If you’re a frequent traveler, the chances are high that you’ve had your fair share of lengthy journeys. And if you’re new to long flights and you’re getting ready for your first time, welcome! Long flights can be uncomfortable, but today’s your lucky day because expert travelers have compiled useful tricks to make your trip a little easier.
Whatever your reason for travel is, your 18-hour flight may be enjoyable. Stick around for some incredible hacks that will help make your entire travel experience a much better one, no matter what the distance!
There are few things more refreshing than a drink with some ice in it. Sure, room temperature drinks technically taste the same, but there’s something about a cold beverage that is superior. This sentiment is even stronger when you’re stuck inside of an airplane for a long plane ride.
But you may want to skip requesting any on your next flight. Not only is the ice to beverage ratio typically off, but the ice cubes are from the plane’s water tank, which might not be thoroughly cleaned before every flight.
The whole airport process tires out many travelers to the point that they fall fast asleep as soon as they board the plane and find their seats. Based on research that we’ve done, we would highly recommend against this practice.
Turns out that our ears aren’t good at self-regulating the pressure when the airplane is ascending or descending at such fast speeds. We would recommend chewing some gum until the plane reaches its cruising altitude and when it starts its landing protocol. Best to save the sleeping for the air!
The clothing you choose to wear to the airport and on your flight is so important. Sitting for such a long time calls for comfy clothes. Best to avoid all of your clothing that is tight or even slightly uncomfortable. This includes formal wear for those of you traveling for business.
Clothing is one of the largest indicators of whether or not your journey is going to be good and comfortable. So, wear some stretchy pants, a comfy t-shirt, and a pullover sweatshirt because of the freezing air conditioning.
There are few things worse than missing a flight, so make sure to arrive at the airport a couple of hours early. Granted, most travelers already know to skip the traffic, but a friendly reminder is always nice. The real debate is just how much time before boarding begins is necessary.
Most people think that 3 hours is enough while others say you need to arrive even earlier. Regardless, arriving early will help stress levels if met with any check-in issues or absurdly long security lines.
If you are in and out of airports a lot, you should really think about taking advantage of the airport lounges. Some people are able to use their credit cards, while others enjoy the perks through incredible frequent flyer programs. The most common card is the American Express Platinum one.
There are many airports in the United States and North America that allow you free access for simply being a cardholder. You may be asked to pay a small fee at other lounges, but the overall perks are well worth it.
When you travel, the only thing you have complete control over is what you’re going to pack for your trip. You can’t control what happens inside of the airport, nor can you make sure that your flight isn’t delayed.
But there is some data when it comes to which flights have the least likelihood of having delays. Data shows that boarding an early morning flight means you’re more likely to leave on time. The unspoken rule is that flights are more likely to be postponed as the departure time gets later.
Okay, so maybe not seven layers but at least an extra one! This tip emphasizes the importance of how you’re dressed for a flight. Not only does it have to be comfortable, but it also needs to have removable layers.
Depending on what point you are in the journey, the temperature can change from swelteringly hot to freezing in a matter of minutes. That’s why packing a layer or two in your carry-on bag is imperative for travel. If you get too overheated, you can always repurpose the extra layers into a pillow.
Your shoes are an important part of any outfit, especially if you’re traveling. You need them to be lightweight and easy to take on and off. Steer clear of tight formal shoes or high heels, as you’ll most likely need to rush to your gate or remove them while in the security line.
You might want to take off your shoes once you’re seated on the plane so you can get comfortable, so make sure to wear a pair that isn’t difficult to take off and put back on.
Your journey will be stress-free if you get rid of any check-in stress in advance. Check-in as early as possible to avoid any long lines that you might encounter at the airport when you arrive. Just go to the drop-off counter with your bags and head straight for security.
This will give you plenty of time to do other things, like use the restroom or charge your phone before boarding begins. Checking in through the airline app will make your life even less stressful. This option is available with most operators.
