Travel Tip – Surviving 15 Hour Flights in Economy

how to survive long flights in coach

Many writers have recommended their top items for surviving long flights.  I’m no exception.

But no one has written an honest post on how to survive those long flights.  In economy.  With no in-seat entertainment or power outlets.

It’s a bitch.

Especially when you’re on one of the longest flights in the world.

Before I hop into my tried-and-true tips on this highly requested topic, I need to be honest with you.

Your sleep will be restless.  Your muscles will ache.  Your skin will be dried out and you will feel disgusting as you deplane.  There is no magic pill for enjoying a long-haul flight in economy.  But I will teach you how to survive it.  Because, after all, you requested it.  And I aim to please.

Prep your entertainment.  Charge up all your devices.  Download movies or seasons of your favorite shows (I highly recommend The White Queen and Continuum).  Stock up on paper and books on your e-readers, as internationally departing flights don’t allow the use of small devices yet.  Invest in a quality pair of headphones.  And don’t plan on getting any work done on your laptop – there’s no such thing as elbow room.

Get comfortable.  Change into a super comfortable outfit before you board.  I opt for stretchy leggings (Lysse are my favorites), a cotton tank top and long-sleeved tee, a lightweight blazer or cardigan, and compression socks.  Layers, baby.  I also carry a pair of cashmere socks if my feet get cold (common for window seat afecionados) and a scarf to use a blanket.

How to actually get some sleep.  Speaking from personal experience here – alcohol will only make your sleep worse on a long haul flight.  Do.  Not.  Drink.  Booze.  Chamomile tea actually proved quite helpful in lulling me to sleep, as did the world’s best eyemask and neck pillow.  I use the airline provided pillow as a lower back support, my own neck pillow to cradle my head, and used my steeped chamomile teabags (wrapped in tissues) as compresses for my eyes before I slipped the eyemask on top.  The skin under your eyes is the most delicate, and this tip significantly helps keep it hydated in flight.

Quench your thirst.  I purchase the largest bottle of water available before boarding the flight, and will usually have it refilled by the flight attendants during the flight.  Hydration is everything.  I try to avoid heavy foods (read – bread, rice, meat) in flight as well – you’re not burning many calories by sitting on your bum for hours on end.  Pre-ordering the strict vegetarian/vegan option is key – the food is usually decent (and vegetable-rich) and it’s served before everyone else gets their meals.  As for snacks, I’ll bring along vegetable sticks, fresh fruit (NOT bananas – the smell is too strong), and almonds.

Stay healthy.  Planes are incubators for viruses, and I’m all about prevention.  I wipe down my arm rests, seat belt fasteners, tray table, window pull, and wall next to my seat with these sanitizing towels.  I’ll add an EBOOST to my water bottle after I’ve woken up for a boost of vitamins.  And I ALWAYS use a paper towel to open the bathroom door from the inside as I’m leaving.

Pre-pack THIS.  An in-flight toiletry case with the basics (toothbrush and toothpaste, your eyeglasses, face care items (I pack this entire set), lip balm, hand cream, a spare set of contacts) is something you should have with you on any flight longer than 5 hours.  Mine is an old United BusinessFirst toiletry kit, but you can use any waterproof-lined bag (or even a Ziploc baggie) to make one of your own.  I’ll also throw some makeup (concealer, powder, eyeliner, mascara, and eyebrow pencil) into it.  This case, along with my tablets and headphones, stay in the seatback pocket in front of me.

Pack it best.  If you don’t read anything else, READ THIS.  I keep a Baggu pre-packed in my travel bag.  Prior to boarding, I’ll put everything I’ll need during the flight inside it – my iPad and Kindle, headphones, snacks, water, my in-flight toiletry kit, neck pillow, eyemask – and place the Baggu in the space in front of me.  My other bags go in the overhead bin, thus yielding more leg room AND with everything easily accessible.  To prevent items from falling out of the Baggu, tie the handles closed.  Also, lie a magazine flat at the bottom of the bag, to ensure it stays upright.  There are few things worse than rummaging through your bag, looking for something lodged at the very bottom, while jabbing your neighbor.  Being in the middle seat may be one of them.

And there you have it, folks.  My tried-and-true tips for surviving those awful and long flights.  I’m thankful for the surplus of United miles it yielded me, so I can book my next trip to Australia in the upstairs business class cabin.  Because there’s nothing like being on the second floor of an airplane AND sleeping horizontally.

