Essential Tips For How To Survive Long Flights In Economy

Picture of a lady sitting on a pink carry on suitcase.

Flying far doesn’t have to be so bad, even if you’re sitting in a sardine can AKA “economy class.” I have 11 essential tips for how to survive long flights in economy comfortably. So buckle up and get ready for your departure!

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1| Invest In A Travel Card With Perks

picture of credit cards on a table

The most important long-haul flight tip is to get yourself a good travel credit card. Do your research and find one that comes with a buttload of perks that flip your fancy.

Priority Pass access is one awesome benefit I receive with my travel credit card. During layovers, I skip sitting at the gate in those uncomfortable chairs. With Priority Pass you are able to wait for your next flight in super comfy lounges. You have access to Wi-Fi, cocktails, snacks, and comfortable seating all for free! Some lounges even have showers! There are over 1,300 lounges world wide so you will pretty find one wherever you go. Your friends can join you too. Once you experience Priority access, you will never go back!

2| Book A Flight With A Long Layover

Picture of a lady with a carry on bag

My second crucial recommendation begins with booking your ticket. If I could explore a different city or country everyday I would. So when you’re on vacation, why not try to see as much as you can, right? You already went so far to wherever you’re going, so don’t stay put in one place!

I have been on multiple long-haul flights that have exceed 24-hours or more travel time. If you are anything like me, then sitting on a plane for 6-plus hours, a break is definitely needed. I am not just talking about hanging out at the airport for a few hours during a layover. I need to leave the airport totally.

When booking your flight, browse for flights that have ridiculously long-layovers that will give you time to explore another city.

Well, I got into this little routine when booking a flight to the UAE. I found a really cheap flight that had a very long layover in Amsterdam. So I decided to save some cash and book the flight. Now, I do this for every trip.

To schedule long layovers and visit multiple countries during your vacation, check out European Destinations, which is an affordable booking agency. They leave you plenty of leeway on their site to find flights where you can squeeze in a long layover somewhere on your trip.

3| Select Your Seat Immediately

picture of seats in economy selecting the right seat is one of the essentials to surviving long flights

Most of the rows consist of 3-4 seats on those international flights. Right after you book your trip, select your seat immediately. If you are flying in economy the right seat is absolutely everything to surviving a long flights.

I also recommend being super nice to the flight attendant checking your bag! Ask how their day is going and give a compliment and politely ask if there are any seats available in an empty or exit row. Usually 85% of the time I receive a better seat that what I had before. So be nice boys and girls!

4| Exercise Prior To Boarding

So yay, today is the day of your departure! Help yourself unwind because I am pretty sure your adrenaline is pumping from all your excitement. Go do yourself a favor and workout. You will be sitting in one uncomfortable seat for what will feel like the longest plane ride ever. Get your CrossFit, yoga, Karate, or whatever gets your mojo going before getting on that plane.

5| Pack Your Carry-On With The Right Essentials

picture of airplane sized bottles that are carry-on approved

Having the right carry-on essentials for long flights is so important to being super comfy in economy. Make sure you pack the right toiletries, electronics, items for sleeping, clothing, and so forth. I will not go into lengthy detail what to take on a long flight in your carry-on because I got you covered. Check out my post on the 30-essentials you absolutely need in your carry-on to survive long flights.

RELATED POSTS: What To Pack In Your Cary On For Long Flights

6| Eat A Light Meal

picture of avocado toast

Prior to your departure eat a light meal at home or at the airport. Check-in for international flights is at least 2-hours prior to take off. So, you may decide not to eat and stall for the meal to be served on the plane, but don’t wait. Fill your belly up with something light, so you don’t end up hangry which is never good to being comfortable on the plane.

7| Drink Lots Of Water

Airplanes tend to have a dry environment and can quickly dehydrate you and your skin (find out how to take care of your skin while traveling). Don’t start off your vacation dehydrated. Bring your own reusable water bottle that you can easily fill it up at the airport before boarding. During flights you can always ask the flight attendant for refills. Save your money and forget purchasing an overpriced bottle of water at the airport.

8| Dress Comfortable And Not To Impress

picture of a lady trying to close her overstuffed carry on

Comfortable clothes are the best clothes for long flights. For pants what I typically like to wear on an international flight are leggings or yoga pants. I am obsessed with them equally since they are light and somewhat stylish. They go well with a cute pair of slip-on shoes.

