How to Survive a Long-Haul Flight

airplane seats

When it comes to traveling, I bet we can all agree that long flights are the absolute worst! As college students, most of us tend to travel in economy, not first-class. Your legs get cramped into tiny seats, there’s nowhere for you to comfortably rest your head, and if you have claustrophobia, just forget it. Our members of Behind the Bricks have done some traveling themselves, and have compiled some tips and tricks to surviving long, exhausting flights. Check it out!

Dress in Layers

As mentioned in our What to Pack in your Carry-On article, it is important to dress in layers regardless of how long your flight is. Airplanes fluctuate temperature constantly, so one minute you may be freezing, and the next minute you may be sweating like you just ran a marathon. Dressing in layers will allow for you to remove top layers of clothing when the heat goes up, and put them back on when it goes back down. Trust us, you won’t be sorry.

If Your Seats are not Preassigned, Do Not Sit in the Very Last Row

You may initially believe that sitting in the back row is a great idea, but you will soon learn it is not! First off, seats in the very last row of the plane do not recline. After 8 hours of traveling, your back will not be thanking you. Also, last row seats are typically directly next to the bathroom. This means that strangers will be lined up next to you in the aisle while you are trying to sleep, and you will be smelling scents from the bathroom every time someone opens the door.

Pack Your Own Headphones

While most airlines sell headphones on the plane if you happen to have forgotten yours, these headphones are typically extremely overpriced, and are terrible quality. Headphones should be on the top of your packing list, as you can plug them in to watch movies on the plane, listen to music, etc. Even if you happen to forget your headphones from home, you may be better off purchasing a pair from the airport. They will be overpriced, but much better quality than the ones that are sold on the plane.

Pick a Window Seat

If you are about to endure on a 10 hour flight, the window seat is probably the best option for you (unless if you have extremely long legs, then you should take the aisle seat). Shortly into the flight, you will realize how grateful you are to have a window to lean your head on. Although it may not be the most comfortable sleeping arrangement, it’s better than not having one at all!

Do NOT Wear Makeup

Although you may want to look and feel cute as you go off on your travels, you won’t be looking very cute after a ten hour flight. Skip the makeup entirely, and allow your skin to breathe while you are on the plane. Instead of wearing makeup, be sure to bring plenty of moisturizer to ensure your skin stays hydrated, even with the rotating airplane air.

Bring a Toothbrush

When it comes to long-haul flights, we guarantee your breath will not smell great at the end of it. Bringing a small, travel-sized toothbrush and a travel-sized bottle of toothpaste will save you (and the people sitting next to you) from enduring bad breath for an extended period of time. Although brushing your teeth in the tiny plane bathroom may not seem ideal, you will feel much better after doing so.

Bring Vitamin C

With air that continues to circulate on planes for the entirety of the flight, having vitamin C with you is a must. Regardless if you bring vitamin C tablets, or keep a large bottle of orange juice with you, it is important to keep your immune system healthy when you are in such a compact space with so many people. You don’t want to get sick before your trip even starts, do you?

Bring Prepackaged Cleansing Wipes

We aren’t talking about makeup wipes, but instead cleansing wipes! Carrying prepackaged cleansing wipes on the plane with you will allow for you to stay refreshed on long flights. You can use them on your face, back, or wherever you believe needs to be refreshed. These are perfect for long flights, as the sinks in plane bathrooms are often too small to wash your face in.

Take Time to Stretch it out

Airplane seats are very small (especially in economy), and compact. After a certain amount of time, it is good to get up and stretch your body. Although airplanes have limited space to do this, taking an occasional walk up and down the aisles will keep your body from feeling sore and achy. Surviving long-haul flights can be exhausting, strenuous, and harsh on your body. Do not show up to your flight’s gate unprepared! By preparing for a long-haul flight with the suggestions we’ve come up with, your body will thank you once you've arrive at your destination.