Updated: Jul 22
Up until my trip to Asia in September, the longest flight I had been on was Seattle to London which is just about 9 and a half hours. I guess I didn't really know LONG HAUL non-stop flights until I flew to Asia. I learned a lot in my 14 hour and ten minute flight to Dubai and my 13 hour flight from Singapore to London. (also, in case you didn't know, I don't recommend flying 49 hours within two weeks. It's not so good for your back!)
Anyway, here are some of my tips for surviving a long haul flight:
What to Wear
Let's be real. When you are flying 14 hours, you better be dressing comfortable. I am not necessarily a leggings kinda gal, but I do make sure I am wearing my slightly looser, softer pants. For my flight to Dubai, I wore my stretchy black jeans, a loose t-shirt and an oversized jean jacket. On flights I tend to fluctuate in body temperature so I always dress in layers. Lesson learned, be sure to wear shoes that give your feet some breathing room. I wore sneakers and my feet and ankles ended up swelling which made the shoes SO UNCOMFORTABLE!
Most long haul airlines will have the entertainment part figured out for you. We flew Emirates on one leg and Norwegian on another leg. Both had the screens on the headrest in front of us. Thank goodness for that! There were enough movies and TV shows to keep us pretty entertained for hours. Be sure to bring a good book, bring your laptop if you are trying to get caught up on anything (like my blog!).
I wore them on my 9 hour flight to London last September but didn't wear them on this trip…and NOW I see why they recommend them for long flights. I couldn't get my ankles to NOT swell. It was painful, uncomfortable…and funny. I have never had to deal with puffy feet and ankles. Not only do compression socks help with swelling, but they help to prevent blood clots from sitting that long.
You can see my socks here!
Get up and stretch
This one is so important. I really should take my own advice because I am so bad at this. I typically never sit aisle so I hate asking people to get up and move for me. Stretching every few hours is really important to keep the blood flowing and really to relieve your hips and your back! There are usually a few open space areas on the planes that you can hang out at for just a few minutes.
These are crucial…especially if you aren't the window seat. This is thing I would be sure you get right. Test out a few because there are so many styles…ones with hoods, filled with different things, inflatable ones, over stuffed, under stuffed. The one I ended up loving on the flight was a memory foam one. It was structured just enough but formed to how I was laying. My husband ended up loving my space saving inflatable one.
Here are a few neck pillows to check out:
There is no worse feeling than traveling 14 hours, getting of a plane and feeling gross because you spend 14 hours in the same clothes and didn't brush your teeth. If you fly a non-budget airline (like Emirates), they will give you an amenity kit! Ours came with a toothbrush, toothpaste, washcloth, eye mask, socks and ear plugs. Make sure you use these items! You will feel so much better.