Travel Tips for Long Flights

Next-door-neighbour's reading light making you go blind, it's best you pack a sleeping mask.123rf

Next-door-neighbour's reading light making you go blind, it's best you pack a sleeping mask.

I look back on my first long-haul flight many moons ago with equal amounts of pleasure and pain.

It was the 15-hour leg from Brisbane to Los Angeles and I was about as prepared as a girl-scout on steroids. Or so I thought.

I had my spotted travel pillow and my foam earplugs. I had every late-90s technological gadget you could think of packed away in my little Samsonite carry-on.

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Still, seven hours later I was bored out of my brains. I was the kind of bored that only constant fidgets with overactive imaginations would understand.

I'd practically given the in-flight entertainment system an aneurism from all the episodes of Buffy I'd been watching and people were beginning to think I had Restless Leg Syndrome from repeatedly walking up and down the aisle.

Sleeping was never an option for me.

This was a luxury for those lucky schleps in first class who didn't have a tween shoving a foot into the back of their chairs at 40-minute intervals. No legroom and annoying children did not a good slumber make.

But boredom and sleep deprivation weren't the only things keeping me from enjoying my inaugural trans-pacific plane experience.

Other enlightening things that happened on my first long-haul flight, and numerous ones thereafter, have provided fodder for the pre-plane-planning arsenal I adopt today.

So here are six unconventional tips for long-haul flights you can adopt next time you're imprisoned in a large metal tube for an ungodly amount of time.


Picture this: it's an hour into your flight and you're starving. You paid good money for this ride and you're going to milk it for all its worth.

But the vinos aren't cutting it and you've just noticed a couple of people dotted around the cabin already have their meals.

Light bulb moment! Order a special meal in advance or wait decades to be fed.

With a simple tick of a box when booking your flight (or up to 24 hours prior to boarding) you can be one of the chosen ones too! I always go for the GF option because I'm actually Gluten Free, but hey, there's no harm in going Vego for the day.

It's worth noting that your tray won't be taken away any earlier though. Oh well, you can't win everything.


In the days of airline wars and budget-cuts, some carriers are becoming increasingly stingy with the overnight essentials.

Now I'm not going to name names, but a select few have done away with the complimentary wet-packs completely. Epic fail.

Why play Russian-roulette with your face? In the interest of sparing yourself utter disappointment upon realising there's nothing to stop your teeth from growing fur or your next-door-neighbour's reading light making you go blind, it's best you pack a toothbrush, some toothpaste, sleeping mask and deodorant.

See also:
Packing Tips for Flying Comfort on Long Haul Flights
Packing Tips for Flying Comfort on Long Haul Flights
Travel Tips - How To Survive Long Flights
Travel Tips - How To Survive Long Flights
The Travel Detective Flight Crew Confidential: People Who Fly for a Living Reveal Insider Secrets and Hidden Values in Cities and Airports Around the World
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