great list of airplane stretches that you should read through!
3) GERMS! – I’m normally not too worried about germs, but airplanes seem to be one of the main causes of sickness for me. Sometimes I’ll step off a plane and my voice will be entirely gone. Or a day after a long flight I’ll be absolutely knocked out by a horrendous cold.
This is why you’ll see some people wearing sterile surgical masks during flights. This may not always look great, but they’re very useful if you’re prone to infections or have a weak immune system. The less showy way of protecting yourself against germs is to bring antibacterial gel on board and disinfect your hands during the flight.
4) MOISTURE – The recycled air in the cabin can dry your skin out. Avoid wearing make up on long flights. Instead make sure your skin is quenched with plenty of moisturiser applied throughout the flight. OR, if you’re brave, apply a face mask mid-flight. Then you can apply your make up once you land at your destination if you’re worried about that. Also make sure you pack a tube of lip balm as your lips can get quite dry too.
5) HYDRATE – It’s not just your skin that needs hydration, your body does too. Make sure to drink PLENTY of water throughout the flight. You don’t have to wait for meal times, you can always ask the flight attendant for more water. Also, if at all possible, AVOID ALCOHOL. We all know it has a dehydrating effect on the body. Plus, sure it’s rarely free on flights anymore.
6) SLEEP – depending on the time of your flight and the timezone you’re heading into I highly recommend SLEEP. If you’ve followed tip one this shouldn’t be so hard. Otherwise, hopefully you’ll find yourself on a fairly empty flight and you can snag a row to yourself.
If travel pillows work for you, bring one. Personally I don’t find them very comfortable. If you’re from a country where melatonin is available OTC this can help prevent jetlag. In Ireland it is prescription only I’m afraid. Bring earplugs in case you’re sat beside a screaming child so that you can still get some sleep. And if you have a lot of trouble sleeping, make sure you pack an eye mask to block out any light.
7) DROP IT – the air in the cabin can cause your eyes to feel incredibly dry during a long flight. Staring at a screen watching countless movies also doesn’t help. So take a small bottle of refreshing, moisturising eye drops with you in your carry on and lubricate those lovely eyeballs of yours. Just the most simple and basic of eye drops will do, for tired or dry eyes. You can pretty much use them as much as you want because they have no active drug in them. They are definitely one of my top long haul flight essentials.
8) CLOTHES ARE KEY – Comfort is super important. So, even if you want to look like a super model getting off the plane, make sure you are comfortable during the long flight. I usually end up wearing some sort of leggings. Think “athleisure” or “sports chic”, so it looks decent and there’s no tight waistbands. If you’re heading straight to a meeting from the airport just pack a change of clothes in your hand luggage and change in the airport when you land or on board just before you land.
9) HAIR – A long haul flight spent sleeping in strange positions with your hair rubbing off the seats can leave you with a pretty funky ‘do when you disembark. However, there are ways to avoid this. I normally put my hair in two french plaits/braids. That way I avoid knots/matts and end up with pretty waves in my hair after the flight. Things like a really high bun or ponytail work OK too, or a really low ponytail. It’s mainly just the mid-head area that doesn’t work because it will stop you from leaning your head back against the chair and getting comfortable.
So there you have it, all my top long haul flight tips and essentials that I’ve learned over the years. Hopefully some of them help you on your next big trip. Let me know if you have any other tips and tricks that I’ve missed out.
- How to Stay Fresh While Travelling
- 15 Benefits of a Spa Day
- How to Eat Healthy While Travelling Long Term