With two Europe trips on my calendar for this year, I’m breaking out all my tried-and-true tips for surviving long flights, layovers, multiple security checks, and all the other drama that comes with flying. Since international is a whole other animal, I’m sharing my favorite tips for how to survive long flights!
If you’ve ever read even one post on this blog, you know I’m a planner. I love to have everything worked out, and for international trips, the more planning the better! Before you even leave for the airport, there’s a few things to do:
Before you go
I’ve talked about what to bring in a carry-on before, because what you bring in your bag is so important. I don’t mean your carry-on suitcase, I mean your purse/backpack/whatever you put under the seat in front of you. It is nearly impossible to access your suitcase during the flight (don’t be that person opening the bins and digging through your suitcase in the aisle), so make sure that your easy-to-access bag has everything you will need for the duration of the flight! My favorite thing to have is my iPad or a book to keep me entertained, and a few snacks to keep me full in between meals.
Once your pack your bag, pick your outfit. I feel like there are usually two types of people on a plane: those who are headed straight to a business meeting, and those who rolled out of bed and went straight to the airport. I try to be somewhere in the middle- comfy yet not slobby. I love leggings, big cardigans, and easy-to-remove shoes (with socks!).
At the airport
Please. Please. Please. Have all of your stuff. Before you leave the house, have your passport/ID, boarding pass, phone, wallet, keys, etc. Try to weigh your bag before you go so you don’t have to reorganize at the counter. If you are relaxed and prepared, the whole experience will go so much smoother.
On the plane
It usually helps me to fall asleep on planes if I put my headphones in and read a few chapters before dozing off. I have trouble staying asleep on planes, so having something to pass the time is essential! I just can’t get comfortable unless I’m laying down, so I try to bring along a neck pillow and a big scarf/cardigan to use as a blanket and trick myself into getting comfy!
Make sure you drink A LOT of water. I know you’ve heard this a million times, but its so easy to get dehydrated on a plane. Drink before you get on, and have your supply refilled as often as possible during the flight. I try to stay away from coffee and alcohol on overnight flights because it helps me sleep better. You don’t want to get hammered at the airport bar and then wake up mid-hangover on the flight!
Ohhhh layovers. They’re not fun, but sometimes they’re necessary to score a cheap flight. If you can, try to only pack a carry-on suitcase instead of checking a bag. It will ease any worries about your bag getting to your location and make your trip smoother. If you can, figure out your gate ahead of time in case you have to change terminals or even airports. Check to see if there is another flight just in case your first one is delayed, and have a backup plan!
I have flown so many times and every time I spend an hour double-checking everything and second-guessing whether or not I forgot something. Long-haul flights can be annoying, but as long as you’re prepared, just remember that you have a fun destination waiting for you!
What are some things you do to survive long flights?