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12 Traveller Tips For Long-Haul Flights

12 Traveller Tips For Long-Haul Flights

JalanJalanMen! - Off to the plane and zack - very far away. What a luxury! Well, the time on the plane often doesn't go by that quickly, especially not during a very long flight. We have collected the best tips for long-haul flights. You can't turn the clock with them, but they certainly make the long time on the plane more pleasant and ensure a relaxed start to the next adventure.

Long-haul flight: The 12 best tips and gadgets

1. Before departure

Tip #1 – Book: non-stop, stop-over, stop-what-now?

When booking flights, we prefer long-haul flights without a stopover . Of course, that's not always possible and a short stay to stretch your feet isn't bad. But hanging out for hours in the transit area is exhausting (especially in boring airports).

But a stopover at a major airport (e.g. Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore) can also be an experience. Because they have a lot to offer: from cinemas to butterfly gardens, children's playgrounds, wellness centers to short city tours.

Also recommended: night flights . So you can doze off or even sleep during the flight and ideally arrive at your destination rested and with less jetlag.

Tip #2 – What is the best seat on the plane?

Whether you choose a window or aisle seat depends entirely on personal preferences. Some want to enjoy the view, others like to stretch their legs in the aisle and have a free path to the toilet. If you are traveling as a couple : simply reserve the window seat and the seat in the aisle. The chances are then not bad that the space in the middle will remain free. If someone else comes along - just ask if they want to swap.

Most airlines charge extra for seat selection. But the surcharge is definitely worth it for long-haul flights. Many airlines also offer seats with extra legroom in economy class (in addition to premium or business class).

Good to know :

  • The emergency exit seats often have the most legroom.
  • The backrests in the last row often cannot be folded back quite as far.
  • The fewest vibrations are felt in the middle of the plane.
  • After the announcement "boarding completed" you can ask politely whether you can transfer (in the same class).

Tip #3 – Check in online: what it brings and when it works

You can usually choose a seat at the  online check-in without any extra charge . This starts about 72-24 hours before departure via the website or app of the respective airline. Those who get there early have the greatest choice of seats!

Anyone who has checked in online can go directly to the baggage check-in counter at the airport. We usually only travel with hand luggage - this has the advantage that you can go past all the counters and go straight to the security check.

If you check in online, you can load your ticket directly onto your smartphone (either save the confirmation pdf in the email or in Apple wallets). The QR code is then simply scanned at the airport.

Tip #4 – What needs to be in your hand luggage?

A small packing list for hand luggage :

  • Medication, glasses/contact lenses
  • ID card, important documents and money
  • Travel electronics (mobile phone, laptop, chargers, headphones, camera...)
  • Toothbrush/pasta, deodorant, lip balm & important hygiene items
  • Entertainment (eReader, book, magazine, mp3 player...)
  • Socks and spare underwear (in case suitcase gets lost)
  • A few small snacks
  • Oropax, sleeping mask, neck pillow

Tip #5 – The best clothes for long flights

The perfect attire for long-haul flights is cozy and layered . Cozy goes without saying. The layering principle has proven itself because the temperature in the aircraft often fluctuates. I always pack my wool socks, even when I'm going to the tropics. A scarf or sarong is also useful against cold drafts, as a substitute for a pillow or (pulled over the eyes) to simply isolate yourself.

Tip #6 – When should I be at the airport?

In general, it is advisable to be at the airport as early as possible. Because anyone who gets on the plane already rushed has (unnecessarily) wasted a lot of nerves before it even starts. Our rule of thumb:

  • 1.5 - 2 hours before boarding is  enough if you are only traveling with hand luggage and have already checked in online
  • 2 – 4 hours before boarding  if you want to check in luggage or the airport is huge.

Tip #7 – Eat before departure

Even if it is tempting to feast on all the (hearty) delicacies from home again shortly before departure – it is not advisable. With light food  you are not only doing yourself a favor, but also the people who fly with you (keywords here: no legumes, herbs or garlic).

So it's better to replace the fries and schnitzel with a salad (with poultry). Incidentally, this also increases the chances of a better night’s sleep on the plane.

A little tip: fill or buy a drinking bottle after security check-in, so you have your own water with you on the plane and can drink whenever you want.

Tip #8 – Boarding: First come, first fly?

When the plane is ready to board, things get hectic. Everyone rushes to the door and queues. The long-haul flight professional then remains seated for a while and uses the time to stretch out his legs again before he has to fold them up for hours. This not only saves pushing and shoving your elbows, but also just a few nerves.


In the plane

Tip #9 – Eating and drinking

Sitting for a long time suggests to your stomach and digestive system: take a break! They work on the back burner, which is why it is advisable not to eat too much fat during the flight . So for breakfast on the plane it's better to choose the light fruit and yoghurt variant instead of beef and rice!

Alcohol may be tempting for some to get through the long hours of being slightly tipsy or sound asleep. However, coffee and alcohol remove water from the body. But since the air in an airplane is very dry, a body above the clouds needs a lot of fluids  - preferably in the form of water or juice.

Tip #10 - Entertainment and Employment

Make time fly faster above the clouds with these entertainment tips:

  • Divide the flight time into stages : Instead of looking at the clock every minute (and realizing that it is now “only” 13h 19min instead of 13h 36min), set yourself small intermediate stages (1.5h film/ 2 hours to sunrise). / don't look at the clock again until we fly over Qatar /etc).
  • Read a good book (preferably on the eReader) or continue your education.
  • Watch many episodes of a great series . If you're not sure if your airline offers free movies, just preload them on your laptop.
  • Buy a nice game for your tablet or smartphone.
  • If you're traveling with friends, bring a card or other small board game with you.
  • Download an exciting audio book or podcast in advance .

Tip #11 – thrombosis, pressure equalization and Co.

Thrombosis can also be dangerous for young travelers. If you tend to get heavy, aching or even swollen legs after sitting for a long time, you should buy compression stockings . They have a supporting effect on the blood vessels. The general rule is: on long-haul flights, get up every now and then and do a few small physical exercises . You don't have to put the yoga mat in the aisle! Shoulder and foot circles, stretches, and walking around also work.

If there are problems with the pressure equalization  , chewing gum or hard candy will help. The movements of the jaw usually trigger a natural pressure equalization. Anyone boarding a plane with a mild cold should take nasal spray with them.

Tip #12 – How do I prevent jet lag?

With these tips against jet lag, your first days of vacation are saved:

  • Follow the new rhythm consistently . Even if a nap seems tempting, try to go to bed at a "normal" time first. If you land in the evening, lie down soon and try to sleep.
  • A contrast shower promotes blood circulation and stimulates the circulation. It gets you fit and is really good after a long flight.
  • A little exercise, like a walk at your destination , will get your circulation going (and make you sleepy if you arrive in the evening).

Rudolfus Kikkert
Rudolfus Kikkert Interest In City Tourism

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