This post goes hand in hand with packing your personal item, so check out that post if you haven’t already!

  • Amazing tips! The worst long haul flight I ever took was to France from SF (I know, sounds like an oxymoron, but…). We were on an olddddd Air France plane — so old that the seat armrests still had ashtrays in them. The plane got switched out last minute, so while online we were told our flight would have outlets…yeeeeah, not so much. It was only the thought of France that got me through it (okay, and the Champagne that Air France keeps flowing!) :)

    • hithaonthego

      Champagne in economy? Note to self – fly Air France when I go to Paris this year.

      • Yeah, their meals are pretty legit for economy. They even hand out menus, and there’s a very small cheese course. I mean, hello, it’s Air France.

        • hithaonthego

          I have been missing out. They’re flying the Airbus A380s out of JFK. Might be worth going outside the Star Alliance to experience one of those flights!

          • Kat

            I flew air france this summer (france to greece) and have to say I was so disappointed with the food (maybe because I hyped it up in my head too much before hand) but the croissant they served for breakfast was frozen SOLID, like I actually couldnt bite into mine. Flying Lufthansa on the other hand is personal fave.

          • Carol Taylor

            l am flying for the first time with Lufthansa in May..it seems each time l do a long trip l use a different airline..have booked a premium economy seat for the first time so am looking forward to that..so what are good pointers and bad with this airline Kat..??

  • Cait

    I travel between the US and Africa regularly and have refined my survival techniques for lang-haul economy flights, the key for me is in fact a magic pill. I do not travel without Tylenol PM or some equivalent OTC sleep aid. I pop a pill as soon as I get to my seat, and I am usually asleep promptly after they serve the first meal. If I have a stop over half way through I time the pill to make the most sense with the time I would be sleeping at my destination. A pill + a neck pillow and eye mask means that I can solidly sleep through at least 6 hours of a flight and go back to sleep when an overzealous flight attendant shakes me awake for a snack (thank you Ethiopian airlines).

    I keep a clear bag packed with my in-flight toiletries like moisturizer and disposable wisp toothbrushes, and a little pouch with chargers and plug converters for electronics as well as a set of noise cancelling headphones, and a 2 prong headphone jack attachment for old planes. I always travel with a refillable water bottle that I fill up in the galley instead of waiting for the flight attendants to come around.

    I also have strategies for trying to make sure there is an open seat next to me, but that is becoming harder and harder since flights are so full.

    • hithaonthego

      Excellent tips, Cait! You clearly have the process down to a science. Your travel story would make an excellent feature on En Route With!

      • pnv

        you should NEVER use galley water. It’s full of bacteria.

        • Cait

          I should clarify that I don’t drink plane water, I fill up from bottles but I get it myself so I don’t have to wait– many international flights that I take won’t let you take bottled water in to the gate area.

        • Stella Hassan

          what do you mean??

  • All awesome tips!

    • hithaonthego

      Thank you so much, Andi!

  • Great tips! I really like the Baggu one as I generally just throw stuff from my bag to the seat before I put it overhead but that always leaves a possibility for loosing items.

    • hithaonthego

      I just updated the Baggu section to share my tips to prevent stuff from falling out! Basically, use a magazine to create a sturdy bag base, and tie it closed during takeoff and landing with your scarf. OR you can tie the handles together.

  • Yes to all of this! (I actually just posted similar advice – great minds…) I think bringing your own reading/entertainment is so important because those tvs seem to break a lot (once it was a problem with the whole plane and once with my seat in particular). Luckily each time I had enough books and podcasts to play with that I made it through just fine.

    I would worry about things falling out of the Baggu bag, but I guess you’ve never had that problem? I’ll have to try it again on my next trip!

    And I’m totally jealous that you will get to go upstairs on a flight. That is the height of fanciness!

    • hithaonthego

      RE: the Baggu, check out my response to Dana’s comment – it’s how I keep my things from falling out. I’d love to get some of your podcast recommendations! I need some new ones.

      • Clever idea about the magazine as a base! I’ll have to try that next time.

        I am probably not a good source for podcasts; I listen exclusively to sports ones…I love the cycle of prediction-event-evaluation. The Ross Tucker Podcast is probably my favorite.

