I used to DREAD long haul flights, but these days I kinda love them? Give me ten hours of doing NOTHING any day of the week, time spent offline with no responsibilities feels like a luxury! That said, it’s pretty much impossible to get off a long haul flight feeling good, you’re likely to be feeling bloated, tired, cooped up and just generally uncomfortable. In the last few years I’ve done quite a few long haul flights, and I’ve found a few tips and tricks to make the experience a little better.
I’m personally of the opinion that flying is pretty inhumane, even though on my most recent long haul flights we were lucky enough to nab business class seats which made things a little more comfortable. Honestly though, no one should ever have to experience airplane bathrooms, they’re something else.
The before is as important as the during.
How you feel getting on a long haul flight has a MASSIVE impact on how you feel during the flight. If you get on a plane feeling a bit grotty, well mate it’s only going to get worse. I try and make sure I’ve had a great night’s sleep beforehand, a good walk to feel like I’ve moved, and I’ve been careful of what I’ve been putting in my body in the immediate before. I try and steer clear of alcohol, or any other foods that will make me feel bloated, and I try and have a shower as close to the flight as possible so I feel as fresh as possible.
Pack products to help you feel refreshed.
I spend half my life on flights using hand sanitizer, washing my hands, and cleaning my face. I hate how the recycled air and close proximity to strangers makes me feel grimey, and I’ll do whatever I can to shift that feeling. The only time I ever use face wipes on flights, but I’ll use half a pack on a long haul trip! There’s something about being able to wipe your face, eyes, down your neck and even your hands and arms that helps you feel just a little less grim.
Move, move, move.
I’m strictly an aisle seat kinda gal because I’m up and down on a long haul flight like a jack in a box. I struggle with restless limbs at the best of times, so for me getting up and moving is a must. I get up at least once an hour, walk a lap of the plane and have a stretch, and when I’m sat at my seat I’m constantly rolling my ankles and shoulders, doing little twists and trying to generally move as much as I can. It definitely helps lessen that cooped up feeling after a long haul flight.
Comfort over style.
I have not once looked cute on a plane, even a short haul flight. I am all about being as comfortable as humanly possible. I’m talking oversized sweaters, Lululemon align pants, Ugg boots. I’ll throw my hair in a messy bun, not a scrap of makeup, and I’ll wear my comfiest non wired bras. Your body bloats and swells on a plane, so it’s not the time for cracking out your skinny jeans. I’m also a MASSIVE fan of compression socks (sexy, I know) but as someone who really struggles with swollen legs and ankles on a flight they’ve been revolutionary. I bought these ones for my latest flight and they were fantastic, I can’t believe how much better I felt for wearing them!
Pick your food carefully.
As much as you may want to just indulge in bread and all the plane snacks, what you eat seems to affect you so much more on a flight. I try to steer clear of anything too carby, or fizzy drinks, anything really that will make me feel bloated. I try not to drink any alcohol before or during a flight, although I will occasionally indulge in one drink just to take the edge off my claustraphobic nerves! I always try and drink peppermint tea on a plane too, just to help settle my digestion.
I drink SO much water, before during and after a flight, it’s kind of insane. I always travel with my Chilly’s bottle, which I’ll refill at the airport (I have yet to fly through an airport that doesn’t have a water fountain!) and I’ll ask for a water every time the flight attendants offer drinks. Flying, air conditioning, travel in general is super dehydrating, and the more water I drink the better I feel when we land.
Be boujie with skincare.
Con used to laugh at me for cracking out the face masks on a long haul flight, but now he will 100% be asking for moisturiser at some point! Your skin will suffer dehydration too, add in the germs on a plane, and the harsh AC on your skin – trust me, you want to be taking care of it. I’m unapolagetic about cracking out the serums and moisturisers, and then I’ll always pack something like the Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask or the Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask, for an extra boost of hydration, and eye masks too!
Vitamins + healthcare.
I always travel with a mini pharmacy to hand, I have this fear of being stuck on a plane with a blinding headache, stuffy nose or upset stomach, and no way to fix the problem. At the minimum I always travel with painkillers, nasal spray, Buscopan and Tiger Balm, and every single one has come in handy at some point! I also stock up on Emergen-C sachets before travel, and will try and take one on and after a flight, as well as whilst I’m travelling, otherwise I ALWAYS succumb to a post flight cold!
Other than that I try to stay relaxed, rested and just enjoy switching off for a flight! Being on a plane is one of the only times in life you don’t have to worry about anyone else, chores, replying to emails, so pull on some cashmere socks and binge watch Disney movies!
Have you got any tips for long haul flights?