Fashion & Style, Lifestyle, Travel
Comments 21

10 Rules: Long-Haul Flights and Traveling

For those of you who don’t know or are new to my blog, I recently went on a 3-week-long vacation to Hong Kong to visit a lot of family, and to in turn, celebrate Chinese New Year. It is not my first time going – I have been countless of times but I am still not perfect in what I pack as much as I have gotten used to long-haul flying and the 3-hour coach journey to and from Heathrow Airport. But this time round, I was happy in a couple of new steps that I took because trust me – I have made so many mistakes before. So here’s me, letting you in on the 10 rules that can help define a comfortable (but not unfashionable) long-haul journey, not just on the plane but when you’re at your far-away destination too.


Leggings will be your best friend

I know. Such an easy one. But I’m that idiot who prior to this trip, had never worn leggings or athleisure-wear on a plane. From London Heathrow to Hong Kong, it is roughly a 12-13 hour long journey so I don’t know how it has taken me so long to process this simple rule. But now I’m here to tell you that leggings are the absolute best thing.

Spending literally half-a-day on a plane is not fun. There is limited leg room and movement, and you are mostly stuck in the same position for hours, probably tossing and turning because you can’t quite get comfortable. Leggings are warm, light and breathable. As much as space is limited, you won’t feel as restricted in your movement with a pair of leggings. Want to know something else? I have worn skinny jeans before on said-journey and it’s one of the worst decisions of my life. What was I thinking?  I guess that’s when I knew that I needed to be serious about what I wear on a plane.

If you’re a guy, then by all means wear your athleisure/lounge wear!

Wide-legged pants are the best invention

Last summer, I bought a pair of black high-waisted wide-legged pants from Zara in the sale. It has now become a staple in my wardrobe and probably one of the best fashion purchases I’ve ever made! I’m so glad that I bought them despite my mum giving me some funny looks. (I think she knows that they look good now, haha.)

When worn, it hits my ankles at the right spot, and there is some elastic at the waist for easy wearing. There’s also two long ties at the front that you’re supposed to tie into a bow. There are now so many variations on the market but mine is of a nice, flowy material that looks initially like a long, black skirt until I start walking – that’s when you see that they are in fact, trousers.

These are still in-trend, and particularly in Hong Kong – I saw a lot of young people sport the look – all different cuts and variations but nonetheless, wide-legged and comfortable. They are flattering on any body type and best of all, they are versatile whatever the weather, because they don’t stick to your skin but there’s enough material to not freeze your legs either.

Mask the night before you leave and the night you arrive

I’m not one of those people who sheet-mask on a plane. I can’t bring myself to do so despite it being some advice that beauty gurus tell you to do when it comes to flight beauty. To counter this, I guess it’s better to bring along a sleeping mask with you if you want to be discreet about it. Otherwise, what I do is apply a sheet-mask the night before and then try to get as much sleep possible. (The latter never happens.) I then sheet-mask on my first night of arrival to make up for the moisture loss.

The air-conditioning can dry out your skin so it’s pretty important to keep your skin in its best condition any way that you can. My skin in particular, gets super oily on-flight so I normally bring along some cotton pads, micellar water and blotting sheets with me on board the plane as well as some moisturiser for good measure.

When combatting flight sickness…

By all means, skip over this point if it doesn’t apply to you. If it does, then stick around.

I don’t deal with flight sickness anymore, but it used to be a reoccurring factor whenever I traveled to Hong Kong. (I say Hong Kong because it’s the only real long-haul journey I’ve made all throughout the years.) Believe me when I say that I’ve had it bad before, and have had some horrific experiences. I’m so glad that I’m rid of this now since 14/15 years old. But what exactly is it that I did or changed?

  • Avoid fizzy drinks. The airiness will stay in your system for a while and make your stomach feel quite uneasy.
  • Avoid any juice drinks, especially orange juice. For me particularly, it makes me queasy on the plane, probably because of the sour-sweetness and acidity.
  • Drink water only, and keep to it whenever it’s available. Request hot water if you feel that cold water doesn’t sit right in your stomach.
  • Consume easy foods such as bread (see below)
  • Keep warm and comfortable. Sometimes the plane might be too air-conditioned and if you’re sensitive to temperature like my mum, you might start feeling a bit cold and ill.
  • Some chewing gum, mints or lozenges might be a good idea now and again to help you relax and breathe.

If plane food is not your thing

Is plane food even anyone’s thing? Well, I know that my eldest brother seems to demolish his plane meal. My mum and my second brother refuse to eat anything on a plane because they don’t like the smell or taste and fear flight sickness. I’m actually a bit more open to it now – I eat half of it? Even if you’re doing nothing on a plane, it’s important to keep your energy levels up.

