A long plane flight is the bane of any traveler. Inevitably you are going to be worrying about things that are out of your control.
Is the person next to me going to try and engage me in conversation?
Is the plane going to smell weird?
What if it’s too hot or too cold on this 12-hour flight?
What if the bathroom isn’t working?
These are just a few of the things about a potentially long flight that you might be worrying about. Unfortunately many of these things are out of your control, but there are certain things that are in your control that you can plan for which can help to make that flight a little more comfortable.
Almost every seasoned-traveler is going to have some headphones that they can wear when they travel. For me, I like to go with big noise-cancelling headphones for three reasons.
- People are less likely to bother you if you are wearing big, obvious headphones. Even if you aren’t listening to something, keeping those headphones on will make people think that you are. Of course, if you don’t mind striking up conversations with strangers on a plane then this isn’t the tip for you, but it’s something to consider.
- It’s polite to keep your music/video sound restricted to you. Not everyone in the surrounding vicinity wants to hear your favorite music artists, and they might not be too happy to hear Infinity War spoilers if they haven’t seen the movie yet.
- Planes are really loud. I have found that the default earbuds that come with my iPhone aren’t good enough at blocking out sound. This makes it so that I can’t actually hear the audio coming from my device, which kind of negates the entire point of bringing everything with me.
Once you’ve settled on the right noise-cancelling headphones, you need to have something to listen to. Ideally you will have time to prepare and you can download some movies from Netflix or Amazon, or you can download a Spotify playlist. Many planes now offer Wi-Fi, but even the premium option might not be fast enough for you to comfortably stream music or video. In cases where you flight is very long, you definitely don’t want to have to rely on the Wi-Fi working to keep you entertained.
Not really interested in music or movies for your flight? How about an audiobook, ebook, or a podcast? There’s so many different forms of digital media nowadays that you can almost certainly find something that will help you pass the time a little better. You could even download Candy Crush or something like it to play on the plane if you need a break
Just make sure to either have access to some portable chargers while you are draining your device batteries. Streaming video and playing games is going to deplete your battery a lot faster than normal usage would, so you need to be prepared. It’s also a good idea to have your devices charged as much as possible before you get on the plane. That’s why it’s a good idea not to use them while you’re at the gate waiting to board or, if you have to, to have it plugged in and charging at the gate while you’re using it.
Make Yourself Comfortable
Even the most stoic person is going to get a little uncomfortable after being crammed into a tiny airplane seat for hours on end.
But you can take some steps to mitigate this by making yourself as comfortable as possible.
Wear some comfortable clothes.
Get a travel pillow.
Take out your contacts and wear your glasses instead.
Bring a light blanket or sweatshirt.
Get up and walk around periodically to stretch out your legs and get the blood flowing. It’s unhealthy for your circulation to stay seated in an airplane seat for a very long time, and your body will thank you for the opportunity to move around and extend your legs.
The food that you eat before and during your flight can affect your mood and how your body feels. Some important things to remember:
- Drink a lot of water.
- Don’t drink too much alcohol.
- Bring some snacks.
- Eat a meal in the airport if you aren’t going to get one on the flight and are worried that you will get hungry.
For seasoned travelers these tips may be something that you already take for granted, but if you are an infrequent traveler or even someone that travels a lot and always finds themselves uncomfortable, then doing as much preparation as possible before a long flight can make a really big difference.