Getting on board a plane can evoke a number of emotions in us – the excitement and anticipation of arriving at your destination, the dread of being stuck in a tiny seat for x amount of hours, concern when you think too hard about leaving the ground and shooting through the air in a giant metal tube, or the elation after receiving a free upgrade (a girl can dream)! Flying can mean so many different things to so many different people and a lot of that comes down to the in-air experiences we’ve all had.
Although a number of things can be completely out of our control (turbulence, delayed/cancelled flights, noisy travellers or bad food) I’ve put together a few of my own tips to help make sure you’ll be flying in comfort:
Since you’ll be stuck in the once place for the duration of your flight, your seat selection can be a pretty important one (unless you find yourself in first class, in which case, kudos to you!). If you’ve travelled often, you might have your favourite spot on the plane (personally I like to sit near the front of the plane so that I’m off quickly when we land, and prefer a window seat to an aisle, where you can have your elbows knocked about). If you’re still figuring out what spot is the best for you, seat guru is a fantastic website to help you decide before you book your ticket! This site provides seat maps, advice and photos on different seats on just about every airline, helping you to pick prime position on your flight! My sister used this site recently for her trip to the UK. She opted to sit on the upper deck (on an A380), as the economy section upstairs is quite small – this means the service is prompt and you don’t have as many travellers around. In the end, two people who didn’t make the flight meant that she had an entire row to herself (which is a lifesaver on long haul trips).
My best advice here is to check in early! Not only can it help you avoid queues at the desk, it will give you piece of mind, time to buy a book or bite to eat and if you haven’t been able to book a seat prior, you might get lucky and get your pick of the plane before it fills up! Certain airlines allow you to check in online well in advance, and at times also choose a seat in the process! The seat selection can sometimes have a fee attached to it, so it’s up to you whether you want to pay the price or take the gamble. With the online check in process done, all you need to do is print your boarding pass and take your bags to the drop off point at the airport and you’re good to go!
IN-FLIGHT CARE & COMFORT
There are a few items that I always make sure I have in my carry on, so that I finish each flight feeling as fresh as possible:
- Makeup wipes – make up rarely lasts an entire flight, and if it does, the flawless finish you left the house with isn’t the same. I prefer to take it all off and give my skin a break while in the air. You can then re-apply before decent or at the airport;
- Moisturiser – flying isn’t kind on our skin, and can significantly dry it out (especially our hands and face). Having a travel sized tube of moisturiser on board with you can be a real lifesaver and will help your skin regain what it loses in the air;
- Tissues – for me personally, my sinuses tend to play up a bit when flying. Top that off with a sad movie and a few tears and these guys come in handy;
- Socks – whether it’s a soft pair for comfort or compression to help combat any swelling, nothing feels better than being able to take your shoes off on a plane and settle in for the ride. It also means you’ve still got your feet covered for trips to the bathroom;
- Toothbrush – these are particularly good on those long haul flights when you might have had a couple of meals (or a few glasses of red 😉 ).
A few extra tips:
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! The air inside a plane has significantly lower humidity than we’re used to, so drinking plenty of water is super important. This not only helps to replace some of the moisture our skin loses on flights but also helps to avoid dehydration;
- Long flight? Can’t sleep or settle in? A glass of red, or two, can work a treat (if you’re not one to take a pill instead);
- Move it! Don’t forget to jump up and walk around a little or do some in seat exercises to keep your circulation pumping;
- Switch off. Use this time offline to read a good book, enjoy a guilt free movie marathon or get to know the person next to you;
- Dress for comfort. A comfortable outfit is a must on a flight. I tend to opt for zip/button free pants/tights over jeans and pair that with a loose shirt or blouse. A warm jumper or shawl is worthwhile carry on too, for those flights that get cold;
- Make friends with the attendants! On a trip to Europe with my partner Christian, he did just that, simply by asking our hostess how her day was. She exclaimed he was the first person who had asked – this resulted in us being able to enjoy super prompt service with a smile for the entire flight. On another leg of this trip, we were treated to a tour of first class (which was both a blessing and a curse!).
Now armed and ready for your flight, all that’s left to do is sit back and enjoy the ride!