1. Travel lightly!
Though checked baggage fees may encourage you to stuff more and more things into your carry on, long-haul flights will drain even the most seasoned of travelers, and having to haul around tons of your stuff, or have extra leg room because it’s taking up all that under-the-seat space, will just make them worse.
2. Eat wisely.
Nothing is worse than having your stomach be upset with you because of something you ate before you boarded the plane or during the flight. Be sure to know what your body can handle, and stick to those types of food. You have so much time to be adventurous with what you eat that doing that on a plane with a few tiny bathrooms for too many people is just too much of a risk.
3. Pack a toiletry kit.
4. Bring your own entertainment.
Not all airlines provide you with convenient travel kits filled with a face towel, toothbrush, toothpaste, and comfy slippers, so make sure you take care of yourself!
Whether it be a Kindle, DVD player, or iPod with tons of games on it, you want to be the master of your own entertainment and not depend on your airline’s in-flight systems (that often fail and include many outdated shows and movies) to keep you occupied for such a long flight.
5. Feel free to move around.
If you’re lucky to be on a flight that isn’t completely full (they usually announce over the PA system if this is the case before you take off), feel especially free to walk around the plane and experiment with different seats and take leisurely strolls around the plane. Staying still and getting swollen feet – or worse, deep vein thrombosis – because of it won’t be fun at all.
6. Pick an exit row seat.
Extra leg room = extra comfort = extra happiness (especially if you’re on the taller side of the spectrum!)
7. Invest in sleeping aids.
Even if you don’t think you’ll need them, just in case you’re unfortunate enough to be seated next to the only crying babies on the entire plane, be sure to pack an extra pair of earplugs and an eye mask. It never hurts to be prepared with some sort of sleeping pills or medicine either!
8. Carry a sweater or travel blanket.
Don’t forget that the ones that airlines provide on long haul flights are sometimes extremely thin, and if you get a little queasy about sharing things with strangers, they’re especially unattractive.
9. Use your time wisely.
If you’ve always wanted to finish that one book or practice your knitting, this is the perfect time. You’ll be confined in a small space for so long, what else is more worth doing?
10. Be nice to your flight attendants.
You never know when you may need a little extra something (extra drinks, extra moist towelettes, extra napkins?) on your flight, and an attendant that thinks your polite will be that much more likely to gladly get it for you!
11. Choose comfort over style (but remember some outfits feature both!)
By the end of a long-haul flight, none of your fellow travelers will care whether you are looking cute and trendy or like a slightly-mussed up hobo. Everyone will just be so glad to have landed. And the loved ones picking you up at the airport? They should be so excited to see you that they won’t care either!
12. Upgrade upgrade upgrade!
Frequent flier miles are a long-haul traveler’s best friend. Whether it means giving up your extra miles or a few extra dollars, think about it – won’t your happiness (which depends on edible food, enough breathing space, and entertainment that’s actually entertaining) be worth it?