Long-haul flights can be very tiring – even if you manage to avoid jet lag – so it’s important to stay comfortable. If you’re going somewhere exotic, you’ll be sat down for at least 12 hours. And there’s nothing worse than spending half a day – or more – on a plane, then having to greet your family, friends or colleagues in creased clothing. But staying comfortable is surprisingly easy. If you follow our advice, you’ll feel cosy on the plane and land looking great, regardless of how long your journey is. So, before you write your packing list, read our tips on what to wear on a long-haul flight.

What to wear on a long haul flight

What to wear on a long-haul flight

If you’re on a long-haul flight, you’re going to be spending many hours in the air – possibly with little opportunity to move around and, if you’re travelling in economy, not a great deal of leg room. Make sure you don’t compound the potential discomfort involved in a long flight by wearing clothing that’s too tight, too warm or too cold. And, if you’re flying with children, it’s best to take plenty of options. Try to stick to these four rules when deciding what to wear on a long-haul flight…

Dress in layers

Not all aircraft cabins are the same temperature. And, on a long-haul flight, you'll find that the temperature changes throughout the journey. Dressing in layered clothing is the best option because it ensures that you can shed a layer or add one back as necessary, depending on variations in the temperature.
It's best to make the outer layer something light, like a cardigan or jumper. Underneath, wear a shirt, blouse or t-shirt. Ideally choose clothing made of natural fibres, like cotton, instead of man-made fibres. This will be kinder on your skin, and also reduce any sweating.

Wear loose clothing

Loose clothing will obviously be much more comfortable than something tight-fitting. Opt for loose-fitting trousers, like comfortable tracksuit bottoms or stretchy leggings. Whatever you go for, make sure the waistband is elasticated too – this will help you feel more comfortable while sitting down for long periods of time. It's best to avoid socks or shoes that are tight around the ankles.
Sitting still on long flights slightly increases your risk of deep vein thrombosis – which is when the blood clots in deep veins – especially in your legs. Avoiding tight clothing and moving as much as possible are two of the steps you can take to help prevent this. If you're at higher than usual risk of thrombosis, it's also a good idea to wear compression stockings fitted up to the knee – you can ask your doctor for advice before you fly.

Don't wear your suit on the flight

If you're due to meet with business clients or partners at the other end of a flight, you'll need to look professional – even if you've just spent the last 14 hours in the air, or waiting for connecting flights in various departure lounges. First impressions count.
The best way of ensuring a smart appearance at the end of a long-haul flight is to wear loose, casual clothes for most of the flight, and carry your business wear on with you. Just before landing, you can change into smart clothes you've brought to meet people in. You'll still feel tired, of course, but at least you'll look good.

Pack different options for children

If you're flying long haul with small children, chances are high that something will be spilled at some point. Your main focus on the plane may be sheer survival, but especially if you're meeting family or friends you haven't seen in a long time, you probably want to turn up looking relatively fresh. The only way to ensure this is to take at least one extra set of clothing for both you and the kids, which you can all change into before the plane lands. If you're travelling with babies or toddlers on a night flight, let them travel in their pajamas for comfort, then change them into clothes just before landing. Preparation is key.

If you’re flying long haul with children, check out these 8 ways to keep kids happy on a plane.
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