Air travel can be a stressful experience, but it doesn’t have to be!
With the right air travel accessories and tips, you can make your next flight a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Whether you’re a frequent flyer or a first-timer, this guide will provide you with everything you need to know about making the most of your air travel. Comfortable flying is possible!
In this blog post, we will delve specifically into the flying phase, that is, the time when you are actually in the air. We’ll cover all the nuances of making this part of your journey as comfortable as possible.
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1. The Basics of Comfort in Air Travel
Let’s start with the basics of comfortable flying. With a summary.
We go more into detail further below.
- Get comfy. Comfort is key when it comes to air travel, so it’s important to come prepared. We recommend dressing in layers to ensure you’re comfortable no matter the temperature on the flight. Additionally, investing in a good neck pillow can make all the difference in getting some shut-eye while in the air. Finally, bring along a cozy blanket to stay warm on long flights, especially when flying with low-cost airlines.
- Stay entertained. Long flights can be tedious, but they don’t have to be boring. Bring along a tablet or e-reader to keep yourself entertained with movies, TV shows, e-books, and games. This way you won’t have to rely on airplane entertainment system (on some planes there isn’t one). Noise-cancelling headphones are also a great investment to block out any noisy distractions on the plane.
- Keep your skin and yourself hydrated. Long flights can be dehydrating, so it’s important to keep your skin moisturized throughout the flight. Consider packing a small bottle of facial mist or hydrating facial cream to keep your skin feeling fresh and hydrated during the flight.
- Pack some snacks. Airplane food can be hit or miss, so it’s always a good idea to pack some healthy snacks for your flight. Consider grabbing some fruit, nuts, granola bars, or veggies and hummus to keep your hunger at bay during your flight.
- Stretch it out. Long periods of sitting can be tough on the body, so it’s important to make an effort to stretch during your flight. Try standing up and walking around the plane aisle every hour or so (if it’s possible). You can also do some light stretches in your seat to prevent stiffness and keep your circulation flowing.
Read more: Tips on Staying Hydrated During a Flight
2. Choosing the Right Seat
When it comes to air travel, the seat you select can significantly influence your comfort levels. Here, we’ll explore how to choose the best seat for your needs and preferences, making your flying experience all the more enjoyable.
2.1 How to Choose the Best Seat on A Plane?
Choosing the best seat on a plane involves several considerations.
Firstly, researching your aircraft model and seat map can help avoid unwelcome surprises such as proximity to lavatories or a restricted cabin view. Websites like SeatGuru and SeatExpert provide valuable insights on seating options.
Your personal preferences, whether it’s window or aisle, front or back, also play a crucial role in your decision. Window seats are great for enjoying views or sleeping, while aisle seats offer easy access and extra legroom. Bulkhead and exit row seats offer additional legroom but might come with responsibilities or extra charges. It’s generally advisable to avoid middle seats due to their lack of privacy and limited movement space.
For more tips see our guide on choosing the best seat on a plane.
Read more: Choosing a Seat on a Plane
2.2 What Are Exit Row Seats?
Exit row seats are situated closest to the emergency exits on an airplane. Their primary appeal lies in the extra legroom they provide, making them a favored choice for long-haul flights.
However, airlines have specific eligibility criteria for passengers who can occupy these seats. Typically, passengers need to be over 15 years old, in good health, and able to communicate in the language of the flight crew, as they may be required to assist in emergencies.
It’s worth noting that some exit row seats might be near high-traffic areas like galleys or lavatories, or may not fully recline, which could affect passenger comfort despite the additional legroom. Take this into account, and if possible inquire about the exact features and location of exit row seats before making a reservation (if you’re looking for the maximum comfort).
3. Understanding Class Differences
There are different classes of airline service.
Three of the most popular classes of airline service are – Economy, Business class, First class. Each class represents a different level of comfort, service, and amenities, which are reflected in their pricing.
3.1 Economy Class
Economy class, often the most budget-friendly option, is the most popular choice among travelers.
While it offers less frills compared to the higher classes, the focus here is on practicality and efficiency. Seats are generally arranged in rows of three to four, maximizing passenger capacity. Modern full-service airlines are now enhancing the economy experience by offering amenities like in-flight entertainment, Wi-Fi access, and complimentary meals on long-haul flights. It’s the perfect choice for travelers seeking value for money, without the need for luxury extras.
With Economy Light, you will still have the same seat (same kind of seat), but there are stricter baggage rules and changes may incur additional costs, sometimes even substantial ones.
3.2 Business Class
Business class represents a significant upgrade from Economy, offering travelers a more luxurious and comfortable flying experience.
The seats are typically larger and more spacious, often capable of reclining into a fully flat bed. Alongside increased privacy, passengers can also enjoy a range of high-quality amenities such as gourmet meals, an extensive selection of drinks, and access to exclusive airport lounges.
