How to Keep Comfortable on Long Flights

Avid travellers understand that long flights are an irritating means to a spectacular end. In order to see the far-flung parts of the world, to mingle with different cultures, hike among new scenery and eat delicious new cuisines, you have to suffer through a little bit of hell.

There’s almost nothing redeeming about the long haul flight, when you really think about it. The seats are cramped together, the air conditioning is aggressive, the humidity is laughably low and the food is gloopy and insipid. It’s as though you’re stuck in an overstuffed prison for eight plus hours.

The best you can do, to keep yourself from dying a little inside, is make small improvements to the experience. If you want to keep comfortable on your next long flight abroad, follow these simple tips.

Wear Your Most Comfortable Clothes

In the 50s, people used to wear tweed suits and cinched dresses on long flights. How they managed to do that without crying is anyone’s guess. Thankfully, there’s no cultural pressure to dress up on flights anymore, and you’re free to wear your comfiest clothing. Merino wool travel clothing, which is popular among travellers for its antimicrobial properties (read: it repels bad odour), is your best bet for a comfortable base layer – just take a look at this pair of boxer briefs!

Stay Hydrated

You know that woozy, headache-y feeling you get from flying for a long time? That’s dehydration wreaking havoc on your body. To maximize comfort, and minimize the disruptive effects of jet lag on the other side, drink plenty of water. Simply pack a collapsible water bottle in your checked luggage, and fill it up past security. Once you go through it (and you should definitely go through it) ask a flight attendant for a refill. And then another refill.

Walk Around

This one’s simple: to avoid cramping, stiffening and blood clots, set a timer (or a mental reminder) to get to up every hour for a quick lap of the plane. If you’re the type who likes to plan ahead, make sure you reserve an aisle seat when you book your flight.

Invest in a Neck Pillow

A memory foam neck pillow makes all the difference, especially if you plan on sleeping the majority of your long haul flight. This Reddit thread discussing neck pillows is probably the best place to start looking – since it has average users recommending and up-voting products, it’s more trustworthy than most of the travel mag lists you find, which are often beholden to certain brands.

Pack a Few Snacks

You might think that you need to eat the airplane food, to get the most value out of your (admittedly overpriced) ticket. But when else would you eat something you didn’t like? Instead of rely on the airplane food, pack a few non-liquid snacks in your carry on, or purchase a to-go meal at the airport before boarding.

As a means to an end, long haul flights are a necessary evil. But with these five tips, at least you can make yourself a little more comfortable.