Let’s face it flying can really suck at times! It’s uncomfortable, cramped, smelly and boring (just to name a few irritants)! I have compiled a list of things to do to try to make your flight a little more enjoyable! After all, you don’t want to be “Grumpy Bum” when you reach your destination, you’re on holiday after all!!
Cheap isn’t always best
Do your research and book a good airline, just because the flights are cheap doesn’t mean they are the best airline to go with, read a few reviews and think about paying an extra $50 or $100, it might be worth better seating, food or service. It depends on what your criteria for a good flight are. A while cheaper is usually better, on a long haul flight comfort trumps cheap (In my opinion)!
Book an exit row seats
We usually book an exit row seat for most of our “long haul” flights as they provide more leg room, but be aware that you might need to pay extra for these seats. The downside of the exit row is you can’t recline your seat and you can’t have your carry on luggage in front of you, it all has to go in the overhead compartment.
Take your own entertainment
The cost of entertainment on budget airlines can be quite high! The “entertainment” is usually an IPAD with limited movies or TV Series or one of the TV’s in the back of a chair in front of you which you have to swipe your credit card in. If you have your own IPAD purchase a few movies or TV series or download a few games before you take off or take your PSP, Gameboy (yes I went there!), DS or any handheld game console to keep you company. Alternatively, you can take a book (e-book reader) or magazine to keep you occupied. Or whatever floats your boat!
Pack your own snacks
Like entertainment, food can be very expensive to pre-purchase or purchase on the plane and most of the time, the food is less than desirable.
Pack a few snacks in your carry on baggage and make sure to pack a few healthy snacks; it will make you feel less bloated and yucky. If you choose to pack “fresh” food such as a sandwich or fruit, these would need to be fully consumed by the time you reach your destination otherwise they need to be declared if you are caught with fresh food that you haven’t declared you may receive a large fine for customs!
Earn frequent flyers
If you travel frequently or if you use a credit card for everyday purchases, think about getting a credit card that you can link to a frequent flyers program. While this doesn’t necessarily make your flight more enjoyable, it means you might be eligible to book flight upgrades with the points which will make your flight more comfortable and therefore a little more enjoyable!
Where to sit?
Where to sit on a plane can make a big difference to how enjoyable and comfortable your flight is. If you can, try to reserve your seat in advance, that way you are likely to get a good seat or a seat you are happy with.
But where are the best and worst areas to sit on a plane?
The back of the plane does get a bit more cabin noise and next to toilets and/or gallery can be a little smelly and noisy due to people going in and out.
The middle and front of the plane experience less turbulence and are generally quieter due to being in front of the giant jet engines. However back of the plane is statistically “safer”. Window seats are colder than the aisle seats, so if you get cold easily pick an aisle seat or if you are desperate to get a great view from the window, pack a jacket!
Sleeping on a plane can suck! I know I have tried on many of our flights and it’s almost impossible for me! Some people nod off straight away (I wish I was one of these people!).
If you want to sleep make sure you fasten your seatbelt over your blankets otherwise the lovely fight attendant might wake you up to check you are strapped in, you wouldn’t want to be thrown around the aeroplane during heavy turbulence.
Pack a neck pillow, it reduces neck and headache and stops your head from flopping around – giving you whiplash, a face mask if bright lights stop you from sleeping, earplugs for loud snoring people or crying babies and a few tea bags of camomile tea to help you relax or lavender scented balms or moisturizers. You could even try staying a lavender scent onto your neck pillow, you will be sleeping like a baby in no time! (Yawn!!!! All this talk of sleep makes me sleepy!)
There are many methods to avoid jetlag, we have found that it’s best to sleep as much as you can during your flight. When you arrive at your destination, forget your original time zone and focus on your destination’s time zone, if you arrive in the morning do your best to stay away until the evening, don’t take an afternoon nap otherwise you will be wide awake with nothing to do at 3am!
Comfort is always nice when you fly, you don’t want to have to wear tight, restricting, uncomfortable clothing for 8-24 hours, we generally wear something “comfortable but stylish on the plane and bring a change of clothes for our destination. Make sure you plan for your destination, you don’t want to be walking off the plane in shorts and a t-shirt when it’s snowing outside!
Keep in mind that planes can be cold so pack a light jacket.
I know it tempting but make sure to keep your shoes on, the flight attendants don’t clean the toilet floor every time someone uses it! (think about that next time you want to take your shoes off…)
On a long haul flight, it is easy to get a little sweaty and smelly, planes aren’t known to have showers on board. Pack some baby wipes and give yourself a mini wash, pack a toothbrush to freshen up after a snooze (no one likes smelly breath!) and make sure you get up and stretch, this will prevent DVT (deep vein thrombosis?), Blood flows more slowly, and collects in the legs when they are hanging down. Blood flowing slowly is more likely to make a clot.
Book Premium Economy or Business Class
This is probably the most obvious but also the most expensive option If you can afford it, upgrade or book premium economy or business class seats, these seat s are generally much more comfortable and the food, entertainment and service is generally much better.
And the golden rule is: Be positive and polite.
If you think positive thoughts you will feel better, don’t get upset because the flight attendants are taking too long to get to you with the food cart and always be polite to your fellow travellers and flight attendants.