Flying for a long period of time and traveling through multiple time zones can be a grueling experience, but it doesn’t have to be (even if you’re in economy class!) Being prepared for a long haul flight can make all the difference. When we flew from LAX to Bangkok, it consisted of a 14 hour flight to Taipei and another 3 and a half hour flight to Bangkok.
Get an Aisle Seat
The best thing you can do to prepare for a long haul flight is to pick an aisle seat! Our first long haul flight we picked a window and middle seat. SUCH A FAIL. It’s so much easier to get up and go to the bathroom (which of course I had to do a million times) when you don’t have to bother the person sitting next to you.
Most people will want to sleep right away on the plane, but if your flight is longer than 9 hours, try to stay up for at least a couple hours after you board. You’ll be more tired, sleep longer, and more likely to stay asleep. You do not want to wake up and see the you still have another 6 hours to go before you land. We stayed up for a couple hours until we were exhausted, and ended up sleeping close to 7 hours.
This is actually recommended to reduce the chance of blood clots in your legs. Plus it feels good to stretch after sitting in a cramped space for a hours on end. I couldn’t even sit still at my desk at work for that long. We must have gotten up at least 5 times during our flight (sorry to the person sitting next to us!) We did a couple laps up and down the aisles and some stretching at the front of our section.
Prep your carry on bags for a long haul flight
-A kindle with a couple books loaded on it
-An activity book full of puzzles and brain teasers
-Phone/ Ipod with a bunch of music downloaded on it. If you have Spotify, make your playlists available to play offline so you can listen to them on the flight.
-Charging accessories so you can charge during your layover or at the airport when you arrive
-A pen for your puzzle book, to doodle, and to fill out your arrival card
-A neck pillow, earplugs and an eye mask. People on the plane will want to sleep at different times so you will want to make a good environment for sleeping on the plane.
-Water bottles! We forgot to buy them at the airport and we were so thirsty on board.
-A change of clothes and a jacket
-A toiletry kit to freshen up during our layover. Put everything in a see through quart size bag so going through security will be a breeze
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss
- hand lotion
- face wipes
Our Experience in Economy
We had 2 meal services on our long haul flight, and we were pleasantly surprised with how good the food was. They served the first meal about an hour into our flight, and breakfast was served about 2 hours before we landed. The cups for water and drinks are pretty small, so seriously don’t forget water bottles. You will get thirsty and a couple sips just won’t cut it.
We were really impressed with the entertainment on board. Each seat had it’s own screen where you could play multiple new releases and even video games!
So in summary, stay up and take in the fact that you’re going on this amazing adventure. Watch a movie or do a couple puzzles. Sleep once you can’t fight it off anymore and by the time you wake up you won’t have much longer to go. Read a little bit or watch another movie and you’ll be there in no time!