Tips on how to survive long haul flight in economy class

If you like going to places or need to travel extensively as part of your job, long haul flight is a necessary evil. Flying business class certainly helps but for majority of us, that may not be an option. I don’t fly business class on my holiday simply because I’d rather spend my money to get the best experience during our vacation and the ability to have more vacation because we save money by flying economy. Flying economy with my children also teach them the value of money and going on vacation is those luxury in life which needs to be earned and not given.

These days business class ticket prices have surged so much that it is not only double economy class but more of triple and even more. Hence, here our tips for surviving or even better, enjoying a day in the air from your economy seat.

1. Buy your ticket as early as possible and get a ticket that can be rescheduled.

Living with Covid for 3+ years taught me that we need to pay extra for some flexibility because the element of uncertainty just keeps increasing. Especially when you buy tickets early. It will still be cheaper than buying your ticket 2 weeks before. Make sure to get a seat assignment as soon as you book your flight. Flying economy in a long haul flight is tiring but you can make it better by choosing your seat.

2. Download your airlines app before flying

Many airlines now have an app which can help improve your experience on a flight. You can see what type of airplane you’re flying, the map of your transit and destination airport, choose your meal if you have certain diet and some airlines get you to download their entertainment to your mobile phone or tablet. If you need assistance at the airport or would need a wheel chair, you can also reserve them in the airline app. If you have accummulated a lot of miles you can upgrade to business class using your miles.

3. Charge your gadgets before flying

If you normally use micro USB charger, bring a regular USB charger to the plane because there is no micro USB charger point on the plane. Also bring your power-bank because sometimes airline power socket doesn’t work. And don’t ever put power-bank in your check-in luggage. If you mistakenly do so, most likely your suitcase will be held at the airport and you will land at your destination without a suitcase.

4. Wear comfortable outfit

If you need to go straight to sightseeing from the airport, you can put your nice and trendy outfit in your hand-carry and change your clothes when you land at the airport. But during the flight, wear your most comfortable outfit and footwear. My favourite is jersey legging, loose fitting sweater and a shawl which works as extra layer as it can get cold in the plane but also as additional stylish accessory, plus you can fold it to be extra pillow. For my footwear I wear my sneaker or running shoes. You will walk a lot at the airport so you need to make sure your shoes won’t hurt your feet.

Wearing comfortable clothes also protect yourself from deep vein thrombosis—a serious condition triggered from sitting in cramped positions for long periods of time. Experts also recommend wearing compression socks, which reduce swelling and decrease the risk of blood clots.

5. Don’t lose your sleep the day before your flight.

Staying awake for the 24 hours before your trip because you think you can balance it out by sleeping on the place just doesn’t work because your sleep quality on the plane will not be good and you’ll be so tired and jet-lag when you land.

6. Buy a good travel pillow and bring it to the plane

A good quality neck pillow provides comfort while also keeping your spine aligned, so you don’t wake up with a crick in your neck. The pillow hold your neck while you’re sleeping and help you sleep better. To help you sleep better, drop some Lavender essential oil and take melatonin or magnesium supplement.

7. Bring a few snack such as energy bar and water bottle

Although long haul flight provides meal but if you’re a picky eater there is always possibility you don’t like the food or you’re already hungry before meal is served. I also always bring a bottle of water to the plane. Either buy it at the airport after passing security check or bring an empty reusable bottle with you and fill it up before you board. Not all airlines give their passenger a bottle of water so better to bring your own so you don’t have to ask for a glass of water every time especially during take off and landing where everybody have to sit on their seat and buckled up.

8. Keep hydrated and stretch

Airplane humidity is pretty low so you need to drink water regularly and reduce alcohol and caffeine intake. Do stretching from time to time by walking around. Going to the toilet does the trick.

9. Remove your make up, moisturize your skin and brush your teeth after your meal

If my flight is at night I don’t bother with wearing make up but if it is in the morning or afternoon I put on light make up on my eyes and lip which can be easily wiped off on the plane. Removing make up, wiping face and brushing teeth creates a night ritual which gets you into the mood to sleep.

10. Pack your own flight package care and put it in a clear pouch to make it easy for inspection at security check.

These are what I suggest to put inside your flight package: your favourite essential oil (read here for suggestion), travel size toothbrush and toothpaste, lip balm, travel size make up remover and face wash and moisturizer.

11. Bring your own noise cancelling headphone which fits you nicely and download movies to your tablet or phone

I usually download several movies from Netflix to my handphone for watching during flight and any waiting time at the airport because not all airlines have a good entertainment system. And there is always possibility that the entertainment system on your seat has a failure. Airlines provide headphone but it is a one size fit all and it doesn’t always fit to your head.

12. Don’t check in what you are going to need when you land and opt for a Cabin Suitcase with 4 wheels

Learning from last summer airport chaos, put the essential and one set of spare clothes in your cabin bag. If you’re travelling in winter then carry your jacket and warm accessories you’re going to put on when you land in your cabin bag also. Rather than carrying a bag on your shoulder, especially if you are bringing laptop and a lot of other stuff, put them in a cabin size suitcase with 4 wheels so you are not hurting your shoulder. You will walk a lot at the airport, especially if you have transit. Your shoulder will thank you.

13. Invest in a hard-shell luggage with four wheeler

Hard shell luggage could offer better security than soft-sided baggage because it can’t be ripped open as easily and usually has integrated locks. Having a four wheeler not only make your life easier when you have to carry them at the airport and to your Hotel but also making the baggage handle work easier too. Four wheeler suitcase is less likely to be tossed over by the baggage handler who work in tight deadline.

I hope these tips help. If you have other tips on how to survive long flights in economy pls share in comment box. If you are looking for tips on travelling with children read here.

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