  • Amazing list!!!! Now I just need to plan a trip…

    • hithaonthego

      Um hello, Turks and Caicos…

  • Alyssa Kolsky Hertzig

    great tips! i love the Baggu suggestion. I own one but never thought to use it like this. Great idea!

    • hithaonthego

      I’m so glad you love it! The trick with the Baggu is to use a magazine you probably won’t read as the base. Obviously Allure would be in the seatback pocket.

  • Sean

    Totes on guys: yay or nay?

    • hithaonthego

      I recommend the men’s bag by Lo & Sons or an Everlane backpack!

  • I nominate this to be one of your “best of” posts – these are great tips! And I am with you on the no-booze rule, even when it’s free on the flight! I always stock up on purell wipes (those ones you recommend probably smell way better though) and you don’t have to pack them in your quart size liquid bag. I tried Tylenol PM once on a flight and it did NOTHING for me and I felt awful and groggy. I find melatonin works well for me though. Great post!

    • hithaonthego

      Thank you so much, Carol! This means so much to me. Melatonin is great, but I’m pretty sensitive to sleep aids and will only use them when I can wake up later than needed. Even melatonin (which saved my butt last night, when I had trouble falling asleep).

  • Love these tips. Definitely necessary to bring socks and snacks so you don’t succumb to the rolls that come with dinner! Another thing I always bring is a portable cell phone / ipad charger. The one I have holds 2 full charges so my phone battery lasts 3x as long (I have kindle app and movies/music downloaded to my phone).

    One time I was on a 14 hour flight to Argentina when the person in front of me put their seat all the way back and the lady behind me had a screaming child. It was an overnight flight but I got zero sleep and was thankful for my entertainment!

    • hithaonthego

      That sums up my Australia flight on the way home! Perfect time for a show binge marathon. Highly recommend The White Queen, if you’re looking for a series to get into.

  • Yes to comfortable clothing! I have permanently ditched jeans from my travel outfits in favor of leggings. And 1,000x yes to your Baggu. I have an oversized clutch that I fill with a few things I know I’ll use during the flight (iPad, earphones, snacks, lotion, fuzzy socks, etc.) in my personal item, and then keep that in the seat pocket during the flight for easy access.

    • hithaonthego

      Glad to see I’m not the only one utilizing this tip!

  • the baggu is such a good idea! and i think you can probably hang it up on the coat hook (some flights have this in economy) too ;)

    • hithaonthego

      Yes! I love a flight that has a coat hook, but you still want to tie the bag shut in case of a bumpy takeoff and stuff spills out. Speaking from personal experience…

  • Caitlin

    There are carbohydrates in vegetables and fruit…. Actually, they’re pretty much only carbohydrates. If you are advising people to try to avoid carbohydrates and protein… The only macronutrients left is fat. Not good diet advice! Otherwise a useful article :)

    • hithaonthego

      Caitlin – thanks for your note, and i just updated it to read “heavy foods.” My suggestion is to just avoid overly rich foods that won’t digest well if you’re sitting around for 10 hours. I’ve noticed a big difference in how I feel if I’ve stuck with veggies and fruit versus gorging on a rich, creamy dinner, ice cream, and lots of bread. The difference – MASSIVE.

      • In fact the best advice is to avoid eating much of anything at all, at least anything that an airline provides. Hydration is key.

  • Hannah Anderson

    Great tips! I’m a flight attendant for an american airline; I can say using a paper towel to open & close the lavatory door is your best tip. Sitting by the bathroom teaches you that about 10% of people wash their hands after going. You’d think most people would be more inclined to wash when sitting in a metal tube using recycled air for 10+ hours, but nope!

    • hithaonthego

      I’m not much of a germaphobe, but traveling turns me into a sanitizing crazy lady – BECAUSE of everyone else! Not washing your hands – so gross.

  • Nancy

    As for Podcasts, I highly recommend: Selected Shorts, Moth Radio, This American Life. All public radio programs, all stories (fiction and non-fiction) well told. There are also TED talks, Radio Lab (accessible science), Splendid Table (cooking), On Being (religion/spiritual) for more specific genres. The first 3, I use most nights for a good bed time story. If the plane has WiFi, I highly recommend Tune-in Radio Pro app to access around the world radio.

  • Adrienne Barber

    I just used several of these tips on my recent flights to Russia and Sydney. Thanks so much!

    • hithaonthego

      That’s so wonderful to read, Adrienne! I’m glad they helped you out.

