The prospect of sitting, often cramped tightly, for hours on end without much to do is never a pleasant prospect. Unfortunately for those who wish to travel abroad there is no other option but to endure this unpleasantness. Unless you’re fighting business or first class – which the casual travel hardly does – you can be almost assured of an uncomfortable flight. However it doesn’t always have to be this way; with the following tips for long haul flights you can make such journeys more bearable, and sometimes even comfortable.

Minimal Transfers

The less your flight stops during the journey the better it will be. Layovers are a hassle and you should avoid them as much as possible. Direct flights are better. However this can be difficult for the budget travel who is seeking the cheapest available option.


Exercising the day before a big flight is advantageous for two reasons. Firstly exercise helps to reduce stress and may make your mind easy before your long flight. Secondly from the exertion your body will be tired and you will hopefully have a higher chance of sleeping during these long haul flights.

The Proper Seat

Book the seat you prefer in advance. Some airlines have an online booking system which you can use to select your preferred seats. Avoid the middle seats and the seats near the lavatory at all costs. Window seats and seats in the exit row (which offer much more legroom) are the best. If the airline does not have an online booking system, be sure to arrive early on the day of your departure and reserve a good seat. Or contact a ticketing agent to help you.

The Empty Seat

Sometimes there are a bunch of empty seats available – seats that have not been booked for the flight. However you cannot be sure which of these are empty and which belong to those people who are just late in boarding. The best time to occupy such seats is right before the seat belt goes on.

Drink Lots of Fluids

The airplane air is cold as well as dry, and that will make you dehydrated if you aren’t careful. Hence drink plenty of fluids before and during your flight. Bring your own water bottle as well, the crew will provide you with juices and water but there’s no harm in bringing your own bottle. Also take it easy on the complimentary beer or wine, alcohol makes you dehydrated. You do not want to feel the effects of dehydration as well as jet lag when you reach your destination.

Avoid the Post Flight Nap

While they can be extremely tempting, avoid ‘hitting the hay’ as soon as you arrive at your hotel. You’ll think you’re just going to sleep for one hour but chances are you’ll end up sleeping much more and when you wake up you’ll be much worse for wear. It’s better to power on through the day and sleep at the proper time.

If you follow these tips for long haul flights, you’ll arrive feeling much better.