All content and photos property of Charlie Elliott (unless otherwise stated). Powered by Blogger.

My Long Haul Flight Routine

Aerial view over South Africa

In just over two years I have done a lot of long haul flights. From going to the other side of world to explore New Zealand and Australia, to visiting China (twice), and visited Africa for the first time during my trip to Cape Town over Christmas. 95% of these flights have been done solo, so I've only had myself to rely on to make sure I have as seamless a flight as possible. As a result, I have my long haul flight routine down to a fine art.

1) An outfit change

Before I even get on the plane, my preparation begins. As the flight starts to board, I'll pop into the loo for an outfit change. I couldn't give the shiniest of shits about what I look like when flying; I just want to be comfortable. So, on go my pyjama bottoms, a baggy top, and I say a cheery farewell to my bra. Doing this before I even get on the plane means I don't have to queue for the toilet on board, or squeeze past the people I'm sat next to.

2) Getting settled

Once I'm sat in my seat, I put my super glamorous DVT socks on. I've got crap circulation anyway, and being sat down for 9+ hours won't help that, so safety first, kids! Of course, my shoes are kicked off and kept under my seat for extra foot freedom. I'll normally have a hoodie and a big scarf with me to get cosy as the air con on planes can be a real icy bitch.

3) Keeping entertained

The big planes for long haul flights always have a USB port, so I generally plug my phone charger in immediately so I always have enough juice for Spotify. I'll inevitably spend £30 on magazines in the airport beforehand, so they get tucked into the seat pocket in front of me. I have my Kindle and laptop charged and ready to use because honestly, 24 hours of flying is so damn boring.

4) Face removal

Once I've eaten dinner on the plane (with one or two glasses of red wine), I start getting ready for sleep. I'll use face wipes to take off all my make-up and then smother on an overnight moisturise mask like Nuxe Crème Fraiche. Ordinarily my skin is combination/oily, but it gets so dry on long haul flights which is why I also apply a ton of hand cream and lip balm too.

5) Getting some shut eye

Sleeping on planes is never going to be the best night's sleep you've ever had, but I find that doing all the previously mentioned prep helps me to wind down. I'll dab a bit of lavender balm on my wrists and temples, put in either my earphones or earplugs and wear my sleep mask. I'll wrap up in my own layers as well as the airline blanket, always with my seatbelt done up over the top so the crew don't have to wake me. I'll recline my seat (because that's absolutely accepted on a long flight) and let myself drift off.

Long haul flights are never as bad as you might anticipate, and I normally quite enjoy them! It's just a case of being prepared and allowing yourself to relax - you're on holiday after all.


My long haul flight routine


  1. I think the key to a stress free long haul flight is a routine and gin of course

  2. I did my first solo long haul flight going to Cape Town last year and the experience is very different as adult rather than a child! Instead of watching aaaallll the films and going up and down the aisle for the chocolate bars left out for passengers, I simply got as comfy as possible, ate dinner (luckily with a late evening flight it came pretty early on in the journey) and then popped some music on and tried to sleep just like I might at home. I wouldn't normally sit up watching TV all night, so I figured a long haul flight shouldn't have to be any different! I actually slept for the majority of the flight, waking up just before breakfast was served and I felt pretty good for it. Coming back was harder, but I was excited to be seeing my family again after two months away :D
    Jennifer x
    Ginevrella | Wellbeing & Lifestyle

  3. I fly from London to Singapore recently and it was the longest flight i had ever done! But having a neck pillow and an eye mask helped so much and I slept for about 10 of the 13 hours on and off! Great tips! I'll be using some of these for my return journey!

  4. Charlie Elliott15 May 2017 at 23:48

    That was my first solo long haul trip too! Although it was on the way to Australia, but those 13 hours were a whole new experience for me. Glad you had a comfortable trip and enjoy Singapore, I adore that place!

  5. Charlie Elliott15 May 2017 at 23:49

    London to Cape Town was the longest I've done in economy (I'll try and save for Premium Economy wherever I can but I travel too much now to do it every time!), and it wasn't half as bad as I thought it would be!

  6. Charlie Elliott15 May 2017 at 23:50

    Wise words!

  7. I've never been able to sleep on a plane (or train, car, whatever) and I really with I could, it'd make it so much easier! Now I just accept that I'm going to be awake for the duration so have to make it as pleasant as possible!

  8. Charlie Elliott21 May 2017 at 22:30

    Cars and train I full on struggle to stay awake pretty much as soon as they set off! Planes not so much but the red wine definitely helps!


Thank you for your comment, I read every single one and they always make my day!

Don't forget you can tweet me at @charlienin or email at if you have any other questions.


As of 20th November 2014, any products marked with an asterisk (*) have been provided as a sample for unbiased review