  • Great tips! The only thing I would add is a golden rule for any
    successful flight – check-in as early as you can! Only thus you can get
    best seats. And one more thing about the seats – my favorite are usually
    at the wall that separates cabins, as there are much more space for
    legs there.

    http://www.copaair.com/sites/co/en/pages/homepage.aspx

  • Alison Lewis

    I am about to have to go to Rome in Economy :( thanks!!

  • Josephine

    As you somewhat inferred before, toiletries on long flights are extremely vital! Im 14, and I guess you can say that I like to look fresh :P I fly a lot, and what I do is I pack a small cosmetic bag with my carry-on, which includes; travel sized makeup&brushes, wisp toothbrushes, moisturizer, and these makeup-remover pads. I use the pads to wipe my face before I “sleep” (barley able to!) and use the wisps to obviously brush my teeth. In planes, my skin tends to get a bit dry, so moisturizer is key! And yes, dress on comfortable clothing, it really helps! Music and books are a good source of entertainment, also. Anyways, good advice! :)

  • Lu Lu

    I love your ideas, use many, and will try those I haven’t used before. One must for me, often travelling from the west coast USA to the east coast of Southern Africa( read too many hours with a little person on tow) I will use panty liners. It is easier to swap them out than try to change under garments in the usually tiny, dirty lavatory.

  • mini suitcase

    Hi, great list but as Cait below said, the sleeping pill is my best weapon. Along with an eyemask, earplugs and comfy clothes!

  • Nice Seats

    Hello, I designed this to make my time on all flights bearable. http://www.niceseats.net

  • All of these suggestions get a big thumbs up from me! I have lived in the Philippines, Congo, and London (am American) and traveled extensively besides, so I have done so many 10-15 hour flights, and surviving them is such a challenge, but not an impossible challenge if you’re prepared. :) I totally do the chamomile tea/chamomile eye pack thing too! My essentials are:
    – good noise-cancelling headphones
    – my own neck pillow
    – a face moisturiser and body moisturiser (before I settle down to sleep, I make a last trip to the toilet, wash my face and body with makeup remover wipes, and slather myself with moisturiser)
    – a huge bottle for water with a vitamin boost packet
    – melatonin, taken about an hour before I intend to sleep
    – ear plugs
    – lavender eye mask
    – a silk scarf/sarong that I put between myself and the airplane blanket for extra warmth and softness
    – super soft socks tall socks (I prefer hiking socks – they seem to have a bit of leg compression too, which is of course so helpful)
    – and a nice, easy to read novel that will take up a few hours of my time without too much mental energy. I’m so envious of people who get work done on flights. I’m lucky if I get a handful of emails written!
    All packed up into clear organising bags in my under-the-seat, and wearing leggings, long tee, and pullover sweater or cardigan, and I’m set.

    Oh yes, and I carry on my own food, because plane food is terrible for comfort/getting sleep. I’ll throw together bags of fruit and vege, rice crackers, a few slices of cheese, and other light stuff and skip the food service altogether. That made a huge difference for me, once I figured it out!

  • claire

    I’m 16 and going out of the country on a plane for the first time. I already know how useful this is going to be!! Thank you!

  • Christina

    I have traveled frequently between Asia and the US, min of 15 hours on a plane in economy!
    I second all the above tips and that hydration is definitely key.
    I recently discovered a fun way to keep my skin from drying out in transit: before I settle down for the nap, I wipe down my face with a cleansing wipe, and then pop on a skin care sheet mask specialized for moisturizing dry skin, and then I just go to sleep with the sheet mask on! It dries faster in the airplane air, of course, but you really keep your skin moist this way through the whole flight! I try to bring at least 2, so I can refresh and then pop on another mask! You can find them at any Asian grocery in the bigger cities, or you can order them online at amazon or Sasa.com – they’re pretty great!

    • Yes, I do the sheet masks too. Not only do they keep your skin moisturised but you can amuse yourself by popping your head over the seat and scaring people walking to and from their seats :)

    • Hannah Lemdersi-Filali

      OHH! GREAT idea, I have some of these masks in my bathroom cupboard. Will use on my 14 hour flight on monday :)

  • Andrea

    This may sound odd but I can’t forget my house shoes on long flights. With a cold cabin a heavy squishy pair of socks to keep my feet warm or house shoes is a must. After mutiple trips from the central us to Hawaii, I’ve had to learn the hard way that cold feet make not sleeping well a real concern. And I agree entirely with some kind of sleeping pill such as Tylenol pm (which is great because the pressure changes also keep headaches at bay if you suffer from in-flight headaches) or melatonin. I use a combo of the two and it works out great.

