Preparing and packing for long haul flight
Be prepared for the long haul flight is for many (me included) the less attractive part of the whole trip planning. It takes time and knowledge because of many variables that have an impact on the flight. Knowing what to wear on long haul flight is key to the overall flight health.
When you fly for long hours there are three elements that you need to consider:
- Wearing the right clothes for maximum comfort
There is nothing worse than feeling cold or uncomfortable when sitting on a plane for long hours. The layer principle coupled with loose, stretch pants with warm, soft tops is the basic to creating your outfit to wear on a plane.
- Eating and Drinking the right things
Proper preparation for the long flight starts by eating the right food and drinking plenty of fresh water. On this post, I have compiled a checklist on how to prepare for the
- Adjusting your body to a new time zone
A long-haul flight means sitting long hours, so it’s hard not to feel exhausted and sleep-deprived, get a stiff neck, a tingling in your feet, swollen ankles and suffer from the conditioned air.
That’s why following the above tips plus wearing the right clothes can genuinely make the difference when you are preparing for the long-haul flight.
While I am always on the lookout for new garments that add more comfort to my long flights, over the years I have created the plane outfit that works well for me.
Here are some great tips to help you choose what to wear for flying long distance.
How to create the best outfit for the long flight
There isn’t one solution fits all, unfortunately. However, a universal golden rule is to avoid tight clothing that clings around your chest and legs. Functional clothing is what I recommend wearing on the plane. The most important thing about wearing functional thermal clothing is that it helps to regulate your body temperature and to keep you warm all the time.
There is nothing worse than feeling cold when sitting on a plane for long hours with the change of cabin air pressure the temperature changes from warm to cold within a short time. Feeling stiff and uncomfortable and not sleeping on a plane is the precondition for severe jet-lag symptoms.
The best travel outfits for a long haul flight
One important thing to consider is wearing clothes in layers that you can easily remove or add. The best way of creating this type of long flight outfit is to wear a micro-fleece long-sleeve T-shirt and a warm jumper on top. I love to wear a zipped fleece jumper with side pockets to have more freedom with my arms.
- Lightweight Functional Clothes to keep you warm on a plane
Lightweight, comfy pants are what I recommend wearing on a long flight. Choose loose soft pants if you wear compression stockings underneath. Many underestimate the fact that flying at high altitudes in a pressured cabin for long hours can do lots of damage to your legs and veins. Clogs in your blood can form and lead to DVT too.
- Wear Compression socks to protect your veins
If you care for your vein health, you should always wear compression socks or medical stocking, as a woman and as a man too. It’s only ten years ago when I started using compression stockings, and since then I never fly without my Mediven Elegance stockings. The protection of medical stockings provide to my legs is priceless.
- Crete a layers outfit for the plane
Alternatively, you can wear a thermal base layer underneath your clothes, but while this is an excellent way to keep you warm, it will have no protection for your veins though. Stretch leggings is another superb piece of garment for an aeroplane outfit. Choose thermal leggings to keep your legs warm and protected from the conditioned air.
- Keep your neck and head warm
Don’t forget to protect your head and neck by using a soft, warm silk scarf. Pashmina and Fleece are also great textiles for a scarf. This is another garment that completes the perfect travel plane outfit.
- Wear comfy sneakers
As for the shoes, flat shoes are a must. My walking boots used to be my first choice to save space from the checked luggage, but any comfy sneakers or training shoes is an excellent option for long flights.
Travel gear that improves comfort on the plane
Wearing the proper clothing is a crucial step towards a comfy long flight. However, there are travel essentials that will enhance the wellbeing on an aircraft. Here is my list
First of all, an airplane travel pillow will provide head and neck support thus helping you fall asleep and stay asleep longer. Choosing the right travel pillow for the long haul flight isn’t easy because it depends on many factors like individual needs, travel style, space and weight.
Inflatable pillows are the most used on planes, but while they work well for some, for others they are useless. Foam U-shaped pillows can be a great option; these perform better, but they are heavier and take much more space than inflatable ones. So you need to consider if you can carry it in your bag though.
On this article, you can find in-depth tips on how to choose the most suitable pillows for the aeroplane.
Create your long-haul flight essentials
Besides wearing the proper clothes and having the right gear like a travel pillow, noise-cancelling headphones, packing all personal travel essentials is critical. As cabin luggage space is limited, I take my multi-functional daypack, that I also use for all my outdoor activities as well as a laptop bag.
These are my best tips on how to pack your hand luggage for the long flight:
- Essential Toiletries for the long trip
In a foldable bag, I place all my plane essentials; this is practical when using the toilets on the plane. Keep it stored into your cabin carry on. In a small zipped bag I put my toiletries such as face wash and cream, teeth brush and toothpaste, eye drops, face and hand wipes, hand-sanitizer, hairbrush, lip-balm, lavender essential oil.
- What food to eat on a plane
Can you take food onboard? Yes, if it is dry food and in a package. I never travel without my organic fruit bars, dark chocolate, crackers, herbal tea bags and food supplements like Vitamin C and OPC that help combat jet lag.
- Personal Garments to pack in your cabin bag
These are the items that I first pack into my cabin hand-luggage:
- Soft socks
- Fresh underwear and panty liners
- Snacks and smart bars for the plane
- Herbal tea bags
For more items check out my Rocky Travel Shop on Amazon
It’s crucial that you pack your hand-luggage with all long-haul flight essentials that not only comply with the airport rules and airline baggage restrictions but also allow you to survive the long flying and be self-sufficient on a plane as well as on transition time at connecting airports.
The average length of long flights ranges between 8 to 24 hours, with 1 or 2 layovers at international airports. Prefer booking flights with connecting airports that you know well and offer maximum comfort. Stick to the airport that you know well. My favourite is Singapore and Dubai Airport.
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how to pack for international travel
A guide on how to plan your trip
All Photo Credits from Shutterstock:
Tourist woman with backpack
Man sleeping on the floor at the airport
Spare Pillows on the plane