Long Haul Flights and How to Survive Them

Long Haul Flights – Necessary if You Want to See the World

Airplane-Engine-SunsetEvery so often I end up discussing air travel with friends.  Inevitably, some of them express the opinion “How do you do it…?” or “I cannot stand the long distance flights and being cooped up on a plane for many hours…”, “I cannot sleep…”, etc.

Well, if you want to see the world, and until the supersonic travel is re-introduced (yes, the Concord or its successor is yet to come back into operation), you will have to figure out a way to survive the long haul flights.   Here is a list of things you may consider doing while on the flight:

  • Stay hydrated:  This is very important – stay away from too much caffeine, and soda products as they will just cause you to get furthermore dehydrated.  The result of that will be most likely discomfort both during the flight as well as when you reach your destination;   Drink frequently water and/or juice – yes, do stay away from alcohol as well – as you probably know – it is also dehydrating;
  • Bring a pair of noise canceling headphones.   Those could be very important no matter whether you plan to sleep, watch a movie, listen to music, or just sleep…The noise canceling headphones will make all the difference in all these activities.  There are several types:
    • Over the ear – in my experience these are the most effective where audio quality is concerned.  However, again in my experience, on a long haul flight, you can get discomfort in your ears due to the headphone cans pressing on your ears
    • On-ear: These fit right on your years so they end up pressing less – good compromise if you cannot handle the over the ear ones for a long period of time;
    • In-ear: I like these – why?  Because they are small, easy to fit in your luggage especially if you want to travel light…and they act also as ear plugs to an extent.  So a good solution overall.

  • Bring a second battery for your laptop.  You may be in business class and have enough space to plug in your laptop in DC or AC power outlet on the plane.  Economy class on many long haul flights has DC power plugs, and even if you remembered to bring the DC to AC inverter, or a DC power supply for your laptop, you may find it tough to plug them in given the tight space in Economy…So a better solution, in my opinion, is to bring a second battery for your laptop.  This way, with today’s machines, you can have about 8 hours+ of operating time
  • Bring enough media with you – I usually carry a portable hard drive (usb connected one) or you can invest in low cost 128G Flash storage thumb drive.  Before the flight you could fill them up with:
    • Movies and/or TV shows
    • Pictures – you may be thinking of editing and organizing on your laptop
    • Music – to go with the enjoyment of photo editing…
    • Audio books


  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.  This can go a long way towards your comfort on the plane.  You do not want to be cold, or hot, or constricted while on the plane for many hours

All in all the list above should be helping you prepare well for your flight and may be even survive that 17-hour flight to Hong Kong !!!  Yes, it is a neat place to visit and experience so get ready and go…. Happy Travels!

Hong-Kong-From-Victoria-Peak   Hong Kong