There’s nothing quite like a cold Diet Coke or any other soda for that matter, but if you’re going to be on a long flight, you should avoid them like the plague. It simply comes down to the fact that fizzy carbonated drinks cause you to swallow lots of air.
Doing so is not good for your digestive system, and the air will randomly escape in the form of a burp or flatulence in the end. Additionally, when the plane shifts between different altitudes, trapped air could cause you lots of pain.
Motion sickness can be a real-life nightmare, and sadly, it affects a lot more people than you might expect. While medicine can help, you can never overprepare for this type of thing. If you have the opportunity to choose your flight time, do yourself a favor and choose a morning flight.
Turbulence happens when the air rises, and this occurs as the Earth gets hotter. This also happens with strong winds or storms. This typically happens more during the middle of the day or afternoon.
Picking your seat on a plane requires forethought, and everyone has a different strategy. Everything depends on your preferences. For example, you might enjoy standing up and stretching from time to time, so the aisle seat would be more ideal than a window seat.
If you like looking out the window or sleeping for most of the flight, then you’re better suited for the window seat. If you want lots of extra space, reserve a seat in the last row – you’ll be less likely to have seat buddies.
It’s so simple to pay for things these days because there are credit cards, and everything has an app for it. Despite all of that, it’s critical to always have some small change in dollars or euros on you while you travel.
There are plenty of services you might need to pay for in cash, like valet, so it will come in handy. If you need to exchange money when you reach your destination, it’s best to already arrive with cash. You wouldn’t want to miss out on local delicacies!
One of the worst parts about catching a flight is knowing that when you land at your destination, you’re going to have to wait a long time for your suitcase to appear on the carousel. We have yet to meet anybody who genuinely enjoys this process.
It’s tough to avoid, but we have an ingenious way of getting around it. All you have to do is be one of the last people to check in! This means your suitcase will be one of the last on the plane and then one of the first ones unloaded.
Everyone knows that being kind will get you better service, but those who travel often will tell you to always remember to bring gifts for the people working on your flight. It doesn’t need to be anything extravagant or with a highly-priced value.
Something as simple as a chocolate bar will be enough. Not only will it increase your odds of getting better service, but you’re more likely to get some free stuff as well. We wonder what you’d get if you got them something expensive.
Everywhere we look, it seems like everyone is having babies. This means that there’s a good chance that there will be one on your next flight. However, there’s no way to avoid having babies on your flight; you can certainly avoid sitting next to them.
Babies tend to scream and cry, and it only gets worse the longer the flight is. So what can you do about it? Well, you should sit as far away from the partitions as possible. Most parents set up their strollers in that area there, so stay away from them.
You check-in, go to choose your seat, and all that’s left are middle seats. A disappointing reality for many travelers who don’t get the seat they wanted the first time they try checking in. But don’t be so quick to give up hope.
The agents at your gate will know if there have been any reservation changes or if a different seat has opened up. Asking might be the difference between you being cramped and sitting in an exit seat with lots of legroom. The luckiest ones might even get an empty row.
It can be absolutely freezing on an airplane, but that’s nothing that a few extra layers of clothes can’t help with. Even if you’re shivering, it’s crucial to keep the air vents open because it creates a pseudo-force field around you. Think of something straight out of Star Trek, but even more helpful.
The constant airflow will help with many things, from deflecting airborne illnesses from passengers near your seat or help make sure that your skin doesn’t dry out. Basically, if you want to stay healthy, just pack an extra sweatshirt.
Flights can be exhausting, and ones that are more than eight hours are even more tiring. If you know you’re about to board a long flight, stock up on plenty of stuff that will make your journey more comfortable. Let’s normalize treating ourselves to a little luxury, so make sure to add your favorite items to your onboard bag.
Don’t forget your deodorant, hairbrush, and toothbrush! But also consider packing earplugs and an eye mask. Scented pillow mists are wonderful for calming you down. Maybe even treat yourself to a moisturizing face cream.
