A plane on the tarmac and a stunning sunset behind

Need a refresher on long-haul flights?

A Step By Step Guide to Enjoying Long Flights Pin
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It’s been a long time since many of us have taken long-haul flights! After nearly two years of travel restrictions, we’re all feeling a bit rusty, and there’s some worry that we’ll get to the airport and think “Ok, how do I do this again?” Fortunately, we’ve picked up a lot of tips and tricks over the years. For those of you who are feeling like you don’t remember how to travel long distances anymore, or want some useful flying tips — let’s walk through it together! 


Step 1: Pre-Flight

Packing

The key to enjoying your long-haul flights begins in the packing process. You can download our free printable packing list here!

Packing List for Long-Haul Flights

These are the things to pack in your carry-on or personal bag to ensure a comfortable flight. At the bottom of the checklist is the ‘out-the-door’ section. This is your final check before you leave for the airport.

We recommend keeping all the smaller items in an “Airplane Essentials Kit”. This can be a smaller toiletries bag within your carry-on to keep everything in one easy-to-access (and easy to remember) place. Don’t forget to put your deodorant, hand sanitizer & toothpaste in a clear one-quart “liquids bag” for TSA first.

Similarly, a document holder can be anything from a cute travel wallet to a plastic document sleeve. The key here is to have all your important documents in one place which they never ever leave.

Pro-tip: You don’t need the whole bottle for all your medications. Save space by just taking what you need.

Apps

You’re all packed and have decided which electronics you’re bringing! Now it’s time to optimize those electronics. Using an app like Tripit can be helpful with keeping all your travel information in one easy-to-reach place. You’ll also want XEcurrency calculator, Google Translate and a budget tracker like Mint

Be sure to load a few movies, books, magazines, podcasts, or any other kind of media onto your electronic devices in case the airplane media isn’t up to your standards, or for those long layovers. 

Double-check the destination countries’ websites four days before you travel to ensure you meet all the updated Covid-19 Travel Restrictions . Pro-tip: If you let us help you plan your trip we’ll do this part for you so you don’t have to worry!

Clothing

When picking out your outfit for a long flight, the two most important words are “comfortable layers”.

Planes tend to be chilly, so even if you’re heading to a warm destination, be sure to have some light layers for the trip! You don’t have to look like you just rolled out of bed, but choose clothes that are looser, stretchy, and won’t dig into your skin. And then add some layers.

Top it off with a versatile scarf or shawl, which can be used as a blanket, eye mask, or pillow. 

STEP 2: The Day Before you Fly

It’s the day before your flight! Time to get up, get moving, and get charged! Because you’re going to be sitting for an unusually long time, you’ll want to prepare your body. Go for a long walk, do some stretches, and get outside in the fresh air where possible.

Put your electronics and external battery pack on charge. Don’t worry — they’re on the ‘out the door’ checklist, so you won’t forget them before you leave. 

Finally, if your flight allows early check-in, go online and double-check (or choose) your seats. You can use a site like SeatGuru to find the best options.

Step 3: At the Airport

You have your bags, you’ve checked your checklist and you arrive at the airport ready and excited for your trip! Check-in (if needed) and head to TSA – consider a TSA pre-check or skip-the-line option to make this process smoother. 

Take a breath, put your shoes back on and head to your gate. While waiting at your gate, it’s the perfect time to prep for the flight: 

  • Put your toothpaste, hand sanitizer, and deodorant in your ‘Airplane Essentials Kit’ and store the rest of your liquids away. 
  • Fill your reusable water bottle and start hydrating! 
  • Maybe have a light snack. {traveling on an over-full stomach is not a great idea}

If you’re at the airport for a long layover we recommend finding a lounge. They often aren’t as expensive as you may think. With unlimited snacks, drinks, wifi, a shower, and a comfortable place to sit while you wait they’re worth the comfort if you’re going to be in the airport for a while. If you don’t already have lounge access through a credit card or by virtue of a Business/First Class ticket, use the Loungebuddy app to find which lounges you can pay to use without membership.

STEP 4: On The Plane

You’ve boarded the plane, you’re in your seat and you’re ready to start your journey! The first step is being friendly to the flight crew. Then, if you need to store your carry-on in the overhead bin, take out anything you might need in the next few hours and put them in an easily-accessible spot.

Check list for during a long-haul flights to make it more comfortable

From there, follow this very simple checklist. The first half of the flight is all about settling in and enjoying the media you cleverly packed.

After the meal, “getting ready for bed” will help prepare your mind for sleep and increase your chances of successful rest. Taking the sleep aid before you get ready usually means it takes effect right when you’re ready to sleep.

Before landing take the time to prepare for the rest of your day. Make sure to pack everything away so you don’t accidentally leave anything behind! Use that pen you packed and add your customs form to your Document holder.

Step 5: Landing 

If you’re landing in a layover destination, use this layover to freshen up and head to the lounge. If it’s your final destination or a last (short) layover then change your outfit! After going through customs or finding your gate, give yourself a little freshen up and change. If you don’t want to completely change outfits at this point, at least change your socks. Trust us, new socks will make you feel like a whole new person who is ready to enjoy your first day of vacation and find the hotel! 


If this post has given you a new sense of confidence in tackling those long-distance flights, let us know! We would love to help you plan your next trip to a faraway exotic destination!

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