This blog post was updated on July 18, 2019.

Approximately 38% of Baby Boomers are motivated to travel in order to relax and rejuvenate, according to a 2016 AARP survey. That’s the reason many of us, regardless of age, decide it’s finally time to take a vacation. But actually getting to our destination doesn’t always feel so relaxing.

Airline flights aren’t known for their comfort, particularly if you’re pursuing discount travel options. However, that doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable the entire time. In fact, there are several ways to ensure you get your much-deserved rest while flying. Here are just a few tips to follow when you hop on future airline flights.

Choose Your Seat Wisely

Forget the aisle seat: Savvy passengers will choose the window seat for longer trips. It’s more conducive to rest because you won’t have to deal with other passengers climbing over you, and you can rest against the window if need be. Plus, you can control how much light comes in. You may also want to try to secure a seat in the first row or the emergency row, since those locations have more leg room. Avoid sitting in the back of the plane at all costs; this area is often noisier and/or smellier than most.

Utilize Overhead Bins

Even if you aren’t particularly tall, you probably can’t afford to sacrifice leg room on your airline flights. It may be convenient to store your carry-on bag underneath your seat, but you’ll fare better if you put only the small essentials below and store everything else above. This will give you a lot more room to stretch your legs during the flight and will keep you from feeling cramped while you try to sleep.

Wear Comfy Clothing

There’s nothing worse than feeling itchy, cold, restricted, or sweaty on a long flight. While nothing says you have to wear sweatpants and an old hoodie on your trip, you should dress for comfort. Avoid shoes with heels or lace-up features, as these can aggravate pressure points even when you’re sitting down. Opt for breathable garments that you can easily layer on or remove as you see fit. Bring a thick scarf and a cozy sweater, for sure. If you can’t comfortably move or even sit in your outfit, rethink it. You can always bring a change of clothes if you need to look really put-together upon arrival.

See No Evil, Hear No Evil

If you want to get some shut-eye on a plane, you’ll probably need to block out all the sights and sounds around you. You might want to invest in some noise cancellation headphones or some earplugs. You should also consider getting a sleep mask or blindfold to keep light out (sunglasses can also work). Some of the best sleep masks and travel blindfolds are even equipped with cooling properties or have relaxing scents like lavender.

Don’t Forget a Pillow

You might think airline flights are a pain in the neck, and that’s sometimes literally true. But if you bring along a neck travel pillow, you can avoid that. There are all kinds of options on the market, even for people with allergies. Shop around and see which style really suits you. Don’t be too tempted to buy the first one you find if you don’t feel it’s comfortable. You may also want to use the airline’s own pillows for back support.

Adopt a Good Position

How you sleep matters, too. Don’t cross your legs when you try to rest, as this can lead to blood flow restriction. Instead, keep your legs out straight with a slight bend in the knees. You can recline your seat slightly to ease lumbar pressure or sleep sitting up if you have good abdominal support. Whatever you do, don’t lean forward to sleep. That’ll put much more stress on your body during long airline flights.

When you book your airline tickets and get ready for take-off, keep these tips in mind. Not only will they make your flight a lot more restful, but they’ll ensure you start your trip in the best possible state of body and mind. Now that you know what will help you catch some z’s while up in the air, we’re here to help you get where you want to go. Contact us today to get started.

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