Here are some tips to help make your flight more comfortable.
First of all, make sure you book your seats in advance wherever possible. Sometimes free seating is only available when doing online or airport check-in. You’ll need to decide whether you’d like a window seat in order to be able to rest your head or an aisle seat if you think you need to get up more frequently.
If you’re travelling with an infant, make sure you request a bassinet as early as possible. They’re not guaranteed. These are usually age, weight and height restricted.
If you see empty seats when you’ve boarded your flight, keep an eye on them and if they look like they’re not being used, ask flight attendant if you can move to those seats.
Wear comfortable clothing and shoes and include a change of clothes in your carry-on luggage and anything else you might need. Handy for example, if your flight experiences a schedule change requiring you to spend the night in a hotel. Also take a light jacket or jumper in case you get cold.
Ensure you’ve requested any special meals, including infant and children’s meals, at least 3 days prior to travel and don’t leave it until last minute as you probably won’t get it. The airline needs time to cater for you. Passengers with special meal requests usually get served first which is a bonus if you’re sitting towards the back of the plane.
Pack snacks – just in case. Especially handy when travelling with children. One thing about plane travel is that you feel like they’re always feeding you however there may be occasions when you start feeling peckish – God forbid! Or you may not be particularly fond of airplane food. Not all airlines provide meals and you’re required to buy onboard so make sure you have a credit card or cash handy. This usually applies to shorthaul flights.
Pack wet wipes and hand sanitizer which are handy whilst you’re in your seat.
Whilst seated, always remain buckled up, even if you have to loosen your belt. This will prevent you from being thrown about the cabin should the aircraft experience sudden turbulence.
Feet tend to swell during flight so you should avoid taking off your shoes. Compression stockings can help.
It is a good idea to get up and walk about the cabin occasionally or to move your legs and feet for three to four minutes every hour while seated to help prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis or blood clotting. Check with your doctor if you think you could be at risk.
Drink plenty of water. Drinking too much alcohol during the flight will worsen dehydration. Take along a water bottle and ask flight attendant to fill up. Don’t drink the water from airplane bathrooms.
Travel pillows are a good idea. There are now better designs available in all shapes and sizes. Some are machine washable, hypoallergenic, noise-cancelling and anti-bacterial. There’s also one with cooling air circulation vents and another which cradles your head, neck and chin. You can find them all on amzon.com.
There are also now a number of different styles of footrests available. Not only are these good for flights, but can also be used on trains and long distance bus travel.
If you have difficulty sleeping on planes, take a mild sleeping pill about seven hours before landing to help you sleep. Check with your doctor though if it’s okay for you to do so. And don’t forget a sleeping mask.
Bottle or breast feed infants during take-off and landing as swallowing will help their ears to equalise. Provide drinks to sip for young children and keep some chewing gum in your bag for yourself to help keep your ears from popping during landing and take-off.
Some airlines offer free Wi-fi so take advantage if they do.
Although most airlines provide their own headphones which are often poor quality, it’s recommended to take your own noise-cancelling headphones.
Travel games are a good idea as well as colouring and activity books for children. Don’t forget crossword puzzles, sudoku, magazines and books for yourself.
If you’re a nervous flyer, do some research on relaxation techniques which you can do on-board. If you’re an extremely nervous flyer then perhaps talk to your doctor about medication.
If you suffer from dry eyes or nasal congestion, don’t forget your eye drops and nasal sprays (ensure they’re within the permitted allowances).
Please feel free to share and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.