  • Lisa Rikard Roll

    What size baggu do you use?

  • Clinton

    Which airline were you flying on that doesn’t have in-sit entertainment? Was it a cargo plane? 😸 Great product placement BTW.

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  • Irene Wyrsch

    This is a great list. I recently wrote about my own tips for dealing with long journeys and will link to your article. Hydration, movement and rest are my key ingredients for a bearable intercontinental flight.

    http://swisschocolateallaroundtheworld.blogspot.ch/2014/09/long-flights.html

  • Natalie Tanner

    Great tips! Flying is trying – hey, that rhymes! Ha! Ha! Visit http://www.theeducationaltourist.com if your long flights include the kids!

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  • JJ

    After a couple of sinus infections on those long trips (Boston to Hobart, Tasmania) I learned to put just a dab of Vicks in each nostril. Haven’t had sinus problems since. I love all these tips, and I also put change of top and undies in my coat pocket. I’ve had lost luggage, and coats don’t get weighed.

  • PV_Princess

    Great tip… Except for the almonds, only the past few years have I come to realize this. I am so allergic to almonds I cannot even smell them or I can go into anaphylactic shock. It’s becoming more & more people are allergic to nuts. Other than that great advice 😀

  • Shelly

    I too, am a huge fan of Vick’s for under the nostrils…keeps bad smells at bay as well as keeping sinuses clear. And lip balm is a must. I once had to beg it off a flight attendant as I thought I was going to claw my lips off they were so dry!!!

  • Brilliant post – love and have shared with friends!

    adoredbyalex.com

  • lucinda

    My lifesaver has always been to pack some alka-seltzer. As soon as I deplane I take some in water to get rid of that awful stuffed-up feeling. Along with face wash and a toothbrush you can feel almost human again.

  • Guest

    What a detailed list! These are great ideas. I write about flying with kids and that list adds a few things. :) http://www.theeducationaltourist.com

    I”ll add clorox wipes to the list. Planes can be germy places.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Natalie, The Educational Tourist

  • Natalie Tanner

    What a great list! I agree!!

    I write about flying with the kids and that adds a few things! http://www.theeducationaltourist.com

    Thanks for sharing,
    Natalie, The Educational Tourist

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  • Michelle

    Another great way to stay healthy and feeling good on a long flight are some simple exercises you can do in your seat, read all about them on our travel blog here: http://www.expatgloballiving.com/please-do-not-remain-seated/ My husband and I have traveled on 15+ hour flights multiple times to south america where we currently live. We have a trip coming back to the states in the next few months, this time with our 9 month old daughter! Hope all goes well! Along with these simple exercises, I’m considering the sleeping pill idea…. for one of us anyways, thanks for the informative article!

  • tallsilver

    One of the best tips I got from a friend who does long trips is to plan segments for passing the time for the whole trip. eg: 1st hour: get organized, Hour 2-4 watch a movie, hour 4 eat dinner SLOWLY, hours 5-10 sleep, hour 11 read, hour 12… well, you get the drift. breaking the whole long slog up into small increments seemed brilliant to me!

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  • Annp

    My tip for travelling to Australia or NZ from the UK is
    1 make a spreadsheet of your travel times listing when you would normally eat and sleep.
    2 from that plan your journey, and use a mild over-the-counter sleep aid to enable you to sleep for one long and one short period at times of your choosing.
    3 make sure you wake up at the time you’ve chosen, and freshen up
    4 at an appropriate time of your choosing, after one of the sleeps switch time zones to your final destination time and start having meals or snacks appropriate to that time zone
    5 ordering fruit platter or vegetarian meals can be a help, as you can keep some things for later, and they are more time-change friendly. Some airlines are better than others on this! For some, you need to make sure they don’t translate ‘vegetarian’ as ‘vegan’!

  • mary

    Never ever put anything in the seat back pocket. One of the filthiest thing on the plane. Also, I wouldn’t drink any water, including tea or coffee prepared on a plane.