If there’s one item that you can’t forget to pack in your travel kit, it’s a pair of socks. The more pairs you have, the better because you will stink them up with all the walking you’ll do while traveling. Being weighed down by damp, smelly socks is one of the worst parts of the traveling process.
Think about bringing one more pair than you think you’ll need just in case and wear them as soon as you board the plane. You will feel clean and cozy the whole flight.
Relying on the airline for food that will satisfy you is a gamble that we suggest you avoid at all costs because the odds are not in your favor. Flights can be long, and you’re likely to get snacky and just want something to munch on. Take notes from Cookie Monster and pack your own snacks.
If possible, attempt to stick with healthier snacks. Though a dessert item or two couldn’t be that bad. Make sure the snacks are smaller so that you have enough space.
Flights can get pretty loud, and the last thing you want to have happen is to spend a 14-hour flight distracted by a screaming baby or a couple in the middle of an argument. Fortunately for you, we have simple tips and tricks so that you don’t have to endure that for hours on end.
If you remember to pack some silicone earplugs, you’ll be as good as new and sleep through the flight. If you’re looking for an alternative to also listen to music, then noise-canceling headphones might be a better choice for you.
Plane air can get pretty dry, and you will get very dehydrated if you don’t drink enough water. To battle the dry air-conditioning, keep drinking fluids as often as possible. Water is always available for free on long flights, so feel comfortable asking the flight attendants for water every so often, even if there isn’t any food service going by.
Avoid drinking alcohol, coffee, and any beverage with a lot of sugar like the plague. These drinks will leave you more dehydrated than the harsh air-conditioning.
For a long flight, if you don’t have a specific seat that you’re dying to sit in for over 12 hours, we would recommend choosing one in the back of the plane. It can be a bit noisy when the flight attendants are getting things prepared, but you’ll get better service.
They may even offer you more items or food because it is protocol not to walk around with special things because there aren’t enough for all of the passengers, so they’ll try to get rid of it swiftly.
If you have the option to choose your own connection or layover location, we strongly encourage you to avoid any of the typical routes that families take for their vacations. For instance, routes that go through Orlando, Florida, are more likely to have multiple families taking a trip to Disney World.
You may not always be able to steer clear of them, but it doesn’t hurt to just double-check so you can get plenty of rest and relaxation time when you are on your flight.
Many of us are conscious of reusable items on land, so why wouldn’t that also apply when we’re in the air? One amazing thing to do when flying somewhere is to pack your own water bottle or reusable cup.
Flight attendants will be so happy to fill it up with water or tea and coffee if you ask really nicely. It’s one of the best items you can pack in your carry-on bag. You can enjoy your drink throughout the whole flight rather than just when food service comes by.
The longer flights have built-in entertainment systems on the plane that come with every ticket. But still, you can always take your experience to the next level by downloading or recording stuff on your personal tablet or laptop.
The quality of the little plane screens can be pretty disappointing, and this could ruin the entire movie for you. Load up on your favorite TV shows and movies to truly enjoy the experience. You also don’t have to listen to passenger announcements that can break your focus while watching.
Sure, there are conspiracy theories out there that the internet collects all of our personal data for the government. Most of those theories are exaggerated, but the fact that internet browser cookies track your patterns, so they know which websites you visit is true.
This can hurt your chances of finding a cheaper flight. These cookies tell companies that you want to buy, which leads them to mark up the price each time you check again. The Incognito option will be your best friend to avoid high prices.
One important aspect of travel, especially for longer trips, is proper packing. Some people tend to overpack and include very special items. People who travel a lot know what type of bags go through, and they know not to bring any valuables with them on their trips.
However, if you have to bring something valuable with you, make sure that your bag is marked as fragile. Then your suitcase will be handled with care. For those who are extra lucky, their bag may be one of the first off of the plane.
