How to Survive a Long Haul Flight

How to Survive a Long Haul Flight


Dreaming of a gorgeous getaway to a far flung destination – but not sure how you’d quite cope with the journey there? 

The prospect of hours on a plane can be a bit daunting to even the best of travellers, but fear not! We’ve got some handy tips on how you can not only survive – but thrive on a long haul flight. 

It’s all about the plane

If you didn’t know already, long haul flights with TUI (that’s those that are over 7 hours) enjoy a journey on the spectacular 787 Dreamliner. If you haven’t flown on one before, you’re in for a treat! 

With extra space as standard, majestic mood lighting, and of course your own personal TV featuring a whole host of amazing entertainment options, a Dreamliner flight is more than just a means of travel – it’s a part of your holiday!

Binge watch a series

What better way is there to kill some time than by binge watching a whole series? Admit it, it’s not the first time you’ve done it – we’ve all had that one series we’ve been addicted to!

With your own little personal TV in front of you, you’ll find that it’s full of terrific TV programmes that are just ready and waiting to get you hooked. The choice will vary from time to time – perhaps you’ll watch the latest thriller series, or if you’re looking for something a little more light-hearted, opt for a few episodes of the classic sitcom Friends. 

If you’re already into a series back home, make sure to download plenty of episodes to your phone, tablet or laptop so that they’re ready to watch offline on the plane.

If you pay for a streaming service like Netflix, you can do this by simply going to your show, clicking on the episode and choosing ‘download’. Bingo! It will be all ready on your device to watch whenever you want, without internet access when you’re in the air. Handy, huh?

Make your way through the movies

Make full use of your in-flight entertainment system and the amazing selection of movies you’ll have to hand. On a Dreamliner flight you’ll find everything from the latest blockbuster movies to timeless classics, with plenty of family-friendly films that’ll keep kids entertained for hours too.

Settle in with your blanket, have your favourite drink to hand and immerse yourself in a fabulous film. You could even take popcorn with you in your hand luggage to give it that authentic movie-night feel!

On a flight of 10 hours, you could squeeze in more than one film – two or three if you’re feeling adventurous! It’s a great way to sit back and truly relax, all with the stunning skyline beside you. Better than your average cinema!

Listen to music

We don’t often get set hours to just truly relax, unwind, and listen to our favourite tunes. Everyday life can get in the way and making time for music might fall to the bottom of a long list – but with 7 or more hours to kill, now’s the time to get your jam on!

On a Dreamliner flight you’ll find a whole host of music listed in the in-flight entertainment system, from chart-topping albums to classic tunes from back in the day. 

If you stream music from a service like Spotify, make sure to download any music you like prior to your flight, so you can listen whilst offline. You can even have fun making a holiday/journey playlist in advance!

Once you’re on the plane and settled, simply stick your headphones in and see where the tunes take you. 

Treat yourself to a tipple

If there’s one way to relax you on a flight, it’s having a cheeky drink (or two!) On a Dreamliner flight, meals and drinks are complimentary, so you’ll enjoy a glass of wine with your in-flight meal as well as enjoying further beverages throughout the course of your flight.

How does a vodka and orange juice sound? Or perhaps a G&T would go down nicely? There’s usually a choice of lagers and ciders onboard too. Whatever it is you fancy, treat yourself to a glass and you’ll be feeling much more chilled out in no time.

Nap the night away

If you’re flying on the Dreamliner, you’ll certainly be able to squeeze a cheeky nap in, or even a good night’s sleep! With 60% less noise output than your average aircraft, you’ll find dozing off much easier.

You’ll even be provided with a pillow and blanket, so getting all cosy isn’t a problem. You can always take your own travel pillow too of course, and we recommend using an eye mask to really shut off, although on night flights the cabin lights are dimmed to promote a good night’s sleep.

Before you know it the captain will be announcing you’re set to land. And having that lovely doze will mean you’re much more likely to wake up feeling refreshed and raring to go in your exciting long haul destination! Jet lag, what jet lag?

