Long Haul – How to make Economy feel like First Class

This is a post I get asked for time and time again.

I haven’t intentionally been holding out on you, I promise!

“Tips” posts just don’t come especially naturally to me, but this is something I’m making an effort to change. I’m going to work on a few travel ones, maybe some photography ones, a few beauty bits, a real mixture. If you have any requests let me know in the comments.

But for now, let’s get stuck into this one!

Long Haul Travel Tips-1

Long haul travel is something I do a fair amount of.

I’ve experienced a good deal of time in the air at both ends of the aeroplane, and I can tell you that with very little prep you can revolutionise how you feel up there and at the end of your journey!

My very first tip is one I’ve shared with you before, but I still find myself explaining it to people on a weekly basis…

When booking your flight, do so in incognito mode. The price difference is remarkable, particularly if you look the flights up more than once.

Those tricksy airlines bump up the price every time you look, because they know you’re more likely to spend.

If you’re not sure how to go into incognito mode, Google “How to go incognito ____” and put the browser you’re using into the gap.

I always think the little extra you pay to choose your seat is worth it. Find out what sort of plane you’re travelling on and pop it into Seat Guru. It’ll show you where’s best to sit and you can choose from there.

Ok, let’s fast forward to the day you fly.

Long Haul Travel Tips-2

Don’t wear jeans or anything with a tight waistband.

You’re going to be wriggling around in your seat, trying to sleep so you want to be as comfy and unconstricted as possible.

Get yourself a good pair of leggings and a long, loose, natural fiber top that’ll cover your butt. Comfy undies also highly recommended.

In summer I wear a pair of slip on/off shoes that I can easily lose the second I’m seated.

Long Haul Travel Tips-4

In winter I wear flat boots, so it frees up space in my suitcase.

A Mary Poppins style bag you can fit the world into is always ideal for hand luggage.

Long Haul Travel Tips-3

More on what goes into it later.

Take a snuggly. A big scarf that can double as a blanket.

Long Haul Travel Tips-6

Airline blankets are always a bit gross, fine for your legs but you want something nicer to snuggle into and put against your face.

Long Haul Travel Tips-7

Travelling with a wheely suitcase is imperative… it wheely makes so much difference!

Unless you’re flying private and have someone to carry your bags at the other end, I’d leave those beautiful Louis Vuitton leather suitcases at home.

Long Haul Travel Tips-5

My seemingly indestructible Tumi suitcase has 4 wheels and glides along with no trouble at all. You can also sit on it while you wait for your Uber.

Whatever you get, remember that 4 wheels are better than 2. Buy cheap and you’ll have to buy again.

Of course the only way to really make economy feel like first class is to pack your hand luggage like a seasoned pro.

Long Haul Handluggage-1

  1. A neck pillow. Buy one at the airport if you like, just make sure it’s a beany one and not inflatable. Those are a killer! Catching a few Zs will make you feel so much better when you land and the flight will fly by.
  2. A silk eye mask. Not one of those clammy plasticky cheap ones. Mine’s anti-ageing, but more importantly as soft and sooting as being in your own bed.
  3. A good book, or a Kindle full of them.
  4. Socks. Especially if you’re sitting in an exit row, your feet’ll freeze otherwise.
  5. A clear cosmetic bag to take your beauty bits in, thus avoiding having to fumble about with baggies at security.
  6. Hairband. I’m obsessed with Invisibobbles, they don’t snag your hair or leave kinks. Made by the guys from Tangleteaser.
  7. Kiehl’s midnight recovery oil. Lavender scented to relax you, it’ll keep your skin hydrated and stop you drying out on the flight. A little goes a long way and a bottle should last you months and months.
  8. Estee stress relief eye masks. I love these cooling, invisible, moisturising little strips. Pop them under your eyes, take them off 10mins later and marvel at your plump, smooth skin. Refreshing and a bit of a treat. I take two because my boyfriend likes them too.
  9. Jurlique rose face mist. Beautifully scented, moisturizing, balancing and refreshing little spritz to liven you up before you land.
  10. Noise cancelling headphones. These make all the difference in the world and will revolutionise your flying experience. Disappear into your own little world. They even make food taste better – but that’s a longer story for another time.
  11. Nuts. Keep the hanger at bay.
  12. Long haul generally means landing in a new timezone. I get my sleeping back on track and combat jetlag with natural remedies. Pop into any pharmacy for melatonin capsules. I only take one on a flight if it’s 10hrs+ long.
  13. Take a pack of cards along incase you get delayed.
  14. Sunglasses for those horrible airport lights.
  15. Before you board buy a big bottle of water. Stewards in economy dole out water like you’re asking them to draw it from their veins, and serve it in teeny tiny thimbles. Get your own water so you don’t have to continually ask for more, make sure you drink the whole thing before you land. It’ll make you feel better, combat jet lag, keep your digestion moving, and you’ll have to get up now and again to pee – it’s good to keep your blood moving during a long flight.

