How To Survive Long Haul Flights


1. Make friends on the flight
On my first long haul flight to Australia several years ago, me and the woman I was sat next to got talking and it made the first leg of the journey go so fast. She actually told me how she ended up in Australia; after going through a messy divorce she took the opportunity to travel and met her future husband there. She was really nice and offered to let me stay with her if I ever went to Sydney (I didn't in the end but what a generous lady!). My most recent flight to Australia ended up a bit of a nightmare, however amongst the madness I ended up talking to a girl who was also flying to Brisbane, bonding over the ridiculous journey. Since then we have stayed in contact. Having someone to chat to on flights makes them go so much quicker and gives you someone to rant to when travel itineraries don't go to plan!

2. Try and book good seats on the flight
Check out Seat Guru to find out what the seats are like on the different airplanes and try and book ones that don’t look too full up. The website shows the most desirable seats based on different model aircraft's and so far they've been pretty accurate when we've used it. On our last flight we were really lucky and managed to get a 2 seater for the first leg of the journey from Heathrow to Singapore (so no clambering over the third awkward person in the row), then booked a 2 seater from Singapore to Brisbane near some aisles in the middle that were completely empty on the upper desk of the plane. This meant as soon as the seatbelt light went off Mr. Nomad rushed to the seats and managed to lie down on a four seater and meant I had 2 seats to sleep across myself which was great. When we were landing and Mr Nomad returned to his original seat I genuinely thought I wouldn't have been able to do the flight if we had been sat next to each other as the space was so small.

3. Wear comfortable clothes
I always see business class people boarding the flight looking prim and proper but honestly, especially if you’re in economy, it’s not worth it. Unless you're trying to get a free upgrade I just wouldn't bother. I always wear a loose top and leggings and shoes I can take on and off. I also keep makeup to a minimum or not at all, and I tie my hair up. Another option is to wear pajamas. I saw a woman this time board the flight in her normal clothes and get changed as soon as the seatbelt light switched off. I also pack a change of clothes for the middle stop in the airport to freshen up.

4. Try find showers in the airport
Normally the layover on the cheaper long-haul flights are a couple of hours in the airport and there’s nothing nicer and refreshing than having a shower. Last year when Mr. Nomad had lounge access I couldn't believe how much better I felt after a good shower and some food. It made the journey feel so much better. Do some research on the airport you have a layover in to see where the showers are located. Also I know some airports have swimming pools (Singapore) which is a great idea for those who feel cramped up after a flight.

**Changi transit programme- Singapore airlines actually offer every transiting passenger from a vast list of origin countries s$40 to spend in the airport, which can also include lounge access (showers, food etc) which is an AMAZING deal I wish i'd known about sooner. A lot of people don't know about it, but apparently it's been going on for years!

5. Get clued in to what food you should order
I’m actually vegetarian and gluten-free as I have coeliac disease which is a concept no airlines so far have been able to grasp or cater for. Previously this has caused some issues with not being able to eat most of the things on the flights which has been really annoying. Etihad actually said they would cater for gluten-free and vegetarian when we phoned up as long as we got in contact them once we’d booked the flights but after purchasing the tickets backtracked on this so we complained and ended up getting some food vouchers for the airports. I actually found on both the Etihad, Singapore and Emirates flights that ordering a vegetarian Indian meal gave me the most options of things I could eat as I got curry and rice for most meals (and I actually enjoyed them- I love spicy food). Also if you’re impatient with food, order vegetarian as you will get served first. My uncle tends to do this now on his long haul flights so he can eat then nod back off to sleep. Ensure to keep drinking lots of water to keep hydrated, especially with all the air con on the flight. You can actually check Airline Meals to find out the kind of food you're likely to get served on the different airlines which can be handy if you’re a picky eater.

What tips do you have for surviving long haul flights?


  1. All good tips! I find that my feet and ankles really swell on flights which always rules out jeans for me!

  2. I couldn't think of anything worse either than tight jeans on a long haul flight!