Be It A Long Or Short Flight, Here Are 40+ Hacks To Make Any Trip More Comfortable
While some people absolutely love flying, others are tremendously terrified of it. No matter which category you fall into, you probably hope and wish your flight be as peaceful and comfortable as possible every time. From finding ways to block out unwanted noise from your fellow passengers to nifty and handy travel hacks, these travel hints, tricks and tips will help you to not only have a more pleasant flying experience, but you might take away an extra trick or two about general travel from this article that you didn’t know before. So buckle up and get ready for an awesome and insightful ride with us as your friendly and knowledgeable pilot! Here are travel hacks to make your flights more comfortable.
Oh no! You forgot to charge your phone, and you still have a good few hours to wait until your flight. Without your Candy Crush Saga and Sim City games, Spotify playlist, and Netflix lineup, you’re sure to go crazy from boredom.
Worry no more because we have got just the solution for you. Most Airports do have charging centers like the one in this picture, but they also have televisions, and most televisions nowadays have USB ports that you can use to charge up your cell phone battery! You’re welcome.
When planning a trip, most people will always tell you to pack light, but the truth is about packing smart to the avid traveler. With this nifty packing trick, you’re bound to save yourself loads of space in your suitcases.
The trick is to lay out the heavier, larger items such as towels or sweatshirts at the bottom of your suitcase before you start packing anything else. Roll up everything else like your shirts and pants to save space, except for items that are likely to wrinkle – you’ll want to fold those.
When flying, the atmosphere can become warmer or colder depending on where you are, the altitude, and how many of your fellow passengers have turned on – or off the air conditioning. So, to stay comfy, it’s best to dress for the trip and wear layers.
If it warms up while you’re in the air, you can always take your layers off until you feel comfortable, and likewise, if it cools down. This way, you can at least feel a little more comfortable, especially on longer flights.
Middle Seat Cheat
Not even the cuddlers like the middle seat – it’s squishy and less comfortable than a standard aisle or window seat. It’s especially not nice when traveling alone and having to sit next to two strangers for your flight.
Here’s something you can try to avoid that seat – head over to Expertflyer.com and create a seat alert. If somebody on your flight changes or cancels their flight, they’ll notify you, and you can switch your seat for theirs!
Avoid the Queue!
Especially since the Covid-19 pandemic, many flights are being rearranged and even canceled. And we bet your bottom dollar if you’ve already arrived at the airport that the line to rebook flights is pretty long. Goodness, you’re never going to get the next flight in with a line like this!
Well, here’s a handy trick for a moment just like this. Instead of waiting for hours on end only to very likely be disappointed by the fact that the next few flights are already fully booked – just call customer service instead! They’ll book the flight for you, and you won’t need to wait in that awful queue all day long.
Skip the Ice
We know we told you to avoid fizzy drinks and drink water instead. And whilst anyone will agree that there is nothing quite like a nice tall glass of ice-cold water to quench your thirst, we must warn you that ordering ice in your drink when on a plane is a big no-no, but not for the reason we’ve all thought.
It is a misconception the ice that is served on most flights comes from the plane’s water tank. The ice is actually brought on board and is ordered from a caterer. But the food carts where the ice is stored might be unsanitary, and this is why we caution against taking the ice on your flights.
Keep the Air On
If you’d like to protect yourself from germs as much as possible during your flight, then it’s best to keep the aircon above you on full blast – even if it does get a little bit chilly. The air actually helps to keep germs away.
The air from the vent creates a sort of invisible layer of air around you that basically prevents any germs or viruses from hanging around and making you sick – and no one wants to get sick when traveling, so it’s best to keep the air on and warm up with a sweater!
Whether your trip is for business or pleasure, or even a little bit of both, no one wants to get sick when they’re traveling, and the best way to avoid this is to try to be as sanitary as possible. Sometimes, you catch a bug in the air – and other times, it’s from touching something.
Just like you’ll use the air conditioning in the plane to protect you from germs, always remember to pack some disinfectant wipes to clean your seat and surfaces you’re going to be touching during your flight to make sure you’re always protected.
Dress for the Occasion
For most people, sitting in the airport and on a plane can get rather cramped, stuffy, and overall uncomfortable – so it’s best to dress for the occasion by wearing what you feel comfortable in, not what you feel most fashionable in.
