This blog post was updated on September 11, 2014.

Folks, have you ever dreaded an upcoming flight?

I know I have. A few years ago, I flew from Frankfurt to New York with a very disorganized group of travelers. 8 hours on a plane with them? UGH. I was wishing that teleportation was real.

As it turned out, the flight was pretty bearable. I had a handy arsenal of traveling tips up my sleeve, and they got me through those 8 hours like it was nothing.

Want to know the secrets of bearable air travel? Here are our pro-tips for having the best plane ride as humanly possible.

1) Don’t underestimate the power of a good seat.

Airplane 1


Think seat selection is for picky control freaks? NOPE. The seat you choose can seriously impact the quality of your flight experience, so choose wisely.
If your main priority is getting some sleep, a window seat might be optimal for you. No one will be waking you up, asking to climb over you to use the bathroom.
If legroom or easy bathroom access is your main concern, choosing an aisle seat is probably best.
But if—through no fault of your own—you wind up in the middle seat? Our condolences, friends. May the force be with you.

2) Do the prep work and pack your essentials.

Airplane 2


Now that you’ve chosen your seat, you’ve got to show up for your flight well-prepared. Not sure what to pack? Here’s a hint: everything in your carry-on bag should either be keeping you hydrated, keeping you comfortable, or keeping you occupied.
Literally everything.
Bring nasal spray, lip balm, eye drops, and some wet toilettes to fight against the dry plane air. It’ll dehydrate you like nothing else, and if you aren’t prepared, you’ll be wildly uncomfortable.
In addition, dress in comfortable clothes, pack a sweater, and don’t forget your earplugs and eye mask. These items will keep you warm and distraction-free when you’re settling in to get some shut-eye.
Finally, remember to bring a book or magazine and your personal music player. You probably won’t sleep through the whole flight, and while you’re awake, you’ll be grateful for something to help pass the time!

3) Stay clean.

Airplane 3


For the love of all things good—please, oh please—pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, and some mouthwash. Some airlines are starting to provide these items for you, but bring your own just in case.
Not only will your mouth thank you—nothing makes me feel grosser, personally, than the awful breath that comes alone with breathing in that dry, plane air—but your fellow passengers will thank you as well.
Don’t forget your deodorant and hand-sanitizer too. Again, all of your fellow travelers will love you endlessly for it.

4) Keep it moving.

Airplane 4

Air planes can sometimes feel like claustrophobic steel tubes. But, if you keep the blood flowing, you’ll be much more comfortable and much less likely to want to jump out the emergency exit in search of more legroom.
When you get up to use the bathroom, take the opportunity to walk up and down the aisle a few times, or stand for a few extra moments in the galley. If your plane has an in-flight exercise video, participate! (I’ve never seen one of these, but the Internet says they exist? Go figure.) Even better, you can do some plane yoga. That’s right. This is a real thing.
No matter what you choose, make sure to stretch your muscles, move as much as you can, and generally keep your blood circulating. You’ll be a million times happier.

Thanks to these simple pro-tips, my flight from Frankfurt to New York was a breeze. What are your favorite hacks for an enjoyable plane ride?


Featured Image: travellight

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