I don’t enjoy being on an airplane for more than 4 to 5 hours at a time but sometimes there’s nothing one can do about it. Flying can be fairly tough when it’s a long one, we all know that airplanes are known for being cramped, the food is $$, and some airlines don’t even offer free pretzels anymore!
Flying has drastically changed from the days when it was entertaining and pleasant to airlines just trying to rip you for more money on anything they can (basic non-alcoholic beverage such as water on US Airways – $2). So money aside, I’d like to share some tips on how to survive those long flights and travel days.
*Disclaimer: There are some affiliate links in the article below*
How to stay comfortable on a long flight
Always wear comfortable clothes and shoes
I honestly cannot stress enough the importance of this, especially on a long flight. Airplanes are known for being freezing even though you can turn off the air conditioning. You have to sit for hours at a time and also stand in line for check in, security, and boarding.
You want to be comfortable, not stylish. For my universal flying outfit, I’m most comfortable in leggings, a long shirt and sweater, with comfortable flats, boots or travel shoes. Personally, I despise wearing jeans during flying and I usually bring a jacket that has a hood so I can just pull it up while taking a nap.
However, if your departure location is hot and arrival place is cold, bring an extra jacket and a scarf as they are light, easy to carry and provides extra warmth. Vice versa, I usually bring a pair of shorts and flip flops in my backpack and change into them at the airport.
Brush your teeth
There’s nothing worse than flying all day with a nasty taste in your mouth. A quick rinse refreshes you and eliminates bad breath. Toothpaste falls into the category of liquids and gels so make sure you bring a tube smaller than 3.4 ounces or else they will take it from you at security.
Bring any other toiletries you might think you might use and consider getting a toiletry kit. I always bring my toothbrush, toothpaste, contact solution, contact lens case, extra contacts, hand sanitizer, tissues, hairbrush, chapstick, deodorant, and lotion in my carry on (all travel size). Most airlines offer toiletries for long haul flights such as a toothbrush and eye mask.
You can also bring some face wipes to freshen up during or after a long flight. It feels nice to get that grimy feeling off your face!
Airplanes always have in flight entertainment – a movie, radio music channel, tv shows. Nobody can survive happily on a seven hour plane ride with nothing to do, especially if you are traveling alone. I use my phone and tablet and always bring an extra battery pack with me.
Some airlines offer in flight Wi-Fi for a price (American airlines domestic offers as low as $2) and that can be worth it. I mean Facebook alone kills like three hours right? A good book easily kills time too, I’m hoping to get this Kindle as they are light and holds many books.
My favorite form of entertainment? Sleeeeeeep. This makes my flight go by faster and deters my nerves. Lame I know but what can I say? I’m not a great flyer but I am a great napper.
Although I’m sure getting drunk on the plane makes the flight quite more enjoyable, I wouldn’t recommend it since you’ll be mixing that with jet lag and exhaustion. It is so easy to get dehydrated on a long flight and it is why people usually get so tired afterwards as cabin air is very thin.
I suggest bringing a water bottle, the amount airlines give you in that little cup probably won’t be sufficient. Just make sure to have lots of fluids with you.
Pick your seat
When you purchase your ticket online, you are allowed the option to pick your seat. Do this! Majority of people do not like middle seat and if you don’t pick your seat, the airline will and most likely stick you in the seats they have left – middle. Just imagine being stuck in the middle of two people, one who smells very bad and the other has a very loud baby for ten hours. Not fun.
I prefer the window seat because it helps my jitters and I love watching the clouds go by. Also it is easier to take a nap with something to lean against. Aisle seats are great for getting up, stretching your legs, going to the bathroom. You don’t have to worry about climbing over people (unless you are in first class).
If the plane is not full, you’ll easily be able to choose the seat and section. So take advantage of this option and pick your seat.
Bring a pillow
Sleeping on the plane is uncomfortable, no matter which seat you are in. It’s hard to find a comfortable position to take a nap without your neck cramping from all the awkward and weird positions you put your head. Make yourself more comfortable by bringing a travel pillow.
It can be one of those neck pillows or I actually bought a small travel pillow that is the perfect size. I also like to bring an extra jacket or scarf to use as a blanket since it also gets pretty cold on the plane.
Want more travel tips? Check these out!