Tips on how to make a long haul flight more comfortable

We’ve all been there: standing in the queue, waiting to board on a 10+ hours flight, thinking with horror on how uncomfortable we will feel trapped in the metal tube, with limited leg space and sharing our personal space with a few hundred other people.


However, flying doesn’t have to be uncomfortable! Here are my top tips on how to enjoy a long haul flight:

Bring a long scarf

The overall temperature on a plane will be somewhere between 22 and 24 degrees Celsius. However, because we are sitting down and don’t move too much, we will feel the air to be much colder. The low humidity in the cabin also contributes to feeling cold but also to drying our skin so we should always carry a moisturizing cream with us on long haul flights.

Even if there will be a small blanket to cover ourselves when we sleep, it will be too probably too small. This is why I recommend bringing a long scarf, in case you get cold. Long scarfs are great because of the numerous ways you can wear them: around your neck, around yourself as a pareo, you can use them as beach throws and as blankets on planes or cold buses.


Choose an aisle seat

I always choose an aisle seat when I fly, long haul or not. Sure, the view from the window is beautiful but when you are on a long haul flight, especially on the day ones, you will be asked to close the blind anyway. When I can’t sleep I like to walk around the plane, to get my blood moving and prevent blood clots. Also, I prefer not to bother other people if I want to go to the bathroom, which can happen several times during a 12 hours flight.


Most of the people will sleep on a long flight and if you have a window seat you can feel bad waking them up if you want to go to the bathroom or just move around the plane. Plus, when you have an aisle seat you can stretch your legs much better after the meals have been served and nobody else is walking around anymore.


Pack some treats

Why not treat yourself while you fly, to sweeten the journey and make it pass faster? I like to pack a few snacks and chocolates in my carry on and have them after dinner is served. I always find the dessert in the main meal to be so small so I bring my own.

I can recommend you Lily O’Brien’s luxury dessert collection, an assortment of the world best desserts recreated in scrumptious mouthfuls of chocolate. There are six delicious flavors in a box of chocolates: Raspberry infusion, Banoffee Pie, Hazelnut Torte, Key Lime Pie, Creme Brulee and Passion Fruit Posset.

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Which one would you like to try first? I’ll confess that even if all of them are delicious, I have a soft spot for Creme Brulee!


Invest in a good travel pillow

If you are like me, the pillow you get on the flight is useless and it makes more harm than good. I usually put it behind my lower back, as support, as I use my JetComfy pillow to sleep in a natural position and avoid neck pain. There’s nothing worse than arriving at the destination with neck and back pain.

There are many great travel pillows out there that will offer your neck support and help you sleep better while being in a seated position. I have only tried JetComfy with which I am very happy and I recommend, but the selection is quite large, you should look for the one that fits your body type.


Dress comfortably

The more comfortable you are dressed, the better you will feel on a flight. My suggestion would be to bring pajamas and a pair of flip flops, and change as soon as the plane has reached the cruising altitude. I move quite a lot of when I sleep and if I wear jeans while flying then my moves would be restricted. If I wear a dress then I wouldn’t feel comfortable with the other passengers, especially if I’m sharing a row with men. So I came to the conclusion that changing into a comfy pajama is the best solution to sleep without any worries.


Because of the pressure of the cabin and the high altitude, your feet will suffer as well, swelling. This is why I always bring a pair of flip flops with me and take my trainers off. Without saying, in order to do this you should always make sure that you are wearing clean socks and that your feet are washed.


Drink plenty of water

Dehydration is one of the most common things that will happen to your body when you fly. On a plane, the humidity is set to around 10%-20%, which makes the air very dry, causing your body to dehydrate.

A dehydrated body is weak in fighting viruses and this is the reason why many people get sick after flying. Due to the air recirculating through the cabin, it is enough for one person to be sick for the viruses to spread easily to other passengers.

Try and drink as much water as you can and avoid coffee, tea or alcohol as they also contribute to dehydrating your body.

Did you know that if you drink enough water on a flight the jet lag won’t feel so bad?


Disclaimer: This post has been written in collaboration with Lily O’Brien’s, the luxury chocolatier. As always, all comments and opinions in this article are my own.

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44 thoughts on “Tips on how to make a long haul flight more comfortable

  1. Sonia says:

    Great tips, I can never sleep on a plane though and I hate sitting on an aisle seat as I get disturbed by other people constantly, I’d much rather be the one to disturb people 😉 We also take snacks as the food is usually pretty poor.

  2. Angelie says:

    These are really great tips! I don’t have any long haul flight planned yet but I am keeping these in mind once I have the budget to travel! 🙂 It’s true that bringing some snack is a must! Airplane food aren’t always good but are always so expensive!

  3. Alex Donnelly says:

    Such good advice! I always bring a scarf and some cosy socks when I am flying long haul. Means I can walk to the toilet without having to put on shoes. I also pack a toothbrush and some toothpaste as well because it helps me feel a bit fresher as we land! x

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