Sure, if you’re on a one-hour flight and planning on rushing from the airport straight to a meeting or a party, then you might want to dress up a little. For longer flights, wearing your favorite heels and tank-top or your best suit just won’t cut it comfort-wise – and you’ll be in for a long and und uncomfortable ride.
Speaking of dressing for the occasion, if you are hopping on a longer flight, then remember this essential: dark clothing. You might be super comfortable and cute in your beige tracksuit, but after hours of trying to eat in a cramped space, you will be spotted with crumbs and remnants of dinner.
Even if you manage to escape eating without getting any food on yourself, you will still have to worry about sweat stains or dirt from the seat rubbing off on you. Dark clothing will go a long way in hiding any stains.
Carbonated drinks like fizzy water or sodas are not a great combination with high air altitudes and can cause your intestinal tract to swell – causing discomfort and unwanted gas, and burping! That’s pretty embarrassing, especially if you’re seated next to strangers.
Instead of indulging in a glass of Coke, try drinking water or juice for the duration of your flight and save the fizzy drinks for when your feet are on the ground. That way, you’ll have less discomfort and embarrassment if your body needs to “break wind.”
Extra Seat Hack
There is nothing greater than noticing that the middle seat next to you is empty when it’s time for liftoff! And here’s how to get that for free. This one is not a guarantee, but still worth a try if you are riding in economy and want to score some extra room.
If you are traveling as a pair, book the aisle and window seat. If your flight happens to be under-booked, it is improbable that someone will pick a seat between two people that they don’t know – so your chances of having some extra space are at least a little bit higher!
Sleep After Takeoff
Rather than sleeping before or after takeoff, take this time to look after your ears. They are susceptible to air pressure and are not able to regulate with rapid changes such as the drastic change in air pressure after takeoff.
So, chew some gum, take an antihistamine, and make use of some earplugs to protect your ears. Once you’re safely in the air, you can relax and take that long-awaited nap that you and your body have been waiting for.
Some people love it. Most people hate it – emphasis on hate if you’re already an anxious flyer. Turbulence can cause stress, dizziness, nausea, and even vomiting – hence the complimentary barf bags that can be found on most airlines.
If you’re someone who doesn’t cope too well with turbulence, remember to pick your seat with this in mind. Choose a seat above the wing of the plane, and avoid the back as that’s where you’ll feel it the most.
Flying tends to affect our bodies’ circulation and can cause our feet and legs to swell – particularly on longer flights. But, there are some techniques that you can use on the plane to try to prevent this swelling from happening.
Doing in-seat stretches and making sure that you are getting up and walking around the plane when you have a chance will help your blood flow a little more and help you avoid the swelling.
Block It Out
When it comes to flying, nobody wants to suffer from the loud chatter coming from other passengers, weeping babies, or noisy sneezes when they’re just trying to relax, maybe take a nap, or read a book to try and stay focused on arriving at their destination.
We recommend avoiding the frustration and ruckus by remembering to pack some noise-canceling headphones and silicone earplugs – even the reusable ones – to block out the noise and try to enjoy your time in the air as much as possible.
For longer flights, a great way to make sure your flight is as comfy as possible is to pack some spare socks and undies in your carry-on. That way, if you feel a little gross and sweaty, you can change your intimates and feel a little more refreshed.
There are no showers on the plane, so your best bet to feel a little bit fresher is by being able to change your clothes, especially your undies. If you really want to feel brand new, pack some deodorant (if you’re allowed to) and a spare change of clothes, too.
Especially if you’re spending a lot of time traveling and not so much time at the dry cleaners and your dirty clothes are piling up, your suitcase might start to get a little bit smelly. But there’s actually a simple trick to keep the smell as fresh as possible.
It’s simple! All you need to do is pop a few dryer sheets into your bag. The sheets will absorb those nasty stinky feet, and faint dirty sock smells and help keep your clothes smelling a lot cleaner and fresher.
Why spend all that extra dough on a tour guide who’s likely to take you to some very basic, touristy locations when you can spend the cash on some more traveling treats and be your own tour guide? Doesn’t that sound more fun?
With the help of technology, apps have made traveling so much easier and more accessible to everyone. Just do some research before you leave your hotel – and explore your travel destination! If you get lost, you can always consult your phone or ask a friendly local for help.
