European Long-Haul Flight Tips & Tricks To Stay Comfy

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Post author SJ

Written by our local expert SJ

Sarah-Jane has lived in Croatia for 10+ years. SJ, as she is known, has been traveling the Balkans & beyond since 2000. She now shares her passion for traveling with her husband & kids.

Explore simple, savvy tips for staying healthy and comfy on long-haul European flights! From hydration to dealing with delays, we’ve got you covered! 

Croatia Travel Blog_Staying Comfy On A Long Haul Flight

There’s something magical about hopping across European landscapes, isn’t there? The thrill of exploring new places gets the heart racing. But between us, those extended hours in the air can sometimes feel a tad uncomfortable.

Don’t sweat it!

With a pinch of planning and some good old common sense, you’ll be set for a comfy and healthy ride. Let’s dive into this easy-to-read guide, shall we?

1. Dressing The Part

What to wear on a long haul flight

Who said comfort can’t be stylish? While those snazzy outfits make heads turn at the airport, they might feel like a straitjacket when you’re up in the air.

Think breathable—like your favorite cotton tee or that silky bamboo top. And remember, layers are your friend. A cozy cardigan or a light scarf can shield you from those unpredictable chills.

Shoes? Something you can wiggle your toes in and kick off easily.


2. The Liquid Lifeline

Have you ever noticed how flying makes you feel a tad…parched? That’s because the airplane’s environment sneakily saps away your hydration. Sure, that complimentary wine or coffee sounds divine, but keep it balanced.

Drink water like it’s going out of fashion. Oh, and a travel water bottle might be your trusty sidekick—no more waiting for the flight attendant!

3. Little Moves, Big Difference

Imagine your plane seat as a mini exercise spot. Every couple of hours, stand up, stretch out, maybe dance a little (okay, perhaps not the last part). A simple twist here and a gentle stretch there can keep you feeling limber. Plus, it’s good for the blood flow.

4. Nosh Smart

There’s an art to munching thousands of feet up in the sky. Sure, airplane meals are…well, airplane meals. But choose wisely. Pick foods that make your belly and taste buds happy—maybe some lean proteins and fruits. And hey, pack some of your favorite snacks. Those almonds or that granola bar can be a game-changer.

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5. Clean Vibes Only

It’s a busy place, an airplane. Loads of people, quick stops. You get the drift—it’s not the epitome of cleanliness. So, arm yourself with some wipes and sanitizer. Give that tray table a little clean, and maybe the armrests too. It’s not just about cleanliness; it’s about peace of mind.

6. Dreaming Up High

Napping while flying? Absolutely, it’s like a superhuman ability. Prep for your snooze fest based on where you’re headed. Maybe bring along an eye mask, neck pillow, earplugs, or your favorite sleepy tunes.

Oh, but remember to hydrate first, just not too much. Endless bathroom trips? No, thank you.

7. When Plans Go Awry

Air travel, while efficient, often comes with its set of challenges, especially when opting for budget airlines like Wizz Air. While they offer attractive fares for European routes, delays can sometimes be part of the package. However, there’s an upside: if you experience prolonged waiting times, Wizz Air’s delay compensation policy might offer some solace. I

It’s designed to provide relief to passengers facing such inconveniences. A pro tip for all travelers: always pack essential items in your carry-on, like an extra t-shirt or your favorite snack. They can be game-changers during unexpected hiccups.

8. Mind Matters

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Keep that noggin entertained. Dive into those movies you’ve promised yourself you’d watch, or lose yourself in a gripping novel. Engaging the brain keeps the travel blues at bay and helps time fly, literally.

9. In-The-Know Traveler

What bag to take on a long haul flight - big and lightweight

Each airline offers something different. One might shower you with freebies, while another counts every penny. So, be a smart cookie. A little pre-flight research can give you a heads-up on what to expect and how to be ready. From my 25 years of travel, I have realized that the differences in flight experiences between low-cost and full-service carriers can vary significantly.

