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How to Make Long Haul Flights More Comfortable and Enjoyable

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Traveling on a long haul flight will hopefully be the least memorable part of your trip. Let’s be honest; no one looks forward to being stuck on a plane for a long duration. There are a lot of things that can make a flight feel longer than it already is. If Australia or New Zealand is on your bucket list for places to visit, then read this article to find out what things you can do ahead of time to have more comfortable flights and to make it more enjoyable.

10 Ways to Have More Comfortable Flights

1. Choose Your Seat

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to choose a seat on an airplane without having to pay more. The class of your ticket that you buy will, in most cases, determine the flexibility you have from choosing your own seat, upgrade options, and when you can board an airplane. The higher the ticket class, the more expensive your ticket will be. Think of “basic economy,” most airlines will not allow you to choose a seat, but instead, they will assign a seat once you check-in online.

If you don’t want to pay for a higher-class ticket, then there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of getting a better seat. Have a profile set up with the airlines you plan on flying with or the 3rd party travel broker. Make sure to have your seat preference selected, such as aisle or window. This will greatly help your chances of not getting stuck in the middle.

Once you buy your ticket, immediately look to see if you can choose a seat or at least see if they have assigned you a seat. If you do not, then the best thing you can do is call the airlines and ask for them to assign you a seat. Remember to be kind and smile while you talk. The customer service representative is more likely to help a nice person versus a grumpy person. Even if they say they cannot assign you a seat, ask them even nicer, and do not be afraid to see if the representative can ask their supervisor for an exception. It’s amazing how asking a question goes a long way.

2. Aisle Seat Versus Window Seat

The age-old debate of which seat is better.

The benefits of the aisle seat are:

  • When you have to use the bathroom on a long flight, you don’t have to ask the person next to you to get up,
  • You can get up any time to stretch,
  • Your luggage stored in the overhead compartments has easier accessibility.

The benefits of the window seat are:

  • You can rest your head on the window; some people sleep better this way
  • You have a better view of the city when you are taking off or landing

3. Increase your chances of getting upgraded

Nothing starts a flight better than a free upgrade. The best way to increase your chances of a free upgrade is to make sure you check-in online as soon as it’s available. The longer you wait, the smaller the chance you will have.

If you are willing to pay extra money for a better seat, check the options either online or at the gate. Sometimes you can find a great deal on upgrades.

4. Bring a Reusable Water Bottle

Water is expensive at the airport, so it’s not a bad idea to bring a reusable water bottle that you can fill up once you pass security. Having your own water bottle is important because you never know how long it will take for the plane to take off or for the flight attendants to come by with water. You could be stuck on the tarmac for hours, or while in the air rough turbulence may prevent the flight attendants from serving you. Or sometimes the service is just terrible. Having a reusable water bottle will also save you money during your travels and help the planet!

how to have more comfortable flights
10 ways to have more comfortable flights

5. Bring a light fleece

No matter if you are flying during the summer or winter months, it is always a good idea to bring a light fleece that you can wear. Airplanes can get cold, and the blankets that they provide do not always suffice. Prevent feeling miserable by bringing something warm.

6. Bring Noise Cancelling Headphones

Noise-canceling headphones are great because they will help block out the noises of the airplane. You will be able to hear your movies or music much better. They won’t necessarily block out the noises of a crying baby, but they will help immensely.

7. Bring Ear Plugs

Earplugs are cheap and can block out a lot of noise. They are useful when you want to sleep and not want to wear your headphones. If there is a crying baby near you, use both the earplugs and noise-canceling headphones.

8. Setup Your Seat

Before you get in line for boarding the airplane, make sure you know what you want in your seat and have them easily accessible before you get there. Some favorites are books, headphones, water, medicine, note pad, tablet, snacks, or magazines. This will help you get your seat situated quickly without stress. If you have a carry-on backpack or suitcase that can only fit in the overhead bins, then make sure you board as soon as possible. The last thing you want is to have arrived at your seat and not have any space available for your luggage. If you don’t have to worry about that, then don’t rush the boarding. Hang out and relax while everyone waits in the long boarding lines.

Backpack or Suitcase?

9. Avoid Jetlag

One of the best ways to avoid jetlag is to quickly match the sleeping schedule of the country that you are planning to visit. Once you are in your seat, set your watch or phone to the time zone of your final destination. Make sure to stay awake when it’s daytime and sleep when it’s night time in the country that you are visiting. This can be harder than it sounds because a lot of us like to sleep as soon as we get in our seat but resist that urge. Find a good movie to watch or a game to play.

10. Bring Entertainment

With today’s technology, it’s becoming easier and easier to download and watch movies on your phone, tablet, or laptop. Make sure to have a good movie ready at your disposal to watch or bring a good old fashioned book to read. Most airlines provide movies, but the choice selection can be minimal, or the screen in your seat may be broken.

Traveling is exciting, and getting to your final destination isn’t always the best part. By following the tips above for long haul flights, will hopefully help you to have more comfortable flights and make your travel experience more pleasant and relaxing.

Author: James Lantz has traveled over 600,000 miles in the last five years. He is an outdoor enthusiast who is passionate about hiking, fishing, and biking. He runs the website, Trip to the Wild, which provides tips and tricks for any outdoor enthusiast, no matter if you are a beginner or experienced person.

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