On-board services, such as dedicated flight attendants and a wide array of in-flight entertainment options, further enhance the travel experience.
However, these additional comforts come at a higher price, making Business class a suitable choice for those willing to pay for more convenience and comfort. Keep in mind that some airlines offer “Business Saver” fares with some restrictions, often related to ticket changes and refundability, but with the same onboard services.
3.3 First Class
First class is the epitome of luxury in air travel, providing the highest level of service and comfort. On a 5-star airline, the First class experience begins even before boarding the aircraft, with private check-in desks, expedited security, and access to exclusive lounges.
The cabin is usually limited to a small number of spacious suites or lie-flat seats, ensuring maximum privacy and comfort. In-flight services are top-notch, from gourmet meals curated by renowned chefs to an extensive selection of premium wines and spirits.
First class passengers also enjoy sophisticated in-flight entertainment systems, premium bedding and amenity kits, and personalized attention from dedicated flight attendants. While the cost is significantly higher than other classes, First Class offers an unparalleled experience for those seeking the ultimate in luxury and convenience.
4. Wearing Comfortable Clothes for Flying – It Matters
To ensure a comfortable flying experience, your choice of attire plays an essential role. Here are some tips on selecting the most comfortable clothes for your flight (for the maximum comfort on a plane):
- Opt for loose clothing. Tight clothing can restrict your movement and may become uncomfortable over time, especially during long-haul flights. Choose clothes that give you enough freedom to move comfortably.
- Layer up. The temperature can fluctuate considerably on flights. Wearing layers enables you to adjust to the changing conditions easily, ensuring your comfort throughout the journey. Alternatively, pack some extra clothing in your carry-on bag, just in case.
- Choose breathable fabrics. Fabrics such as cotton, linen, or moisture-wicking synthetics can help keep you cool and comfortable.
- Footwear matters. Opt for comfortable shoes that are easy to take off and put on again. Remember, feet can swell during flights, so it’s always best to go with a pair that offers some extra room.
Packing comfortable flying clothes not only ensures a cozy journey but also helps you arrive at your destination feeling fresh and relaxed. Remember, comfort should be your top priority when dressing for a flight.
5. Travel Accessories for Comfort
Let’s not forget about travel accessories.
These essential items such as travel pillows, blankets, eye masks, earplugs, and compression socks can enhance your comfort significantly.
5.1 Travel Pillows
Travel pillows are an essential comfort accessory that can make a significant difference, especially on long-haul flights.
They provide support for your neck and head, helping to prevent discomfort and stiffness that can arise from staying in the same position for extended periods. There are various types of travel pillows available, from the classic U-shaped neck pillows to more innovative designs that cater to different sleeping positions. Some are even equipped with features like memory foam, cooling gel layers, or adjustable firmness to maximize comfort.
A travel pillow is a worthwhile investment for any frequent traveler.
5.2 Travel Blanket on a Plane
Travel blankets are another accessory that can greatly enhance your comfort on a flight. And again – especially during long flights.
Airplane cabins can sometimes get quite chilly, and while some airlines provide complimentary blankets, they may not be as warm or comfortable as you would like. Bringing your own travel blanket ensures that you’re well-equipped to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout your journey.
Opt for a travel blanket that is machine washable to ensure easy cleaning after your trip.
Travel blankets come in various materials, from lightweight fleece to luxurious cashmere, so you can choose one that suits your preference and the climate of your destination. Some travel blankets (pocket blankets) come compactly packed in their own carry cases or with straps that attach neatly to your luggage, making them easy to transport. Opt for a travel blanket that is machine washable to ensure easy cleaning after your trip.
Read more: Can You Take a Blanket on a Plane?
6. Essential Electronics and Travel Gadgets (to Make Flying More Comfortable)
Whether you’re a seasoned jet-setter or someone who flies occasionally, the right electronics can make all the difference in your comfort level while in the air.
6.1 Headphones or Earphones
Headphones and earphones are one of the must-have gadgets for optimal comfort during travel.
They allow you to take your in-flight entertainment experience to the next level. Be it listening to music, watching a movie, or catching up on your favorite podcast. High-quality headphones and earphones offer excellent sound quality, ensuring an immersive experience that is so much better than with the cheap airline headphones or earphones.
By far most of airline headphones and earphones are very low quality.
6.2 Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones/Earphones
For those who wish to escape the noise and chatter of an airplane cabin, noise-canceling headphones and earphones are the perfect gadget.
They use advanced technology to effectively block out ambient noise, allowing you to enjoy your music or movie without any disturbances. This can be particularly helpful for long-haul flights, where the constant noise of the aircraft can cause discomfort or prevent you from getting some much-needed rest.
