How to be comfortable on a plane during a long trip

How to be comfortable on a plane during a long trip
How to be comfortable on a plane during a long trip

Some people hate flying so much that a long flight can ruin their vacation or business trip. By taking the necessary measures, the essential hours spent on the plane will be as enjoyable as possible, for you and for the other passengers.


Part 1 of 2: Prepare for the trip

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Step 1. Reserve a good seat

Even in the same class, some places are more popular than others. To have more room to extend your legs, reserve a seat on the aisle or near an emergency exit or the aircraft door. If you plan to sleep, prefer a window seat. Avoid places near the toilets, where you will be constantly disturbed by other passengers. On long flights, it's not uncommon for passengers to line up to go to the bathroom and they might push your seat into or out of it. Also, keep in mind that the light and noise that will escape when the bathroom door opens could also bother you, especially if you are trying to sleep.

However, be aware that you will not be able to sit in the row of an emergency exit if you are traveling with a baby or small child

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Step 2. If you are going to sleep, prepare yourself properly

Pack a travel pillow. Avoid inflatable models which are often not very comfortable.

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Step 3. Pack something to distract yourself from

Usually you won't be able to watch the movies as soon as you get on the plane and the choice of music and movies is rather limited. Remember to bring an iPod (the day before the trip, think about downloading new songs and new movies, which will distract you more than those you have already seen and heard), an iPhone, an iPad, a Game Boy, a Nitendo DS, a Nitendo Switch or a CD player. If not, take a book you just started or a travel game.

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Step 4. Always pack a few recent magazines

At the airport, before boarding, pick out some new magazines. It will be a pleasant way to start your journey.

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Step 5. If possible, travel with a company that offers video on demand

You will then have a personal screen in front of your seat and you can choose what you want to watch or listen to or which games you want to play. This will make it very easy for you to occupy your time. Be aware that on some companies, you will have to pay to watch movies or listen to music, and this could be very expensive!

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Step 6. Bring your own headphones

Headphones distributed on the plane (free or not) are generally of poor quality. Noise-canceling headphones and those placed inside the ears will be your best choices, in order to isolate yourself from aircraft noise.

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Step 7. Take a small piece of hand luggage

A backpack should be enough for your plane trip. It will also be easier to find room for a backpack in the overhead compartments or under the seats than for a larger rolling suitcase.

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Step 8. Prepare a toiletry bag

Pack your toothbrush, lip balm, and any other toiletries that aren't liquid or gel. You will be able to refresh yourself before meeting your loved ones at the end of the trip or to feel better on arrival. The person who will pick you up from the airport or your seat neighbors will be happy if you make the effort to stay clean.

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Step 9. Choose to bring your own meal (or not)

On some companies, the food served on board is not very good. If you are keen on eating well or are on a special diet, then you will need to bring your own food. Take a look at a travel site, like TripAdvisor, and read the reviews, to help you decide whether to bring your own food.

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Step 10. Ask the company if free meals will be served on board

Contact the airline in advance and ask if free meals will be served on the flight. You might also be able to request a special meal. Many airlines offer vegetarian, kosher, halal meals, among others, but you will need to request them a few days before the date of travel. And since your meal will need to be specially prepared, it will generally be better than standard meals. In addition, passengers who have requested special meals are often served first. If the company does not serve free meals on the flight, remember to pack something to eat or buy a meal at the airport.

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Step 11. Pack candy or other snacks

During a long flight, protein bars are particularly suitable. Most meals served on planes are low in protein and high in carbohydrates.

Part 2 of 2: Have a good flight

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Step 1. Get moving

This will be especially important on a long flight, to prevent your body from hurting you due to poor blood circulation. Some companies will tell you a few exercises you can do while seated (such as rotating your ankles and stretching your arms). On a night flight, the long night hours will be the most conducive to a short walk in the corridors of the plane. At the back of some cabins, you will also have room to stretch your back.

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Step 2. Sit at the back of the plane

If you don't mind the sound of the engines, on a long flight, you should preferably sit in the back of the plane. In some planes, like the Boeing 747s, there is a large space behind the last row of seats, at the back of the plane, where you will have plenty of room to stretch out.

However, don't sit in the very last row. You will be disturbed by the noise and smells of passengers using the toilets. Also, the seats in the last row sometimes cannot be reclined

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Step 3. Watch the exercise video shown during the flight

On some flights, a physical exercise video will be shown. These exercises are intended to promote blood circulation and limit fatigue. If no such video is shown on your flight, you can still do your own stretches and exercises.

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Step 4. Protect yourself from the dry air in the cabin

On a plane, the air is very dry and your body could become dehydrated.

  • Drink a lot of water. While you can ask the flight attendant for water, it is best to take water with you. You can buy a bottle of water once you have passed through security or take an empty bottle with you, which you can refill when you are in the departure lounge. Be aware that the tap water in the aircraft toilets is not drinkable because it may contain bacteria.
  • Use eye drops (eye drops can now pass safety), when your eyes are dry. If you are not feeling really well, do not hesitate to let the cabin crew know.
  • If your nostrils hurt when you breathe in dry air, use saline-based nasal gel. Nasal gel, which is usually found next to saline solutions for cleaning the nose, in pharmacies or in the supermarket, can also help moisten the inside of the nose, so that it is easier to breathe. Go to the bathroom to apply the product and wash your hands before and after application. Take the product on a cotton swab and apply it to 1 or 2 cm inside your nostrils. It may sound disgusting to you, but these products are very effective in preventing crevices in the nose.
  • Carry a lip balm, in a container of 80 ml or less and apply it on your lips to prevent them from drying out. If your skin dries up easily, take a small bottle of hand cream or cocoa butter.
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Step 5. Do not look at the time during the flight

You won't be able to change anything at this time and if you keep looking at the clock, the theft could seem endless. Do not look at your watch and avoid glancing at the map showing the current position of the device.

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Step 6. Find a way to sleep comfortably

If you brought a pillow, place it on the tray in front of you and lean on it. If you are sitting by the window, you might be much better off leaning on the wall or window rather than lying in your chair. Recline your seat as much as possible, so that you are as long as possible.


  • To take the plane, wear comfortable clothes. Also pack a travel pillow.
  • To prevent your ears from getting blocked, chew gum.
  • To avoid muscle pain, move regularly during the flight.
  • If you have to go to the bathroom often, try sitting on the aisle.
  • Stretch often during the flight. This will help you avoid deep vein thrombosis and blood clots.
  • Also organize your stopovers. The stopovers are sometimes long, but they allow you to stretch your legs.
  • The seats in the last row at the back usually cannot be reclined.
  • To relieve pressure in your ears, before travel, research the Valsalva maneuver (plugging your nose and breathing out) and know how to perform it correctly.
  • Do not hesitate to get up often to go to the bathroom. The short walk will promote blood circulation in your legs.
  • Be aware that short flights sometimes take longer than making the trip by car. Indeed, you will have to take into account the time you will spend parking at the airport, waiting in lines for security checks, waiting to board, collecting your luggage, etc.

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