If you have an iPad, load it with a box set of a tv show. Movies are good, but nothing eats time like an episode marathon.

And that’s it! You’re ready to roll!

Long Haul Travel Tips-9

Have a safe flight and even though the alcohol’s free, try to steer clear. It’ll make you feel like death when you hit a hangover half way through the flight.

I hope my tips help a bit, happy travels!

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  • Great tips for traveling. Always an essential thing to know! Merci for sharing. 🙂

    La Bijoux Bella | by mia

  • I’d never heard of Melatonin tablets, I need to check them out! Thanks for all the tips! I’m flying from Melbourne to Toronto in a few weeks and this post comes in very handy x

    • Rosie

      Phew, that’ll be a long one! Safe travels! x

  • marie from heartfelt hunt

    thank u for those awesome tips!!! i had to laugh so hard at the “Stewards in economy dole out water like you’re asking them to draw it from their veins” part – haha! 🙂



    • Rosie

      So frustrating! Well worth taking your own 😉 x

    • Bethan Axford

      When I flew to Oz last Christmas I took a reusable bottle and got the stewards to fill it up for me, which they were fine with. You can fill it at drinking fountains in the airports too! A bottle of water will be confiscated at security but an empty bottle seems to be fine, or always has been in my experience.

  • Velondonista

    Love these tips, I am prepping for an ultimate longest haul flight to New Zealand form UK (24hrs in air), so these are very handy tips. Thanks for sharing.
    Bicycles, travel and lifestyle blog —> http://velondonista.com

    • Rosie

      Perfect timing! Safe travels x

  • Emilie

    Awesome tips thanks a lot Rosie! Came at the perfect time as I am off to Mexico next week!

  • thunderlegz

    Good ones, Rosie! Could I request a style tip for home? You always have beautifully styled rooms and tables. Definitely a makeup one, too, if you please. x

    • Rosie

      Yes, I keep meaning to do a makeup one! Will work on it x

  • Peppermint Dolly

    Super post, I carry a lot of this stuff with me already when I travel, but I’m really interested in the Jurlique Rose Moisture and the Stress Relief Eye Mask by Estée Lauder. I’d never heard of either and with skin that dries out easily, I’m always looking for ways to combat it. Thanks for the tips!



    • Rosie

      Both such winners, you’ll love them! x

  • Love these tips! Prepping before a flight makes all the difference indeed.

    I always want to read but then end up falling asleep hahah


  • JoJo

    I’d love to see a post on your home décor and your tips for a great night in!

  • Great travel tips! Thanks for sharing these. I always find traveling easier in a pair of good leggings!

  • This is an utterly fantastic post (thanks, I’ll be using the booking tips when I *finally* find the time to head back to L.A. for a bit) and I have bookmarked it forever x

  • Duy

    Would you please share with us where you stayed in Corsica? The actual residence/hotel I mean? It seemed lovely.

    Thank you.

    • Rosie

      Yes, I included it in the first post “First Taste of Corsica” x

  • Aloma Foggo

    Tips on clothes to pack please!

  • Fab post! I recently upgraded to a larger, four wheeled bag and love it. Do the noise cancelling headphones really block out the engine noise on the plane? I can NEVER listen to anything for long on a flight because of that in the background. Those eye strips are inspired and are going straight onto my to-buy list. Now if only I could learn to really narrow down what I take with me. I always seem to pack too much of everything!