Additionally, many noise-canceling headphones and earphones come with adjustable sound profiles, letting you control the level of noise cancellation to suit your preference.
Investing in a pair of high quality noise-canceling headphones or earphones is like upgrading from Economy to First Class. It’s that much better.
- Can You Use Wireless Headphones on a Plane?
- Can You Wear AirPods on a Plane?
- How to Connect Airpods to Airplane TV?
6.3 Airpods Airplane Adapter (Can Be Used With All Bluetooth Earphones and Headphones)
Do you have your own wireless headphones or earphones?
If yes, then you need this kind of adapter. It’s super useful.
These adapters are compatible with all Bluetooth earphones and headphones, including but not limited to Airpods. The device works by connecting to the in-flight entertainment system via a wired connection, while your earphones or headphones connect to the adapter wirelessly through Bluetooth.
AirFly Pro by Twelve South is one of the most popular bluetooth airplane adapters on the internet. It’s small, reliable and multifunctional. You can use this adapter both for Airpods and other Bluetooth earphones.
6.4 Portable Chargers/Power Banks
Portable chargers or power banks are another invaluable gadget for frequent flyers. These compact devices allow you to keep your smartphone, tablet, or other portable electronics (like wireless headphones) charged on the go, ensuring that you never run out of battery during your flight.
They come in various capacities, so you can choose one that suits your power needs. Some models also offer fast-charging capabilities, enabling you to recharge your device quickly during layovers or while waiting for your flight. Some offer wireless charging for devices like newest iPhone and Samsung phones (wireless charging can be very slow).
Many power banks are equipped with multiple USB ports, allowing you to charge more than one device at a time.
Investing in a reliable portable charger can help ensure that your travel experience is undisturbed by a depleted battery. Don’t go with the cheapest wireless power bank, or wired power bank – oftentimes they are not worth it for travelers, as they are not as reliable.
7. Staying Hydrated and Healthy
Staying hydrated during flights is crucial to avoid health issues like headaches and fatigue. To achieve this, drink plenty of fluids throughout the day before your flight, not just right before boarding.
Keep in mind that caffeine and alcohol can dehydrate you as they increase water loss through urination and inhibit fluid retention. Hence, limiting their intake can help maintain hydration levels and prevent sleep cycle disruptions, reducing tiredness upon arrival.
Keep in mind that caffeine and alcohol can dehydrate you.
Don’t hesitate to ask flight attendants for extra cups or bottles of water if needed – remember, if you don’t ask, you won’t get.
Incorporate snacks high in water content into your travel diet. Fruits and vegetables are excellent choices as they not only hydrate but also provide essential nutrients to boost your immune system.
Lastly, avoid gulping down large amounts of water at once. It’s more beneficial to consume small amounts consistently throughout the flight. This way, you stay hydrated without overwhelming your body with too much liquid at once.
Read more: Tips on Staying Hydrated During a Flight
8. Mental Health and Flying
The environment, the turbulence, and the overall experience can trigger anxiety or stress for some people. Now, let’s talk about ways to manage these challenges and also to get some sleep during flights.
8.1 Managing Anxiety and Stress During Flights
Anxiety and stress during flights can be quite common, especially for those who are not frequent flyers. The unfamiliar environment, coupled with the fear of flying, can trigger panic attacks or heightened anxiety levels.
To manage this, it’s important to prepare yourself mentally before the flight. Simple techniques like deep breathing, meditation or visualization can help calm your nerves. Make sure to bring along items that comfort you, like your favorite book, music or a stress ball.
If your anxiety is severe, consider speaking to a healthcare professional about medication that can help manage your symptoms.
8.2 Tips for Getting Sleep on a Plane
Getting sleep on a plane can be challenging due to the noise, light, and cramped seating. However, there are strategies you can employ to make it easier.
Start by choosing the right seat – window seats can offer a place to rest your head and reduce disturbances. Yes, it may cost you extra to choose a seat that you like, even a regular seat, but think of your comfort during a flight. You can also ask for a better seat during a check in.
Wear comfortable clothing and consider using a travel pillow for better neck support. Earplugs and eye masks can also help block out light and noise.
Try to maintain your normal sleep routine as much as possible. It may sound super simple and too easy, but it works. Following your routine works.
Avoid caffeine or heavy meals before your flight. This can be extra useful for those of you experiencing stress and uneasiness during flights. Caffeine often acts as a trigger in situations like this.
We hope these tips for comfortable air travel have proven useful and will make your next flight more enjoyable. Remember to stay comfortable, entertained, and hydrated while in the air, and don’t be afraid to stretch and move around to keep your body feeling fresh and rested. Happy travels!
Featured photo by cottonbro studio