Whether you are travelling for business or pleasure, being on an airplane can be a stressful experience. Gone are the days of luxurious 1960s flights where you could enjoy zero airport security, ample leg room, a great meal and a smoke.
Instead of those things we, in the 21st century, have prioritized health, safety and economy sized seats. Don’t let these things be a drag for you, and read up on how to make your next flight more comfortable.
Bring a sleep kit
Flying comes with its guaranteed annoyances; there will be a crying baby on your flight, sunshine will bounce off the clouds and blind you in your seat, and that business man next to you probably won’t love it if you rest your head on his shoulder. For optimal comfort on a flight, never forget your earplugs, eye mask, pillow and blanket or shawl.
Wear compression socks
There is nothing like getting to your destination after a flight and realizing that your ankles are swollen and it hurts to walk to the gate. Long-haul flights can take a toll on your circulation, and compression socks reduce the risk of swelling and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) by helping along blood flow.
When you’re on a flight, you don’t just want to fill the hours, you want them to zip by as fast as possible. Make sure you bring a book, earbuds, music and, if your airline doesn’t supply them, movies.
Don’t be the sucker on a flight who has to shell out $10 for terrible quality earbuds because you forgot your own.
To check it or not to check it
Take a good look at what you’ve decided to bring with you on your trip, and decide what should come with you into the cabin and what can be stowed in your checked baggage.
Personal medications, your passport, small valuables and electronics should all be with you near your seat.
Keep your carry on small and light
Avoid hassle at security and keep your carry on a reasonable size. Everyone on the plane will be looking at taking up precious cabin space with their bags, and often there just isn’t enough room. Be respectful of your fellow passengers and, if you are checking a bag anyway, keep your carry on to just the essentials.
To your fellow passengers and to the airline staff. While long-haul flights have the tendency to make people irritable and jittery, there is no reason to treat anyone poorly. The crew is there to make sure you are safe and comfortable, and like everyone, should be treated with respect.
Get up and move
The importance of getting up and moving on flights is of utmost importance. For the same reason you should be wearing compression socks, going for a quick stroll will help to increase blood flow and get rid of in-flight jitters.
Skip the caffeine
Especially if you are on an overnight flight or crossing time zones, skipping the caffeine is one of the best things you can do to help fight jet lag and irritability.
Pick your seat wisely to avoid air sickness
If you are prone to air sickness, try choosing a seat closest to the wings of the plane, which is the planes center of gravity. This is where you’ll experience the least amount of turbulence.
Consider the vegetarian or special meal
Regardless if you are vegetarian or not, if you order the veggie meal you will get your food first, and therefore be first to get back to your movie or grab some zzz’s.
Check the regulations before you leave
Flight regulations seem to change week-to-week and airline-to-airline. Be sure to skim over your airlines regulations prior to showing up at the airport.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! This point can not be more stressed, as it is so important to drink water on a flight. An airplane is a generally very dry environment, and it is easy to skip the water and therefore skip having to use the onboard toilet. This method, however, will leave you feeling weak and parched once you reach your destination.
Ask before you recline your seat
When you’re in a cramped space and want to get more comfortable, it is easy to justify reclining your seat. However, before you do, check with the person sitting directly behind you. Remember that they have just as much room as you do, and by reclining your seat you’ll be taking up some of theirs. Additionally, if they have their laptop out on the tray, you could be squashing valuable goods by spontaneously putting your seat back.