One of the inevitable side effects of traveling the world is flying. You will spend many many hours on airplanes. While that can be great for miles, here are some of my best tips on making long economy flights more comfortable.
Wear comfortable clothes
This one seems obvious, but people who travel in cute and skimpy outfits on a long flight I do not understand. On planes, it is always icy, and the air conditioning is blowing from everywhere. Now don’t get me wrong, I do not support the pajama at the airport look. However, you can wear leggings or long flowy pants that will make you feel comfortable. I always travel in a comfy t-shirt, leggings, a cardigan, and a scarf. That combination tends to keep me warm during flights. I always suggest layers so you can adjust them as needed. A scarf is my secret weapon against the aircon. With it I can cover any part of my body where I can feel it, to avoid pains and headaches.
Back extra items for the night
For during the night I have started bringing a pair of socks and a sleep mask. It always makes it so much easier to sleep. I don’t know about you, but I cannot sleep with cold feet, and while I would never sleep with socks usually, on the plane they can save your life. Also if you are flying any other time then night, there will be light on the flight even if they dim the lights. Therefore bringing a sleep mask can make your journey easier. This will also let you sleep even if the person next to you is still watching a movie or reading with the lights on.
Listen to music
Many people like to use earplugs, but I prefer listening to music or another type of audio. Many flights offer soft acoustic songs or audio in a soft voice talking about going to sleep. Both can be very relaxing and make going to sleep easier. It will also block out any noise from children around, people snoring, usual airplane noises or anything else going on.
Check out the entertainment list beforehand. Most airlines have their entertainment list online. So you can check ahead of time what movie you want to watch or what you want to listen to. It will save you time on the flight, which you can use to sleep.
Switch time the moment you board
If you are flying to a different time zone, my suggestion is to adjust your watch and electronics to the new time zone the moment you board the plane. If it is currently the middle of the night in the final destination, try to get some sleep. Eat when you would according to the time at the destination. The only exception to this is if you have a complete day flight. I had one of these from Madrid to Mexico. I boarded the plane 9 am Madrid local time, and we landed at 3 pm Mexico local time. The flight lasted 12 hours, and I tried to sleep some so that I could stay awake for the rest of the day after landing in Mexico. If I didn’t do this, I would have been awake for almost 24 hours.
Bring your own food
Depending on your airline, they might give you more or less to eat. Some give you two full meals; others give you one proper meal and some sandwich. Your best bet for not starving to death is to bring some food with you. This could be anything from some cookies to a full meal. My favorite option is dry pastries (mainly salty) which you can nibble on and eat slowly as you grow hungry.
Those are some of my basic tips for longhaul flight, especially for the first time. Hope they help you get through it and make it part of the adventure not just a means to an end.
As always, I would love to hear all about your tips in the comments below or on social media.