Rechargeable batteries can really come in handy when traveling – especially if you’re in a location that doesn’t really have many luxuries. It’s best to pack a battery charger, too, so that you don’t have to keep stocking up on new batteries.
Batteries come in handy for many things, including portable little fan systems for a hot night in a hostel with no air conditioning. Or perhaps you’d like to do some night-time exploring and need a torch – remember to take some spares with you, so you don’t wind up lost in the dark!
Travel Kit Tips
Going back to the topic of feeling refreshed, the best way to do feel this when using an airplane bathroom with no access to a nice hot shower is to pack some cleansing essentials in your carry-on luggage so you can clean yourself up a bit when you’re feeling icky.
Packing some face wipes, a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, and spare clothes can make a huge difference to your overall mood, let alone appearance and smell. If you really want to go above and beyond, ladies, pack a little make-up, too. But nothing heavy like foundation – stick to the basics like some lipstick and mascara.
First Class In Economy
Now, this is not exactly a hack, but if you like to fly, you must know about this deal. Air New Zealand offers economy flyers the open to convert a whole row into a bed. It costs a little extra, but not so terrible.
When this family of four went on a long, international flight, they made sure to book with Air New Zealand for this specific reason. For those with families that can’t afford first-class, this is the best option out there!
Download Offline Maps
After a long flight, all you want to do is get to your hotel and freshen up. But if you’re in a new city or country, it might be a little bit difficult to navigate – and there might not be an available Wi-Fi connection to help you when you need it the most.
Don’t worry, dear traveler – Google’s got your back for this one. Before you leave home, open up Google Maps on your phone and download offline maps for your destination. That way, you’ll have easy and internet-free access to maps, and you’ll be able to find your way around far more easily.
The Best Pillow
If you tell us that you have the easiest time falling asleep on a plane, then we want to know your secret! For most of us, trying to catch some shut-eye while flying is a painful endeavor. It feels like no matter what we do, we can’t get comfortable!
With this special pillow, you never have to worry about adjusting your stiff neck again! You can just rest your head on the pillow, and it’s that simple. Just tie it to the back of your headrest. We have a feeling this will change the way you fly!
Bye Bye Blanket
If you’re a germaphobe or someone likely to catch an infection, it’s best to avoid using the blankets you receive at the start of your flight. Aside from when they come in a sealed bag, it’s highly likely that they aren’t perfectly clean.
If you’re somebody that feels the cold easily, rather than using the blankets from the airline, pack your own in your carry-on, or better yet, as we said before, dress a little warmer and layer up to avoid shivering during your flight.
There’s nothing worse than being bored with nothing to do when you’re sitting on a plane 30,000 feet in the air. That’s why we suggest planning ahead and preparing some things for you to do while you’re on the way to your destination.
The longer your flight, the more entertainment you’ll need to prepare to keep yourself busy. Download movies, bring a book or two, and if you enjoy journaling, that’s also a great way to pass the time and not go stir-crazy.
Some of us enjoy the finer things in life, like taking your favorite perfume with you on your trip so that you can truly feel refreshed and ready for the day. But fragrance bottles are often bulky and likely to break if jostled around too much.
The solution? Portable fragrance bottles. They are smaller, easier to carry around, and far less likely to break. Most pharmacies should sell them at a reasonable price. So next time you are packing, don’t forget to transfer some of your Chanel to a portable fragrance bottle instead of schlepping the whole thing in your bag!
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
So many people find themselves stressed out about the security checkpoint – and the line that goes with it. But there really is nothing to worry about. Just be sure to plan your day properly and get to the airport well in advance so that you have plenty of time to wait.
Airport security should actually comfort you – they’re so strict because they need to protect all of their passengers and staff in the airport from any threats – that includes you! So really, this should be the least of your worries when traveling.
Skipping the Line
If you hate waiting in lines as much as we do, here’s a way to avoid waiting in the security line at the airport as long as you usually would. When you’re entering the security line, always turn left. Why? We’re glad you asked.
People tend to turn towards their dominant hand – and because the majority of people are right-handed, the queue on the right will likely be longer. So save yourself some time and turn left – you might just skip most of that line.