  • Love your tips! Definitely agree on everything!

    And I also pack meds in case of emergency 🙂

    • Rosie

      Good thinking!

  • Jeanne

    Excellent, Excellent, Excellent…All Fabulous Tips! Thanks!

  • Pat Wilkinson

    Thanks Rosie, great tips. .. I’m flying from South Africa to London soon, about 11 hours, thanks for sharing!

    • Rosie

      Good luck Pat! Have a great trip x

  • Ness

    Thanks for the tips Rosie! Looking forward to some more tips posts, especially some photography ones as I’ve always envied your photos! Would love to hear about how you are able to get photos of yourself so naturally 🙂

    Love Vanessa | http://www.wanderness.co.uk xx

    • Rosie

      For natural pics just try and enjoy yourself! It makes it much easier, quicker and I think it comes through in the snaps. If you have to force it, give up and try again later! x

  • Great tips! Loved reading this!

  • That’s a killer post!!! The kind I love reading because I enjoy learning the tricks of the trade from the pros and it makes all future experiences a lot more enjoyable + you look like a pro yourself;)! Thanks for sharing this post Rosie. Julie xx


  • Perfect tips! I am travelling long haul next year so I am saving this post! 🙂


  • mycitymylondon

    I would love to board the flight with no make-up, hair tied up in a bun, so I can apply a mask during the flight and leave the plane with glowing skin. hehe
    I am just not that confident to do so.

    • Rosie

      Sunglasses! No make up needed 😉 x

  • Fleur

    Great tips! Would love to know how you book your holidays. Have you got a one stop site or is it lots of research? X

    • Rosie

      Lots of research x

  • pinkschmink

    Great tips, thanks Rosie! I’m off to Toronto on Wednesday and I’ll definitely be using some of these!

  • Emma

    Brilliant tips, thank you! Loved reading this post – definitely going to look at investing in some noise-cancelling headphones for my next flight, and those leggings are going straight in my shopping cart! Putting my pharmacist hat on for a minute though, just wanted to highlight that for those of us in the UK, melatonin is only available on prescription 🙁

    Emma xx

    • Rosie

      Good point Emma! Defo one to pick up if you’re in the states. x

  • Malin Altenburger

    Awesome tips, I’ve been on a couple long hual flights and wish I brought my own scraf/blanket ! You’re right, those airplane blankets are yacky…

    http://www.exploringdays.blogspot.com | by Malin

    • Rosie

      Funny what a difference it makes!

  • Shannon

    Love this! I have a few long haul trips coming up and excited to try some of these tips! I do wonder thought, where do you pack your laptop and all of your camera gear/charging cords? As a photographer/blogger myself I always find it to weigh down and junk up my carry-on! Thanks xx

  • Alex

    Rose – I have never commented before (have been a reader for years though!) and wanted to say I would LOVE to see more of these posts! This one is perfect, and it would be fantastic to see more on things like how to plan outfits/pack for vacations, makeup you travel with, how you get ready to go out, etc. It allows us readers to channel a bit of your glam in our everyday 😉 keep them coming and keep doing what you’re doing! 🙂

    • Rosie

      Thanks Amex!

  • Bri

    A lot of great tips here! However, I’ve found that suitcases with 2 wheels are less likely to break than those with 4 wheels. Especially if you take it ‘off-roading’ in a lot of around-the-world adventures. As a new flight attendant in NYC 6 years ago, I learned this the hard way.

  • Juliana Grace

    Loved this post! One of my favorites! Please do several all on photography!!

    • Rosie

      Right-o! Will do x

  • Incredible! You must be great at sales. Not that that’s what’s really important but… Anyway, I find plane trips half the fun of travelling, even though even the keenest traveler dislikes flights. I guess its the endless entertainment available and the excitement of travelling that gets me. Sleeping in economy sucks though. That’s why its best to stay awake and have a ‘flying’ party of music, movies, books and conversing with the person next to you 🙂 happy travels x

  • This blog post was soo useful! I feel like I can really trust your advice because you’re always traveling. Will definitely be coming back to this blog post when I go on holiday x


  • Great tips! And yes to water and a good face oil.

