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Tips for Staying Comfortable During a Long Flight

We all love a good holiday vacation. However, the journey to the destination is not always the most fun part of it, especially if it is a long-haul flight.

Loud engine noises, crying babies, chatty passengers, insufficient seat padding, dry air, lack of sleep, temperature, poor food quality, and even just boredom are some of the things that might make you uncomfortable.

Luckily, with a few tricks up your sleeve, you can turn that long, annoying flight, into a smooth, fun experience. Here are some tips you’d love.

Image: A photo of a group of people seated inside an aeroplane, with some passengers engaging in conversation, others checking their luggage in the overhead compartments, and others relaxing.

Choose the Right Seat

Your seat is probably the most important factor when it comes to comfort in a long flight. Find out what makes you the most comfortable. Do you like the window seat or would you prefer an aisle seat?

Think about stretching your legs, easy access to the bathroom, and passing passengers or carts.

Window seats offer a view and a comfortable place to rest your head, but you might have to disturb others to get up, while isle seats provide easier access to move around but may be bumped by passing passengers or carts.

Here are other things to note while choosing the right seat;

  • Some seats, especially those in front of exit rows or near the bulkhead, may have limited recline.
  • Seats near exits may be colder due to drafts from the doors.
  • Seats over the wings experience less turbulence.
  • Access to power outlets for electronic devices.
Image: A photo of a woman sitting at the window seat of an aeroplane, gazing out the window.

Book Early

There are many benefits of booking your flight early. For starters, You get a wider range of available seats, which allows you to select the most comfortable ones. You can easily choose your preferred position, whether that is a window seat, a seat in the aisle, or a front-row seat.

It also helps ensure you get access to preferred meals (special dietary requirements), early boarding, or other special services that contribute to a more comfortable experience.

Pack the Essentials

Make sure you have all the essentials in your carry-on that will make you more comfortable during the flight. A travel pillow that supports your neck and head will highly enhance your rest and sleep on the plane.

Always bring a blanket, scarf, or shawl too. These will keep you warm and cosy when the temperature drops.

Other must-have essentials are;

  • An eye mask to block out light, making it easier to rest or sleep.
  • Earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones to reduce ambient noise, allowing for a quieter environment to relax or sleep.
  • A portable charger to ensure your devices stay powered throughout the flight.
  • Travel-sized toiletries including a toothbrush, toothpaste, facial wipes, and hand sanitiser to freshen up during the flight.
  • A portable footrest can help improve leg comfort and reduce swelling.
  • Compression socks to help improve circulation and reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Image: A photo of a man sitting in an aeroplane by the window, looking inside his bag

Wear Comfortable Clothing

Nothing you do will make you comfortable if what you are wearing is not comfortable enough. Tight and hard waistbands and belts, stiff jeans, and tight-fitting tops and shirts may be a bad option.

Instead of these, opt for loose, stretchy and breathable fabrics. These allow for easy movement, prevent constriction, and don't overheat, which makes sitting for long periods more comfortable.

Here are more tips for more comfort when it comes to clothing;

Food, Snacks and Drinks

  • Wear layers, starting from a light base layer, such as a t-shirt or tank top, then add a sweater or cardigan to provide extra warmth if needed. You can also take off some pieces if it gets too hot.
  • Wear shoes that you can easily slip on and remove, such as sneakers or slip-ons.
  • Avoid heavy or restrictive accessories that could cause discomfort and opt for simple, lightweight jewellery.

Be mindful of what you eat and drink before and during your flight. The last thing you want is dehydration, constipation, stomach upsets, or bloating as these can ruin your day.

You can bring your own snacks that you enjoy eating to avoid relying on in-flight meals. Make sure to choose nutritious snacks like fruits, nuts, whole grain crackers, and yoghurt.

When it comes to food, avoid eating heavy or greasy food as these can be hard to digest and may cause discomfort or bloating. Eating smaller, more frequent portions can help you feel comfortable without overloading your stomach.

Make sure to also carry an empty water bottle that you can fill and refill with water to help you stay hydrated throughout the flight.

Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks as these can cause dehydration that can lead to dizziness, fatigue, headaches, digestive issues, muscle cramps and irritability.

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