Always wear shoes you can slip on/off easily incase you need to go to the restroom or get up and stretch. Also, wear a hoodie or light jacket for extra warmth. Nothing worse than trying to sleep on a plane when it is freezing cold. Read more tips on what to wear and bring for long flights here.

9| Set Your Watch To The Destination Time

Set your watch or phone to the destination time when you’re seated on the plane. Presetting the time to your destination mentally prepares yourself to the schedule wherever you are going. But wait friends until you are on the plane so you don’t miss your flight!

10| Bring Additional Entertainment

someone with a laptop sitting on a plane

So there is a limited amount of entertainment on the plane. Really all you can do is sit, watch a movie, sleep, or get chatty with your neighbor. And you did all these with in the first 1-2 hours. Prepare yourself by bringing additional entertainment to keep yourself busy. Some items I like to pack are books, magazines, crossword puzzles, cards or additional movies.

11| Sleep If You Can

picture of circles with zzz's or a drawn face sleeping

I am not one to really sleep on the plane. I get so envious of those you can sleep in an upright position. When I need some help going to bed, I pop in one of these delicious sleeping aids. This chocolaty pill will knock you out super fast!

Gotta Layover? Here’s What You Can Do!

Okay, so if you booked a long layover for long flights I have some tips on what to do. My all time favorite is to book a quick tour. I love getting the most out of a city during the short amount of time I’m there. I have some recommendations of tours below that I personally used and enjoyed.


Triple is an awesome site that has tours given by locals. What I absolutely loved about Triple is you can select a tour that is customized to what you want to do and see during your quick visit! Check out their site and you can find tours for museum walks, club hopping, and even biking tours! The selections are endless.

During my trip to Amsterdam I booked a food tour with Triple. My guide took me to the local’s favorite spots for the best bitterballen, Dutch beer, Gouda, and fresh stroop waffles in the city.

Tours typically last for 3-hours which gives you a chance to familiarize yourself with the city. Cost of this tour was 25-USD, then of course don’t forget to tip. Tours can range from 15-USD and up and prices vary depending on country you’re visiting. Once you have made your purchase, you will be contacted by your guide to discuss further details.

I highly suggest purchasing a tour from Triple during a long layover. You get a full cultural experience from a local during your short visit.


Another site I recommend is Showaround. On my flight to Mauritius I selected a flight with a 24-hour layover in Paris. I had one amazing tour exploring Le Maris, which is a very Parisian neighborhood that not so many tourists no about.

My guide took me on a tour and we walked through the city for about 4 -hours. We chatted about the history, munched on macaroons and croissants, and sipped on multiple cappuccinos along the way.

After the tour I had time to venture off and explore the Eiffel Tower, Lourve, and Arc de Trump on my own.

They have a variety of tours just like Triple. Price ranges from free, yes free and can go up to 60-USD.

Tips For Long Flights Quick Recap

  • Get one awesome travel rewards credit card that has perks of like TSA pre-check and enjoying fancy airport lounges.
  • Book a flight with a long layover so you can stretch your legs in between flights.
  • Select your seat immediately after booking your flight. Get a seat you know you wouldn’t mind bunkering down for awhile.
  • Get your body moving and exercise the day before your flight.
  • Pack the right carry on essentials to have with you on the plane.
  • Eat a light meal before boarding the plane at home or the airport.
  • Make sure to keep yourself hydrated and drink lots of water the day before, day of, and on the flight!
  • Dress in comfy clothes for your flight and wear shoes that you can take on and off easily.
  • Set your watch to the time of your destination zone. Mentally prepare yourself to adjust to the time.
  • Pack plenty of entertainment that will keep you busy throughout your flight.
  • Get plenty of rest so you are ready when you get off the plane for your trip.

How To Survive Long Flights In Economy: Conclusion

I hope you found my tips for flying internationally in economy helpful. Are there any recommendations that you have on how to survive long flights in economy? Comment below your suggestions!

Related Posts:

Before you go, I have some additional reads for how to survive those long flights in economy to make them painless as possible.

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  1. Really like this post! I do some of these things too when I travel long haul!
    Paris is always a good idea 😉

    1. Hey thanks for the compliment girl! It is a must to find some strategies for those long haul flights. You’re right, Paris is always a good idea lady!

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