Our 11 Essential Long Flight Tips

Okay, Berty and I are not travel pros. However, we have traveled enough to figure out a kind of “airport routine” that works for us. It seems that if nothing else, we have annual trips to Indonesia to visit family, so we are not new to 10+ hour gallivants on an airplane. We know that the holidays are upon us, so I sat down with Berty and we compiled for you the best long flight tips. Here are some helpful tips for your next adventure:

11 Essential Long Flight Tips (From Yours Truly)

1. Hurry up and wait!

Berty would be fine getting there 5 minutes before we board, but I’m an anxious flyer. For international flights we arrive at least 2 hours before leaving, so that we can handle any hiccups with luggage, passports, or anything else. Additionally, with layovers, after exiting the plane, I like to find our gate number before we eat, go pee, anything. That way if we are rushed for time, we at least know where we are going.

2. Be gracious to your travel buddies.

Sometimes being tired and hungry can bring out the worst in people. Watch out for one another, and be patient – especially with newbie travelers. Also, be honest when you need a break yourself too – it’s okay to not speak to anyone for a while.

3. Pack a comfy, cozy layer/scarf.

When I was traveling in India, I was inseparable from my dupatta. (Don’t worry, I already googled it for you here) 🙂 It acted as an instant blanket on cold flights and wadded up for a makeshift pillow. Bring a comfy cardigan, sweater, or scarf to use on those chilly airplanes!

4. Back up all your electronics

This is super important. Always make sure your precious photos are stored away permanently at home. No matter how careful you are, things get stolen/lost all the time. This is an especially important tip from Berty because he has many weddings and engagement shoots on computers and hard drives that NEED to be secured in a safe place!

5. The airplane bathroom is your BFF.

Drinking water can make such a difference when you arrive at your destination! Keeping hydrated, you will feel much more refreshed, and keep your immune system in check. Once you’re on the plane, scope out the bathroom nearest to your seat. I’d rather be that person that goes to the bathroom 5 times per flight (okay, I’m exaggerating a little) than the person tired and dehydrated when we arrive in paradise.

6. Bring a paper copy of your passport/visa and make sure immigration stamps it.

If you lose your passport in transit, a paper one can help you when you talk to your embassy. Also, when you are standing in the immigration line at the airport, MAKE SURE they stamp that you come in the country AND leave. When Berty and I went to Peru last year, I didn’t have a stamp showing I came into Peru. They must have forgotten to stamp it, and I didn’t know any better to check. We caught a lot of grief from Immigration as we were leaving and I don’t want you guys to go through that either!

7. Listen to podcasts / bring own headphones.

I’ve recently become a podcast lover. My favorite is Young House Love Has a Podcast, but I’ve heard Serial is good too, I want to check that one out. Podcasts are good when you’re sick of your Spotify playlists and the movies suck. On the headphones note: your pair is alway 10x more comfortable than the free airline pair. Also podcasts/headphones combo is great for waiting in airports during layovers.

8. Neck pillows.

Berty swears by them. He says you can double up the airline pillow and your neck pillow for an extra comfy sleep on the plane.

9. Traveling alone? Go online and pick the aisle seat before you go.

Lots of airlines let you edit your ticket and choose your seat if you buy it early enough. An aisle seat give you easy access to walking breaks and the bathroom. This way you don’t have to ask a stranger to get up every time you want to move around.

10. Bring a change of clothes (or at least undies) and toothbrush/toothpaste.

I personally like to freshen up after getting off each plane. It helps my body reset and feel like I won’t kill the person next to me with my stench. Make sure to bring a travel sized toothbrush, and tiny toothpaste for easy stowing.

11. Wear shoes/jacket you can get on and off easily.

Security lines can be rough. To get out of there ASAP, take off your shoes and jacket, and put all things in your carry-on BEFORE you get to the conveyor belt. You’ll get through the line in no time!


Did we miss anything? Let us know how you survive long flights. Comment below!


Thanks for reading!



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  1. Reply

    Lauren B.

    August 7, 2016

    These tips are spot on girly! I hands-down agree with that scarf/pashmina/dupatta trick. I always bring a scarf for warmth and a makeshift pillow.

    Here are a few of my add-ons:

    1. Maxi dresses will forever and always be my go-to flight outfit. You limit the amount of items/belts/layers you have to deal with in the security line and I swear it feels like a cozy blanket on the flight itself. So comfy!

    2. I always pre-assess how many bins I’ll need before I even get to the conveyor belt. I count my bags, shoes, and laptops that need a spot so I’m not fumbling when I get there.

    3. I usually wear a jacket with a zipper pocket to store my boarding pass and ID. That way I don’t have to hunt for my wallet every time I need to access it. It’s just right there on my person!

    4. For long flights I always pack snacks. As a girl with an insane metabolism and weird propensity to get INSTA-HUNGRY I always have granola bars, packaged cheese, jerky, whatever handy. I can’t stand airplane food and flying for more than a few hours can really mess with your “meal every three hours rhythm.” Besides, airport food is insane expensive. No one wants to spend that…

    • Reply


      August 7, 2016

      So good Lauren! These tips are gold. I especially love the zipper pocket one – I’m always to paranoid about losing my boarding pass or ID! Love this advice 🙂

  2. Reply

    Polyn Bungalay-Helwend

    September 10, 2016

    I agree with Lauren regarding the leather jacket with either a zipper pocket or an internal pocket. I have a jacket with an internal pocket deep enough for my passport, phone and sunglasses.