Here's How to Make Sure a Long-Haul Flight is a Positive Experience

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One of the most challenging aspects of traveling is surviving a long-haul flight. A long-haul flight is defined as flight between 6 to 12 hours. These flights are still a challenge for me. A 2012 study, An Exploratory Study of Vacation Stress (Crotts and Zehrer), found that transportation to a destination, especially international, is one of the most stressful aspects of traveling. Alongside this, other travel stresses include:

  • unexpected delays

  • cancellations

  • insomnia on the flight

  • getting sick

  •  annoying people on the plane.

Eek. 

I believe that there are tips to lessen the stress of a long haul flight so that you can fully enjoy your vacation even before you arrive to your destination. 

Here are my 8 tried and tested tips to thrive on your next long-haul flight.

  1. Before you go: 

  • Sleep well

  • Eat healthy

  • Do an intense workout to offset sitting for long periods.

  • Calm your mind.

2. Reconsider arriving too early at the airport. 

Don’t have more than two hours to kill after security, you will get too antsy. 

3. Bring your own entertainment.

  • Just in case in-flight entertainment doesn't work or isn’t available (ahem, Air Canada Rouge), bring: books, a device, notebook & pen.

4. Dress comfortably and wear layers.

Also, have comfy, slip on shoes. It makes walking around easier and you can breeze through security just a little more. 

5. Try to rely less on airplane food! 

Pack snacks at least and a meal if you have the time.

Pro tip: Don’t pack noisy (pistachios) or smelly (tuna). Your plane-mates will thank you!

6. Bring sleep aids (eye mask, pillow). 


7. Walk around the plane.

More than just going to the bathroom.

My personal favourite:

8. Know that the flight will end. Soon-ish.

You will get to your destination. Also, start getting excited for the adventure that lies ahead. For now, enjoy being out of range of cell phone towers!


Here's to your next flight!

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