The ultimate travel hacks for long haul flights
Everyone loves travelling but no one likes flying or the whole airport bit am I right? It can be stressful, dirty and just a big old pain in the behind if you are not completely prepared. I have had to do some pretty long flights and also go to a whole bunch of crazy airports. Standing in lines, eating terrible food and sitting squashed next to a stranger for hours on end is just not fun. Even when you might have an exciting trip coming up.
I remember back when I didn’t prepare at all for flights and how I literally got anxiety before trips. Now however I have my travel hacks that make flying so much better, although unfortunately it doesn’t fix inconsiderate people…
Here are my travel hacks to make your long haul traveling experience way smoother!
The first step to a stress free long haul flight is checking in online. When you book your tickets you can usually choose seats but checking in online gives you the option to recheck those seats. It also means you have the option to stand in the bag drop line when you are at the airport that can sometimes be a bit faster than the normal one.
2.Always ask for bulk head or exit seats
Even when we check in online we always ask for better seats when checking in. The bulkhead seats or exit rows are the best for long haul flights.
The bulkhead – Bulkhead seats are the ones right at the front of each cabin. We usually like these because there is no one in front of you that can recline and it is easier to get in and out without disturbing your fellow seat mates. The cons are that families usually occupy these seats as that is where the baby basinets are and you can even get asked to move for a family.
Exit rows – You get plenty of extra legroom in exit seats which is a big plus when flying long haul. The cons are that these exit seats are usually either at the galley or toilets. This means that there could be noise and people waiting to use the bathroom all the time. On a recent flight we had a group of guys stand right in front of us for almost the entire 11 hour flight chatting loudly and standing on our feet a few times. This rarely happens on night flights though so I would still suggest getting an exit seat when available.
Another tip when asking for an exit seat at check in is to do it as late as possible. A lot of airlines sell these seats but they close for sale about two hours before the flight. If you wait to check in till last you might get it for free.
3.Check seat guru
Seat guru is a website where you can check plane layouts and see which seats are the best. This is awesome for long haul flights especially when you aren’t familiar with the type of plane you will be flying on.
4.Always be ready at Security
If you don’t want extra stress when going through security just be prepared. If everyone was then things would really go so much faster. While waiting in line check your pockets and take out your laptop etc so when you get to the front you don’t have to waste more time.
5.Be first in line
I know a lot of people that don’t like doing this but I am 100% a fan. Being first in line for whichever class you are flying ( or zone ) means more than just getting on the plane first. Long haul flights are usually jam packed and for that reason there is a lot of hand luggage. If you want your luggage to be in the overhead bin by your seat getting on early is a good idea. It is also less stressful to head to your seat and sit down than to have to stand and wait for other people to find their seats and settle in.
6.If you are an anxious flyer take a calming tablet as you leave for the airport
My best tip for anxious flyers is to take a over the counter calming tablet before you fly. The less you stress the small stuff the better!
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7.Get credit cards that will give you lounge entry
Chilling in the lounge makes flying and airports 100% more bearable. If you aren’t flying business class and you don’t have enough points there are still loads of ways to get to the lounge. I have a credit card that has a minimum spend for lounge access so I just buy on my credit card every month and then top it up immediately from my debit card.
Free bubbly and snacks will calm your nerves and then you wont have to eat as much of the plane food either.
8.Invest in noise cancelling headphones
Noice cancelling headphones are game changers on long haul flights. Get an adapter for plane outlets and travel like you are in business class. No more screaming baby or noisy neighbours. I even sleep with mine on to drown out any noise while trying to get in those zzzzz’s.
9.Bring your own hydro flask
Staying hydrated when flying is obviously a good thing. Using loads of plastic cups with small amounts in is not. Why not ask your air hostess if she would mind filling up your flask before you take off. This way you will have water with you the entire flight!
10.Get a Kindle
I have had in flight entertainment that doesn’t work on a long haul flight. What saved me was being able to read something! Getting a kindle not only saves space ( fitting 5 books into your hand luggage is not easy ) but it also gives you something to do when you don’t feel like watching tv.
11.Bring your own amenity pack
Make your own business class pack to take on the flight! This is one of my favorite travel hacks for long haul flights because you can get so creative!
Pack a small cosmetic bag with the following goodies:
- Small tube of lip balm
- Some comfy socks
- Eye mask
- Flight safe facial spritz
- Travel toothbrush and toothpaste
- Breath mints
- Perfume balm
- Medicine like headache tablet and anti nausea tablets
12.Alway travel with hand sanitiser
I always feel so grubby when touching everything at airports and in planes. Hand sanitiser can definitely help you to keep clean before eating or touching your face.
13. Don’t be afraid to ask
Sometimes I get a snack attack while on a long haul flight. Dinner is long gone and breakfast is still hours away. My stomach is grumbling and I forgot to pack any snacks. Don’t be shy to ask the air hostess for some snacks if you see them around. There are drawers full of mini crackers and pretzels that get’s replenished after every flight. They wont mind giving you a few packets to tide you over to the next meal!