  • Rose

    Great article, but please don’t take nuts as a snack on planes! It’s one of the most common allergens, and can be very irritating and potentially dangerous for those around you with allergies, as they can’t move away from it on a plane. Just trying to raise awareness, love your blog! X

    • Rosie

      Good point! I used to date a chap with a nut allergy.
      Thankfully cashews are a safer bet, and in my experience they generally announce if you can’t have nuts. On 9 out of 10 planes they serve cashews anyway, so you shouldn’t do any harm!
      Safe travels x

  • Thabiso

    Tips for being able to eat so much delicious food ad still look so gorgeous! What are your workout tips?

    • Rosie

      Search “Anti diet” for food stuff and I’ve done a few different posts on working out! x

  • I’ve used a lot of these tips while travelling long hauls or hoping abt for work. The shawl, water and moisture anything makes a massive difference.

    On long hauls ppl hate stopovers. But they can be a godsend. They break up and help ease you into time zones, and if it’s alightly longer you get a bonus mini look at a place.

    • Rosie

      Lord, I hate stopovers! I like to get on, get comfy and settle in for the long haul!
      But each to their own, you can certainly save lots of money doing a stop over.

  • Love this Rosie, looking forward to more “tips” posts.

    The noise cancelling headphones are a game changer, especially if you’re a nervous flyer like me. Well worth the cost!


  • Brilliant tips! Especially has I’m starting to travel more!


  • Ashley Christabelle

    Love these tips! Gonna put them to good use when I go home for the 21 hour flight (INSANE!). I’ve got myself a pair of noise cancelling headphones now and can’t wait to wear them on the plane!


  • Michelle Joseph

    These tips are simply perfect!

    Mich x

  • These are great tips! I am purchasing the eye mask asap!

  • Fabulous tips Rosie!

    I’m heading from Toronto to London (Yay!) on the Red Eye in just a few weeks and will be stuck firmly in Economy trying to be comfy cozy. I’ll be sure to use these tips so I can hit the ground running!

    Laura @ http://www.cookwineandthinker.com

  • Miranda

    Perhaps a stupid question, but what kind of jacket do you wear with that outfit? I always find that when I wear a long blouse, it kind of looks a bit odd when I wear a short jacket with it. Of course in summer a jacket isn’t needed, but in the other seasons I’ll easily get a cold walking from the parking lot to the terminal when I don’t wear a jacket.

  • Jane

    Where are your leggings from? They look like they fit very well!

  • Orlaith

    Really handy tips, thanks! And great timing as I’m flying to Canada next month.
    Have you ever thought about carbon offsetting your flights? I’ve been looking into it recently and it seems like a smart and pretty affordable way to counteract the negative impact of flying on the environment. x

  • Such a useful post Rosie! I’ll definitely remember to read through this in the future! x

  • fanim

    great tips Rosie! Btw if you have your own bottle in most airlines (excluding EasyJet and Ryanair obv, that charge even the air you breath) they will refill it, which comes in handy for long flights or if you’re particularly thirsty! Also the Cabeau travel pillow is the best one I’ve used x

  • shannon

    So cute! Where do you pack your laptop and all of your camera gear/charging cords? As a photographer/blogger myself I always find it to weigh down and junk up my carry-on! Thanks xx

  • Amanda

    Thanks for the tips!! We travel to London in November and I’ve struggled to stay comfy on a long flight like that. Love the tips on how to keep the face refreshed during the flight, it can be so dehydrating.

  • Akanksha Padhi

    Loved the post. Especially regarding the tips on suitcases, considering how many I have already got back with serious damage.

    x https://ahsknaka.wordpress.com/

  • I know this post is kinda old but can you elaborate on the jetlag/melatonin pills thing? I didn’t understand your point in the post. I’m flying from Santiago to Auckland in two weeks so I’m in prepare for flight mode. 😛

  • It’s the leg room in economy I struggle with on long haul – I’m only 5ft4 yet I can *never* get comfortable! Any tips on how to shrink 🙁 x

  • First time poster here.

    Some great tips here. Thank you.

    I would love to see a post on how you organize your closet/drawers, etc. You seem to have everything put together, so I wonder if you have a good way to organize things at home?