Comfort travel is the Holy Grail of taking a long flight.
Flight times are getting longer and longer. That’s not because of better technology, but because airlines are flying slower to save on air costs.
For example, a flight from New York to Houston that used to take 2 and a half hours now takes about four hours. That may be a boon for airlines, but it can put stress on your body that lasts for days.
How can you travel in comfort during a long flight, look like you have self-respect and arrive refreshed? It’s all about strategy. By planning ahead for the actual flight, you can accomplish all three.
Want to know how you can do more than survive your next flight?
Keep reading. These are the top seven comfort travel tips.
1. Check in Early
To ensure a comfortable flight, you’ll need to make sure that you get to pick your seat. Gone are the days where you would book your flight, get your seat and that’s it. You’re at the mercy of airline fees for choosing your seat early.
If you think that it’s extortion to pay the fee for your choice of seat, then you’ll have to check in early. Most airlines have check-in available online 24 hours before your flight.
When you check in early, you have a better selection of seats available. If you prefer to sit in a window seat, you have a better chance of getting one the earlier you check in.
Not only that but checking in early allows you to skip the long lines when you get to the airport. You can drop off your bags if needed.
2. Bring Sacks
Airlines are out to nickel and dime passengers for just about everything. That includes food. You can opt to spend seven dollars on a sandwich. Even still, the sandwich might not be enough to hold you over on a long flight.
Is it OK to bring snacks on board? Yes.
According to the TSA, it’s ok to bring snacks like dried fruit, chips and pretzels. Protein and granola bars can make great snacks to have during long fights, too.
3. Dress Comfortably (And Respectably)
You can tell you’re on a long flight by what people are wearing. On short commuter flights, you’ll find people in business suits preparing for the day’s meetings.
For long red-eye flights, you’ll find people dressed in their pajamas. Being in public in your pajamas has become a hot topic of debate. Some say that it’s inappropriate and reflects poorly on you.
It is possible to dress comfortably for a long flight and maintain your dignity. Leisurewear or athletic wear that’s loose and breathable are great options. They’re also comfortable enough to sleep in. Also, have a sweater or heavier shirt with you to stay warm. It can get a little cold in the air.
Wear flat shoes that you can easily slip on and off in security and take off during the flight.
4. Bring a Neck Pillow
Comfort travel means having a comfy neck pillow to prevent neck strain. If you plan on sleeping on the flight, and you don’t have a window to lean against, you will want a neck pillow.
A good neck pillow made of memory foam will help you rest comfortably without falling asleep on the person sitting next to you and drooling on their shoulder.
It will provide enough support to hold your head upright and provide support for your back.
5. Stay Hydrated
Flying can dehydrate you and leave your skin dry. It’s very important to stay hydrated during a long flight. You should drink about 8 ounces of water per hour of flight and be sure to turn down alcohol, coffee, and soda on the flight. They will only dehydrate you more.
Here’s a good strategy to make sure you’re hydrated for your flight. Take an empty bottle with you to the airport. It has to be completely empty in order to get past security.
Most U.S. airports will have water fountains where you can easily fill up your bottle. At international airports, it might be a bit tougher to find a water fountain, so you might just have to buy a bottle before you hop on the plane.
6. Bring Books & Music
Have you ever been on a long flight and not had a good playlist on your phone or tablet?
That can make a long flight even longer.
A couple of days before your flight, update your playlist on your device. Songs that are upbeat can help you maintain your mood during the flight and make the flight seem faster.
If you get tired of your playlist, have a couple of things to read during your flight. Make sure you have at least one good book and magazine to read during your flight.
Of course, you’re going to want to make sure that your devices are charged before you leave the house.
7. Get up and Stretch Often
During your flight, you’ll need to get up and stretch to prevent cramping. If you’re drinking enough water, you’ll probably need to get up to use the restroom, too.
It’s difficult to get a good stretch the tight spaces of an airplane. However, there are a few stretches you can do.
The first is to roll your shoulders, wrists, and ankles. This is an easy way to start to get the blood flowing to your muscles.
Next, hold your hands behind your back and stretch them back. You can also move them up and down to get an additional stretch in your shoulders.
Finally, lift your legs up off the ground. You can do this in your seat by engaging your abdominal muscles and grabbing the armrest for support.
Comfort Travel Tips for Your Next Flight
These comfort travel tips will make sure that you’re ready to take on your next flight.
Whether you’re going across the country or half-way across the world, being comfortable during a long flight ensures that you arrive refreshed. There’s no need to lose a day or two to recover from your flight.
Check out our blog for more tips and hacks on how you can make your life more productive and meaningful.