Travel tips to stay comfortable in long international flights

Travelling on a long air trip from one country to the other and getting worried on how to make your flight trip a comfortable one? Keep your worries aside and go through this article which will give you the best travel tips for staying comfortable in your long air travels.

At sometime or the other in your life you are bound to make long journeys on the airplanes and the very thought of such long flights make you feel sick and uncomfortable. You may travelling for a pleasure trip to places like Kathmandu - the capital city of Nepal to have an aerial view of Mt Everest or you might be going for an enjoyable family holidaying to the most attracted place of the world - The Niagara Falls. So when you travel on such long international flights, the journey becomes a tedious and boring as well. Though you make your own trials to stay at ease and in comfort in your long air travels still you might feel you trip an uncomfortable one and you get damn tried in the flight. At times such long journeys might make you sick as well be it by railways, roadways or airways but if you follow certain tips you can make your journey a comfortable one. For instance if you wish to travel in trains in Indian Railways then you need to follow important travel tips when you happen to travel by Indian Railways. Always try to plan for travel well in advance but you might end up with last minute hurrying and finally get tired of the long air trips. For making your long air trips a comfortable, I have listed out the following best practices out of my own experiences so that you will neither feel uncomfortable in your long air travels nor you will have the jet lag.

Best tips for comfortable long air travel

There are several things to be kept in mind while travelling on long air trips and you need to sort out one after the other well in advance so as to ensure a comfortable long air journey in international flights like flights to India from USA. Here you go with the best comfort tips:
  1. Reserve a comfortable seat:
    When you happen to plan your trip well in advance, then make sure to reserve a comfortable seat from the particular airlines. Remember that for a comfortable trip it is always better to go for an aisle seat than a window seat. As this helps you in getting up and walking on the hall way whenever you feel numbness or stiffness in your legs. However you cannot do so when you book your air tickets in a short period of time you have to go for the available seats only without any choice left for you. Also try to reserve a seat near the exit row as there will be enough leg place for these seats and you can freely move your legs for more comfort during the journey. However remember to avoid the seats near the toilets as you will have no peace of mind with the continuous disturbance by the passengers who keep going to the toilet. Mostly in the long trips in international flights there will be a line of passengers who wait for the vacancy of the toilets and these people keeping strolling on the hall way near the toilets which causes much of inconvenience. And another thing is there will be a continuous disturbance of the flush sound when these passengers keep using the toilets. Such a disturbing sound will leave you without a good sleep in the flight and make you damn tired. So the first thing to keep in mind is to make reservation of a comfortable seat well in advance for a comfortable journey.

  2. Carry minimum hand baggage / carry on luggage:
    When you are going on long international trips carry minimum hand baggage with you. As in most of the long international flights, there will be a transit halt in one of the international airports. For instance while travelling in British Airways from Hyderabad, India to O'Hare, Chicago, the flight stops at London Heathrow. Similarly while travelling in Lufthansa from Hyderabad, India to O'Hare, Chicago, the flight takes a halt at Frankfurt. And in such case you have to walk long distances in the airport from one gate to the other. And when you have much of hand baggage, you will find it difficult to carry the luggage all the way. In addition to this, you need to go for security check as well at these halts. Generally in long international trips, there would good number of security checks and you find it difficult each time to keep these luggage for security check. And all these long walks and lifting up and down of baggage for security check will make you too tired. So the less the hand baggage, the more comfortable your journey will be.

  3. Keep the important documents like passports handy:
    In long international trips, you need to keep all your important documents related to your trip including passport handy as you need to take out your passport and show it to the concerned authorities quite a good number of times. Do not put it somewhere in your handbag /shoulder bag /laptop bag, but keep it handy so that you can immediately take it out and show it without any time waste and to avoid confusion in case you don't find. When you are in the line and when it is required to show the passport to the concerned authorities, keep your passport ready in your hand as this will save much of your time and in fact this is the best practice.

  4. Request the airlines for special food if required in advance:
    Yes making a request for special food is yet another important thing which should be remembered as food is very important for having a comfortable journey lest there will be much weakness due to the tiresome journey. In case you need to take special food like diabetic diet or baby food or Asian / Indian vegetarian food, then you need to make a special request and order for the same from your airlines well in advance. If you are travelling by Indian Airlines then there is no need to worry about the Indian vegetarian food as this is supplied by Indian Airlines. However you need to make a special request for diabetic food or baby food if required. In case of other airlines you need to make a request for special Asian / Indian vegetarian food well in advance and for other special food as well.

