How to make flying easier – The best long haul flying tips

The process of organising for your travels, packing and getting through airports can be stressful and downright annoying.

Use our travel hacks to make you more comfortable, make the best use of your time and iron out all those little those annoyances – you’ll be travelling like a pro in no time!

Here’s some handy advice on how to make flying easier. We’d love to hear your tips too.

No excess baggage

Whenever you can, travel with hand luggage only to avoid waiting in baggage reclaim when you’re eager to start your holiday. Unless you’re going on an epic adventure for a couple of weeks or more, you should be able to fit everything you need into a hand luggage case.

Don’t believe me? Watch this pro packer fit 15 items and two pairs of shoes in a carry-on case.

Buy some travel scales to check how much your bag weighs so it’s not over your airline’s limit. Or you can even invest in a fancy suitcase with in-built scales. This Raden suitcase doubles up as a charger for your appliances, and even has a tracker, in case it gets lost.

Book speedy boarding

Perhaps everyone’s taken my advice, but as a lot of people go hand luggage only these days there’s limited space in the overhead lockers. This results in people at the back of the boarding queue regularly getting their hand luggage placed in the hold. Therefore, it’s a good idea to book speedy boarding so you get on the plane first. You’re also often the first off the plane, which is very handy when you arrive.

easyJet actually made a video on boarding and how it works. Worth checking out

Another check-in option is seat selection, which is particularly important if you’re travelling with a group or as a family. Note that on smaller planes, such as flights to Europe, there are three seats in a row, so if you’re a family of four, one parent will be left with both kids, but you can always swap on the return journey.

Get the right travel accessories

We don’t mean take a pet with you, but investing in a few items to make your flight comfortable really goes a long way. Travel eye masks and pillows should ensure you get some undisturbed sleep, but if you can’t shut out the sound of other passengers, the drinks trolley or constant announcements, noise-cancelling headphones will do the trick. Get wireless bluetooth ones and you don’t have to wrangle with the cable either.

No matter how many toys and activities you take for the kids, it never seems enough, so a tablet is helpful in keeping them amused; or yourself maybe. Just make sure your tech is fully charged before you leave, or take the charger in your hand luggage as the majority of airport departure lounges have free charging points.

Be comfortable

It’s important for the clothes you travel in to be versatile, as it’ll likely be chilly when you leave the UK, but hopefully much warmer where you’re going. Layer up rather than wearing heavy items, for example, ladies can wear a skirt and tights, removing the tights when they get there, and men can wear zip off trousers. Planes can be hot and stuffy too, so you’ll appreciate materials that let your skin breathe, such as cotton.

This is an excellent guide from Lily Pebbles on what to wear when flying long haul.

Time your flight right

If you’re heading off somewhere exotic, check out the best times to fly to minimise jetlag, which vary depending on your destination. You’ll also want to book a non-stop flight so you don’t lose a chunk of time on layovers. Be careful that you don’t get caught out by booking a ‘direct’ flight rather than a non-stop one. Direct can sometimes still mean that you’ll stop at another airport en route but you have to sit in the plane on the runway for an hour or more, instead of being allowed to get off.

Don’t go hungry

Flights can be long and, unfortunately, delays can happen, so it’s handy to have some snacks with you for the journey. It’s also a good idea to buy a bottle of water, or your drink of choice, in departures, rather than paying in-flight prices.

If you’re travelling with kids this handy “travel snack” video from WhatsUpMoms is awesome

Another tip is that if you order a ‘special’ flight meal you normally get served first. That doesn’t mean you have to pick veggie or vegan, there are usually loads of different options, but chances are you can scoff the lot and get some shut-eye before everyone else even has their food.

Now that you know how to travel like a pro, where will you go to next to test out these tips?

Now read: Useful information about Gatwick Airport