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12 Tips and Tricks for How to Survive Your next Long Haul Flight

When you've checked in and the adrenaline is pumping, you love life. But once you've taken off and realise there are another 10 hours to go, you'll wish you had used some tips for long-haul flights.

Flying for hours straight is challenging, even with a stack of films and large Spotify playlists downloaded. You'll get a little uncomfortable and restless at one point, so having some tips for long-haul flights will help get you there in one piece.

Author: Camp Leaders
29 Oct 10:22

Preparing for your long-haul flight can improve your travel experience and help settle your pre-flight nerves.

There are a few little tweaks which you can add to your pre-flight routine, which will make sure that the 6, 10, or 16 hours in the air are as bearable as possible.

So without further ado, here are 12 tips for long-haul flights to make your next trip fresh.

Tips for long haul flights

Here's a quick overview of our tips for long haul flights:

  • Drink lots of water
  • Take your headphones
  • Try to sleep
  • Pack essentials separately
  • Make room
  • Take snacks
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Wear comfy clothing
  • Wear layers
  • Bring neck support
  • Bring entertainment
  • Charge your devices
  • Flying east to west
  • Move
  • Pack an eyemask/earbuds
  • Be productive or creative

Read on to find out why these tips for long haul flights are so important.

Drink lots of water
A row of seats on a long haul flight.

Hydration is key.

Although there's no magic number on how many glasses of water you should drink, health experts recommend drinking more on a plane than usual. Cabin air is dehydrating.

We'd recommend buying a large bottle of water whilst airside, after security (you won't be able to take the water through with you).

You can also take an empty water bottle to fill up. Most airports will have fountains, and you can ask a flight attendant to help you fill your bottle whilst on board.

Take your headphones

Headphones are great for the flight, and many airlines will kindly provide you with a set to enjoy the onboard entertainment. But they aren't usually the greatest quality.

Having your own set of headphones, especially noise-cancelling ones, will guarantee you a little peace and quiet on your journey.

They're also great for using when watching the onboard movies - just make sure the jack is a regular one, and you'll be all set.

Sleep (if you can)

We know how exciting it can be when you’re finally jetting off and about to have your first week at summer camp.

You're on your way, beginning your journey, and your mind will be reeling with all those unanswered questions - What will it be like? What will I be eating? Who will be there?

But this is a great time to have a little nap.

When you arrive at camp, it's going to be go-go-go. You'll be moving into your bunk, meeting many people and battling jet lag.

It's overwhelming, especially if you're tired.

Use these next few hours to get your head down and recharge before the organised chaos of summer camp begins.

Pack your essentials in a separate bag

Having a separate bag with your essentials is a great plan.

It means you can access them easily when asked, with none of that awkward rummaging, and you'll be able to check you've got your essentials at all times.

The best thing to use is a clear wallet or transparent pencil case, so you don't need to open it to see what you want.

It's also a great idea to keep the bits you'd like for your flight here, too.

We'd recommend popping in your headphones, phone charger cord, a pen, lip balm, an adaptor and a few tubes of sweets.

  • Other important documents you should keep together are;
  • Passport (with J1 visa inside)
  • DS-2019 Form
  • SEVIS Receipt
  • Camp Address, phone number and contact person
  • Onward travel instructions to your camp
  • Copy of your flight itinerary
  • Your insurance documentation
  • Your medical form and police check
Make the most of your space
Looking out of a plane window on a long haul flight.

To make the most of your small space, resist the urge to pop your backpack on the floor in front of you.

Instead, make sure you pop it in the locker above your head, as although it may seem a good idea to have your stuff super close, you'll soon be glad for the extra foot room.

It's why having a separate wallet comes in handy. You'll be able to quickly separate the things you need, like your headphones, whilst not needing to root through your bag.

We'd also recommend freeing up a book and a hoodie now and putting them by your chair. It makes it much easier to have them by your side rather than ask the person beside you to stand up begrudgingly.

Stay popular and plan ahead.