Most of the tips and tricks we’ve compiled tend to work on a regular basis, while this one is more of a gamble. But despite being a gamble, the payoff is well worth it. This isn’t guaranteed to work, and it’s certainly not a foolproof plan.
However, if you arrive at the airport early, in an outfit dressed to impress, and with an upbeat and positive attitude, you could receive some perks. If that doesn’t work, you can attempt to convince the check-in attendant that you and your travel partner are honeymooners.
For those planning long trips, there’s one thing that you have to plan for that isn’t going to make it onto the trip itinerary. After many hours of travel, the odds are good your body will feel the effects of jet lag.
Even though studies have shown that jogging early at your destination can help with jet lag, you can try and avoid it completely before the flight. You just have to adjust to the new schedule. Choosing flights that arrive during the morning and going to sleep early before you fly also helps.
Nervous that your device’s battery life won’t last you throughout the entire flight? There’s no need to be nervous. Videos can take up a lot of your battery life, but there’s a fantastic alternative, podcasts. They don’t use up that much of the battery life, and you’ll be able to enjoy them for many hours.
Download as many as you want to keep yourself preoccupied during your flight. Download a large variety of topics to keep yourself engaged. You can’t predict what will pique your interest midway through the flight.
If you’re preparing for a longer flight, then you might feel the overwhelming need to pack more things, but the reality is, you really don’t need to bring them. One carry-on will hold more than enough stuff. If you’re a parent traveling with your children, you may get a pass this one time.
But it’ll be better for you and the plane to hold a light load because planes can get overloaded, which directly affects the plane’s ability to move in the air. Figure out what’s most critical to bring and pack light.
Though time off is nice, it is a bit heartbreaking to have to use a vacation day for the time that you’re traveling and before the fun even starts. Well, this might be a nice compromise. Long flights are pretty boring, and some people can’t sleep on planes.
There are plenty of ways to entertain yourself but sometimes using the time wisely to get some work done hits two birds with one stone. If your laptop is already on the plane, what’s stopping you? Plus, you’ll look super official on the flight.
The longer flights with in-flight entertainment systems are also the aircrafts with pillows and blankets for every passenger. But just because they’re available doesn’t mean you should take one, especially if you care about your hygiene.
Depending on the airline, some blankets are reused without washing between flights. Others cut corners and use a notably thin and rough fabric. If you have sensitive skin, we’d especially encourage you to just bring your own plane covering. Pack a smaller blanket or repurpose a scarf to keep you warm.
If your trip is taking you across international waters and into a completely different time zone, then you’re much more likely to get jet lag. We haven’t met one single person who enjoys that aspect of the trip, and most people believe that it’s an inevitable part of traveling internationally, but that isn’t true.
You can fight it by going for an early run on the first morning of your trip. If the sun is out in your destination, the rays will help your body to adjust to the new time zone.
Every person carries stress with them, and unfortunately, those who work in the service industry take the brunt of that stress. The flight attendants have to deal with their jobs and also their passengers’ attitudes.
So, it should go without saying that you should always be nice and respectful to the flight attendants on your plane. You can always take this above and beyond by learning the names of the staff. You will be more likely to receive preferential treatment, and both of you will be satisfied.
Most travelers would rather sleep on a flight, but people who travel often might enjoy getting to know new people. You might find yourself seated next to someone who likes to talk, and they could be really fascinating, but you’d have to take a risk and have a conversation to know for sure.
Getting to know someone new is exciting and makes the most of your long flight. But you don’t want to annoy anyone, so keep to talking with those that are eager and open to it.
There are some travelers that can be incredibly friendly on planes, but others aren’t as nice to strangers. If you’re one of those people that doesn’t want to be bothered by someone you don’t know, then get your mean mug ready to go.
A vast majority of people will not try and approach you if you give them some variation of the “death glare.” Few people will want to come near you, and you can go about the rest of your flight without any additional interruptions.