Here’s a quick  comparison of the in-flight differences between budget and luxury airlines:

1. Seating & Comfort

  • Budget Airlines: Often have more narrow seats with less legroom. The seating configuration is typically denser, meaning more passengers per flight
  • Luxury Airlines: Offer spacious seating, especially in business and first-class. Many also have lie-flat seats or private suites in premium classes

2. In-Flight Entertainment

  • Budget Airlines: Might not have in-flight entertainment systems. If they do, there might be a charge to access it
  • Luxury Airlines: Typically have a complimentary in-flight entertainment system with a wide range of movies, music, and games. Premium cabins may have larger screens and more diverse content

3. Meals & Beverages

  • Budget Airlines: Often do not provide complimentary meals or beverages, even on longer flights. Passengers can typically purchase snacks and drinks
  • Luxury Airlines: Offer complimentary meals and beverages. On longer flights, passengers might get multiple meals and a wide choice of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Premium cabins may have gourmet meals and fine wines

4. Baggage

  • Budget Airlines: Typically charge for checked baggage and, in some cases, even for carry-on luggage.
  • Luxury Airlines: Usually include at least one checked bag for free, with more generous allowances for premium cabins.

5. Wi-Fi & Connectivity

  • Budget Airlines: If offered, there’s often a charge for Wi-Fi.
  • Luxury Airlines: Many offer complimentary Wi-Fi for a limited duration or data volume, especially in premium classes.

6. Service

  • Budget Airlines: Typically have fewer cabin crew members, which can result in slower service
  • Luxury Airlines: Often pride themselves on attentive service, with more cabin crew per passenger, especially in premium classes

7. Amenities

  • Budget Airlines: Do not typically provide amenities like pillows, blankets, or amenity kits unless they are purchased
  • Luxury Airlines: Offer complimentary pillows and blankets. Premium cabins might receive amenity kits with toiletries and other comforts

8. Loyalty Programs & Lounges

  • Budget Airlines: They might not have extensive loyalty programs. If they do, perks might be limited. Typically, no access to lounges
  • Luxury Airlines: Offer extensive loyalty programs with a range of benefits. Premium passengers or frequent flyers might get access to airport lounges with food, showers, and other amenities

9. Boarding & Check-In Process

  • Budget Airlines: Might charge for priority boarding. Check-in counters can be busier due to more passengers and fewer staff
  • Luxury Airlines: Offer priority boarding for premium cabins or frequent flyers. Often have dedicated check-in counters for premium passengers

10. Routes & Destinations

  • Budget Airlines: Typically operate point-to-point routes without many (or any) connections
  • Luxury Airlines: Often part of larger airline alliances, providing a wide range of destinations and easier connections

10. Tuning In

Lastly, and most importantly, listen to what your body whispers (or sometimes shouts). A little thirsty? Sip on that H2O. Feeling stiff? Time for a stretch or a walk. It’s these tiny gestures that transform your flying experience.

11. Tech Support

In this digital age, our gadgets are close companions, even on flights. Keeping your electronic devices charged can be a lifeline, especially on long a long flight.

A fully charged phone can serve as your source of music, books, and in-flight entertainment if the airplane’s options don’t appeal to you. Consider packing a portable charger or power bank. Some planes also offer USB ports at every seat. Before you board, download a few favorite movies, TV episodes, or podcasts. This ensures you have entertainment, even if the in-flight Wi-Fi isn’t up to par.

12. Your Personal Comfort Kit

Long haul flight shoes - wear shoes you can slip off

While airlines often provide a basic amenity kit on longer flights, creating a personal comfort kit can make a huge difference. Fill a small pouch with items tailored to your needs.

Think of lip balm to combat the dry cabin air, a lightweight moisturizer, noise-canceling headphones for a better audio experience, or even essential oils like lavender or chamomile that can soothe and relax.

For those prone to swelling, consider compression socks. These small additions can collectively make your journey much more pleasurable.

To sum it up, long flights are a mixed bag. But with a sprinkle of planning and a dash of self-care, they can be more than just bearable. They can be a cozy little break before your European escapades. Here’s to flying with comfort and joy. Safe travels!

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