  5. Carry your favorite books / e-readers / i pads to kill boredom:
    Though in long international flights, you are provided with in-flight entertainment and you can watch movies, play games, listen to much and do sky shopping as well yet there is only a selected list of movies / songs / games. So to kill your boredom and to pass the time you can carry your own favorite books or e-readers or you can enjoy surfing through your i pads. So keep these items handy and use these once there is an announcement saying that you are allowed to use your electronic equipment. So when you listen to your favorite music in your i pods, you will feel much relaxed and you can enjoy your long journey without getting yourself entangled in boredom.

  6. Keep wipes / facials handy for freshening up yourself:
    Though in almost all the flights and airports such freshening up items like facials and other items are available yet it is better to carry these items and keep these in hand so that you can use it when you require these for freshening up yourself instead of running here and there for the same. From time to time when you keep freshening up yourself, you will have a refreshed feeling and this will help you in making your journey a comfortable one.

  7. Keep moisturizing lotions / lip gloss handy to protect your skin from getting dried:
    Mostly when you are on board in the flights, the body skin get dry and you get cracks on the skin. So ensure that you are taking necessary steps to protect your skin from getting dry by carrying lotions or cremes to apply on the skin as and when required. Sometimes due to extreme dryness on the skin you feel very uncomfortable due to the cracks on the skin and this might make you dehydrated as well. Keep the necessary lotions / cremes and even lip gloss in hand to apply on your skin and lips when required and thus comfort yourself from the cracked skin. You feel the dryness of your skin more during winter season and when you happen to visit countries that experience severe winter.

  8. Keep moving in the flight to avoid stiffness of body parts / legs;
    Another important practice to keep your comfortable in long international flights. Yes whenever you feel slight numbness or stiffness of your legs or thighs just get up from your seat and keep moving / strolling in the hall way on board. This is nothing but just have a walk inside the flight for easing out yourself and make your body movement easier. Sitting for long hours in the flight makes the legs / thighs stiff and numb at times. To make the body movement flexible, just keep walking in the hall way as this would help in the free flow of oxygenation blood to those parts of the body and thus makes them energized. If not for a walk, you can even keep moving your body parts particularly legs in case there is a free leg space and this would help in avoiding the stiffness of the body parts and legs.

  9. Keep medical kit with important medicines handy:
    This is yet another important thing which should not be neglected or ignored at any cost. Keep a medical kit handy with all important prescribed medicines to be used in case of emergency and also a set of general medicines like Digene or Gelusil - the chewable digestive tablets, paracetamol for headaches or body aches, Vicks vaporub or inhaler / Zandu Balm, Iodex or other pain relief ointments / sprays like Volini, Moov and other such pain relievers. Make sure that the medical kit is in your hand baggage only and not in the check-in baggage.

  10. Keep drinking juices to avoid dehydration:
    Through out your long and tedious journey, it always better to keep on drinking various juices as this would be helpful in keeping your body hydrated and avoid the condition of dehydration. Anyway the airline steward / stewardess keep supplying food items and juices to the passengers from time to time. However you can freely move inside the flight and either you can take the juices of your own or you can request the stewardess to supply the same. Instead of taking soft drinks, it is better to consume juices like apple juice, orange juice, tomato juice or crane berry juice and keep your body hydrated through out the journey.

  11. Carry few home-made eatables in hand:
    Particular the Indian vegetarians should always keep few dry home-made food items ready in hand so that in case you don't get the food of your taste, instead of staying empty stomach, you can eat these healthy home-made vegetarian foods like carrot or beetroot honeyrolls. However you need not worry about the vegetarian food as you will be served with bread, butter, jam, muffins and other healthy food items. The only thing is you might or might not like the taste, so make sure that you carry some dry food items with you for emergency use.

  12. Take extra precautions while travelling with kids/infants:
    If you are going on long international journeys with kids or infants, then you need to be extra careful during the journey period as the kids and infants find it difficult in the flights and keep on fussing / crying through out the journey and this might irritate you at times. So take the following necessary extra precautions while travelling with kids / infants:
    • At the time of booking the ticket from a particular airlines, request for a baby bassinet for your baby so that you can make your baby sit or sleep with some comfort in the bassinet instead of taking the baby on your lap all the time.

    • Request for baby food at the time of booking the ticket.

    • Carry a stroller, some airlines allow to take the strollers in the flight. Get this confirmed from your airlines at the time of booking the ticket. Or else in some airports like Dubai International Airport you can get baby strollers in the airport. This would help you in avoiding the carrying of your baby all the way when there is a transit halt on the way.