  • Jaded28

    My go to are the No Jet Lag pills (http://www.amazon.com/Lewis-N-Clark-No-Jet-Lag-Homeopathic/dp/B00007KUX7/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422655834&sr=8-1&keywords=no-jet-lag). They seem to work really well for me, and quite a few people I know and travel with frequently. Because I also take part in drugging myself to sleep, my favorite being Panadol night, I tend to miss taking them every two hours of my flight and have frequently had a 7 hour gap between doses, but they still work great. I used to have a huge jet lag problem that would find me wandering the streets of some foreign local at 4am while face planting into the conference table at noon, and since I found these 12 years ago that happens a lot less frequently.
    My other tricks:
    I find it helpful to immediately change my watches and clocks to the time of destination when I board the flight and follow what the schedule is going to be.
    I also prefer red eye flights as everyone else on the plane is ready to sleep as well and you don’t have that annoying person who insists on reading by the light of their open window shade. Just don’t get caught in the trap of sleeping the whole flight only to land at 10pm and have to go back to bed.

  • Bertha J. Kimmel

    This is especially important on longer flights, to prevent your body from aching due to poor circulation. Some airlines provide guidance on in-seat exercises you can do. The long mid-flight stretch on overnight flights is an excellent time to take a stroll up and down the aisle a few times.

    Regards Bertha

  • Stella

    Love these tips! My 8 hour flights between the US and UK seem nothing in comparison, but I love the tip on the chamomile tea- must try this next time! My favourite item to pack is my slippers… They instantly make me feel at home and comfy. Tho I will say I’m a fan of the alcohol on board (I’m a nervous flyer so it calms me down!) Great post :)

    http://www.pomegranatehues.wordpress.com

  • Sounds like we have a similar strategy for surviving economy on long flights! I completly agree with all your tips!

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  • Jocelyn

    What size of Baggu do you use?
    I am going out of the country for the first time for my honeymoon.
    Thanks!

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  • Jamie Lee

    I have extreme problems with my sinuses when I fly. A few times I even broke blood vessels in my forehead that brought me to my knees. This usually happens when the pilot attempts to desend to fast. My doctor who also has this problem when flying said to take sudefed the day before and day of when flying and spray afrin up your nose right before take off. I have to say it really works for anyone with sinus problems.

  • Heather Duncan

    Here is

  • Nadiya Khan

    These tips were great! I’ve traveled a few times across the pond and I always hate it! I’m take my next trip in a couple of weeks and I hope these tips get me through the flight!

    TheDailyDiyaKay.com

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  • Mera Johnson

    Thanks I’m heading to São Paulo from Chicago and at 10hrs this will be my longest flight ever. I’m a bit worried but this article will help me prepare. http://www.travelbymera.com

  • Sofia

    For those of you who travel with an iPad-thought you might be interested in the HighView iPad hanger. check it out http://www.highviewcase.com they also give clean water to children in need for each purchase

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  • pine351apple

    I have done this TWICE every year since I was born. I have NEVER gotten as comfortable as I wanted. Hopefully this will help!!

  • Great post :)

  • Thea

    Which would be the best seat to be able to sleep, the window or isle seat?

    • RuthCuin

      The Window….it seems to have a little more room to curl in..jjajajjaj…but if u use the bathroom alot…then the isle is ur best bet..

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  • RuthCuin

    I just came back from a very long trip….did the tips for travling I am a much happier travles ten before…the for ur avise

  • LOVE this! I actually do pretty well in economy long-hauls and would definitely say the best way to deal with it is walking/stretching shamelessly. Go hang out with the flight attendants and share stretches and giggles :)

  • Rosemary David

    Travelling for long hours is very stressful, you’ll get back pains and leg pains. Having this kinds of symptoms is very usual for a long travel. To help you ease the pain, stand for a li’l while and have some stretching.

  • Rosemary David

    I already experience a long hour connecting flight plus a 4 hour stop over. What I did was, when I was still at the plane taking my long flight I just did a few seconds of warm up just to make my body relax, just a few walks, actually it really helps.

  • Catherine Lux

    I’ve flown from the UK – Australia regularly on multiple airlines since the nineties – what long haul airline doesn’t provide complimentary in-flight entertainment in Economy!?!?

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  • Amelia

    I’m traveling Toronto to Tokyo. A twelve to thirteen hour trip. I’ve never traveled Air Canada before, and do they have entertainment systems on international flights? I know you can’t use handheld devices on international flights, and I get airsick when I read on the plane. So does anyone know if Air Canada has entertainment systems?

