How I made my long haul flight better

The long haul flight.
To be honest I both love and hate this part.

I love it simply for the fact that I will be travelling and experiencing something new, once the flight is over of course.

I hate it because of many more reasons; it’s uncomfortable, tiring, lack of space to move around and general boredom as there is not too much to do.

I have this simple list of things I did to make it more comfortable, I’m sure you have probably heard them before but some you may not.

The obligatory wing photo from the plane over the alps.


  • Wear something comfortable

Yeah I know the most obvious one ever right?
Wrong, I have seen some people wear jeans and really nice ‘pretty’ tops which to me seems completely bizarre.
I simply wore my jogging bottoms and a singlet (vest top – yes I kept that word from Australia) a fleece jacket.  I also wore my comfy trainers but took them off when I was on the plane.

  • Take empty water bottle

Did you know you can take an empty water bottle through security at airports? Well this is a new one for me, I used to be that person who would throw away my empty water bottle at the security section, but not any more.  As long as they can open the water bottle and check it is empty there is no problem.

You can then ask the flight attendants to fill up the bottle whilst on the plane.  That way you can have access to water when you want it.  Also you don’t have to just have the small portion they give you with the meals or spend a fortune on water at the ‘duty free’ side of the airport.

  • Do not buy food before you get on the plane

OK, this probably only relates to long haul flights and obviously if you are REALLY hungry then yes I guess buying food in the airport it a good idea (If you don’t mind spending a lot of money).  Long haul flights serve you food not long after take-off and again before you land.  Therefore, spending the money on a meal before a long haul flight is a waste.

If you have dietary requirements, make sure you know what food options are available before you fly.  All you need to do it call them up and let them know.  I have met people who have told me they are diabetic and have been served nothing but a salad and some rice.  They are two things which should not be served to a diabetic as a meal alone.  Just call the airline, they should be able to accommodate your requirements.
If they cannot, look at the next point.

  • Take snacks 

OK so I was not as prepared for this one on my flight to New Zealand, however I will be more prepared going forward.
I have read you can take snack with you to save you some money. I am not really one for aeroplane food, but I just made do with this flight.

I would suggest things which can be bagged up securely.  Also if you want to be polite to all other people on the plane, maybe don’t pick the smelliest food you can find. Like egg sandwiches, why would you do that to everyone else??

  • Change the time zone – This is my favourite one and totally works for me.

When you are sat on the plane ready to taxi to the runway, change the time zone on your watch or phone. I know, you haven’t landed yet so why change the time before you have gotten there?

Trust me – do it.

Once you have changed to time think about what you would be doing normally?  Should you be going to sleep?  Should you be staying awake for this flight and maybe asleep for the next one?

Then stick to that thing you would normally be doing.

For my flight to New Zealand, I had to sleep the first flight and then be awake for the second one.  I stuck to this and I didn’t suffer too badly with jet lag.

  • Change clothing / underwear at the lay over

Long haul flights are horrid because (if you fly to New Zealand from England) it can take 24 hours or more.  Do you stay in the same clothes at home for more than 24 hours?  No?  I didn’t think so, so why do it for a flight?

When I got into Kuala Lumpur for my change over I got to have a bit of a wash and change my clothes.
Now I know this is not the same as at home where you can have a full shower to feel super clean and walk to your closet and get out some freshly washed clothes.  But this really does make you feel a lot better for the second part of the journey.

  • Baby wipes

These are your best friend when flying / travelling (see above).

When you are sitting in such close proximity of hundreds of people without fresh running water it is a little disgusting.  I personally like to feel clean so flying can sometimes feel a little nightmarish to me.

  • Moisturiser and lip balm

Have you ever noticed that your skin and lips can feel very dry when on a plane?

Well this is pretty self-explanatory then.

  • Tooth brush & paste

This is another way to feel clean so make use of the bathrooms at the airports to help feel a little cleaner.

  • Scarf

Those who have met me know I love my scarves.  I like the bigger ones when I am flying.  I can then use it as a blanket or you can wrap it around a fleece (see that fleece came in handy) and use it as a pillow without the annoying zip getting in the way.

There are some many other uses for scarves, you can turn them into a bag to make sure you can carry your things (best use a square one for this, tie opposite corners together. Then tie the other corners together over the first knot – you can then be able to use the second knotted part as a shoulder bag).

You can use it as an eye mask to make it dark enough for you to sleep, I also use this tip for the beach too.  When the sun is too bright and hurting my eyes I rest it over my eyes and voila no more sore eyes!!

Obviously, you can use it as something to sit on, as a sarong, even use it for clothing if you happen to have a mishap.

If anyone wants to know other things you can use a scarf for, let me know and I will do a post for how I often use scarves.

I would also love to hear from you if you have any other tips and tricks to make long haul flights better.

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