Pack snacks

We all love a cheeky snack, and when you're on the plane, the last thing you ever want to feel is uncomfortably hungry.

Plane snacks from the onboard magazine can be costly. So to avoid an overpriced pot of Pringles, pack a few nibbles to see you through.

We'd recommend packing protein-rich snacks, like almonds bars, bananas or yoghurt, as these will keep you fuller for longer.

Avoid Alcohol

Despite how fun it may seem, alcohol isn't a great idea when flying.

You'll be dehydrated on the flight, and the effects of alcohol in the air will be much stronger.

When you land, it's also likely you'll feel groggy, unwell and, from the high sugar intake and depressive side effects, less able to deal with jet lag.

Be smart and stick to hydration. You'll feel a whole lot better.

Don't forget you're also heading out to work at summer camp, so make sure you start with a good first impression. No need to be sent home for what seemed like a good idea.

Wear comfy clothing

Travel in comfort and arrive in style. Although you want to make an excellent first impression, it doesn't mean you must travel in a suit.

Opt to dress comfortably, and if you want to arrive dressed smart, take a change of clothes with you to pop on when you arrive.

One of the greatest things about summer camp is no one cares what you're wearing, so start strong and travel in your joggers; you'll be grateful for it.

Wear layers

One thing we can promise is that you can never be sure of the temperature on your flight.

Sometimes the aircon is blasting, and sometimes it's hotter than the sun.

Make sure you layer up so you can also layer down. Layers are the way forward when adapting to the temperature and keeping comfortable.

Bring a neck support
Seats on a plane on a long haul flight.

You can always rely on a neck pillow for support when times are tough.

Joking aside, a neck pillow is an excellent investment to travel comfortably.

If you're not sure about carrying a doughnut-style pillow round, opt for an inflatable one you can use as and when you need.

Bring your entertainment

In-flight movies are great; you can catch up with all the latest blockbusters whilst tucking into your in-flight ready meal.

But what happens when the screens aren't working correctly - or if the plane doesn't have screens; suddenly, that 7-hour journey doesn't feel so short.

Ensure you have a good book in your bag or download your Spotify playlists, so you always have something to do.

Having something on you while waiting in the airport is also great, passing those departure zone hours.

Charge all your devices before you fly

There's nothing worse than running out of battery, especially if it's going to be a long time before you can charge your device again.

Ensure all your gadgets have juice before you go; you may even be asked to turn your device on at security (including laptops) as part of security measures.

To avoid any battery fear, invest in a portable charger pack. They're also great for when you're travelling after camp too.

Fly east to west

One you won't have much control over, but a great little fact for beating jet lag is to fly east to west.

When heading to camp, you'll do this without trying (if flying from Europe).

There’s a science to it, but it’s mainly because it’s easier to go to bed later than your usual bedtime than earlier.

With the change in time zone, heading west means you'll have a later bedtime, by 5 hours in NYC, so you should cope with the time zone a little better.


It may seem small, but you've still got space to move.

All these tips for long-haul flights are good to know, but this one is important. You need to get the blood circulating, avoid cramps, and stretch your muscles occasionally.

If you don't, you can begin feeling very sore quickly, leading to aches and pains when you get off.

Use the aisle, and don't be afraid to walk up and down.

Pack an eyemask and earbuds

It's not easy to sleep on a plane, so give yourself some help.

Whilst a long-haul flight can be pretty noisy and bright, these two items will help dull some of that, making it slightly easier to nod off.

If you've given yourself space, have the proper comfort support, and sleep aids like this, you'll have the best chance of catching a few zeds.

With the proper preparation, you'll be able to look forward to your next flight instead of dreading it.

Flying for a long time isn't easy, but with these tips for long-haul flights, you'll make it more comfortable, allowing you to focus on your trip instead.

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Camp Leaders
With over 20 years of travel experience, the Camp Leaders team has the answers to almost anything you can think of. We're here to help you sort your ultimate summer - feel free to ask us anything.

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