  • TaikiB

    Everything you’ve mentioned here are so TRUE. I always prepare for entertainment as well. I bought a bank charger to keep on charging my phone so I can use it for the whole flight. Great article!!

  • Great tips! I see quite a few I have not tried yet. With the recent security increase for America, I have notice that they don’t always let you carry water and toothpaste on the flight. If they do let you carry a small thing of toothpaste, I have found it a pain to be always removing it with my other electronics. What do you suggest?

    • Carol Taylor

      check if the flight has in-flight toiletry bags..usually toothpaste/toothbrush/eye-mask/socks included..l know they offer them to first/business/premium economy but if you ask they may have them in economy as well Doria..

  • W Merritt

    One item you should add to your lists of items is The Laptop Butler, a 3 oz. fold up cup holder that attaches to the fold down table tray and cradles your drink, protecting it from falling off the tray during air turbulence. It folds and fits in a shirt pocket. Also, great for use in the terminal especially if you are using a laptop computer.

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  • Liz

    I fly from Australia to the US and back at least once a year. Always in economy. My biggest annoyance is that once the lights go out, I can’t find ANYTHING in my bag or if I drop it on the floor. The little over-head light is useless because if you lean down, guess where the shadow is? My solution: I bought a small flashlight and hang it on a lanyard around my neck during the flight. It’s just enough light to help me when rummaging through my bag or searching on the floor for that dropped earplug. It is one of the smartest things I have done, especially now that I am flying with my young son.
    On the subject of OTC sleep aids: I’m quite sensitive to these and I find they dry out my eyes and nose terribly on the plane. They leave me groggy and useless when I land and don’t do much to help with jet lag. I take a melatonin tablet with a magnesium supplements and valerian. This helps me relax and adjust to local time, plus the magnesium helps prevent muscle cramps from sitting still for 14 hours. Even if I don’t sleep, just pretending to sleep for a few hours can help me reset my body clock.
    I tried putting cammomile tea bags on my eyes and it didn’t work for me – too soggy. Next time, I’m going to try cotton pads pre-soaked in cammomile tea.

    • Carol Taylor

      hi Liz..as l go through everybody’s suggestions l am slowly compiling a list of things to pack in my carry on..l read one suggestion on another page of cucumber eye pads..they may be better/easier to use than the tea bags..as l fly from Australia to the UK on all my trips l tend to get flights that have me traveling with the sun, which means my body clock is not to out of whack by the time l arrive in London..and if l arrive early enough in the day l then fill my day with running around getting things needed for my journey and keeping myself awake so that l will sleep well on the first night thus setting my body clock to time zone..

  • Sebastian Diezig

    Good advice. But even better is to avoid long haul flights altogether since they suck no matter what (as you rightly pointed out).

  • Princeandrey

    Mostly, the advice I give myself is not to take long flights ever–if you can avoid it. Cross-country or near Europe are almost bearable, the Caribbean, fine. I’m 73 and have traveled my fill. Next time I cross country I’ll fly to Denver and do the rest on Amtrak with a stop-over to catch up on my sleep. I am congenitally incapable of sleeping on a plane, no matter what, and I eschew alcohol (which for me is annoying) and hydrade continually, stretch, walk around, etc. But economy is less and less bearable. Worst are the folks in front of one who r-e-c-l-i-n-e. As one ages, the knees take a beating, even in the so-called roomier seats. The only solution is to take constant walks…

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  • stephaniestraveldiary

    i i cant sleep on a plane (at least no in economy).
    i was thinking i should try some pil to make me sleep…but i dont know.
    x

  • Carol Taylor

    when l travel overseas l usually have a bag that goes in the hold of the plane, because l CANNOT pack for six weeks of travel in a carry-on, uh uh, it just does not work..anyway, for what l take on the plane l usually take a carry-on bag filled with change of clothes and anything else needed during connecting flights and a knapsack..l use this in place of a handbag because frankly, it holds more..as they allow a carry-on and a handbag a knapsack works just as well if not better…and l dont mean those great big knapsacks, but the everyday type ones we tend to attach ourselves to..and what goes in the knapsack is generally all those things you want to access whilst in your seat instead of needing to annoy someone so you can get up to your carry-on..

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