Cover it Up
If you’re like the majority of the global population, you’ve probably lost or forgotten the plastic cover that comes with your razor blade. Here’s a little hack to protect yourself from accidentally slicing your fingers when rummaging through your toiletry bag.
Do yourself – and your fingers – huge favor and get yourself some binder clips. They’re a great substitute for the plastic cover, and it’s a much better investment than buying a new razor every time you lose the cover!
Scan the Important Things
Even when you’re in your home city, dealing with losing your passport, ID, or driver’s license can be pretty stressful – especially if you don’t have any copies. But when you’re in a new city or need to catch a flight, not having your passport with you can be pretty problematic.
We suggest scanning your passport, ID, and any other important documentation and emailing it to yourself or saving it on your device – that way, if you do become the unlucky victim of theft or loss, you at least have some proof of identification at the airport.
If you’re not planning a romantic trip with your beloved or a trip with family or friends and would rather travel on your own, a wonderful way to create memories is to meet people from all around the world on your trip.
However, approaching a group of strangers on your own might be a little bit daunting – but technology has got your back! Travel Buddies or Backpackr will connect you with other travelers in the same city as you – and you can meet up with them and start your adventures!
Did you know that due to there being less moisture way up in the air, your body tends to dehydrate faster than it would on the ground? That’s why it’s super important to keep hydrated, especially on a long, international flight.
Even if you end up frustrating yourself and other passengers by frequenting the bathroom, your skin and body will stay hydrated and healthy like nothing ever happened. It is recommended to drink at least one cup of water every hour of your flight.
Another great way to avoid the overpriced beverages at the airport is to utilize this practical little hack that not many people know about. Whilst liquids are not permitted before entering security, frozen water, tea or coffee is. How many of you knew this?
Make sure that the liquid is completely frozen when you pass through security, or you’ll have to leave it behind. It should also go without saying that your flight should be long enough for your beverage to defrost. Otherwise, you’re carrying a frozen bottle for nothing!
Escape Your Comfort Zone
If you really want to get to know a city and all of its marvelous culture, then you’re going to want to hang out with some of the locals – and get them to show you all of the hidden gems that most tourists won’t know about.
All you need to do is download the Party with the Locals App onto your smart device and start connecting with tons of locals keen to meet you and show you around town! It’s a great way to make new friends too.
Save Some Dough
We all know how overpriced things can be at an airport – but because you’re not allowed to take any liquids with you through security, you might get a little bit thirsty while you wait to board your flight and even when you’re on the plane.
So, instead of spending a lot of extra cash on some water or tea, just pack an empty travel mug or flask and some teabags. Then all you need to do is ask one of the employees in a cafe or the air hostess for some hot water, and you’ll have a much more affordable beverage. Save that cash for your trip!
Even worse than the boredom we spoke about earlier is the feeling of your stomach eating away at itself as you feel hunger pangs. Now, you’ll probably be fed on the flight – but let’s be honest, most airline food sucks the same way hospital food does. So, you might be thankful that you packed yourself some pretzels.
Plus, packing some of your favorite snacks from home means you’ll save all the cash you would have spent on those same snacks at the airport – snacks that are likely going to be three to four times the price.
On The Go
Maybe you’re a bit of an on-the-go sort of person, and you’re wanting to explore some more new places while you’re already traveling instead of planning your entire trip beforehand- what’s more fun and exhilarating than that? You have to be spontaneous.
Well, if you are feeling a little adventurous, then download the Skyscanner app for all the latest and greatest deals for your chosen destination in a few simple steps. You’ll be sitting on a flight to your new travel location in no time!
Portable Power Bank
To some, this handy device might be one of the first things on your list of items to pack for a trip – but it sure does come in handy when your phone battery is about to die. A power bank is a portable charger that you can use to charge your phone, tablet, and other devices.
It’s a great thing to have, especially when you know you’re in for a long trip and may not have access to a plug point anytime soon. So, if you don’t have one on hand and you’re planning a long trip – we highly recommend the investment.
There are many frustrating elements when it comes to traveling, like making sure you don’t miss your flight. Keeping an eye on the flight’s departures and arrivals board can get a little tedious – especially if there is nowhere near them to sit.
So, instead of having to check for an update on your flight constantly, just download the Flightboard App into your smart device and keep an eye on all of the arrivals/departures without having to leave your seat every few minutes!
