A long haul flight is never the most enjoyable moment of a holiday. Conditions in an aircraft like air, cabin pressure and limited space can be an enduring experience and even take its toll on the most avid traveller.

However long flights don’t have to dampen your holiday mood. We spoke to 11 experienced travellers and asked them to spill their secrets on what they wear and what they do to make their flying experience a lot more bearable.

Ciro Fakhr

GoEuro PR & Communication Managerciro-fakhrWhy this is your favourite item to take on a plane?
I always opt for comfortable and stylish options. Cardigans are quite versatile, easy to put on or take off even when you have someone sitting very close to you. You can roll it up and use it as a pillow or drape it over you as a makeshift blanket.

What is your secret for making it through long-haul flights?
Besides the typical tips like drinking a lot of water… ALWAYS bring some entertainment! It happened to me once that my entertainment screen was broken. Thankfully I had a book and a couple of games on my phone, otherwise it would have been 12 horrible hours in a plane from Paris to Mauritius.

Usually during long flights they serve around 2 meals and a snack. My advise is don’t eat all of them or try to take the lighter options. You will be sitting in your seat for a long time and the digestion may be a little slower than normal.

Lastly, bring a little toiletries bag with you containing your favorite deodorant, perfume and toothbrush so you can freshen up before landing. You would feel much better knowing that you don’t stink after hours sitting in that plane.

Comfort or Style?
Both! There’s no reason to look awful on long haul flights. I’ve seen people arriving on board in PJs sometimes. Loafers are a way more stylish option and just as comfortable. Always opt for natural fabrics and plain basic colors. No sweatpants needed!

Sophie-Claire Hoeller

Journalist for Business Insidersophie-claire-hoellerWhy this is your favourite outfit?
I like to wear layers, because I’m always cold, but also often sweating as I’m running to the gate, notoriously finding myself on the late end. To me, this outfit is simple, comfy and stylish. The boots up the style factor, and, at least in my opinion, make the leggings ok. While I’m not usually a leggings or sweatpants kind of girl, I think simple black ones with seams can pass as pants. The boots are also easy to slip on and off for security, and the best part is that wearing them saves me a ton of space in my suitcase.

What is your secret for making it through long-haul flights?
Be prepared! I always bring a book and magazines, and either a hat to cover my face when I sleep or an eye mask, plus earplugs. I’m also a firm believer in a glass or two of red wine with dinner. I know, I know, it’s extra dehydrating on an already dry flight, but I just make sure to drink loads of water, and apply some hydrating face cream if I can remember to bring it in my carry-on.

Comfort or Style?
Both! I don’t understand people that dress like slobs on planes while citing “comfort.” I think you can be stylish and still comfortable. I’m not advocating for high heels and three-piece suits when I tell people to dress up for a flight, I’m just asking them to ditch the pyjama pants and Crocs. There’s a difference between looking sloppy and rocking leisurewear (in fact, athleisure is trendy right now). Wearing all-black is a simple way to look together, plus stains etc. won’t show if you accidentally spill on yourself (it happens). Combining something form fitting with something lose or more breathable is also a good balance between comfy and stylish.

Emma Sparks

Why this is your favourite outfit?
I always opt for my trusty summer trews, a light vest and a hoody – plus a scarf if I’ll be arriving in a cold place. I love my patterned H&M bottoms – they’re more dressy than leggings, but equally as comfortable. My black FitFlops are also a must; I’ve reached the age where my feet swell on long flights, so spacious slip-ons are a godsend. They’re also super bouncy, which help prevent sore soles when I’m traipsing around the airport with a rucksack on my back. Aeroplane aircon can be brutal, so a warm, snuggly layer is essential.

What is your secret for making it through long-haul flights?
I’m a nervous flier (handy, when you’re a travel addict!) so have plenty of coping mechanisms for long-haul flights. As soon as I’m onboard, I set up my little haven; I make sure I have everything I might need either in the seat pocket or below the seat in front of me. That usually consists of a bottle of water (I prefer to keep my own supply handy and top up from the drinks cart – hydration is key, people!); some chocolate; a phone loaded with music and TV shows from home, and headphones; an eye mask for nap times; face moisturiser, roll-on deodorant and a toothbrush and toothpaste for when I need to freshen up; plus a magazine and a notebook and pen.

I’ll spend most of the flight zoning out with back-to-back movies, or listening to Sam Smith or Ásgeir (my chill-out albums) as I fall asleep. I find having a really decent stretch in the departure lounge before boarding helps me relax on a lengthy flight. My downward dog gets a few funny looks but it’s totally worth it…

Comfort or Style?
For me, flying is all about comfort – but that doesn’t mean I condone wearing a grubby animal onesie! Flat shoes and sleep-friendly clothing are all I need. Sticking to monochrome or matching colours helps to avoid the ‘pyjama’ look and a decent mani/pedi never goes amiss. I’ll blow dry my hair so it doesn’t turn into a rat’s nest in transit – but I’m strictly no make-up when flying, as it means I can moisturise often and avoid panda eyes. I’ll always take a spritz from the perfume testers in duty free to see me through the flight, too.