    • Carry all the necessary prescribed medicines for your baby and keep this baby medical kit in a separately without mixing these with your general medical kit for adults

    • Carry few soft toys or other toys which interests your baby and let the baby play with these toys during the travel time in the flight to avoid boredom.

    • Carry enough of healthy home-made baby food that your baby likes to eat, so that you can give the home-made food to your baby if your baby refuses to take the baby food provided by the airlines.

  • Before the flights lands the destination, the steward / stewardess give you forms of immigration and customs as well. It would be convenient for you if you fill all the details in these forms in the flight itself so that you can rush to stand in the line at immigration as there would be a very long line at this place and it might take a long time to clear the immigration. So if you fill the details in the form in the flight itself, you can save a lot of time by being one of the first few in the line at immigration.

  • In this way if you take some extra time and plan for your long distance travel well in advance, this would help you making your trip a comfortable one and also you will not feel the jet lag or tiredness after your long air flight.

    Article by Kalyani
    Kalyani is basically an educationist and presently a home-maker who is fruitfully utilizing her free time in freelancing, online content writing and above all blogging. She is an active lead editor at for over 2 years. She is an environmentalist who strives to protect the environment through the revival of age-old eco-friendly practices. She also strives to preserve the rich cultural heritage of India.

    Follow Kalyani or read 227 articles authored by Kalyani

    Related Articles

    Travel tips related to packing your bags for a leisure trip

    In this article i shall tell you what are the essentials you need to pack when going on a leisure trip. Packing can be done a day or two before the trip to avoid the chaos of running around in the last minute and to ensure a hassle free and fun filled journey.

    Useful Tips for travelling to Netherlands (Holland)

    Are you planning to visit Holland to have a look at the world famous Tulip Gardens, Amsterdam and some other tourist attractions? Are you looking forward to a European tour to one of the most natural resource friendly country Netherlands? If yes, then, this article lists the various tourist attractions in Netherlands, cheap accommodation options, quick and easy travel options, expected weather conditions, benefits of holland pass, etc.

    More articles: Travel Tips


    Author: SuN18 Jan 2013 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 1

    Indeed, these travel tips are very helpful guidelines to the new passengers who wish to travel in an international flight for long distances to have a very comfortable air journey. I appreciate the best efforts put in by the author of this article. A copy of this article should be in possession and to be referred whenever someone plans a journey by flight.

    Author: Anauj06 Nov 2016 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 8

    Here are a few more tips for long haul flights that are not covered in the article –

    1. Wear comfortable clothes since you will be sitting in them for long hours. Avoid tight clothes, especially around the waist, as they can cause discomfort and hamper digestion. Tight fitting undergarments and tight jeans must be avoided.
    2. Choose footwear carefully, something easy to slip on and off would be better than laced or buckled shoes. You will need to remove them each time you go through security check. Sitting in tight, closed shoes during the flight can also get uncomfortable. Wear shoes that allow you to wriggle your toes and twirl your ankles.
    3.Fly with a good airline, even if that means paying a little extra. Airlines that fly you cheap will also be flying other flyers cheap. Which means the other passengers on the flight might not be someone you might want to travel with. My comment might sound obnoxious, but certain cheap airlines are used by migrant labourers, who create havoc on international flights – the noise levels are high. This is what I have been told.
    4.Hand baggage must have wheels, so you can wheel it around during transit. Also, remember there is a limit to how much the bag can weigh and its dimensions. Make sure the hand baggage conforms to the limit or you will be charged extra.
    5.Lotion, cream, moisturizer, etcetera in the hand baggage must be in a zip lock bag, and the total must not exceed 1 kg in weight. Each jar/bottle must contain not more than 100 ml of the substance.
    6.The items listed in #5 must also be kept handy because they are screened separately. You will need to remove them from the hand baggage for screening.
    7.Check the temperature of the country you are travelling to, and carry woolens in your hand baggage if the place would be cold.

    Author: Anauj07 Nov 2016 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 8

    I do not agree with a few things mentioned in #9.

    Everyone on the flight wants a comfortable flight. How appropriate would it be for someone suffering from a cold or a headache or body ache to open a jar/bottle/aerosol of their trusted palliative potion and fill the aircraft with its odour?

    Vicks vaporub, vicks nasal inhaler, zandu balm, iodex, moov and volini have strong, almost repugnant, odours. Their smell is overpowering and can spread through an aircraft, almost instantly. What is worse is the smell lingers, much after the use. Which means the other flyers would be forced to tolerate the same.

    In my opinion, it would be insensitive on a traveller's part to expect fellow passengers to bear the unbearable smell, just because they desire to be comfortable. It would be better to pop a pill if your condition is unbearable or just endure the discomfort until you disembark and are in an open/own space.

