How to Get Comfortable on a Plane

My last travel advice post was about preparation for a long haul flight and this time I wanted to do a follow-up of sorts for how to get comfortable during the flight. There might be a bit of an overlap, but I felt like I had not written about everything that deserves to be mentioned. Hopefully, you will find some of these tips helpful. And to give you some background information, I am writing this post at the airport in Amsterdam while we are waiting to board the next flight, so everything is in fresh memory and will be put into test in the next 20 or so hours I have left. I am sure even the second post is not all-encompassing, but I tried my absolute best to come up with useful advice.

Stay hydrated
My first and perhaps one of the most important pieces of advice is to take a big water bottle with you (I use a flask that keeps my water ice cool for several hours). Fill it after getting through the security check to make sure you won't go thirsty, but make sure the tap water is drinkable at first (as a Finn I often forget this). I know it is possible to ask for water from the flight attendants and some airlines even give water bottles for everyone but sometimes there is not enough of it or you might get tired of requesting it one glass at a time. Dehydration is so easy to avoid with this simple tip!

Move around
Don't forget to stand up every once in a while, and not just to go to the bathroom. I would recommend getting up and walking, if possible. Stretches are always a good idea, and there are several you can do while staying seated. I also like to move my toes around because they get cold easily and try and rotate my body every once in a while. These are some ways to get your blood pumping and prevent muscle ache and stiffness.

Bring earplugs and other things to help you rest and relax
If you want to sleep (and even just to relax) bring a good pair of earplugs! My ears are small, so I need a pair that fits snuggly and feels comfortable. Test the earplugs beforehand so you know they fit well. If you are light-sensitive, bring a sleep mask to help you sleep. I just tested a pair of noise-canceling headphones and feel so tempted to buy them! I need to do some comparing. If you have a recommendation, please let me know in the comments! My husband brought an extra pillow for his back, so if you have space in your bags, that could be something to try. The seats (at least in the economy class) are as uncomfortable as it gets, so anything that helps will make a huge difference in your travel experience. After all, your seat is where you will be staying for possibly hours on end.

Avoid alcohol, coffee and anything that dehydrates
As mentioned in the first tip, it is really important to stay hydrated. One way to prevent dehydration is to drink a ton of water and another one is to try and not drink things that dehydrate - such as alcohol and coffee. I know this is hard, especially for early morning or long flights, but it is worth it. But a word of warning, do not try to quit caffeine cold turkey, I got a headache just now trying to skip my morning cup of coffee - so I compensate by drinking more water!

Bring hand sanitizer
I try to use hand sanitizer as often as possible because while traveling you have to touch things that thousands of people before you have touched. I don't think washing hands is enough in such crowded spaces, and in-flight it also brings me some peace of mind to know I am doing my best not to catch flu or anything. Eating also feels more comfortable after making sure your hands are clean. All this sounds so obvious, but there have been so many occassions where I hoped I had taken a sanitizer that I just thought it would be worth mentioning, as a reminder of sorts.

Meditate
This is especially good for you nerves! When flying Scandinavian Airlines, I discovered their in-flight entertainment included guided meditation! I think it is such a wonderful idea, especially for those of us who need to do something else to calm their nerves. Deep breathing is a good idea, but do it through your nose (which is a perfect filter for microbes - so as not to get sick). We were meant to breathe through our noses, and it really makes a difference. If you're interested, I could write a post about deep breathing and meditation routines in general.

Be mindful of others
I know it is important to get comfortable, especially on long flights, but I wanted to put a reminder here for not doing so at the expense of others. As an example, don't recline your seat when someone is eating behind you. Everything goes smoothly if we remember to be kind and polite towards one another. I am a big believer in spreading positivity. My favorite is the platinum rule: treat others the way they want to be treated. It is great to keep in mind not everyone thinks the way you do, and this piece of advice has helped me tremendously in the way I approach and treat those around me - loved ones and total strangers alike.

Do you have any tips for getting comfortable while flying? Let me know if you learned something new or if you'd like to share a tip yourself! Maybe I can make use of them while traveling back in January. My next post will hopefully be from Guatemala, so stay tuned for pictures and updates. Traveling is cumbersome, but reaching the destination makes everything worthwhile. 

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