An extended time period in an often cramped seat surrounded by strangers can be a looming prospect for many long distance travelers, but a few easy-to-follow tips can make your next long journey on an airplane more comfortable and relaxing. Take control of your transit and don’t let time-consuming air travel keep you from taking the trip of a lifetime.
1. Reserve a seat
Always try to reserve a seat when you book your flight, or revisit the the booking engine if the airline won’t let you. It doesn’t hurt to show up early to check-in in hopes of getting an exit row seat. For travelers on exceedingly long flights, think about purchasing a coach-plus seat. They are less expensive than first-class, and you will appreciate the extra comfort.
2. Dress for the flight
Jeans are generally not acceptable for long flights. They can be rigid and uncomfortable, and you may regret the dress decision. Instead, dress in a comfortable pair of pants or bring a change of sleepwear for flights over 15 hours. A few layers will also help on the flight gets too hot or cold.
3. Keep busy
Don’t just bring a book for a long flight. Bring a novel, a music player, a laptop and whatever else will keep you busy during the long hours. Many people think they can use the flight to focus on finishing one good read. Unfortunately, some find they lose interest after an hour or two and are left with nothing to keep themselves occupied. It never hurts to be over prepared.
4. Schedule your trip
With those items you bring, try making an itinerary. Watch a movie on your laptop for two hours, hit the book for a bit after and doze off with some music. The plan will help the trip feel shorter and it will keep you from aimlessly looking for things to do to pass the time.
5. Plan eating and sleeping
A long journey can be strategically cut into portions with a well placed nap. A surefire way to snooze through most of a flight is to eat a savory meal in the airport just before the takeoff and bring an eye mask to help fall asleep. For the real traveling professionals, try snoozing at an hour that will set your sleep schedule appropriately for your end location’s time zone.