Surviving The Long Haul Flight

The Long-haul flight is unavoidable if you hope to see all the world has to offer. However, spending 10+ hours in a metal tube in the sky with a few hundred strangers is somewhat less than glamorous.

We like to think of the long haul flight as the struggle one must endure to fully appreciate the destination on the other side of the journey. And hey, if it was easier, more people would be doing it, right? Not everyone has the passion for travel to commit themselves to such an undertaking.

We do! And so do you!

Here is a short list of items to bring on the plane to help make your long haul flight more comfortable.


1.) Headphones!!:  The single MOST important item necessary to making your flight more comfortable. We strongly recommend noise canceling headphones. They help fully block out any and all restless babies or overly talkative fellow passengers. Brandon loves to listen to audio books, while Jenny has white noise on a continuous loop while she reads or writes.
(Note: some airlines will give you headphones on international flights if they have seat-back entertainment, however we’re noticing more and more are charging for headphones if economy class.)

2.) Eye Drops: Flights more than 5 hours take a real toll on your body’s hydration. Drink as much water as possible and pack a bottle of eye drops. It might seem a little unnecessary, but trust us, eye drops are a little slice of heaven on a long flight.

3.) Layers: You just never know how hot or cold a plane will be. We’ve found they’re usually cold (think Starbucks cold). If you wear layers on the plane you’re saving yourself from being too cold and freeing up precious space in your carry on.

4.) Toothbrush: We’re writing this article 8 hours into our 15 hour flight to Dublin Ireland. We’ve been awake 25 hours and will be for another 6 hours. We can’t say enough about the power of a fresh mouth to help your energy and cleanliness levels.

5.) Travel Pillow with hook: Sure, you’ll get a thin little pillow in your seat. It’s basically the thickness of a magazine. Bring a travel pillow. Get one with a hook or sturdy loop tag so you can clip it to the outside of your carry on bag. We use an “s-clip” to hook ours to our backpacks. No use wasting space inside your bag.

7.) Snacks: Protein or granola bars, trail mix, raw veggies? Anything to hold you over. Most international flights give you complimentary meals if you’re flying more than 7 hours. However, you don’t control the time they’re served and, it’s like we always say, “it’s better to be safe, than hungry” 😉

Lastly, if your lifestyle so permits, the best way to be comfortable on a long haul flight is to upgrade to first or business class. We’ve never paid for first class, but have enjoyed the experience multiple times. See our post on “Points Travel” to find out how.