Preparing for a trip takes a different kind of planning for however you’re going to get to your destination. If you’re going on a road trip, you’ll need things like snacks and lots of music to listen to. Plane rides are different. When you’re in a car, you can stop and get out whenever you need to, but in a plane you’re seated almost the entire trip. It can lead to extended periods of feeling uncomfortable.
Even if you’ve had the worst travel experiences on planes, there’s easy ways to stay comfortable while flying. You can turn even the longest plane rides into times of relaxation, just plan ahead before you leave to make sure you have the right strategy. Once you have a game plan down, you’ll know exactly how to stay comfortable while flying no matter what curve balls come your way.
There’s a lot of unspoken pressure that comes up when it’s time to board the plane. When you don’t have pre-assigned seats, that pressure grows immensely. Everyone’s trying to get a seat as close to the front as possible because everyone wants to be able to leave quickly when you land, which is understandable. The first step to be able to stay comfortable while flying is to walk straight to the back of the plane.
If you don’t have a full flight, you’ll have less people around you in the back and may even get a row to yourself for the duration of your trip. This means plenty of quiet time to just relax. There won’t be armrest fights or anyone nodding off on your shoulder, which could be worth the extra couple minutes of waiting after you land if you have an extended flight.
Trips that cross time zones will include inevitable jet lag, so try to get ahead of it before it hits. Plan your flight a day or two ahead so you can let your body adjust to the time jump without the stress of needing to be somewhere at a certain time. Booking an earlier flight is just one of the best tips for avoiding jet lag, so if you can afford one more night at your hotel, you’ll be glad you bought yourself some cushion time.
Of all the problems you can have on a flight, noise can be the biggest irritant. The people around you can accidentally keep you awake when you want to sleep or make repeated noises that will get under your skin. Avoid this by buying a great set of noise cancelling headphones. You’ll feel like you’re in your own world even if you’re packed between people. It’s a simple way to stay comfortable while flying, especially if you get a well-made pair that will last you a long time.
You should always have more entertainment options that you’ll think you’ll need. You never know what kind of mood you’ll be in once you sit down in your seat. Will you want a movie or a podcast? A book or a tablet game? Pack yourself as many fun things to do on your flight as possible so you can stay comfortable while flying. If you’re bored out of your mind, you’ll be miserable, and the flight will feel so much longer than it actually will be.
A guaranteed way to accidentally make yourself miserable and extra uncomfortable is to forget to bring snacks. On the extra-long flights, a meal might be provided, but you’ll still have a few hours in between to sit and be in tune with what your body is feeling. The longer you spend with a growling stomach, the more grumpy and miserable you’ll be. Don’t depend on the flight attendants—bring your own snacks so you’ll be all set for your trip.
Plane trips are like any other trips. You have to know yourself to know what you’ll need. Bring extra snacks or noise-cancelling headphones to treat yourself to a peaceful ride. Always have something ready to entertain you and don’t stress about dealing with jet lag. You’ll make every plane trip a great one by planning ahead to make sure you have everything you need to stay comfortable while flying.