Written by Dianne Sivulka, Founder and CEO of Travel on Purpose


This week, I have friends in Egypt and Ethiopia. Before leaving, they asked, "What are your essentials for long-haul flights?" I love discussing travel, so I gladly shared what I've learned over the years and my go-to list for a comfortable journey. I decided to turn those discussions into a blog post and share it with you!

Do you or anyone you know have a big trip coming up that includes a long flight? Save this post and share it!

Fact: Any flight longer than seven hours

is considered a long-haul flight.

My main goal on a long-haul flight is to get some sleep so I can arrive at my destination rested and ready to go! Sleeping on flights comes easily for some and nearly impossible for others. I'm probably somewhere between, but the following list of goods has helped me get the best rest possible. I like to have a good neck pillow with high sides that can cinch up tightly (especially if I'm in a middle seat and can't lean against the window). A way to block out noise is essential, so sometimes I will use noise-canceling headphones, and sometimes I will use earplugs. I like an eye mask that keeps the light out. Years ago I discovered a sleep powder that has worked well for me. It's a nice little cocktail of melatonin, magnesium, and amino acids that you simply mix with water. Compression socks are an absolute must for me, and I always travel with a scarf that can double as a light blanket.

Fact: The longest non-stop flight today

is from Singapore (SIN) to New York (JFK)

on Singapore Airlines. It is almost 19 hours long!


My 7 Essentials for Long-Haul Flights:

Lastly, I'd like to share Five Additional Tips for making it through those long flights. Some people feel really anxious about long flights because they worry about how they will pass so much time. I can relate to that for sure! Below are are a few additional tips that have helped me. 

Stay hydrated: Drink lots of water! It really does make a difference to keep your body hydrated. 

Take walks: To help with circulation try to take a walk every hour that you're not sleeping. Plus, with all that water you're going to drink, frequent trips to the bathroom are a must.

Rotate activities: If you're worried about passing the time, think through a handful of activities and rotate through them over and over again. For example, watch one movie, take a nap, eat a snack, read one chapter in a book, take a walk, repeat.

Adjust your time zone immediately: Before take-off, I like to consider what time it is where I'm headed, and think of myself in that time zone. If they're sleeping, then I should at least (try to) sleep.

No Jet Lag: I'll be honest, I've never used this but I know a lot of people who swear by it. I actually took it to India with me, but didn't read the box beforehand and didn't realize I was supposed to take it on the journey, not when I arrived. One of these days I'm going to give it a try.

Fact: The longest flight I've personally ever been on was from Los Angeles to Sydney. It was just over 15 hours. Another fun fact is that shortly before take-off, my son spilled his entire Gatorade on my pants and shoes, which resulted in a wet and sticky ride. I don't recommend this.


Wherever your next adventure takes you, fly with comfort with this list of essentials and tips. Do you have something to add? Share your ideas at [email protected] and we just might highlight your tips in a future post.

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