Fabio Attanasio

thebespokedudes.comfabio-attanasio Why this is your favourite outfit?
I don’t have a favourite garment or look because I like changing depending on the mood and on the weather. In saying that, I have a navy hopsack blazer that I have been using a lot that I had to put suede patches on the elbows. I also love a navy three-piece suit made from a mohair fabric. it is one of the first suits that I commissioned when I had developed my own taste. Good clothes surely help you feel better and more self confident and when you are more confident people around you will notice it.

What is your secret for making it through long-haul flights?
I read, eat, watch movies, sleep. And then repeat.

Comfort or Style?
There is no style without comfort. There is nothing worse than seeing a man uncomfortable in his own suit. You accomplish both when you wear what you like, you know what you are wearing and, possibly, the garment has been made to measure for you.

Amy Marietta

amy-mariettaWhy this is your favourite item to take on a plane?
It makes my life more convenient because it fits everything I need during the flight. I like to have everything I need accessible and convenient. It’s also a chic and comfortable bag to carry.

What is your secret for making it through long-haul flights?
Headphones, laptop, Kind Bars and wine all make long flights a lot easier

Comfort or Style?
I like both! During a flight I think it’s really important to be comfortable so I tend to travel in stretchy jeans or chic sweats – I swear they exist. Also make sure you have a jacket in case the flight gets cold 🙂

Anna Lysakowska

annaeverywhere.comanna-lysakowskaWhy this is your favourite outfit?
I actually always travel in dresses as I find them way more comfy than pants. Especially when the flight is long-haul I’ll be given a blanket, so there’s no need to worry about getting cold. I hopefully look good when I get off the plane! But since I’m usually in a rush and doing things straight after getting off the plane I just put anything I want to wear that day. I never buy uncomfortable clothes anyway, so that’s not a bit issue for me. Thankfully my skin is naturally dry, so make up doesn’t come off during the flight, even when it’s overnight.

What is your secret for making it through long-haul flights?
Don’t sleep the night before. Then drink some wine before the flight 😉

Comfort or Style?
In my opinion by wearing a very comfy dress you can accomplish both at the same time.

Anne Reilly

blondebrunettetravel.comanne-reilly Why this is your favourite item to take on a plane?
This is my favorite item since plane flights always cause me to get cankles, and who wants that? I often arrive at a destination wanting to go for a swim and I don’t want to be seen with embarrassingly chunky ankles.

What is your secret for making it through long-haul flights?
For long haul flights, I also get up and move around frequently, to help avoid swelling and because I get restless.

Comfort or Style?
Since I’m wearing the not too sexy knee socks, I always wear long pants with a flat front style and a tunic top in a knit fabric. I like to look neat and uncluttered.

Kay Dougherty

blondebrunettetravel.comkay-dougherty Why this is your favourite item to take on a plane?
It’s a 60% silk, 40% cashmere wrap. It’s my blanket on the airplane, can be the cover on my bed if the bed only has a comforter and is too hot and it’s a wrap when an evening or a restaurant is chilly. The one time I didn’t take it I was bereft; it’s my constant companion now. It serves so many different purposes and is a nice little piece of luxury to savor.

What is your secret for making it through long-haul flights?
When possible buy an extra leg-room seat and always have an aisle seat. I’m a person who finds it hard to stay awake on an airplane so sleep is the closest thing I have to a secret. The other way I get through long fights is being realistic about my survival odds if I decided to jump out which sometimes holds appeal!

Comfort or Style?
If forced to choose I’d go with comfort but don’t think there needs to be a choice; you can have both. I like pants that don’t involve zippers and have some forgiveness, loose but not sloppy tops and shoes that don’t tie so if my feet swell I won’t be miserable. I would rather stay home for the rest of my life than ever wear a sweatsuit!

Annelise Schoups

aweekatthebeach.comannelise-schoups Why this is your favourite item to take on a plane?
I bought these for a trip to Southern Africa. The year before, I’d traveled to Morocco and found myself uncomfortable wearing shorts, even though it was strikingly hot, because of cultural differences. Out of respect, I spent the entire trip in the only floor-length dress I’d packed. This time I wanted to make sure I’d be comfortable and cool wherever I went. 

What is your secret for making it through long-haul flights?
I try to sleep as little as possible the night before so I can sleep most of the flight. I think it shaking up my sleep cycle helps to get ahead of the jet lag. Second to that is good books, music, and writing essentials.

Comfort or Style?
I’m a comfort-first kind of girl because, no matter what I was wearing, I wouldn’t look good if I wasn’t comfortable. That said, I do my best to go for middle ground. With these pants, for example, the green is more fun than other neutrals but still goes with almost everything else I pack.

Justin Valley

aweekatthebeach.comjustin-valley Why this is your favourite outfit?
I can workout, swim, hike and still look decent enough to do most things no matter where I go. I like them in black because dirt doesn’t show easily, and, because I like to pack light, I don’t have to wash them as often as I probably should. Because I like traveling in developing countries best, these clothes usually make me dressed well enough for anything, but I sometimes bring one outfit for special occasions.