My trick is to choose the easy foods, and if you can/want, don’t bother with any meat. For me personally, I don’t like the meat in plane meals – they are either tasteless or have a smell that I’m extra sensitive to on a plane. On my most recent trip, I picked the vegetarian meal: a mushroom omelette, something I found easy to consume.

Secondly, if you really can’t have any of the main meals, then at least have the sides such as the fruit or salad or the desserts. Bread is an extremely good option because it’s easy on the stomach and keeps you going for a while.

If all else fails and you find that you really can’t have anything, then make sure you have a fulfilling (but not super full) meal before you board the plane, and that you keep your water levels up, on the plane.

Trainers all the way

Or sneakers, if that is your used and preferred term.

I don’t know about you, but I always forget and underestimate how much walking you have to do before you board the plane, especially at international airports. So it’s super important that you have the right footwear for this to keep your feet happy and comfortable, not just on the plane, but off the plane. I have actually seen people wear boots and flats on a plane and I honestly don’t know how they do it. Like why?

Oh, and if you can, choose a trainer that’s a little roomy because if like me, your feet might swell up a bit by half-a-size towards the end of your flight.

Take your shoes off! (And make sure you have socks too)

Taking your shoes off makes your plane journey 100% more comfortable and enjoyable. It’s so important to let loose as much as possible because a 12-13 hour long journey (or however long yours might be) is no joke – it’s a very long time! So relax and try to feel a bit more at-home.

Some people like to take an extra pair of socks with them, which I think is quite a smart idea. Personally, I don’t do this, but I always make sure I’ve got a good pair of socks on because cold feet on the plane is quite unpleasant (been there, done that). I know Virgin Atlantic used to offer socks behind every passenger seat but it seems to not be the case anymore so decide what’s best for you.

Remember to online check-in

I know what you’re thinking. Like this is so obvious. But unfortunately, there are a few of us who are just about in-line with today’s new technologies, and a few others who are lagging a bit behind and need to be informed. I am probably the former – not behind but not super up-to-date either. (I don’t like technology taking over too much of my life but that’s a whole other topic in itself.)

3 years ago, when we traveled to Hong Kong as a family of 5, we didn’t online check-in which had we done so, would’ve saved a lot of time and we could’ve chosen seats (to sit together). Instead, we more or less got the last seats available and 2 of us had to sit on our own. We also got to the airport a bit late due to a delayed coach, so everything was just a huge rush – fast-walking and more fast-walking. Never again.

So take advantage of online checking-in since it does you a lot of good, and means you only have to baggage-drop when you get to the airport. You might even print your boarding pass beforehand (they have QR codes nowadays), otherwise, you can pick them up at the airport in usual fashion.

Print all the documents you need weeks in advance

I have a ridiculous amount of emails in my inbox. I’m not one of those people who delete emails on a daily or weekly basis, so it means that I normally have to search my inbox before I find the document of importance.

It’s all straightforward. You type in a keyword and should find what you’re looking for, but it still takes some time and probably something you don’t want to do the night before, especially if you’re prone to last-minute packing like me, and also need to online check-in.

Bring a coat but make sure it’s light-weight

The trend for quilted jackets won’t be going anytime soon. It’s still cold here and I can imagine that next winter, it will still be in-fashion because of its versatility and best of all, light-weightedness. I cannot do heavy coats anymore. How many times have you discovered that it’s cold enough to wear it outside but too hot to wear it inside? Or worst, it’s not practical and doesn’t keep you warm enough?

Last year, I invested in a quilted jacket from TK Maxx for about £40 which I am still wearing today. These days, you can get one for a reasonable price – some even cheaper than what I paid for – whereas before, they were very expensive and up-market items. What I particularly love is that I can fold it and place it in my backpack or luggage with ease since it weighs hardly anything! After all, the last thing you want is to be carrying a whole load with you on-board the plane.

So those are my 10 rules for happy and comfortable traveling! What other advice do you have to offer for other fellow travellers?

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  1. Girllll these tips are brilliant! I can’t believe you only just discovered the brilliance of leggings for flights – the idea of wearing skinny jeans on a flight is genuinely horrific to me they’re waaaay too uncomfortable 😭xxx

    • Especially now that it’s still winter, I haven’t touched jeans in about a week or two.
      Skinny jeans really aren’t that comfortable (except when you’re having one of those feel-good days) and I think what I hate even more is going to have a meal in them… 😂😂😂

  2. These are all great tips! I only wear leggings or jeans when travelling, they’re so comfortable for me. Also I only drink water as you mentioned, otherwise I feel sick! Great post xxx

    • Thank you! I wished I had read something similar when I was younger because I always used to get sick on the plane and it was so unpleasant. xx

  3. I love this idea for a post, and do most of them myself!

    I can’t believe it was your first flight with leggings! If there is one thing I absolutely must do on a flight, it is that. What did you wear before, just jeans?

    I approach plane food the same way as you – eat what I can from it. Sometimes it’s just the sides, sometimes it’s the whole meal. You can always bring (airport-purchased) food on the plane as well, although I usually don’t.

