How to Actually Enjoy a Long Haul Flight
I’ve just had my longest day(s) of airplane travel ever on my way from the USA to New Zealand. I’ve also traveled back and forth between the US and Europe enough to have mastered the overnight flight. In the process, I’ve learned a lot about how to make a long haul flight not only tolerable but actually enjoyable.
If you find yourself on a long haul flight soon, give my suggestions on how to enjoy a long haul flight a try. It may not be the most pleasant experience of your life, but make the most of the uninterrupted time you have available to you.
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How to Enjoy a Long Haul Flight
What to Do on a Long Haul Flight
Use the time to do some goal-setting or journaling
Am I the only one who gets to daydreaming on airplanes? I find I do some of my best thinking on planes and a long haul plane ride is the perfect time to put some of those thoughts on paper. I especially like creating a “must-do” list for my destination (even if the only “must-do” you have is to eat a baguette in Paris) or creating a “favorite memories” bullet list of the trip your returning from.
Read a book you’ve been putting off
You have fewer distractions while on a long haul flight. Use the luxury of time to read a book you’ve been meaning to read. Some of the books that I put off for far too long are The Book Thief, The Hobbit, and The Happiness Project. They all make great long haul flight reads.
Stretch early and often
It’s so easy to get engrossed in the movie selection and forget about moving around or simply just standing and stretching. I also find it’s much more socially acceptable to be up and walking the plane on long haul flights. Take advantage of that!
Catch up on all the movies you missed in theaters this year
This might be the obvious one. Most long haul flights these days have a huge selection of the latest movies. Take full advantage. I like to scroll through all my options right away, then make a mental list of the movies I’m most interested in. Make every minute of your long haul flight matter!
Adjust your watch/phone to your landing time zone right when you board
This helps you mentally acclimate to your new time zone. Try to eat meals and sleep when it makes sense for your new time zone.
What to Bring on a Long Haul Flight
Travel with a water bottle (and actually use it)
Make your water bottle your best friend on a long haul flight. Bring it through security empty and fill it up at every water bottle filling station or drinking fountain you find. Hydration is key and might even help to reduce the effects of jetlag. I like this one because it packs down small and has a clip.
Bring an almost imperceivable skincare mask
I genuinely don’t understand the bloggers who recommend bringing a sheet mask along on a long haul flight. I’m all for self care, but I can’t imagine looking my seatmate in the eyes after applying one of those ghostly sheet masks. Instead, find an overnight mask that goes on clear. I found this one and used it without the worry of feeling like a fool.
Bring an easily accessible health pouch
Pack a really small amount of any of the hygiene or health related products you turn to when you’re uncomfortable. I keep eye drops, hand cream, baby wipes, chapstick, advil and melatonin in mine. It is a great thing to have when you need to quickly make yourself more comfortable.
Pack a small “bathroom” bag
There are a few things that you just don’t want to do in front of a stranger less than a foot away from you. For example, use a wisp, apply deodorant, or apply a facemask. Put these things in your “bathroom” bag and use any bathroom breaks you may need to freshen up.
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