Top 10 tips to survive long haul flights in economy

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Top 10 tips to survive long haul flights in economy

Let’s get real here friends, surviving long haul flights in economy is no easy feat! Preparing to fly long haul can seem daunting, but fear not! In this post, I share my top 10 tips to survive long haul flights in economy, from being comfortable and rested to staying entertained and hydrated. I’ve got you covered with practical advice and insider tips to make your next long-haul flight a complete breeze!

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1) Book a night flight

My number one tip to survive long haul flights in economy is to book a night flight. It’s far easier to fall asleep when you’re already tired and your natural body clock kicks in to help you fall asleep!

This works especially well if you’re on opposite time zones to your destination so you’ll be awake and refreshed for the day upon arrival!

Plane taking off on a lit runway at night

2) Put essential liquids into refillable pouches

Nothing leaves your skin feeling sandy-flip-flop-dry than being on a long haul flight! So one of my favourite hacks for surviving a long haul flight is putting all your essential skin care into your hand luggage in refillable pouches and doing your skin care routine on the plane.

I always feel more comfortable and “ready for bed” when I take my make up off and then cleanse, tone and moisturise. A long haul flight should be no different and your skin will love you for it!

Any mini reusable pouches will do, I have these ones off Amazon. Pouches are so much easier to fill than bottles and you’re able to squeeze more of the product out so there is less waste.

I would also recommend packing a little tube of toothpaste and a toothbrush so you can freshen up and avoid that long haul flight breath! 😉

Refillable travel pouches with labels on them of what they are

3) Pack plenty of snacks and water

Waiting for your one tiny, sad little plane meal can mean you spend a lot of the flight feeling peckish! The meals are hardly a filling and delicious experience either so I always recommend packing plenty of snacks!

I usually take fruit and protein bars which are easy to pack in your hand luggage, I love these trek bars, especially for travelling.

By taking my reusable water bottle too so I can fill up in the airport just before the flight. I get so dehydrated on flights because the airlines only give you about a thimble of liquid every three hours! This can lead to headaches and nausea which can make your journey uncomfortable, so make sure you fill up before you fly!

Any water bottle will do but I use these super cute reusable water bottles by drinqright. The bottles are 400ml which means they will fit into even the smallest travel handbag and are so versatile.

They are the only travel bottles that exist which can give you both collapsibility and a removable base for storage. They’re also made from BPA-free silicone which is practical for both hot and cold drinks.

Man eating a meal on a plane by the bright window

4) Block out the noise with noise-cancelling headphones

There’s nothing more annoying and distracting than the noise you encounter on a long haul flight!

There’s so much noise on planes – trolleys rattling, the sound of the engine, staff announcements – you name it’s endless. But luckily we have the joy of fixing this with noise-cancelling headphones!

I must admit I resisted buying noise-cancelling head phones for the longest time – refusing to give in to the hype but more importantly…the expense!

But noise-cancelling headphones will be your new best friend on any long haul flight, especially if you’re trying to sleep. Once I gave in and tried a pair, I found that I couldn’t work or travel without them!

I use wireless Bose noise-cancelling headphones and I can’t recommend them enough. I initially invested in these headphones when I went backpacking around South East Asia and they’re still good-as-new all these years later!

These Bose headphones have 11 levels of active noise-cancelling which lets you enjoy music, podcasts, videos and calls without distraction and have the crispest sound of any headphones I’ve ever had.

Conveniently for travellers, they also have up to 20 hours of battery life and are wireless so you won’t get tangled up in wires as you try and get comfy in economy!

It can be daunting to buy more expensive headphones at first. But I promise that if you invest in a decent pair now you’ll have them for years to come and save yourself money in the long-run replacing cheaper, less effective ones.

A hand holding a pair of Bose noise cancelling headphones

5) Take earplugs

Earplugs are a MUST HAVE for surviving long haul flights in economy, especially if it’s an overnight flight.

In addition to general noise and people walking up and down the aisles, once everyone goes to sleep, the snoring begins! And unlike your partner who you can give a gentle kick to stop, this ain’t happening on a long haul flight!