    • I am just as baffled as you are! Yes, mostly jeans. Last time was the most uncomfortable though because it was skinny jeans. The previous few times were not bad because they were mostly straight-legged jeans, or like wide-legged jeans. I also remember one time wearing a jersey trouser which wasn’t bad but probably a bit thin for the flight.

      I don’t get people who eat the entire meal. I usually most look forward to what dessert there is, haha!

      • Crazy! Straight-legged or wide-legged jeans are better than skinny, but they’re probably still so rough and uncomfortable in general compared to leggings! I see a lot of girls wear sweatpants onto the plane, which must be comfy too.

        Haha I’ve been on a small handful of flights where the entire meal was decent – most of the time it’s just picking and choosing though. I feel like I’m always disappointed in the dessert!

      • I secretly wish they made it a rule to have a pyjama party on the plane hahaha. 😅😂 Believe it or not, it’s only in the last 2-3 years where I’ve started wearing leggings out at times/more often. I never used to wear leggings as trousers so to speak because my group of friends thought it was such a fashion faux lol.

      • Omg yes to pajamas, please!
        Interesting, I never knew anyone who thought leggings were a fashion faux pas! I would say the only way they’re a faux pas wearing them is if you don’t cover your butt with a longer top…

      • Yes, I think that was what it was. But I don’t know, you can practically get leggings in different thickness and material now so not everything shows through. XD Workout leggings are pretty well-designed nowadays too.

  4. I love and agree with these tips! I wore a maxi skirt on one of my flights (very blankety) and brought along an oversized fleece shirt (also blankety). I never choose the meal option with rice on a flight, either!

    • Asian meals are always best ate fresh I feel! I remember years ago, all my family requested for essentially cup noodles and we got it haha. I’m not sure if it is an option now though.

      This time, there was chicken congee on our way to HK, and oyster congee on our way back. I love congee but I really didn’t like the idea of eating congee on a plane. Also, oyster is surely too funky to eat on a plane, lol.

  5. I used to not own a single pair of leggings so I wore jeans on flight. Now I’ve experienced leggings / yoga pants on flight, I’ll never go back!

    I used to also never take my shoes off… I still find it a bit rude? I do it discreetly and I keep my socks on. There are people who go completely bare feet! 😮 I always pack extra pairs of socks / underwear with me in case my luggage is lost.

    Um I like airplane food! I’m weird. I mostly like the non-meat options too – the meats are always dry and chewy. I especially like the sides like the dinner roll, salad, and dessert!

    My tips for long haul flight is to keep super hydrated. I drink only water and pack face mists, moisturizers, eye drops, and lip balm. Also, lots of sleep. I’m one of those people who can sleep on flight so I make a point to sleep on flight so I’m not as jet lagged on the other side. Also, noise cancelling headphones are a must!

    • Now that I’ve tried leggings, I’ll never go back either!

      Haha, I take my shoes off discreetly too. I think I used to never take my shoes off on a plane either. But it’s actually very uncomfortable to wear it throughout the plane journey, especially if you’re looking to get some sleep. I see people take their socks off too and then wear slippers or flip-flops that they’ve bought on the planes themselves! I always look in disgust 😂probably because I think feet is so weird lol.

      I have to admit that I never considered the non-meat options before this time! I never seem to enjoy the meat though which was why I decided to try the vegetarian options and it was SO much better.

      I will definitely be considering face mists next time! 🙂 Thanks for your tips. Also – what noise cancelling headphones do you recommend?

      • I typically go for vegetarian option whenever given the choice – at weddings, on flights, banquets – people always get jealous of what I get compared to their meat offering! Usually it’s pasta or some sort of casserole.

        The only brand of noise cancelling headphones I’ve tried are Sony since I like their headphones overall. My SO likes them a lot too!

  6. I love how your summed it up. I totally agree with you on the wide leg pant thing~~ soooo comfy

    For the in flight food smell, I normally wear the nose/mouth cover during flight. So that it doesn’t get to me if there’s smelly food or feet *LOL* I tend to skip meals anyways because I’m one of those people that sleeps a lot during the flight haha anyhow, if all else fails, flights to/from CN/HK/TW/JP tend to have cup noodles 😀

  7. darshanakoirala says

    Great tips! I enjoyed reading this post!
    I blog about travel as well, feel free to stop by.

  8. One major thing that’s always followed me on my flights (especially on the less feature-laden ones) were water bottles (refilled at layovers, can’t rely on having water sources ready), headphones (for those loud neighbours), and a hoodie that doubles up as a pillow or backrest!

    Love these tips, and I love your site too. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Stuart,
      Many thanks for stopping by and reading my blog post as well as sharing your thoughts. A hoodie that doubles up as a pillow/backrest sounds like a genius idea 🙂

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