Yes, there are some pretty incredible places to see in the world, and there's often no better time than your honeymoon to cross one of those bucket-list destinations off the list. It might also mean that you're in for a lengthy flight. Depending on your destination, you could be spending upwards of 10 or 15 hours in the air, which even the most frequent fliers and airline crew members agree is a long time. That's why you'll need to be prepared. Here, two veteran fliers—William Hagan, a Delta Airlines flight attendant, and Teresita Cabalar, Inflight Service Manager for Cathay Pacific Airways—share their tips and strategies for staying comfortable on long-haul flights. Combined they have several decades, and hundreds of thousands of miles, of in-flight experience.
Give yourself plenty of time at the airport.
"Plan ahead and arrive early to avoid long security lines and get to your gate in time," says Hagan. Airlines typically recommend arriving 90-120 minutes early for domestic departures and three hours early for international departures. If you're nervous about traffic, or simply want to arrive with plenty of time to relax, you should plan to leave even earlier.
Wear comfortable clothes and footwear.
There's nothing worse than being uncomfortable for the duration of a flight. That's why Cabalar recommends choosing an outfit that you know you'll feel good in even after hours of wear. What's more, you'll also want to think about how it will look post-flight. "Wear something that travels well so that you will still look fresh after landing," she adds. "I always bring something warm like a sweater or a jacket as temperatures can get cold during the flight."
Pack earplugs, an eye mask, and headphones.
Upgrade not an option? That's okay. Make your economy seat feel a little more luxurious by bringing a quality pair of earplugs and a cozy eye mask. Both will "go a long way in terms of giving you a sense of privacy when you want to rest," says Cabalar. Hagan adds that you should also bring a good pair of headphones, as most airlines only have a limited supply, and your own set will be superior. "Any headset will do but it is suggested to bring noise-cancelling headphones," he adds.
Bring any essential travel toiletries.
Being able to freshen up mid-flight can help you to feel like a whole new person. That's why Cabalar suggests packing essential toiletries in your carry-on. "Keep a small pouch with your basic grooming and hygiene needs, like a toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, antibacterial gel, and a travel-size fragrance or cologne, in your bag," says Cabalar.
"Be sure to drink plenty of water," Hagan says, adding that the airline suggests fliers consume one full glass of water per hour. "If drinking alcohol, consume at least one glass of water for every alcoholic drink."
Avoid high-sodium snacks.
"Food and snacks that contain high amounts of sodium causes passengers to retain water, bloat, and can make you feel uncomfortable," says Hagan, who recommends enjoying fruit, vegetables, and yogurt instead.
"Bring your facial moisturizer, hand lotion, and lip gloss or lip balm and use them as needed inflight," says Cabalar, who notes that men, too, should pack any regular products they use (even if it's just lip balm). The in-flight air is extremely drying.
Keep your valuables and documents safe.
"Buy a small travel lock to secure your luggage or your handbag so you can have peace of mind that your valuables are safe whether you're awake or asleep," says Cabalar. This is one case where it's definitely better to be safe than sorry!