With the holidays upon us, we’re all going to be logging some serious flight time in the coming weeks. Here are some tips to help you elevate your flight experience from just bearable to first class comfort.
Top 5 Tips for getting comfortable on a long flight:
Photo source: Flickr
1. Check your seat in advance.
This really is my #1 tip to anyone. ALL of the time.
There’s nothing worse that been sandwiched in between people, in the middle seat, during a long flight. Seatguru.com is where I check out the seating configurations of a plane (in advance of booking), as you are often able to at least make a seat request at time of booking (even if you may not yet be able to confirm it). I’ve snagged some stellar seats this way that I wouldn’t have otherwise known about, such as the window seat (33A or 33K) behind the emergency exits on Lufthansa’s 737-400. Those seats are the best economy seat on that plan because there isn’t anyone in front of you and you can get up from that seat anytime without having to bother your neighbours. They’re almost roomier than most of the business class seats on the plane, and for an economy seat price. Finds like that make checking out seatguru.com well worth the time. Ticket agents won’t tell you about these seats as they may not even know about all of them.
2. Organize a flight comfort kit.
When you fly first class, you get a care kit very similar to this. So, I always have the following 5 items on the ready in my special flight kit so that I can always experience these first class comforts:
- a small, carry on blanket. You can sometimes arrange these from airlines, or pick a compact blanket up at most travel/luggage stores. It can get darn cold on some flights.
- a good travel pillow. My travel pillow is made by Obusform, the company that makes real pillows and mattresses. With a good pillow, it’s much easier to get comfortable enough to get some rest.
- an eye mask. This does wonders for helping me sleep during the hours I need to be resting, regardless of how bright the cabin happens to be at that time.
- a pair of comfortable slip-on shoes or slippers. It’s more comfortable to take your shoes of during a flight, but for those moments when you want to get up and walk around, it’s great to have an easy slip-on pair of shoes (especially when heading to the bathroom).
- hand cream and lip salve. The dry, recycled air sucks the moisture right out of your skin, and I feel that almost instantly on my hands and lips. Dry hands and chapped lips are the worst. So, this is a must have item for me on any plane ride.
3. Bring your glasses.
Contact lenses were not designed for airplane air. The dry cabin air makes contacts dry and uncomfortable. There’s nothing worse than the feeling of your contacts dried onto you eyeballs, and there’s nothing classy about that experience. So, I take my contacts out almost as soon as I get on the plane, or wear my glasses when I board the flight. And you’ll want to take your contacts out if you plan on catching any shut-eye anyway.
4. Bring your iPad or tablet, preloaded with games or movies.
Domestic flights in the US rarely have seat-back entertainment. So, unless you have a good book to read, the flight can get boring rather quickly. Fortunately, virtually every Air Canada domestic flight has free seatback entertainment, even the short haul ones, but this is definitely not the industry standard. Many planes that do have seatback entertainment charge for the luxury of using them. So, come prepared with your own device and you won’t have to pay any more fees to better enjoy your flight.
5. Invest in noise cancelling headphones.
While these can be somewhat on the pricier side, if you fly a lot and value your peace and quiet to feel relaxed, then these are absolutely worth the investment. Some would venture to say they’re worth their weight in gold. When you’re wearing these headphones, it’ll be so quiet, you’ll almost feel you’ve been sealed off from the rest of the plane in your own first class private suite a la Air Emirates style. And around the holidays, you may be able to find some great Christmas shopping deals on them too. (They may even be the perfect gift for the frequent traveler on your Christmas list!)
Follow these tips, and I’m sure you’ll experience your flight with much more class and comfort this holiday season!