How to survive long-haul flights for business travel

Embarking on a long-haul flight as a business traveler can be both exciting and daunting. The prospect of exploring new horizons and expanding professional networks is undoubtedly enticing, but the challenges of enduring extended hours in transit can’t be overlooked.

However, with a little preparation and a few smart strategies, you can transform long-haul flights into productive and enjoyable experiences. From pre-flight preparations to in-flight essentials, we'll equip you with invaluable tips to make the most of your time in the air, ensuring a smooth and successful trip.

What to plan before you fly for business travel

Before you step onto the plane, strategic planning is key.

We'll delve into important aspects such as choosing the right flight, selecting the ideal seat, and optimizing layover times to minimize jet lag and maximize productivity. Check your company's travel policy about seat classes, recommended airlines, and policies for layovers.

Steps to take during business travel flights

How to stay comfortable on board

Maintaining comfort during a long flight is crucial, especially when you have pressing business matters to attend to upon arrival. Here are our top three tips for staying comfortable on board:

  • Select loose and warm attire because planes are often kept at low temperatures.
  • Pack only essentials in your carry-on so you’re not crowded by unnecessary bulk. Keep a neck pillow, ear plugs, or any other essentials for getting some rest at the top of your bag for easy access.
  • Leverage the aircraft's amenities for optimal comfort. Some planes provide complimentary products in their bathrooms. The atmosphere in planes tends to dry out skin, so check for complimentary moisturizer when using the bathroom.

How to navigate time zones and jet lag

The effects of changing time zones can throw off your routine and impact productivity. Read our article for practical advice on how to minimize jet lag and adjust your body clock, so you can hit the ground running upon landing.

How to maximize productivity

While spending hours in transit might seem like wasted time, we'll show you how to transform your flight into a productive oasis. Discover valuable techniques to capitalize on the uninterrupted hours in the air, whether by catching up on emails, fine-tuning presentations, or engaging in strategic planning.

How to maintain health and wellness

Long flights can take a toll on your physical and mental well-being. We'll share effective strategies to combat the negative impacts of air travel, including tips for staying active, healthy meal choices, and mindfulness techniques to keep stress at bay.

Tips for once you’ve landed

Navigating security checks and immigration processes smoothly can save you valuable time and energy. Learn the dos and don’ts of airport security, streamline luggage handling, and master the art of passing through immigration seamlessly.

By implementing these practical tips in your travel routine, you can turn long-haul flights into opportunities for personal growth and professional success. Fasten your seatbelt and prepare to embark on a journey that transcends mere distance – a journey toward becoming an expert business traveler who thrives in the world of international commerce.

11 tips for business travelers for long flights

By implementing these tips, you can make your long-haul flight as comfortable and enjoyable as possible, ensuring you arrive at your destination ready for business.

1. Book your tickets early

Securing tickets well in advance gives you the advantage of choosing the best flight options and seats. By booking early, you’ll have a better chance of snagging a seat that suits your preferences, whether it's by the window for a view or in an aisle seat for easier access.

2. Opt for premium economy if possible

If your travel and expense policy allows, consider upgrading to premium economy. With more legroom, enhanced comfort, and improved amenities, premium economy can significantly enhance your in-flight experience, especially during long-haul trips.

3. Try for an upgrade

Don't be afraid to ask for an upgrade at the check-in counter or the gate. While not guaranteed, there's always a chance you might score a seat in business or first class, providing you with a more luxurious and comfortable flight to ensure you’re feeling fresh upon arrival to carry out the purpose of your business trip.

4. Prepare for jet lag

To combat the effects of jet lag, adjust your sleep schedule a few days before your departure, gradually aligning it with the time zone of your destination. Stay hydrated during the flight, avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol, and consider taking short naps to help adjust your body clock. Be sure to schedule the first day of your corporate trip with jetlag in mind.

5. Keep your carry-on light

Packing light is essential to minimizing stress and avoiding excess luggage fees. Pack only the essentials in your carry-on, including items like a travel pillow, a change of clothes, toiletries, and any important documents or electronics you may need during the flight.

6. Pack an eye mask

An eye mask is a must-have for long-haul flights, especially if you're looking to get some rest. It blocks out light, helping to create a sleep-friendly environment and encouraging a deeper, more restful sleep.

7. Don’t forget your headphones

A good pair of noise-canceling headphones make a world of difference during a long flight. They not only provide high-quality sound for entertainment, but also drown out the ambient noise of the aircraft, allowing you to focus or relax without distractions.

8. Dress right

Wearing loose, comfortable clothing during a long-haul flight is essential for relaxation and ensuring a good night's sleep. Opt for breathable fabrics and layers that can be easily adjusted according to the temperature on board.

9. Charge your devices

Before boarding, make sure all your electronic devices—such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops—are fully charged. This ensures you have ample entertainment options throughout the flight and enables you to stay connected upon arrival.

10. Preload shows or podcasts

Downloading your favorite shows, movies, or podcasts onto your devices before take-off can save you from relying solely on the in-flight entertainment options. It provides a wider range of content tailored to your preferences, making the time fly by.

11. Pre-adjust your watch

To ease your transition to the new time zone, adjust your watch or phone to the destination’s local time as soon as you board the plane. This helps you mentally prepare for the upcoming time change and facilitates a smoother adjustment upon arrival.

Suggested articles

6 min read
How to manage jet lag as a business traveler

Want to get more out of your next business trip? Learn how to reduce jet lag for more productive bus...

Work productivity Business travelers
7 min read
Choosing the right accommodations for business travel

Beyond hotels – our tips for choosing the right accommodations for you during business travel and ou...

Business travel tips Business travelers
7 min read
10 tips to consider for your business trip packing list and experience

Discover 10 items and advice for a successful business trip: packing list and tips!

Business travel tips Business travelers