5 Ways to make flights a bit more comfortable

Being trapped in an enclosed space for hours at a time when flying a long distance can be a gruelling ordeal. But there are simple ways to make it more enjoyable.

Woman relaxing on a plane

A long flight can be particularly gruelling, but there are ways you can make your flight more comfortable. Here are five strategies to employ when flying.

Reserve your seat

Even within economy class, there are seats that are more comfortable than others. So reserve your seat when you book your flight, or check in online as soon as you are able to (typically 24 hours in advance) so you can choose your preferred spot. If your priority is more leg room, opt for an aisle seat or one in the exit aisle (be aware, though, that many airlines do charge more for the exit aisle for this reason). If you prefer to have a wall to lean on, then a window seat is for you. Avoid seats near the plane’s engine or near the washrooms. By the loo, you’ll be disturbed by people walking to and fro or waiting for their turn in the toilet; plus, you may experience some unpleasant smells wafting past.

Prepare for better slumber

If you plan on sleeping on the plane, bring some pyjamas to change into so you are more cozy and comfortable. Bring a travel pillow so you have a cushy surface for your head; and, if you need quiet to doze, bring some earplugs. Sensitive to light? Be sure to bring an eye mask as well.

Bring some entertainment

Even if your plane is equipped with individual TV screens, there are times when the TV system is not on (say, when your flight is sitting on the tarmac waiting for takeoff); or, you may have the bad luck of being in a seat where the TV is not working. Pack a book, magazines, an iPad or iPhone or a gaming system such as Nintendo DS to help the time pass more quickly.

Pack some food and snacks

Why wait until you’re on the plane and stuck with a limited and overpriced menu? Bring something from home or from a restaurant in the city you’re visiting, so that you can have a meal you enjoy. Or, pick up something in the airport before you board. The price will still be high, but there will be more variety.

Bring freshening-up supplies

Some toothpaste and a toothbrush, mouthwash, a facial cleansing wipe — just a few simple toiletries will help you freshen up before landing at your destination.

More travel tips

Dos and don’ts of a good staycation
Packing light for women
Travel smart when vacationing solo

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