I should start by saying, I love flying. I feel like being in an airplane is magic. I can see the whole world from my window. I am still amazed at our ability to fly places.
That being said, I know most people find flying to be frustrating, annoying, cramped and uncomfortable. Although I cannot help with creating more space in your seat, I have a few tips that work for me to make flying more enjoyable.
- Arrive Early- This one may sound counterintuitive and may not work for some people. I like to arrive early so that I minimize stress about being late. Also in the instance of my flight being canceled or delayed I have found that being there early increases my chances of heading out on an earlier flight and not having to reconfigure my trip.
- Bring an empty water bottle-Once you get through security, everything seems to cost an arm and a leg. This goes for water as well. The interesting thing is that flying increases your level of dehydration, so you should be drinking water on the plane to help with that. That being said they do not typically provide copious amounts of water on board. My hack is to bring your empty water bottle through security and then fill it up in a water fountain or even better a filtered water bottle station after security. That way you have your water without the price tag.
- Bring an eye mask- This does not apply to all flights. I typically have only brought an eye mask on longer flights where I want to sleep. I know for me to sleep I am very sensitive to light. An airplane is not a place where you can control the light sources, if you are not sitting in the window seat you cannot control whether the window is open or not and you cannot control the overhead lights or the lights of those nearby, or even the screen in front of your closest neighbor. Bringing an eye mask give you the option of sleep and shutting out the light to do so.
- Choose your seat wisely- I am not sure this even needs to be stated, but sometimes it helps to include the obvious. The best seats are window or aisle seats. This depends on your frequency of getting up and/or wanting to see outside. If you see yourself wanting to get up and stretch your legs the aisle seat is the way to go. If you want to force yourself to concentrate and or have a view of outside a window seat helps. You will be less inclined to leave your seat because two people have to move for you to do so.
- Bring work that needs focus- Books, writing, things that you can do without distractions because the plane is a wonderful place to work uninterrupted by the internet. I am aware that you can now use WiFi on some planes, but I think avoiding it can help most of us stay productive.
- Bring your own headphones- Some flights will provide you with headphones, but bringing your own ensures the headphones will not hurt your ears. Ideally, noise canceling headphones are best because they dramatically reduce the surrounding noise and enable greater focus.