But with a combination of earplugs and noise cancelling headphones, you won’t hear a thing! As a combo they are a lifesaver on any long haul flight to block out noise!

You can pick earplugs up from any health and beauty retailer in the UK like Superdrug or Boots. I’ve always sworn by mouldable wax earplugs as you can mould them to fit properly in your ears, making them far more comfortable than foam ear plugs. They never fall out of your ears either!

I’ve used wax earplugs for years on my travels now but after backpacking around India I swear by Loop earplugs. You may have seen these viral earplugs all over Insta and TikTok and been skeptical, but they’re honestly AMAZING!

Loop earplugs come in a case of four different sized heads made of silicone so you can pick the size that is the most comfortable and best fit for your ears. They also come in a cute, little travel case!

I absolutely LOVE them and can’t hear a bloody thing when I’m wearing them, which is perfect! 😂

6) Bring a memory foam travel pillow

I never used to be a big fan of travel pillows because I always found that they were too bulky to travel with and not all that comfortable, especially to sleep with.

But after trialling a LOT of travel pillows on long haul flights in economy, I now swear by a memory foam travel pillow that clips at the front!

They mould to support your head and neck wherever you’re positioned and the clip at the front stops your head from bobbing forward when you’re asleep (which is one of my biggest bugbear’s when sleeping on a plane!).

Any memory foam pillow should do the trick but I have this memory foam travel pillow.

Woman lying back with her eyes closed in her plane seat by a window wearing a travel pillow around her neck

7) Block out any light with an eye mask

You’re bound to want a sleep if you’re on a long haul flight, even if it is in the day. But a big problem with falling asleep on long haul flights is the light.

Cabin lights on night flights will generally stay off for the majority of the journey but there’s always that one annoying person that has the spotlight on above their seat for absolutely no reason!

So remove any chance of this disturbing your sleep by packing an eye mask in your hand luggage.

The Mavogel cotton eye mask is a really affordable option at only £7 on Amazon. It’s super soft on your face and has an adjustable strap and nose piece which blocks out any light around the bridge of your nose too!

You’ll feel like a different person the other side of your trip if you’re able to get a little sleep on your flight, so make sure you block out that light!

Woman lying down wearing a blue sleeping mask over her eyes

8) Dress comfortably

I cannot emphasise this point enough. Even if I don’t plan to sleep on a long haul flight I can’t bear to be uncomfortable when I travel!

To ensure you’re comfy enough to fall asleep on the plane I recommend avoiding jeans, anything tight fitting and uncomfortable shoes like heels.

Leggings, loose fitting tops and boots/trainers are the way forward! It may not be the most stylish way to travel but it’s better to be comfortable.

A woman at the airport wearing a long grey top, glasses, black leggings and trainers pulling a black suitcase and holding a passport

9) Travel with a partner or buddy

I know this isn’t always possible, but travelling with one of your favourite people will hands down help you survive long haul flights in economy!

It means you always have someone to chat to or play games with to help pass the time and make the flight feel less lonely (or just plain boring!).

Plus, having a travel buddy means you can share blankets, pillows and snacks and gives you someone to sleep on when you’re stuck in the tight spaces of economy!

A couple taking a selfie on La Mer beach in Dubai wearing sunglasses

10) Pack removable warm layers

Just like at home, you have to be at the right temperature to feel comfy and cozy. Not too hot or too cold – just like a little travelling Goldilocks!

Having said this though, I’ve always found planes to be super cold and there always seems to be that one air nozzle that just won’t shut and stop blasting cold air over you!

To prepare for this (no matter what the length of the flight is) I always bring my favourite blanket scarf and an extra pair of thick socks (these fluffy ones are super cute!).

By bringing layers you always have the option to add or remove them depending on the temperature of the plane so you’re prepared no matter what!

A woman holding a grey blanket around her holding it with her hands

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I hope these top tips to survive long haul flights in economy are helpful for your next trip! 😊

Quick FYI guys – this post contains affiliate links to various products. I will receive a small commission for purchases made through these links at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!

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