So many unexpected things can happen when you are traveling. Flights can be delayed by a couple of hours more often than you would expect; you can spend the entire flight sitting next to a person who has zero understanding of what “personal space” means and even more painstakingly awful things.
But most of the time, you can’t do anything to change these things. Honestly, just taking deep breaths and taking things in stride is the best. Choose your attitude, and make it a good one.
A vast majority of the people living on the planet use their right hand as their dominant one. This isn’t a new discovery, and we’d imagine that most of you already knew that fact. Most of you are probably right-handed yourselves!
Things are made with right-handed people in mind, and the masses tend to favor their dominant side. So if you’re at the airport and the lines just seem to be getting longer, take a left! People will be less likely to choose the line on the left to join.
Normal stretching on a really long flight has tons of benefits for your overall health. Sitting that long a period of time can do some serious damage to your body, so you want to make a conscious effort that you’re moving as much as possible.
This is also great for your blood flow as the flow of blood to your limbs can be cut off. A few easy stretches in the aisle every so often can make such a big difference. Be sure to continue moving throughout the duration of the entire flight!
Apps on your phone can help make sure that you’re getting lots of information about any airports or updated travel information you need to know before your trip. There are even apps that can send you a notification when the lines are getting longer!
Plus, there are so many more mobile apps that can give you updates about traffic to get to the airport that will ensure that you make it on time to board your flight. The notifications can just make the whole process so much easier.
We already mentioned the importance of being respectful to the flight attendants and airport staff, but you should also be sure to be nice to the other travelers with you on the flight. Traveling is exhausting and stressful for everyone, but each person could be going through additional things in their personal lives that we would have no way of knowing about.
Consider being extra mindful with how you’re speaking to and acting around others. We wouldn’t want you to be the reason someone’s trip turns out terrible.
The maximum number of clothing hacks doesn’t exist. You may want to keep your hair looking somewhat put together by the time you land, so put your hair in a scarf wrap. Not only is it smart, but it’s also quite cute.
Longer flights can be incredibly stressful and, to some, tiring, but there are plenty of ways to make the journey more enjoyable. Now that you’ve been made aware of them, you don’t have a reason not to employ these easy tricks. Less stress and more fun – that’s the best way to travel.
A long flight is a perfect opportunity to catch up on your sleep. Suppose you were planning on sleeping at any point during your flight, double-check that you packed a sleep mask in your carry-on bag. Just by wearing a sleep mask and blocking the overhead light, you’re giving yourself the best chance to enjoy a nice snooze.
If you are someone who needs even more help to fall asleep on public transportation, we’d suggest pairing your sleep mask with a pair of noise-canceling headphones. Goodnights and sweet dreams!
Whatever your reasons for traveling are, if you are in and out of the airport quite frequently, then you should travel with the same airline to earn yourself miles. Those who fly often take advantage of this trick all of the time.
Not only is it less expensive over time, but it’s something that’s pretty simple to commit to. And it only sets you up for success and less stressful travel! You’ll most likely start off getting perks like priority boarding or lounge access, but it’ll build to seat upgrades and free trips.
A long flight can be made worse if you board it without any plan as to how you’re going to spend your time. Work smarter, not harder, by coming up with some ideas of things you can do to use the time you do have to your advantage.
Sitting in the same space for that many hours could be used for a whole list of things. You can catch up on your reading or listen to those podcasts that your friends have been recommending. Utilize your time, and the flight will fly by, literally.
It seems like only a few hours into a long flight; we want to take a full-body shower, brush our teeth, and just thoroughly clean ourselves. The reality of being an airplane passenger means that your personal hygiene routines go out the window pretty soon after the plane takes off.
But it doesn’t have to be like that if you don’t want it to! Next time you’re taking a trip with a longer flight, pack yourself a small essentials spa day kit. Include a face mask, breath mints, and pamper yourself.