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How to make Economy Air Travel more Comfortable

I actually wrote a post about this subject two years ago and I thought it was due for a slight update. As you probably already do, a lot of time is spent collecting miles and points so that we can have a First Class treatment when travelling. Basically, the goal is to earn enough miles and points to redeem for a reward that we would not otherwise use out-of-pocket cash to pay.

However, the majority of people who fly are on economy. So today, I will share some of my personal tips on how I make my economy travel more comfortable.

Personal Preferences

Below are what I personally put extra emphasis on to make my trip more comfortable. Afterwards, I will share other suggestions that work well too.

Mindset

This is probably the most important item on my list. It is so important that I head to the airport with a positive attitude, because stuff happens. Delayed flights, cancelled flights, lost baggage, long line-ups, you name! Nowadays, smartphones and WiFi really help alleviate lost time.

Personal life also has a lot to do with our mindset. For me, I feel fortunate enough that I am excited regardless of whether I am going somewhere on coming back. In the past, I dreaded coming home, because I had to “go back to work on Monday”. After changing careers, I take my work with me wherever I go and I enjoy what I do, so it makes no difference where I am!

Granted, I still probably prefer working while laying on the beach, rather than cooped up inside due to a long winter…

Lounge Access

Waiting in an airport lounge before a flight makes such a big difference for me, as I definitely feel more upbeat before boarding the plane.

See credit cards that offer free lounge access.

Take a shower before the flight

Lounge access is amazing for many reasons. One of my favourite is to take a shower before my flight. But if you do not have lounge access, then I suggest taking a shower before heading to the airport. I like to stay as fresh as possible before boarding the plane.

Brush my teeth

Speaking of feeling fresh, I tend to brush my teeth within 30 minutes of boarding the plane. If it is a long flight where I take a nap in between, I brush my teeth after waking up from a nap. I find it makes a big difference.

Mouth wash is good too, so long as you have below the limit when crossing security.

Dress comfortably

I get very picky on what to wear on the plane. Keep in mind that we have limited movement for several or many hours on the plane. Personally, I like to loose clothing like hoodies so that I can move around more easily and keep myself warm. I completely avoid anything that feel tight on me.

Water

I prefer keeping my system clear because it is easy to get dehydrated on the plane, which gives me headaches. I mostly order water when they serve drinks and I drink as often as they provide it.

Lip Balm

Speaking of dryness on the plane, my lips get dry very easily, so I make sure that I have lip balm readily available at all times.

Glasses Case

I am not a fan of contacts, so I only wear glasses. I bring a classes case with me on the plane, so that I can take off my glasses and put it in a safe place while I am napping, so that I do not have to worry about crushing it.

Take off my shoes and foot rest

I know this may not be a popular one because of smell, but hey, I just showered before boarding the plane! Bring slipper socks or an extra pair of socks if you prefer. Either way, I find it makes a big different when my shoes are off.

Furthermore, I usually use my carry-on bag as my foot rest.

Other Suggestions

Personal Vanity Kit

I know I mentioned brushing my teeth and lip balm above (for me personally). But I suggest having your own personalized a vanity kit with moisturisers, hand cleanser, mints or anything else to pamper yourself! Whatever you bring, make sure it is travel size.

Move around

When they turn off the seat belt sign, it is a good idea just to get up and walk around to get your blood circulating. Even if it is just to go to the washroom to wash your hands or brush your teeth.

I usually end up staying put the entire flight, because I need my sleep. But if it is a long flight and I am awake, I find it helps a lot to move around.

Reserve a Good Seat

Speaking of moving around, aisle seats are great because you can get up more easily to walk around and stretch your legs when no one is walking by.

I personally love window seats, because I like looking outside lean my head against the wall. Basically just avoid middle seats unless you have someone to lean on!

If you are prone to motion sickness, you will want to find a seat in the centre/middle of the plane, where it is more stable.

Use a pillow and blanket

Sleeping sitting up is probably not the optimal way to get the best possible rest. So having something to support your head will give you a better sleep. Also, planes can get cold sometimes, so you will want something to keep yourself warm.

If you have the space in your carry-on, you are probably better off bringing your own pillow and blanket so that you can choose something more comfortable for yourself.

Noise cancelling headphones and eye mask

As you probably already notice by now, I like sleeping on the plane. I probably do not get enough sleep normally, so being on the plane is great for me because I can catch up with my sleep. So lights and noise actually do not get in my way of sleep. But for some people, noise and light is bothersome.

Planes can be noisy for various reasons, so having noise cancellation headphones should help with that.

Even though they dimmed the lights on the plane, your neighbour insists on turning on the reading lamp. That’s where eye masks come in.

What do you do to make your economy flight feel more comfortable? Please let us know in the comment section below!

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Pointshogger aims to provide analysis and updates on earning loyalty reward points and maximizing the value of your points. We hope to inspire our readers to experience the joy of travel and make the most out of what they've already got!

  • Ottawa | Vancouver
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