The Sacrifice Might Be Worth It
So, you’ve found yourself on an overbooked flight, and the airline is calling for volunteers to give up their seats. You think about missing your flight and maybe a day’s worth of travel and are hesitant to be the one to make the sacrifice.
But take our advice and give up your seat! The airline will be grateful for it and will likely treat you to free meals, drinks, and accommodation nearby – they might even upgrade you when they rebook you onto the next available flight.
This one is for all the backpackers traveling across the globe and likely staying in one hostel for too long. Instead of unpacking all of your belongings every time you enter your new home for the next few days, unpack strategically.
Try only to unpack what you know you’re going to need for those few nights of stay. That way, you won’t be fumbling to repack and stressed about leaving things behind or losing your belongings. Another tip is to pack strategically before you leave – with the things you’re most likely to need on top.
Here’s a brilliant little trick to help you avoid all of those more expensive flights when looking to book your next trip. Most airline and flight booking websites track your cookies on your browser and note how many times you have searched for a particular flight in the past.
If they see you’ve searched for a particular flight before, they might just hike the prices up simply because they know you want to book your trip. So, to make sure you aren’t paying more than you should – search your flights in an incognito window that doesn’t track your cookies.
Jogging Off The Jetlag
No one likes jetlag – it makes you tired and irritable and can last several days and sometimes even up to a week! And if you’re traveling, you want to be alert and awake so that you can take in and enjoy all the new surroundings.
So, instead of filling up on coffee and dozing off in the middle of the day, get up in the morning and go for a nice jog in the sun. The sun will set your internal clock to know that it’s time to start the day, and the exercise will make you feel replenished and revitalized, too.
Waterproof That Case
We’re sure you can relate to those feelings of stress and frustration when you get caught in the rain with your luggage and have to worry about the water seeping through and damaging your belongings. But fear not – if you don’t have a waterproof suitcase, we have another solution for you!
All you need to do is line the inside of your bag with bin liners, that way, you’ll avoid the misfortune of all of your things getting wet – and all you’ll need to do is let your suitcase dry out in the sun when the sun comes back out to play.
Remember we mentioned how most airports have TVs that you can use to charge your phone in a desperate situation? Well, most hotels have them too. If you’ve arrived at your hotel only to realize that you’ve either forgotten your charging port or it’s not the right one for your destination, we have a solution for you.
Just like you would at the airport, check if the TV in your hotel has a USB port – most of them do. You can use the TV to charge your device until you’re able to get to a store to replace your charging port. Or just don’t bother! If the TV is working for you, use that extra cash on a nice meal or activity.
If you’re traveling with fragile or important items that could get bumped around in the cargo hold, risking damage to your loved goods, even your bag – we have a game-changing trick to ensure that your luggage is handled with care.
When checking in, mark your luggage as fragile – not only will this ensure that your property is taken care of, it will also mean that your luggage will be placed on the top of the pile – meaning you’ll also be one of the first to get your things from the carousel!
Hate Turbulence? This One’s For You!
If you’re someone who suffers immensely from turbulence – then you probably try everything in your power to avoid it as best you can. We’ve already mentioned the right place to sit, but this one’s about the right time to fly.
Morning flights tend to have less turbulence as the heat of the day has not yet risen – the heat, which causes storms and wind, ultimately causes turbulence on planes. So, if you want to avoid turbulence, your best bet is to book an early morning flight.
Avoid Front Seats
Picture this: you are on a 10-hour flight that started just an hour ago. It’s a red-eye flight, so you’re trying to get cozy so you can catch some shut-eye when suddenly, you hear a sharp cry from the baby beside you. That’s when you realize that your plan won’t work.
Kids can be lovely and adorable, but they can also make you lose your beauty sleep. That’s why when you’re choosing your seat on the plane, it’s better to pick the ones at the back of either side. Front seats are where most families and children sit, so choose wisely.
Shorts Or Pants?
This one shocked us, too, because who doesn’t like being comfy when they travel? Shorts are a popular go-to for most travelers, especially when traveling over the summer. They offer an effortless level of comfort and style that can’t be replicated.
However, and this is a tip from a seasoned flight attendant, you are better off going with pants. The main reason for this is hygiene since you never know how clean the seats and other common surfaces are going to be. So, maybe look for some light pants next time you’re traveling instead of shorts.