Stock up on snacks

No one wants to go over 7 hours on a flight without some seriously good snacks on hand. On long haul flights you will of course get your in-flight meals, but you still need those extra bits and bobs for when you crave something else!

We recommend taking your favourite snacks in your hand luggage, so take a trip to the supermarket before your holiday and stock up on whatever tickles your fancy.

Crisps, nuts, and if you have a bit of a sweet tooth, chuck in some chocolate and the odd bag of sweets too. You don’t know what you’ll be in the mood for on the plane, so best not to miss something out!

Of course you can always buy snacks on the plane during the in-flight service, but you’ll naturally find these pricier than buying before you fly.

Believe us, when you’re sat in front of your own TV, munching away on a bag of Malteasers, you’ll soon forget you’re even on a plane. It’s just chill time!

And if you’re travelling with kids, bargaining for a bit of good behavior with a mini bag of Haribo is sure to make things go a little smoother!

Make the most of your meals

One of the best things about a long haul flight is the return of your in flight meals! Long gone are the days when you’d even just hop on a quick flight to Spain and still get a meal mid-way through your flight. But on a long haul flight you can look forward to it again!

On a Dreamliner flight your meals and drinks are all complimentary, so you don’t have to worry about spending a small fortune on plane snacks if you don’t want to!

The type of meal you get will depend upon your flight times, so you’ll likely be served breakfast or an evening meal. 

An evening meal could be anything from a tasty pasta dish to a traditional chicken dinner. There’s always a vegetarian or vegan option available, and you can request this in advance. You’ll usually get an afternoon or mid-morning snack too, like scones served with jam and cream. Time to tuck in, yum!

Get gaming

There’s so many different types of games you can play to keep yourself and your loved ones entertained on a long haul flight. 

You’ll find fun games on your personal interactive TV, but our top tip would be to download games from the app store on your phone in advance – you can still use them in flight mode! There’s a seemingly endless list of games to keep you occupied for hours. 

If you love quiz shows, then why not download apps like The Chase and take them on for yourself! Tenable is another quiz show favourite, or why not test your word knowledge with a good old game of Scrabble?

If you’re more of a quiet puzzle person, then make sure to take a good variety with you – crossword books, word searches, sudokus – not only will you pass the time, but you’ll give your brain a good workout too!

You can also pick up pocket-sized versions of board games in supermarkets, like Articulate, Pictionary and Connect 4. Why not challenge your other half to a game or two in the sky? Bring out your competitive side and the hours will fly by!

Get lost in a good book

A great little holiday habit to get into is treating yourself to a new holiday read once you’re settled in the airport. Take yourself off to WH Smiths and peruse the book section – there’s normally still a massive selection, even in airports.

From autobiographies of people you know and love to a sci-fi world of fantasy, there’s bound to be something that catches your eye. Maybe you’ll get hooked on the blurb of an exciting new thriller, or fall for the main character of a romance novel. Who knows?!

Once on the plane, get cosy with your blanket and snacks and dive into the pages. There’s nothing to pass the time by quite like getting stuck into a spectacular story. Before you know it, you’re on chapter 12 and two hours have flown by!

If you can’t commit to a whole book, then stock up on your favourite magazines in the airport shops. Whether it’s a magazine on your favourite hobby – from cars to horses – or the latest celebrity gossip, a good flick through these will take your mind off the journey. 

You’ll be there before you know it

A flight of 7, 8, or even 10 hours might seem like a lifetime at first, but with all these things to do and ways to chill out and rest, you’ll hopefully find it’s not too bad after all!

You’ll be at your exciting long haul destination before you know it, and we’re sure the flight will become a small part of what is set to be an unbelievable experience. 

Long haul getaways are gateways to corners of the world we don’t often see – so embrace your flight as it takes you to some of the most beautiful and magical places on earth. 

Looking for some inspiration?

If you’re not so dubious about a long haul flight anymore, then take a look at some of our best long haul holidays here.

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