    The same goes for the food as well. Indian foods can have very strong odours. If carrying your own food, be sure to take along something that does not emit a strong smell. Let's learn to be considerate and allow fellow passengers to have a pleasant flight too.

    Author: Ravi12 Nov 2016 Member Level: Gold   Points : 3

    Author had very clearly informed everyone about the necessary tips that one should follow while traveling in International flights. Whenever we are out of station, we have to carry a large amount of luggage with us. And this problem could be reduced very much if we carry only limited amount of clothes which are necessary. If we are going for 5-6 days then 5 clothes for each day is enough to carry. Particularly, I don't carry enough trousers with me. I only carry 1 additional trouser or jeans with me which is quite enough for me. Also, whenever we are at tourist places the sellers try their best to sell their products to us. In this case, we must try our best to buy only those things which are relevant enough to us.

    Author: Kalyani22 Dec 2016 Member Level: Gold   Points : 4

    One of the above authors made a comment without proper reading / understanding the content in point # 9 in the above article. The author who posted such a comment is requested to understand what is mentioned in point # 9 in the article. The author of the article has nowhere mentioned to use strong repugnant odored medicines on board but has suggested to keep these handy in the hand baggage so that the Indian travelers can use it, if required, during a stopover / transit halt at the airports.

    One of my personal experiences is that while we were flying to O'Hare International Airport (Chicago) from RGIA (Rajiv Gandhi International Airport), Hyderabad in Lufthansa Airlines, we had a stopover at Frankfurt Airport. After a refresh, we were seated at the specified gate when one Indian student among a group of Indian students approached me and asked whether I have Vicks Vaporub or Vicks Inhaler or Zandu Balm as he was having severe cold / nose block. I gave one to him and said no need to return. He thanked me. While we were boarding the flight, he once again thanked me and said he had great relief on using it.

    Same is the case with Indian foods that have strong odor. The author of the article had traveled several times in long international flights. During her several trips, she had never come across any such Indian who carried / carries strong odored foods. The airlines keep serving foods at scheduled times during long journeys. And they keep supplying juices, cookies and other such snack items on call.

    Author: Anauj22 Dec 2016 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 6

    Kalyani, let me begin by saying that the author of the response is also a seasoned traveller. Your article is about best tips for comfortable long air travel. Yes, transit halts and stopovers are a part of long-haul flights, but for most part of your article you have described how to maintain comfort during the actual flight. Other than point 2 where a stopover is described and point 3 that covers documents, major part of the article is about in-flight comfort. As I understand mentioning ‘on board' or ‘inflight' is not really essential for each point that is covered. However, a mention of what should be done only during transit halts is essential and should be specified.

    The response is a valid one - it clearly spells out what should and should not be done on long haul flights. It educates. The point about medicines, in the article, is sandwiched between topics that advise the reader on how to stay fresh, hydrated and moisturized etc etc during the flight. How is a reader expected to conclude that the author has suddenly switched from describing what to do on board a flight to what should be done during transit halts? The article does not suggest that medicinal potions must be used only during transit halts or stopovers at airports. The suggestion that strong odour stuff must be used when a passenger has de-boarded was provided by me in the comments. I might have read between the lines, but, like me, there will be others who will also misinterpret tips provided in the article, and think it is fine to use strong odour stuff inflight. How is someone who comes to get advice on long flights know what is being conveyed? There was no clarity provided in the article on how and when to use strong odour medicinal potion. I provided an explanation on why it is inappropriate to use strong odour stuff on board. My comments bring logic to a tip that was left unexplained. A first time flier reading my tip will most certainly benefit from my suggestions.

    I have read the article and appreciate your effort that mentions carrying food to nibble, instead of staying hungry in tip 11. As Indians we are accustomed to the odours our foods emit. We do not feel repugnance because we are used to those smells. That does not mean co-passengers of other nationalities do not feel nauseated. My comments advise fliers on the type of food they should carry.

    Author: Vandana05 Mar 2017 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 3

    I have a query, not just for long international flights, but for even short ones on a domestic route: how to deal with earache on a flight? In the in-flight magazine on a recent flight, I read that one should suck on a hard candy. However, what about those who feel a bit nauseous on a flight and just do not wish to consume any sort of food? What would be ideal then for such a passenger to prevent earache? Any useful tips would be highly beneficial to people like me who sometimes experience earache.

  • Do not include your name, "with regards" etc in the comment. Write detailed comment, relevant to the topic.
  • No HTML formatting and links to other web sites are allowed.
  • This is a strictly moderated site. Absolutely no spam allowed.
  • Name: