With as much travel as I do, comfort is key on long flights. This was put to the test when Drew and I flew home from our honeymoon on one of the top 10 longest flights in the world – Delta’s Johannesburg to Atlanta direct flight that lasts about 17 hours. Below is what helps keep me sane and comfortable on long haul flights.
Pack socks. Both compression socks and cozy, warm socks are important to me for long haul flights. I tend to want to take my shoes off on overnight flights, but my feet get cold, so thick wool socks allow me to get comfortable. Additionally, I find my feet tend to swell during long flights and it takes hours afterward for them to return to their normal size. Thankfully, compression socks save the day here. I know they seem silly, but they really work! You’ll thank me later.
Drink water. I won’t get on any flight without a full bottle of water. Staying hydrated is so important on long flights since the plane’s recycled air can be very drying. Plus, I’ve been stuck on the tarmac for hours at a time waiting for takeoff or with plane issues watching my fellow passengers suffer because they’re thirsty – not me! I’m always prepared.
Bring a book. As great as the movies are on the planes, I am not much of a movie person and tire of watching the screen after a movie or two. Unfortunately, this doesn’t leave me with much to do on long flights. Thankfully, I am a huge bookworm and I bring my Kindle with me everywhere, so I fill a lot of my air time with books! If you’re a frequent traveler like me or you just want to travel a bit lighter, I highly recommend investing in an e-reader like the Kindle. It’s a total game changer – hundreds of books at your fingertips!
Prepare to plug in with headphones. On longer flights, many airlines will give you corded headsets to watch their entertainment systems with for free. However, I always travel with corded headphones just in case. More recently I added the AirPod Pros to my travel bag and they’re great. The AirPod Pros offer noise cancelling technology which really makes flights more peaceful.
Consider a sleep aid. I’m a terrible sleeper on planes, but it’s not for lack of trying! In order to nod off, I usually take a concoction that includes Dramamine (makes you drowsy) and Zzzquil or Benadryl. Those usually help me pass out for a few hours of restless sleep. I’m not much of a drinker, so I never have to worry about mixing alcohol with the pills I’m taking. If you do enjoy a glass of wine or cocktail, make sure you refer to sleep aid packaging to ensure you’re not the rowdy person on the plane!
Nab a neck pillow. While they don’t totally solve my sleeping challenges, they do increase my odds of sleeping. If you’re flying economy on a long distance flight, it’s hard to get comfortable with the limited recline you have, but I find the neck pillow helps catch my head when I start to drift and allows me to catch a few zzz’s.
Keep clothing comfortable. If I am going to be on a plane for more than 2-3 hours, I will definitely be dressed casually. Comfort is key for long flights. For me, this translates to stretchy leggings, sneakers, and a sweatshirt or long-sleeve shirt with a jacket. I know some people frown upon athleisure for travel, but it works for me and it makes the flight much more enjoyable.
Bare it all. For long flights, I always pass on wearing makeup. Instead, I let my skin breathe and try to apply a moisturizer mid-flight. Upon arrival, I have no shame in popping into the ladies room and putting on some makeup, but no need to have a full face on for the flight – it’s better for your skin this way!
I realize many of these are pretty intuitive, but if you haven’t traveled a great distance in a while, it helps to refresh. What are some tips that really make a difference for you on long flights? Let me know – I’d love to try them on my next big trip!