While there are some people who enjoy flying, air travel is, for many, a necessary inconvenience. Short-haul flights aren’t generally so bad, but long journeys, however, can be soul destroying! There are a few ways to take some of the pain away and make your flight comfortable. And, if a meal is included in your fare, don’t forget to make advance requests for any special requirements. Being hungry when you’re high in the sky and restless just plain sucks!
If you’re fortunate enough to be flying first class, most of these tips won’t apply. But, if like many travelers, you’re flying in a regular economy seat, these handy tricks can make all the difference.
1. Choose a Good Seat
Some airlines let you choose your seat for free and others charge for the privilege. Even if you need to pay a small amount, selecting your preferred seat can greatly add to your in-flight comfort levels. Being next to the aisle can be stressful for someone who likes to lean against the window and be well away from people passing by. Someone who likes to move around a lot would probably be unhappy in a window seat. And, realistically, pretty much everyone hates being stuck in the middle! Check for special offers on priority and extra leg room seats too—they might be more affordable than you think and having a little extra space can make your flight a lot more comfortable. Even budget travelers need a few creature comforts here and there.
2. Wear Comfy Clothes
You’re on an airplane, not taking part in a fashion parade! Sure, you want to look presentable, but there’s really no need to go all-out glam. (Unless, you’re flying in business class. Then you’ll want to be smart. But, if that’s the case, you likely won’t need these tips!) Dress in clothes that feel comfortable and let you wriggle around with ease. That means no super-tight skinny jeans, no ridiculously high heels and no bras with underwire digging into you. Think about the temperature too. Planes can sometimes feel excessively chilly or hot and stuffy. Dressing in layers helps you to stay comfortable.
3. Go Prepared for Sleep
Sleeping is one of the best ways to pass a long journey. Who cares if it’s the middle of the day? Get some Zzzz! If you’re taking a night flight, though, it’s even more important to try to get some rest. While some carriers provide basic comfort kits, including items like a blanket and an eye mask, there are also those that don’t. Check before you fly what the airline provides. Taking your own travel pillow, eye mask, small throw to use as a blanket and ear plugs can make your flight comfortable.
4. Charge Your Devices Beforehand
Although some aircraft have USB charging facilities, some don’t. Plan to be on a plane without if you know you’ll want to use your devices whilst in the air. Make full use of charging points in the airport before you board. Check airline regulations if you plan to take an external charger aboard the plane with you.
5. Take Snacks and Water
Even though you’ll have to dispose of bottled water (along with other liquids) when you pass through security, drinks purchased air-side are generally fine to take on the plane with you. Packaged snacks are no problem. Remember to avoid nuts, though, as a courtesy to other passengers; nuts can cause havoc in the air for some allergy sufferers. Going prepared beats having to wait for the trolley service if you’re gasping for a drink or your stomach is starting to rumble.
6. Use the Time to Relax
So, the words flying and relaxing don’t usually work well together. But, if you think about it, there are probably very few opportunities to completely disconnect, chill out and do something that you enjoy. So, rather than seeing flying as a chore, why not consider it a time to unwind and treat yourself to a bit of YOU time? Start reading the novel you haven’t yet gotten round to. Binge watch your favorite TV shows. Catch up with your travel journal. Have a movie marathon. Flick through glossy magazines. Do a crossword. Do anything you enjoy (within reason!) that you don’t often have time for when your feet are firmly on the ground.
Other ways to make your flight comfortable include keeping your skin soft and hydrated and wearing glasses instead of contact lenses, if applicable. Pack motion sickness remedies in your hand luggage if you’re prone to feeling ill on planes. If you spot a row of empty seats, get in their quickly and ask to switch places. And, you could always smile sweetly and try to bag an upgrade! That would make your flight comfortable for sure.