Last Updated on September 25, 2023
You’ve booked a trip to your dream destination and you can’t wait to get there, but there’s just one thing standing in the way of you and your amazing adventure: the dreaded long-haul flight. Whether you’re a nervous flyer, simply a little anxious about spending double-digit hours trapped in the middle seat between two strangers, or about to embark on your first flight, follow our tips for a stress-free journey.
1) Allow plenty of time
If there’s one thing that’s going to amplify the stress of a long-haul flight, it’s adding the stress of running late on top. Well ahead of time, make sure you work out your timings for the day you travel. Know when the plane is leaving, when check-in closes, how long the journey is and when you need to leave home. Then add some extra buffer time on to when you leave home. Airport security isn’t going to care if you get stuck in traffic!
2) Make sure you’re comfortable
You’re going to be sitting down in one position for a long time. The last thing you need is your jeans digging in or realizing you’re wearing your jumper with the scratchy label. Wear soft, loose clothes and layers are key. Airplane air conditioning can be unpredictable and layers mean you can adjust accordingly. An eye mask, a neck pillow and a pair of soft warm socks are the finishing touches you need for full comfort. You won’t want to get off!
3) Create a schedule
If you’re bored, you’re more likely to start worrying. Instead of staring down the barrel of endless hours to fill, try and work out a schedule of how you’ll use your time on the plane. Plan when you’ll eat, when you’ll nap, when you’ll get up and walk around the plane, which books you’ll read, and how many films you’ll watch.
Flights can also be a great time to catch up on work uninterrupted. Got a big project to work on? Save everything you need to work on it offline and get your head down. You’ll step off the plane at the other end
having really accomplished something.
4) Make sure you’re covered for all eventualities
Every country differs when it comes to legalities and what’s expected in terms of travel cover etc. In some countries, like Thailand and Cuba, it’s mandatory to travel with insurance. Even if that’s not the case in your destination, the last thing you want is to arrive in your destination, find your luggage has gone astray and realize you’re not covered. Make sure you’re prepared ahead of time to take a weight off your mind should anything not go to plan.
5) Think about ways to make yourself a little more comfortable
While upgrading to first-class seats may break the bank, there are affordable options to make you more comfortable on board. Look into extra legroom, or paying to guarantee yourself an aisle seat, or a spot next to your friend.
If you are traveling with little ones, check out some useful tips for traveling with a baby under one or these screen-free airplane activities for kids. Also, if traveling with your pets, make sure to research some tips for flying with a dog or cat to make things easier on you and them.