Knowing how to survive long haul flights in economy is a must-have skill for budget travelers. Since we don’t have the luxury of stretching our legs out and leaning our seat back as far as we want, we have to acquire special skills to cope with the misery of 10+ hour flights. Here, I’ve compiled a list of things that have helped me survive the peasant class travel style that I’ve been forced to experience due to the lack of “dough” LOL! But it’s honestly not that funny because I’d rather be in first-class sipping champagne. But here we are.
Hydration is key, guys! Airplane cabins are super dry because they must pump outside air to dilute the stuffy air that hundreds of us are sharing inside the cabin. So imagine having dry air constantly blown on you for 10+ hours. Your skin is going to be dry af. For some strange reason (maybe stupidity), I didn’t use to believe that cabins are dry. So I would just go without lotion and drinking water. Until one time, I was traveling from Taiwan to LA, and I looked into the bathroom mirror at the airport. OMG, THE SIZE OF MY PORES! I’ve never seen anything like that, lmao! Ever since that horrible sight, I always bring face masks and a refillable water bottle with me. Because I need to look like a Victoria’s Secret model at all times.
Wear Comfortable Clothes (Stylish PJs)
I don’t understand how people wear heels and jeans at an airport. Like, what? I don’t even wear that in normal life! Maybe I’m just too much of a bum, but stylist PJs are always my go-to for airplane travel. I mean, the airport is literally the last place on earth where people will judge you for wearing sweatpants. So why not take advantage of that? Live your best life, sis.
Pro Tip: Bring some comfortable slippers to wear on the plane if you’re extra.
Sanitize Everything Like Naomi Campbell
GUYS! Watch Naomi Campbell’s Airplane Routine if you haven’t already! It’s literally the best thing on the internet haha! I mean, she is a legend for a reason. She puts her health before anything else, and doesn’t care what others think about her. This level of unbotheredness and confidence is what we should all strive to achieve when it comes to performing our sanitization routine on the plane.
But in all seriousness, airplanes are DIRTY. Probably even dirtier in the economy class. With hundreds of people spending hours together in a confined space, germs spread like the speed of light. And that’s why it’s so easy to get sick after a long trip. So make sure to bring some hand sanitizers, cleaning wipes, and paper towels to keep your space clean.
Pro Tip: Wear a mask! Not only for sanitary reasons, but you can sleep with your mouth open without anyone noticing.
Bring Entertainment To Keep Yourself Busy
I love watching movies on the plane! It’s like we’re in a movie theater, but thousands of feet above the ground. But let’s be honest, most of the time, the movie selections are quite limited and simply awful. Also, it really just depends on the airline you’re flying with.
So instead of betting on my luck, I like to download some movies on Netflix just in case the airline fails me. And when my eyes get tired, I like to listen to my audiobooks on Scribd. And apart from using technology, there are still tons of ways to keep yourself entertained. You can meditate (I’ve tried that), journal, draw, knit, play Sudoku…… and the list goes on. Just don’t annoy the person sitting next to you.
Equip Yourself With In-Flight Essentials
How to survive long haul flights in economy? Simply. Bring these in-flight essentials!
- Eye Mask
- Toothbrush/ Floss/ Toothpaste
- Neck Pillow
- Lip Balm/ Moisturizer/ Lotion/ Face Mask
- Pen (Filling Out Customs Form)
- First Aid Kit/ Medicine
- Water Bottle
- Toiletry Bag With All Your Cosmetic Products
Walk Around And Stretch!
It’s not healthy to sit anywhere longer than three hours. Let alone 10+ hours on a long-haul flight in economy! If you’re someone that is super fidgety and needs to stand up and move everywhere twenty minutes, try to get an aisle seat. It will save your life. And that’s why I prefer aisle seats as well. Sitting near the window guarantees good views, but is it worth the immense claustrophobia that comes along with it? That is the question.
Prepare For Jet Lag Before Your Flight
Flying long distance across the world will inevitably result in some form of jet lag. But you can make the symptoms more bearable by preparing yourself mentally and physically beforehand. Here are a few things you can do:
- Get plenty of sleep before your flight (lack of rest will make jet lag worse)
- Adjust your schedule gradually before the trip (For example: Going to bed 1 hour earlier each night if traveling East)
- Stay hydrated! Dehydration can cause severe headache on top of jet lag symptoms
- If it’s daytime at your destination, don’t sleep on the plane. But it’ll be nighttime there, then sleep.
Pick A Good Seat
Your seat selection can literally make or break your entire flight experience. I remember sitting next to a bathroom that had a clogged toilet emitting repulsive smell everything five minutes. Needless to say, I was awake the entire 14-hour flight. Maybe that was just pure bad luck. But maybe also a reminder to not pick a seat right two feet away from the toilet.
Some people love the window seat, and some love the aisle seat. But I think it all comes down to how often you’ll need to pee, and how claustrophobic you are. Check out this post for some of the reasons why you might prefer one over the other.
Pro Tip: Use SeatGuru to help you choose the best seats on each aircraft so that you’ll have an enjoyable flight.
Bring Plenty of Snacks
I mean, this one is quite obvious and straight forward. Everybody loves food. The more, the merrier! Also, airport food is EXPENSIVE. Don’t be surprised if you end up paying over $15 for a bowl of salad and a bottle of water (that’s basically $15 worth of water…just saying)
Even though I love airplane food (I know I’m weird), I still like to bring my own snacks to munch on. Usually, if you’re flying long-distance, they’ll provide two meals and a snack in between. I don’t know about you, but I need at least 4 meals and 8 different snacks to keep my palates entertained for any time span of over 10 hours. So bring plenty of snacks y’all! Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Just Relax & Enjoy The Ride
I know flying long haul across the globe in economy can be super stressful. If you’re flying first-class, you don’t get to participate in our conversation here! Okay, just kidding, we don’t discriminate.
But you know what? We create our own experiences. If we think it’s fun, then it’s fun! So why not look at long-haul flights like a party? A party way above ground level with hundreds of strangers, crying babies, and waitresses/waiters that keep asking you if you want anything to drink. Like, yes please…count me in! I love drinks.
I hope these tips on how to survive long haul flights in economy has brought some value to your life. For more travel recommendations and inspirations, make sure to check out: