A restful flight is essential for those travelling long distances, especially when it is a business trip. But the simple truth is: long distance flights are a horrible experience. Except, of course, if you’re flying first class or business class, then you get to wish your journey never ends. The luxurious services (100% more leg room, sits that recline all the way down and transform into a bed, 3 course meals, assorted drinks and cocktails etc.) offered in first and business classes are perfect for getting the much-needed-rest and much more. In the words of the author of one article one, on Yahoo Style, flying business class is “like flying in your bed. It’s like flying in your bed if your bed came with a waiter who served you endless glasses of Champagne and three meals…, and brought you glasses of water and juice and turned down the lights when you got sleepy. It is that good”. But the steep prices of these perfect seats make them inaccessible to the majority of travellers, and every coach traveller knows that getting comfortable on an airplane can be a challenge. Six hours into your trip and you begin to gaze at the aisle floor as though it were some sort of luxury spa, and contemplating how much you would be willing to pay to lie down flat on it, and at the same time wondering if, in fact, you would ever be able to stand upright again because your legs have become so stiff from sitting too long in a cramped-up space. Yes, it is that bad! But fret not; there are simple ways to make the trip a lot more comfortable, without having to break the bank. The trick is to be prepared and know what to carry aboard with you. Here are a few tips provided to us by very experienced coach travellers and those that travel for a living.
With these tips, you won’t actually be in the first-class cabin, but you may be able to believe that you are.
- Wear comfortable Clothing: This may seem obvious but it is still worthy of mention: wear comfortable outfits that will not hamper movements during the flight. Knowing what to wear and what not to wear on a plane is crucial. Tight clothes can restrict flow in the already confining space of an airplane seat. Layoff on the skinny jeans and put on some loose-fitting natural fibre garments to give your skin some breathing room. According to Susan Portnoy writer at com, “when choosing your flying ensemble, avoid belts, ties or big buttons, anything that can pinch, poke or constrict.” Instead, she recommends plush fabrics that stretch such as fleece, sot cottons or cashmere, any material that “inspires you to hug yourself”.
- Sit Comfortably: I know this seems almost impossible given the ever-shrinking size of coach sits, but you could make the best of a bad thing by spending a few moments to set up your seat and space to allow for maximum comfort before take-off. Many planes have adjustable headrests that bend in on each side, so once you’re seated, tweak your seat to your preference. It may not be much but it helps make your sleeping a little easier. Also, don’t be shy to remove your shoes; you could use your carry-on bag as a foot rest too, the whole goal is to be comfortable. You may also want to book a window seat. Firstly, with a window sit, there’s a wall you can sometimes lean on to take a nap. Secondly, nearest neighbours in the plane will not bother you. And of course, you will have an excellent view during the take-off and landing. So, book your tickets early to better your chances of scoring a window seat.
- Bring First-Class with You: Part of what makes first class and business class so special is the presence of certain accompaniments, right? So how about you go along with yours too. Treat yourself to a little luxury and make your own customised comfort kit for the flight. Here’s what’s inside Susan Portnoy’s own comfort kit: A travel toothbrush and paste, Lotion, lip balm, face wipes, sleep masks, earphones, eye drops, pain killers, and a tiny flashlight. Instead of carrying gadgets like thick books in your carry-on bag that will do nothing to ease your discomfort during your flight, carry things like earplugs or noise cancelling headphones, a travel pillow, – things you’d need for a comfortable airborne sleep.
- Think Ahead: Plan your trip in such a way that you do not feel bored on the flight. You could watch a movie, read a book (but don’t carry too many books, one interesting, paperback book will do), or listen to music. Although most carriers have a myriad of movies, TV shows, games and the like to keep you from getting bored, there may still be nothing you’re interested in. You could also consider waiting to watch a TV series you like so that you can binge an entire season on a long journey. Also think about what you’ll need throughout the flight and have those items easily accessible from the outset.
- Pack some snacks: You can’t rely on inflight meals unless you’re flying first class, so pack some snacks for yourself. You could pack a lunch box of healthy snacks in your bag like some fresh fruits, nuts, fresh cut veggies, some yogurt, etc. You could treat yourself to some chocolate bars. But remember not to overdo it.
By: Akaomachi B.