How To Survive A Long-Haul Flight

Long-haul flights can be a killer. You don’t know what timezone you should be on, you’re dehydrated and there’s only so many films you can watch. So following my recent trip to Indonesia (17 hour flight y’all) I decided to compile my top tips for surviving a long-haul flight.

1) Wear clothes that are as close as possible to pyjamas.

Some people do the whole wear normal clothes to the airport and change on the plane thing, but come on, you’re not Victoria Beckham. You can be seen in joggers. As you normally want to get a bit of shut-eye on the flight, I always think it’s best to wear your most comfortable clothes. That are pretty much PJs.

So on the way to Bali, I opted for my oh-so-soft Superdry raglan top that I’m obsessed with at the moment. It feels like you’re wearing clouds. Along with some bog-standard leggings from Primark.

On the way back I wore the must-buy-when-you’re-in-Asia fisherman pants in typical elephant print. It has to be done and they were bloody comfortable. Despite the looks I got when I was walking through London Heathrow at the other end.

Fisherman pants in Bali

2) Make your airport experience as easy as pie.

The airport can be stressful. Fact. So I like to do a couple of things to lower the anxiety levels. Firstly, I get to the airport with LOADS of time to spare. Like, minimum 3 hours. I’d rather be super early and get an extra cup of coffee from Pret than risk hitting traffic on the M25 and missing my flight.

Secondly, I prefer to drive myself and get airport parking rather than rely on trains and buses that could get delayed. On this particular trip I tried out Purple Parking’s Meet and Greet service and it was really good, I was impressed. I literally drove right up to the door of the terminal in the short stay car park, pulled into a designated bay and gave my keys to the Purple Parking fellas to park for me. Then when I returned, Floss my trusty Fiat 500 was waiting there ready for me! I don’t think I’ve ever had an airport experience that easy and I’m officially a convert!

Purple Parking Meet and Greet

3) Stay hydrated, babes.

It’s an obvious one but bring extra water with you on the plane. I know airlines always keep you supplied with drinks and snacks but it’s just never enough for me. That aircon really dries out my throat and I need more of that sweet H2O. Come  supplied with a big bottle and a sneaky pack of Maltesers for the sugar fix. Or you know, a chocolate treat of your choosing!

In-flight entertainment

4) Come armed with the beauty essentials.

Skin get get super dry and tired on long-haul flights so you need to look after it. I think an intensive moisturiser or a leave-on mask is a complete necessity to keep your skin hydrated and my favourite is the This Works In Transit Skin Defence. I also like to take a mini tub of Vita Coco Coconut Oil to apply to dry lips and particularly dry spots of skin, it’s just a good all-rounder I think.

I normally go make-up-free to the airport apart from eyebrow pencil. Because mate, no-one wants to see me without my brows on. So I bring one of the Simple travel-size packs of facial wipes to freshen up before applying my moisturiser on the plane, then my Billion Dollar Brows Universal Brow Pencil to draw those bad boys back on once I arrive at my destination.

I also throw in a stick of deodorant, non-liquid so it doesn’t hog my liquid allowance, as well as the pill in case I need one en route. Job done.

Long-haul flight beauty supplies

5) Prepare for sleep.

You’re already wearing your comfiest plane ensemble, but it’s a good idea to bring a few more extras for the ultimate sleeping experience. I go for the following:

  • A pair of super cosy socks. Not necessarily proper plane socks, just really comfy ones.
  • A silk eye mask. Sure the airline sometimes gives you one but they’re never that nice. My cream silk one from Zara is my fave.
  • A travel pillow. On this trip I went for my J-Pillow because it’s so snug but it’s quite bulky so for longer trips I normally opt for the Travelrest which rolls up small.
  • Sleeping tablets. I’m not one to advise medication where not needed but I struggle to sleep on planes, so these really come in handy.

Sleep aids for long-haul flights

6) Fight the jetlag by getting on the right timezone straight away.

Work out exactly when you should be sleeping to get on your destination’s timezone, from the second you get on the plane. I went to Bali on a 9.10pm flight UK time, which would have been 4.10am on Bali time. So I knew I had to sleep at the beginning of my flight but then make sure I was awake for the second half so I would be tired enough to sleep at the right time when I landed. It’s an art form, folks.

Gili T sunset

7) Prepare for the other side.

After a 17 hour flight, I do not look my best. I have greasy hair in general so I prepare for the worst by bringing a big headscarf with me for the other side. This colourful number is from Zara and it’s bold enough to distract from the plane-hair.

I also think it’s a good idea to pack a travel-size bottle of suncream if you’re going to be arriving in the day, as well as some Berocca or Phizz to perk you up the other side. Sorted.

Flight essentials

There you have it, my top tips for making it to your destination in one piece after a hardcore long-haul flight!

Do you have any tips for surviving a long-haul flight or beating the jetlag? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @HeelsInBackpack!

Preparing for a long haul flight

Total blogger transparency: This post contains an affiliate link or two and I accepted free parking from Purple Parking. But don’t worry, I only recommend products or services I truly believe in. I wouldn’t play you like that shorty.

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