How To Survive a Long Flight in Economy

So, you’ve booked your flight to Hong Kong, Auckland, Moscow, or where ever it is you’re going. There’s just one thing standing in between you and your destination – 16 hours of flight time. Maybe more or less depending on where you’re going. The easy answer is to book business class, but the truth is many of us cannot afford that luxury. Although far from ideal – meaning, your seat will not fully recline into a bed – travel in economy is bearable. Read on for 7 tips on how to survive a long haul flight in economy class.

Photo via Buy The Sky

Photo via Buy The Sky


Bring entertainment

The last thing you want to do is find yourself twiddling your thumbs while confined to a teeny tiny seat on a long flight. Pack your headphones, laptop, iPad, iPhone, books and any other materials that will make your journey easier. Purchase in-flight wifi if it’s within your budget so you can read your favorite blogs, surf the web and even watch YouTube videos.


Wear comfortable clothes

My go-to travel outfit: black leggings, a long t-shirt, sweater and tennis shoes. Opt for clothing that is breathable, stretchy and lightweight. Try to avoid fussy zippers, buttons and clunky shoes. At some point during your journey, you’ll probably become a human pretzel so ease of movement is kind of important. Just sayin’.


Pack snacks

If you’re one of those people who can eat anything, then you won’t have a problem with the cafeteria-esque meals offered on the airplane. If you’re anything like me and not about that life, it would behoove you to bring plenty of snacks tucked away in your carry on bag. Some of my favorite airplane friendly foods are Clif Bars, popcorn, and Krave beef jerky. I also take a sandwich on board that can eat for my first meal. Again, bring plenty of snacks so you can have some for the return flight too.


Bring your own water bottle

At some international destinations, you are not allowed to bring liquids (drinks) on board even if purchased within the airport. The best way to get around this is to bring your own empty water bottle and ask the flight attendant to fill it up for you. This way, you’ll never be thirsty as you’re waiting for the drink cart to make its rounds.


Bring a blanket/scarf

For those of you who are in the perpetually cold crew, a blanket is imperative to keep warm during the flight. Challenge yourself to pack even lighter by bringing a stylish scarf that doubles as a blanket. The object of the game is to make yourself as comfortable as humanly possible.


Sit in a window or aisle seat

Someone has to sit in the middle seat but it doesn’t have to be you. Book early if possible to get your choice of a window or an aisle seat. If your plane has a middle section, even better! This means that unfortunate middle seat passenger won’t bother you every time they have to go to the restroom (because they have options!). Sleeping is more manageable this way. Which leads me to my next point…


Get some sleep

A day of airports, layovers, and long flights can exhaust the body. When all the words in your book start to run together and all the movies seem to have the same tired plot, put in your headphones and let your body rest. You’ll regret that time you didn’t sleep when jet lag kicks in – promise!


What are your favorite tips for surviving a long haul flight? Let us know! 


Tiffany is travel + lifestyle blogger aiming to inspire globally minded millennial women to escape the mundane (if only for a moment), embrace their inner wanderlust, and to boldly live life on their own terms. You can find more of her tip and experiences on her blog