2 years ago

Top Tips to Make Your Layover and Long Flight Bearable

What do you need to know to prepare for a pleasant layover? Best ways and means to make that long…

Let’s face it, nothing is worse than sitting around an airport waiting on an endless connection. We live a culture of instant gratification and the word “wait” just isn’t in our vocabulary anymore. To make matters worse, a long flight usually spells no phone activity unless you want to pay some exorbitant fee for Wi-Fi on the plane. The following tips should help you get through the longest of flights and layovers to make your travel as exciting as possible.

It’s All About the Downloads

These days, most people stream their content and when the Internet goes, so too does your entertainment. Most music services provide an option for you to download music onto your phone. Download as much as your phone can store and don’t be picky. You’ll never know what you might be in the mood to listen to when you wake up in the middle of a twelve-hour flight.

Movies and TV shows can be a little bit more tricky. If you want to proceed through legal channels (i.e. not torrent) there are some streaming services that let you download their content. Amazon Prime and Google Play are two examples of services that let you do this. Hold off on your favorite TV show and binge watch on the plane.

Don’t get the DVTs!

If you are a frequent traveler, you have probably seen the warnings in the back of the airline magazines about deep vein thrombosis which is a serious medical condition which occurs when you have been sitting for too long. Most people don’t have to worry about this, but it is a good idea to get up every so often and stretch.

Go the back of the cabin and as unobtrusively as possible do the basic stretch routine you have probably done since grade school. Flight attendants won’t mind provided you are not in anyone’s way (or making horrible grunting sounds).

Bring some basic toiletries too such as toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, and lotion. This bit of freshening up will make the experience way more comfortable for you and your neighbors!

What to Bring

It is no fun hauling a huge suitcase in between flights or onto the plane. Try to fit everything except for what you want on the plane in your check-in luggage and just have a small bag. Then think about what you really need on the flight. Most long haul flights these days have in-flight entertainment consoles so double check if you really want that laptop or not.

Snacks are always a good idea as it may be a long time in-between meals on board. Be sure to get a bottle of water on the other side of security as it is very easy to get dehydrated. Gum, lip balm, and wet wipes are also key.

For book lovers, now is the time to seriously consider an E-reader. Yes, the feel of the book, smell of the pages, blah, blah, blah. But be realistic, one mid-size novel is heavier than an e-reader and if you happen to dislike this book or are in the mood for something else, you don’t have many other options. Just as people have embraced the ability to hold thousands of songs in their pocket, so too should you enjoy the ability to have thousands of books.

To Drink or Not to Drink

Everybody has his or her own lifestyle and views on drinking. However, a few glasses of wine help to make the flight an enjoyable experience. If you like to drink a little more than the average person, it is quite easy to purchase something from the duty-free store and take nips of on the plane. Of course, be discreet and be sure you know your limits. You do not want to be the person constantly getting up every twenty minutes particularly if you have a window seat in a full row (which is why avoiding beer is a good idea). Make sure to stay hydrated too or you will wake up on your flight with a splitting headache.


It may seem obvious, but just chill out. Many international travelers, particularly those going on vacation, seem to be the most stressed out. Oddly enough, usually the frequent business travelers are those who are the most cordial to interact with. Remember, you are on your way somewhere great and view this as part of this experience. In the old days, people used to romanticize train trips and though it is hard to do this when security personnel are groping you or rummaging through your belongings, remember that it is all a part of the journey.

Even if you aren’t the writing type, bring a little notebook with you and describe your feelings. Are you excited about the upcoming trip? What are your expectations? You will be happy to re-examine this after your journey and particularly a few years later when your memory may have faded a bit. It’s also a great way to kill time.

Enjoy The Journey

The old cliché is life is that it is not the destination, but the journey. Of course, this doesn’t really apply to traveling. Nonetheless, with the right preparation and mindset, traveling can at least be a pleasant experience so that when you arrive wherever you are going, you are fresh and ready for the adventures that await.


I'm a world traveler with a passion for new destinations, healthy food and sharing good tips. Since 2011, I have traveled to over 65 countries and wrote over 2000 articles all over the web. Join me on this adventure!

View Comments

  • Not stressing out is a hard thing for most people to do while at the airport before their travels. I think the crowds are a factor in which plays a hugs role in stress levels.

  • The first time I visited this blog. Agree with you wherever you are traveling, enjoy the journey

  • Great tips, I love long layovers to wander around the airport and see wonderful sights, including some crazy folk (every airport has one).
    What's been your longest layover to date?

    • Thanks a lot! Our longest layover was around 23 hours and it happened at Moscow airport which we couldn't even leave. Too bad, otherwise we would do some quick sightseeing. :)

  • There's nothing worse than long haul flights and long layovers. A drink or two definitely helps the flight be more bearable.

  • I've been on short term flights (under four hours) where the entertainment system didn't work for me. So while I totally understand why most people would choose not to bring a laptop with them, it isn't necessarily a bad idea to bring one if it is very light weight and compact. Not only can you watch movies on the long haul flights, but it can also help you pass the time during long layovers to catch up on blog posts or video editing.

  • You must be one super fit lady, Agness! I just looked at your warm up post :) :) I make very few long journeys and am usually content with a book and something to scribble on.

  • And don't eat the food! I had the worst tasting sandwich of my life from a Quizznos in an airport. I love Quizznos sandwiches! Try to bring your own food if it's going to be that long of a flight; and you'll save money.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*