Traveling to places far from home can be an adventure. But sitting in a cramped plane seat for hours isn’t fun. You can buy a roomier seat by flying first class, business class, or paying a premium to snag an aisle seat. Unfortunately, many passengers don’t have the budget for that.
So how can someone in economy class have a more pleasant experience? Luckily, a bit of planning can help improve your travel comfort. So use the following tips to keep you from feeling drained and achy when you arrive at your destination.
One or Two Days Before Your Flight
- Get good sleep so you’re well rested - important if you can’t nap during your flight • keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water
- Pre-pack healthy snacks like carrot and celery sticks, cucumber slices, grapes, bananas, orange segments, sliced apples, granola bars, or a sandwich
- Add noise-canceling headphones/ear plugs, a travel pillow, a light blanket, and a sleep mask to your carry-on luggage
- Download podcasts, movies, or books to your electronic devices to keep you entertained
Day of Travel
- Fully charge your phone, tablet, and other electronic devices you will use during your flight
- Arrive at the airport with lots of extra time to minimize stress and relax before boarding – especially important during the holiday season
- Continue to hydrate at the airport – buy water or refill your empty bottle after passing through airport security (yes, you’ll be squeezing past seatmates to use the tiny plane restroom later)
- Avoid or minimize alcohol and caffeinated drinks before and during your flight
- Dress in relaxed-fitting clothing for sitting in cramped seating for an extended time and choose layers that are easy to remove if you get warm
- Wear socks since flights can be chilly, and wear compression socks if your physician recommended them to prevent swelling or circulation issues
During the Flight
Stretching and walking around the plane cabin will improve blood circulation and minimize stiffness from a cramped and prolonged sitting position.
Napping will also increase your comfort and help pass the time. Use the earplugs, blanket, pillow, and sleep mask you packed in your carry-on to assist with falling asleep.
You also finally have time to watch those podcasts or movies you downloaded on your device! Keep sipping water too. Other comfort suggestions include:
Shielding Yourself from the Sun
If you fly during daylight hours, you’ll need to protect yourself from sunlight streaming through the plane windows. While the glass may help to protect you from UVB exposure, UVA rays are still a threat. The high altitude of the plane will also intensify UV radiation, which can cause wrinkles, skin aging, and even skin cancers. Ways to protect your skin and health include:
- Closing the window shade if possible
- Wearing sunglasses that block 100% of UV rays
- Applying sunscreen to exposed skin
- Dressing in sun-protective clothing - UV Skinz line of UPF 50+ apparel and accessories offers confident protection from sun damage
Combating the Dryness Caused by Low Humidity
- Eyes: Direct air ducts away from your face. Avoid wearing contact lenses for your flight and choose eyeglasses instead. If needed, use moisturizing dry eye drops.
- Mouth: Drink plenty of water, suck on sugarless candy, or try a dry mouth spray. Use lip balm with SPF to prevent cracked lips.
- Nose: Use a saline nasal product to keep your nasal passages moist.
- Skin: Apply fragrance-free hand cream and try moisturizing face wipes or face mist.
Following these tips will help you feel refreshed and well-rested when you arrive at your destination!