Tips for surviving long-haul flights

Jenai Laignel / 01 June 2015

Surviving the tedium brought on by long-haul flights can be easy if you plan ahead. Here’s Saga’s list of top tips to beat the boredom – from what to pack in your carry-on luggage to how to keep yourself entertained.

1. Bring some earplugs

Even if you are sitting near to screaming children, you can catch 40 winks with a good pair of earplugs. Go Travel earplugs are reusable and hygienic and come in four adjustable sizes for an extra-snug fit.

2. Upgrade (…if you can!)

Although free flight upgrades are notoriously difficult to manage, it’s always worth asking before you board a flight if this is possible.

According to a recent poll, some 16% of flyers who used an airline in the last two years were upgraded for free. To find out how they managed it, read Saga's guide.

How to get a free flight upgrade

3. Keep a travel blanket close by

Mid-air chills can hit you even in the height of summer. The Travelrest Travel Blanket is light but fleecy and comes in a range of colours.

4.  Sleep

It sounds obvious but if you can, try to get some sleep. The jet-lag will be more manageable if you do.

Comfy travel pillows can support the neck and chin, as well as cushioning the back and side of the head. They can be used on long coach or train journeys before and after your flight, too.

5. Invest in a Kindle

If reading is your favourite travelling pastime, take up to 1,400 books with you! The most recent Kindle (e-reader) boasts an impressive battery life (15 hours) and is as light as a feather. It's only 1cm thick so can easily fit into your bag.

6. Go for a walk

Although your choice of destination is somewhat limited at 30,000 feet, frequent walks around the plane are essential during a long haul flight.

Although the dangers of DVT (deep vein thrombosis) are well-documented, it’s easy to forget to keep mobile during a long-haul flight.

Flight socks are also good for keeping the blood moving and provide veins in your legs with extra support. They are also useful for hiding swollen ankles. Scholl's flight stockings have a luxurious, cotton-like feel.

7.  Keep hydrated (with the right sort of beverage)

Don’t rely on the cabin crew to keep you hydrated. Buy a large bottle of water at the airport before you board and keep it within easy reach during your flight.

And, as tempting as it may be to while-away the time with a glass of Chardonnay, you should also keep your alcohol consumption to a minimum.

What are your top tips for surviving a long-haul flight? Answer in the comments below.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.