man on plane

Sitting on a plane for hours isn’t very high on the list of ways people want to spend their time. However, long-haul flights are necessary if you need to travel far. A long flight can be stressful and daunting, with security lines and airports generating traveler anxiety combined with ever-changing restrictions. Still, it’s vital to remember that relaxation awaits you and the journey there isn’t the vacation.

While focusing on the positives, there are numerous ways to make your flight more tolerable. A straightforward approach is understanding what you shouldn’t do. With that in mind, here are some common mistakes travelers make on long-haul flights and advice to avoid these drawbacks.

Dressing uncomfortably.

A common mistake people make on long flights is not dressing appropriately. Since you’ll sit in the same place for six hours or more, it’s critical to be as comfortable as possible. It would be best if you avoided restrictive or heavy clothes and went for stretchy clothes and soft fabrics instead for peak coziness and comfort. It might also help to invest in compression socks for comfort and health during a long flight.

Some people are usually more prone to dress nicely while flying, and long-haul flights are where many try to dress cute instead of comfortably and end up uncomfortable. For your next long-haul flight, try wearing a matching set in a neutral color. You could also bring an outfit to change into once you’re free to move about the cabin. In addition to dressing comfortably, wearing comfortable shoes when on a long-haul flight is essential. It would be best to loosen the laces to take your shoes on and off. At the end of your flight, your feet might be swollen, which is normal and another reason to wear comfortable shoes.

Picking a seat by the bathroom.

Where you sit can impact the quality of your flight experience. For your next long-haul flight, consider choosing a seat not in a high-traffic area for a more peaceful time. A seat close to the bathroom might sound convenient, but being on the row near the restroom when a line forms isn’t fun. For a more comfortable experience, sit far from the bathroom and use the walk to stretch your legs.

Watching the time.

The saying goes, “a watched pot doesn’t boil” Like this phrase, time will move slower during a long flight if you keep watching the time. Once you board your flight, set your watch to the time of your destination, but try not to count the hours or look at it. Also, it would help if you avoided looking at the “where are we” map if it’s available. You’ll land soon enough, but try to relax in the meantime.

Not checking upgrade options.

Instead of assuming you can’t afford a seat upgrade on your long-haul flight, try checking your options at check-in. Typically, airline apps allow you to check in 24 hours before your flight departs, so that’s the best time to check. When you do so, you’ll see the available seat options. Upgrades are usually reduced in cost on the day of the flight. For example, the initial seat upgrade for your flight might be $3,000, but on the day of your flight, those same seats might be $700. That small seat change will make your flight more pleasant.

Traveling without sleep basics.

If you plan on sleeping on your long-haul flight, you should bring noise-canceling headphones or good earplugs. Getting a sleep mask might not be a bad idea, either. Also, it would help if you invested in a high-quality neck pillow before your flight. All neck pillows aren’t the same, so research and find the one that’s best for you. A neck pillow that attaches to the headrest could be a game changer.

Flying with no entertainment.

Before take-off, it might help to download music, podcasts, or movies on your laptop, iPhone or iPad so you’ll have entertainment options. It would also help to ensure that your devices are fully charged. Your in-flight entertainment might malfunction, so it’s good to have backup options if you’re going to be in the air for hours. However, your entertainment doesn’t have to involve your phone. You could also bring magazines, books, or puzzles to pass the time while you’re in the sky. Having some form of entertainment on a long-haul flight is necessary. You might sleep sometimes, but having access to entertainment won’t hurt.

Ignoring seat options.

Selecting your seat in advance will be handy, so you don’t end up in a middle seat for a long flight. Most airlines don’t charge a seat fee for an economy ticket, but if you can splurge, try buying an economy or comfort plus ticket. Extra legroom will be a godsend. Buying a business-class ticket might not be a viable option for some people, but maybe you could try purchasing a premium economy ticket. If you plan on sleeping, your best option is a window seat.

An exit-row seat will be your best bet if you want extra legroom to be more comfortable. Choosing the best seat depends on whether you plan to sleep and what time your flight is, but it’s best to figure out your seat position before booking your flight. You’ll have to decide whether having an aisle or window seat is more important to you. You can have the freedom to get up and stretch when you want or lean on the window for your naps; the choice is yours.

Depending on plane food.

If you’re not sitting in business class, you won’t have a lot of snacks or meal choices. If you’re a picky eater, eating before your flight takes off or coming with snacks and food might be best. Bringing your food options guarantees that you can eat what you want when you want since food options are limited.

Sitting for hours on a plane is the last place most people want to be, so it would be best if you made yourself comfortable for the long ride. Long-haul flights can be uncomfortable and stressful, so the number one thing you should do is make sure you’re comfortable and prepared.

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