long-haul holidays

There is something much more special about discovering a part of the world that is slightly farther from where you call home. Whether it is because travelling farther entails a longer vacation or the thought of exploring completely new cultures, a long-haul trip has its unique charm.

As exhilarating as such adventures might be, getting there and adapting might not come naturally. Instead of worrying about the unknown, let the sparkle of vacation time shine brighter by being as prepared as possible. And don’t forget to allow yourself leeway for discovery!

We’ve gathered some insider tips from globetrotters who have ticked off long-haul escapades from their bucket lists and shared them right here for you to use.


Don’t be tempted to rely on a set number of days for the whole trip from start to finish before considering the length of the flights.

Heading to faraway locations might imply you spend between 24 to 48 hours from the time you leave your home country to the moment you land at your destination. Factor in those 1 to 2 days over and above your stipulated holiday period, so your itinerary of adventures wouldn’t need to shrink down.

Remember that you might not make your way to that country another time during your lifetime, so make the best of it by allowing enough time for exhilarating explorations.


There are those who love exploring airports and others who hate the thought of being constricted in a closed space with limited resources. Whichever one you fit into, consider it before booking your interconnecting flights.

A long layover might kill your enthusiasm or meddle with your sleeping patterns. Consider airlines that offer a smaller timeframe between one flight and another. On the other hand, certain airports and airlines offer free tours around the city you land in to fill your free time with even more adventures.

For instance, if you find yourself in Turkey with a layover between 6 to 24 hours, take advantage of their layover programme to catch a glimpse of the country’s history and culture. Alternatively, book a sleeping room with a shower to refresh yourself before your next flight.


Wasting days sleeping unnecessarily wouldn’t be on anyone’s agenda when on holiday. Preparation against jet lag should be something you consider well before travelling. Analyse the time difference and how it might affect your sleep patterns.

During your flights, keep your hydration levels up by drinking enough water and avoiding caffeine. Equip yourself with comfortable sleeping gear such as sleep masks and ear plugs. Calculate your sleeping times in coordination with your new time zone.


After a long travel period, a comfortable room might be on top of your agenda. If you have a long commute between the airport and your first destination, consider renting a room for one night close to the airport to get the rest you need before embarking on hours long of road travel.

When exploring new destinations, consider what would serve you most from a room – whether that is a large space to store multiple suitcases, the security of a hotel reception in case you arrive at a late hour, or a boutique room to allow you to live amongst the locals for a more immersive experience.

Choose your accommodation based on the areas you will explore, the vicinity to certain amenities such as a laundromat and a convenience store. Don’t opt for the cheapest but the most cost-efficient one to give you back the value you are looking for.


No matter how much of a planning pro you might be, there is always going to be something you did not envisage. From suitcases getting drenched in water during connecting flights and finding wet clothes inside, to a train strike that eventually changes your schedule or even an unexpected headache that requires you to rest – just take whatever comes lightly.

Being prepared is always advised, such as having a secure travel insurance that covers suitcase damages or medical costs. There is room for spontaneity during trips, but peace of mind is something you should rely on.


The farther you go from what you call your home country, the higher the chances of having a myriad of cultural norms that are extremely different than those you grew up with.

Whilst being a foreigner allows you some leniency from the locals as they might assume you are not aware of their customs, there are some actions that might be inexcusable. Furthermore, being respectful not only makes you a better person but earns you bonus points by the locals as they appreciate the art of trying.

If, for instance, you are travelling to Japan, learn a few commonly used words to show your effort, familiarise yourself with bowing as a way to say thank you and remove your shoes before entering someone’s home.


You might be far away from home for some well-needed relaxation and exploration but your family and friends’ peace of mind comes from the knowledge that you can reach them whenever you need to – and they you.

Whilst your mobile network provider may charge exorbitant prices to operate mobile data abroad, opt for an e-sim. This is the easiest method to enjoy mobile data without being restricted with expensive charges. There are many available that vary in terms of services and prices, but it only involves downloading an app and doing 2-minute changes to your phone’s settings.

Alternatively, you could consider a portable WI-FI device you could easily get from airports. Make sure you read the terms and conditions about its return, as most request you drop it off from the same airport you rent it out. Don’t forget to carry a portable charger with you too, as these devices would need to be charged just like phones to operate.


You might be tempted to go overboard when planning a long trip, but the reality is you do not need a completely new outfit for each day of travel. Most hotels are equipped with self-service laundry machines or offer laundry services themselves. If you’re off for a 2-week trip, just pack clothes enough for a week and then wash the dirty ones for reuse.

Alternatively, if you are a big clothes shopping fan, keep in mind the purchases you’ll be doing there which might serve as outfits during the trip. Whilst your personality might direct you towards versatile clothing, being practical with packing is the key to comfortable long-haul vacations.

If you are going on a safari adventure in Africa, pick clothing which is lightweight and breathable, neutral in colouring to blend in your surroundings and sturdy footwear that allows you to walk distances without hurting your feet, legs or back.