What is your secret for making it through long-haul flights?
It’s all in the seats. I do whatever I can to make sure I get a seat in the exit row or in the last rows on larger planes because they’re usually reserved for staff. Otherwise I shoot for an aisle so I can stretch out. But I also have a talent for being able to sleep literally anywhere, so that helps.

Comfort or Style?
I always choose comfort over style. Very rarely have I felt underdressed, and I’d rather sacrifice style in those situations or buy something if absolutely necessary.

Brenna Holeman

Why this is your favourite outfit?
I’m a big fan of layers when travelling, and I try to mix clothes from home with things I buy locally – with this outfit, for example, I am wearing a simple H&M dress, but have added a necklace from India, a scarf from Nepal, and a handbag from Thailand. I also added tights/leggings for warmth, and am wearing boots as they’re my heaviest item. I always travel with a denim jacket, no matter where I’m going, as it’s such a versatile item of clothing. The same goes for a scarf – you can use it in so many ways, even as a makeshift pillow. In this outfit, I’m comfortable and warm, but I also feel fashionable.

What is your secret for making it through long-haul flights?
I don’t often sleep on flights unless I’m very tired, so I always try to be very prepared with lots to keep me occupied. That means bringing a laptop, mobile phone (for music), two books (just in case I tire of one), and a notebook and pens. I try to use the time as a “catch-up” period, meaning I’ll edit photos or do some writing or editing. Whenever an airplane has personal TVs, I use the hours to catch up on all of the films I may have missed because I travel so often.

I personally always try to get the window seat, as I can lose myself for hours just staring out at the clouds. I also try to drink lots of water and – even if I don’t have to get up – every time one of my seat mates gets up, I use it as an opportunity to stretch my legs or use the bathroom. All in all, I find I can keep quite busy and distracted on long-haul flights – they don’t bother me much.

Comfort or Style?
I always like to go for a mix of both. That means pairing a simple but comfortable outfit like a loose dress and leggings with fun, interesting accessories. Even if I’m wearing all black, I can add a really cool necklace or scarf and feel quite fashionable.

Tamara Gruber

we3travel.comtamara-gruberWhy this is your favourite outfit?
My absolute go-to, must-wear travel item are my Kate pants from Anatomie. They are designed for travel and are very comfortable, stretchy, and lightweight so they work for practically any destination. Wrinkles fall out as soon as you put them on, they air dry very quickly. Plus, when I do pack them, they take up very little space or weight in my suitcase. Best of all, they actually manage to look stylish and I get compliments on them all the time. After two years of steady use, they are still going strong.

I usually pair it with an Anatomie black tank and then layer on either a sweater or jacket because I’m always cold on the plane. I usually don’t like form fitting shirts but somehow the Anatomie tank flatters my shape while hiding my imperfections.

What is your secret for making it through long-haul flights?
I am not very good at sleeping on planes so to start off, I always try to book a window seat so I can at least have something to lean on. I also bring along a travel pillow, noise canceling headphones, sleep mask, cozy socks and wrap. If I can at least be warm and block out what is around me, I have a chance of napping. If it isn’t an overnight flight, I prefer the aisle so I don’t need to disturb my aisle-mates when I inevitably need to get up to use the bathroom. And of course, I usually do need to use the restroom because I always bring a large bottle of water on board to stay hydrated. I’m someone that drinks a lot of water every day to start, but on a plane it is even more important to stay hydrated and I find that the service in the air is infrequent and unpredictable.

Because I do tend to get dry, I also keep lip balm, moisturizer and eye drops within reach to use throughout the flight. Beyond those basic comforts, I always download at least one or two new books to my phone or Nook for the trip.

Comfort or Style?
I ALWAYS choice comfort, but I try as hard as I can to make comfort look fashionable. Sometimes just adding a jacket, scarf or necklace can make a basic skirt and tank look like a stylish outfit.

My other little cheat that I’m almost embarrassed to admit is that I had a friend who is a stylist come over and help me go through my wardrobe. We figured out a few great outfits for travel and took a picture of them so I can keep them on my phone and not even have to think when I’m packing what looks good together.

Deborah Boland

fabulousafter40.comdeborah-bolandWhy this is your favourite item to take on a plane?
I love to travel and comfort is key, so one thing I always take with me wherever I go is a light, cashmere wrap. They have been lifesaver for me. It comes in really handed once I’ve landed too. Even when you pack for your destination, the weather turn on a dime. There have been so many times I thought I had packed warm enough clothes and ended up having to rely on my wrap or use it as a big scarf.

What is your secret for making it through long-haul flights?
My secret is a warm pair of socks, a blanket and lots of reading material. I like to get all bundled up so I feel warm and cozy and then catch up on a bunch of magazines and books that I’ve been dying to read but just haven’t had time to. This makes me feel pampered and time flies, so to speak!

Comfort or Style?
Comfort is very important to me. I won’t wear a sweater that is the least bit scratchy pants that feel tight when you sit down, or uncomfortable heels no matter how much I like them or how “ in fashion” they are. Having said that, I don’t think you have to sacrifice style for comfort. There are lots of brands that do a wonderful job of combining comfort and style- clothes with built in stretch and practical walking shoes that look cute.


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