Confession time? I'm an over-packer. There's no way around that. Mainly because I'm probably overly cautious. I used to always want to prepare for the worst and every eventuality. But years and years of hauling extremely heavy bags across long distances has taught me that bringing way too much stuff just isn't worth the exhaustion and stress.
When it comes to taking long-haul flights in economy (which let's face it, almost 99.9% of us fly economy), there is no real way to be completely at ease BUT there is plenty you can do to make it as enjoyable as possible. The number one tip I have is to be prepared long in advance. There's nothing like stress to set off your trip on the wrong foot. I tend to pack a full few weeks in advance, and while I don't recommend this necessarily, it is good to have all your ducks in a row a few days before your flight.