Most people focus on their destination when traveling, particularly if flying. However, time spent on a plane can be hours, or even days, out of your trip so it may as well be as comfortable and enjoyable as possible! Here are some tips to make the most out of your flight:
- Rug up if you sit near the window.
I love a window seat. You can look out, you’ve got something to lean on to sleep, you’ve only got one person next to you and you don’t have to worry about people getting up to go past you. But being directly next to the fuselage means you are more exposed to the cold air that’s outside, with night flights even colder. It may warm outside on the ground when you are departing but at 40,000 feet it can get a little chilly. Around -60oC in fact!
I recommend at least warm socks and a pashmina or wrap to use as blanket as they are light and easy to pack in your bag. Some carriers no longer provide blankets for economy flights and it’s nice to know that what you are snuggled up to hasn’t been used by anyone else.
- Go the carry on.
Checking and collecting baggage can be a real pain and quite time consuming, so if you are only going for a short trip, try to contain your luggage to a decent sized carry on. Remember you can take a carry on bag to go in the overhead compartment as well as having a backpack, handbag or tote to stow under the seat in front of you. Most carriers are pretty relaxed with weight limits for carry on luggage so go ahead and use that extendable zip section of your case. Just remember to keep to the rough dimensions of the airlines guidelines so it fits in the overhead compartment.
- Be prepared.
Pack all the items you want and need for the flight in the bag you will stow under the seat in front so you have easy access and don’t have to get up to rummage through the overhead during the flight. Must haves to make the most out of your flight include:
- Your own earphones (they are cleaner and more comfortable than the ones provided by the airline)
- Warm items as mentioned above
- A book or magazine
- Device and accessories
- Snacks and/or cash to purchase snacks in case the provided meal is not to your liking.
- A neck pillow if you are planning on catching some zzz’s. Go for a bean filled one over inflatable as they are much more comfortable and great to use as a back or arm support as well.
- If traveling with kids, a busy bag filled with compact, interesting toys and diversions such as colouring in, puzzles etc is always a good idea.
- Download and charge up.
Most carriers have some form of inflight entertainment program and if you are lucky you will have a screen in the back of the seat in front of you. There may also be a USB point. However, there are still many planes that don’t have this technology so be prepared and download your carrier’s inflight entertainment app prior to departure. This will enable you to watch, listen and read the airlines entertainment offerings through the plane’s wifi while your device is in flight mode.
It’s always a good idea to power up at a charging station in the airport while you wait for your flight and a portable charger is also a handy backup. This is particularly important for long flights or if you are flying with children as (hopefully) they will be glued to their screens for the majority of the trip.
- Be selective about your seat.
Most airlines let you choose your own seat online when booking. This allows you to choose window or aisle seats and location in the plane. Just remember if you are in the middle of the plane it will take longer to get on and off. Extra legroom options will most likely be near the exits over the wings. Whatever your preference just keep in mind where the toilets are and any mobility issues or time constraints (i.e. whether you have to get to a connecting flight) when selecting your seat.
Once everyone has boarded, if you notice a vacant seat that’s better than yours, don’t be shy asking the hosties if you can switch.
Happy and safe travels!!