- When I travelled recently with United Airlines from Guam to New York, it took me about 24 hours to get there and included two back-to-back long-haul flights, as well as one medium-haul flight.
- But that wasn’t my first rodeo – I’ve survived 14 long-haul flights in my life.
- My longest flight was around 11 hours long, and, I’ve always travelled in economy seating.
- I’ve picked up some tips along the way about what to pack, how to stay comfortable, and how to stay entertained on a plane in economy seating.
- Here are 10 long-haul flighttips and tricks that will help you survive long flights in economy, especially if you’re flying solo.
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1. Bring your own food.
If you don’t bring your own food, you might end up with nothing but a Biscoff for several hours. Many long-haul flights include meals, but some don’t.
For example, United doesn’t supply complimentary in-flight meals within North America, between the US and Central America, or between Honolulu and Guam. So I had to bring my own meals on my back-to-back flights from Guam to Hawaii and Hawaii to Houston.
It’s best not to rely on your airline to satisfy your hunger – especially if you’re flying economy.
2. And bring your own entertainment.
The same advice goes for entertainment.
So I recommend bringing your own screen and downloading films and shows from streaming services you subscribe to. For example,Netflix has this option in the app.
3. Make a long, eclectic playlist for the in-between moments.
When you’re travelling solo for hours on hours with multiple layovers, it’s nice to have some background jams to keep your spirits up.
I recommend creating a long playlist packed to the brim with all your favourite jams for all your typical moods to make the trip go by faster.
4. And don’t sit through your layovers.
Speaking of layovers, I suggest staying active through them by walking around and exploring the terminal.
Whether your layover is one hour or five, you’ll be glad you spent the time on your feet once you’re seated for your next flight.
5. You should also opt for an aisle seat.
Another way to keep moving throughout your trip is to opt for an aisle seat.
I had always been a window seat person, but since travelling solo on long haul flights in recent years, I’ve completely changed my mind.
You’ll be happy to stand up and stretch whenever you please without the nervousness that comes with waking a sleeping person next to you and asking them to move.
6. You could also opt for a window seat if you know there will be some epic views.
Some views are worth sitting still for. And if you can’t get an aisle seat, I think a window seat is your next best bet. Who doesn’t enjoy a view and somewhere to rest your head?
7. I also recommend dressing in layers.
This is good advice especially if you’re travelling through extremely different climates. Being able to strip from a hoodie to a t-shirt between Hawaii and New York is essential.
And you never know when the aeroplane will be exceedingly cold or stiflingly hot?
8. And bring everything you’d bring to a sleepover in your carry-on.
The priorities for your preciously limited carry-on space should go to overnight essentials: basic toiletries and a change of clothes. Otherwise, you’ll end up sitting uncomfortably in your filth for hours, and that will just make the trip feel longer.
9. A neck pillow is a must.
I’ve been a frequent flier my whole life, but I didn’t have a neck pillow until my last trip. I can say with confidence that I’ll never travel without one again. If you struggle to relax and fall asleep on flights, a neck pillow is a total game-changer.
10. And finally, bring your own water bottle.
Last but certainly not least, bring your own water bottle.
You’re already increasing your carbon footprint simply by being on a long-haul flight, so why not avoid using single-use plastics? It’s really the least you could do.
Staying hydrated through air travel is crucial, and you’ll probably end up buying a plastic bottle if you don’t bring your own – at airport prices. So do the world and your wallet a tiny favour.
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