How to navigate a long haul flight…and not go crazy in the process

The tips and tricks to become a seasoned traveler; on a budget.

Traveling isn’t always glamorous, especially when you are in transit for a long haul flight with longs periods of time. That isn’t even accounting for those with a fear of flying or for the lucky ones that get to travel in economy…

If you are a student or a family and need to remain within your means I’ve got your back. From personal experience, in transit for 22 hours from Australia to Europe; I have had to come up with ‘hacks’ to survive. 

Being prepared and packing wisely is easily one of the key steps to helping transition your long haul flight into a piece of cake. 

I believe splitting everything you need to master a long haul flight, should be categorized. Organization is key. The main things to remember are; dress appropriately – both for the weather and comfort. Second, you need a beauty/ skincare kit; the plane air can make your skin really dry so you need some rejuvenating; plus it gives you something to do. It’s a win-win scenario. Plus once you get to your destination you’ll need it all anyway.

Remember though; keep it to small 100ml items aboard because cabin rules are strict. You really need to get some rest also; trying to sleep on the plane is usually uncomfortable. Pack accordingly. 

What about a book?

The time has come! If you like to read,  a long haul flight it’s the better excuse for reading the book you’ll always want to read. 

There’s a big list of classics book that you can find on the internet and pick one. 

Even though we are going to recommend some titles that you have to read at least once in your lifetime:

  • The Diary of a Young Girl by Anna Frank
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
  • The adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  • Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
  • The count of Montecristo – Alexandre Dumas
long haul flight reading

If you like to read but you prefer modern books, here’s a list of our recommendations: 

  • Eat, Pray and Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • The handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • All the light we cannot see by Anthony Doerr

So all you have to do is think about which option suits you better, in any case if you prefer also is a very good moment for watch series or movies 🙂

Technology, technology…
Apart from all these goodies, you will definitely need a phone charger, especially if all your flight information and boarding passes are digital. It is also wise to bring an adaptor if you will be waiting during your lay-over for a while. A dead phone is no fun. If the plane entertainment system just won’t cut it; I would suggest bringing a tablet, iPad or even your laptop. Again, don’t forget any cables you need to recharge these. It’s super important to bring your own earphones, as the ones provided on the plane are super cheap and the sound quality isn’t the best either. 

Flying in comfort…
A quick little trick once aboard your flight is to ask for extra blankets and pillows. Pillows for comfort and blanket for warmth. You should have taken a light jacket aboard because the plane can go from very hot to very cold, very quickly.

long haul fligh sleep

Food, glorious food…
Along with this there is a great little trick. If you have a dietary requirement or just don’t want to wait any longer than you have to, to be fed I would suggest being well prepared and requesting vegetarian or vegan when you are booking your flight. This means your meals will come out first, and generally from experience are hotter; fresher and have been made with more care and love. They are more personalized then the generic meat or fish options; which are given to the masses. 

Packing a few snacks is generally a life-saver also. You may not enjoy the food the airlines provide; so packing snacks is the perfect option. Plus this way you are not spending copious amounts of money at the airport convenience stores for lollies and drinks. 

Environmentally friendly traveling…
Another tip which will help you save big bucks on your trip is if you bring a reusable bottle or even a coffee cup. Not only are you being environmentally friendly; but you are saving extra money. Free cold water is generally always provided at the airport, so buying single-use plastic bottles is unnecessary if you can help it.

If you are vision impaired…
If you are anything like me it’s super important to pack your contact lenses and glasses. On the flight you will be sleeping so contacts won’t be needed as such for this leg of your trip, but definitely once in your holiday destination. Don’t forget your solution also!

An unpopular but widely tried tip is to wait to board till last. This way you are not waiting for everyone in front of you to hurry up, put their carry-on luggage away and seat themselves. By this stage everyone is in their seats, and if you feel experimental; assuming there are spare seats you can sit yourself where you please if you are not happy with your assigned location. 

Checking in…
This one I’m not sure is even necessary to relay onto you; but checking in prior to arriving at the airport saves so much time it’s not funny. Proceeding through all the terminals, gates and security check will be easy. Adding your boarding passes to your smart phones’ wallet is also an intelligent move. Saving time and paper!

Luggage allowance…
Remember also, less is always more. You can’t afford to go over your luggage, well especially on the way there. Airlines will charge you if you are over your limit. You also must adhere to their carry-on restrictions. The cheaper airlines like Ryan-Air will try to make a quick buck off you if you bring the wrong cabin bag. Around 25-35 euros extra to take on board a carry on luggage. You can only take a small backpack or handbag. So be mindful and check your boarding passes for information. 

Security is always important because you can’t really trust everyone you meet at the airports. So I would suggest if you don’t like wrapping your bags with that plastic you pay for, then opt for a TSA lock. This ensures you and only you can get into your bag.

If you are very likely to forget your code, add it into your phone as a contact. Save it under luggage or TSA; or a name you will remember. Then put in the code as the phone number contact. This hack is all too easy and is safer than writing important information down on paper; for you to lose or for someone to find too easily. Bon voyage…

So…Now you are all set. You literally could not be more prepared if you tried. Make sure to travel in comfort, and stay safe. You can even favourite this blog post in your browser and keep as a reference whilst packing! 

Happy travels and safe flight! Don’t forget to tag your posts #woonivers #traveler, as we would love to see how you travel on your long haul flights; in comfort and style!