According to a recent survey, more than 90% of Americans say that airline travel today "leaves a lot to be desired." They dislike everything from the research that has to be done to book a flight for a reasonable price to the waiting around that they have to do when trying to board a plane.
People are also unhappy with the fact that comfortable travel seems to be an oxymoron at this point. Almost every frequent traveler has at least one horror story about having to sit through a painfully uncomfortable flight.
If you're a frequent business traveler or just someone who enjoys traveling around to see the world, you shouldn't have to deal with back pain and other types of pain every time you hop onto an airplane. You should know how to make comfortable travel a reality from the second you sit down on a plane and prepare to take flight.
Here are ten ways that you can stay pain-free the next time you find yourself on an airplane for business or pleasure.
1. Begin by Booking the Best Possible Seat on a Flight
You shouldn't wait until you're sitting on an airplane to start thinking about the keys to comfortable travel. Instead, you should consider how you're going to keep yourself comfy on a flight before you even book a ticket for it.
Are you the type of person who likes to climb into a window seat on a plane and fall asleep right away so that you can get it over with ASAP? Or would you prefer to sit in an aisle seat that will make it easy for you to walk around on a plane whenever you want?
Regardless of your preference, you should make it a point to book the best possible seat on a flight based on what's available and what kind of seat you like most. You'll be more enthusiastic about boarding an airplane when you know that you're sitting in your ideal seat for the duration of the flight.
2. Prepare for Your Flight by Putting on Comfortable Clothing
In addition to booking the best possible seat prior to making your way down to your local airport to catch a flight, there are other steps you can take to ensure you enjoy a pain-free experience on a plane. One of the most important things you're going to want to do is put on comfortable clothing.
For most people, that means putting on a pair of sweatpants and a hoodie. But even if you're not going to be able to get away with wearing that on a business trip, you should still try to find the most comfortable outfit you can so that you don't have any issues stretching out on a flight.
Your clothing should be comfortable from head to toe when you board an airplane. It should also be warm enough so that you're not freezing on your flight.
3. Pack the Right Travel Accessories for Your Flight
You're obviously going to need to pack some kind of bag for your flight. Even if you're only taking a trip for a day or two, you'll want to bring things like a change of clothes and toiletries so that you can freshen up.
You'll also want to pack a few travel accessories so that you're able to keep yourself comfortable on your plane and prevent pain from setting in. You'll be so glad that you have these accessories with you since most airlines have stopped handing out things like pillows and blankets on their flights without charging extra fees.
This Memory Foam Airplane Travel Pillow Kit is a great example of something that you'll definitely want to have in your travel bag. It'll help you rest and recharge on your flight and stop pain from taking a toll on your neck and back while you kick back in your seat.
4. Show Up Early for Your Flight and Take Some Time to Stretch Out
There are a lot of reasons why it's a good idea for you to show up early at an airport for a flight. By doing it, you'll make sure that you're able to make it through long security lines. You'll also give yourself time to find the right gate for your flight.
But maybe more importantly, showing up early for a flight will also give you a few extra minutes to stretch your body out before you board a flight. You'll be able to walk around inside of an airport to get your blood pumping before doing some basic stretches to warm your muscles up prior to getting onto your flight.
You're going to feel so much better getting on a plane after stretching than you would otherwise. It'll reduce your chances of having to deal with pain at any point during your flight.
5. Board Your Flight as Quickly as You Can and Get Situated
Once your airplane begins to board, you should make it your mission to get onto it as fast as you can. You don't necessarily have to push other people out of the way to get on your flight. But you should be intentional about boarding your plane quickly if you can.
By boarding your plane ahead of other people, you'll guarantee that you're able to stow your luggage away so that you don't have to put it down by your feet where it'll leave you feeling cramped. You'll also give yourself an opportunity to introduce yourself to those who will be sitting near you so that you're all on good terms and ready to fly together.
The last thing you want to do is rush onto a plane just minutes before it's set to take off. It'll leave you feeling frazzled for at least a few minutes and make it hard for you to ever feel settled in your seat. This is not going to be a key to comfortable travel!
6. Set Your Seat Up So It's as Comfortable as Can Be
The seats on airplanes are known for being uncomfortable. They offer next to no legroom and force people to sit right on top of one another.
But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't still try your absolute best to make the most of them when you're catching a flight. You can work to make them as comfortable as they're going to get by putting in a little effort on your part.
We already spoke about how bringing a travel pillow along with you on a flight is one way to make yourself comfortable on a plane. But it's worth noting that you can also go the extra mile to deck your seat out with all the fixings if you want.
Some people like to bring along something like this Gel Infused Memory Foam Lumbar Support Back Cushion when they fly. It instantly adds cushioning to an airplane seat and makes it feel comfortable.
You'll notice that everything from your back to your legs to your hips will feel better when you have this kind of cushion on your seat. It'll turn what would be an uncomfortable and painful flight into a pleasant experience.
7. Drink Plenty of Water on a Plane to Stay Hydrated
The average airplane has a very low humidity level on it. In fact, the humidity level on most airplanes usually hovers between 10 and 20%, which is well below the humidity level that you'll find in most homes and businesses.
And the low humidity that you'll be exposed to on a plane can do a number of your system. It can dehydrate you and leave you struggling to combat a variety of dehydration symptoms including:
- Dry mouth
- Dry skin
These symptoms are going to make your flight feel more painful than it should. It's why you should make every effort to drink lots of water before, during, and after a flight. It's also why you should abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages that are going to dehydrate you more on a flight.
You're often going to find yourself in a world of hurt if dehydration takes hold of you. It'll make comfortable travel impossible.
8. Do Some Exercises Right in Your Seat on a Plane
Earlier, we touched on how you should stretch out before boarding a plane. It's an effective way to prepare your body for the long flight that you're going to take.
But unfortunately, it's not going to take too long for your body to get stiff again once you're on an airplane. When you spend hours on end sitting in the same seat, it's only a matter of time before you start to experience some degree of pain.
To try and alleviate it, you might want to think about doing some exercises right in your seat. Believe it or not, you can do certain exercises without looking too weird while you're on an airplane.
Some of the exercises you should try are:
- Neck rolls
- Shoulder rolls
- Forward bends
- Calf raises
- Ankle rolls
- Quad stretches
You should obviously be courteous to those around you and avoid doing any stretches that are going to infringe upon their space. But as long as you do that, you shouldn't let the cramped quarters on a plane stop you from getting some good stretching in to reduce pain.
9. Get Up and Stretch Your Legs on a Flight Every So Often
There are going to be times when you're not going to be allowed to get up and walk around on an airplane. You'll need to remain seated during takeoff and landing, and you'll also need to stay in your seat when your pilot requests all passengers to stay put.
But generally speaking, you're more than welcome to get up out of your seat and walk around whenever you feel the need to do it. You can walk to the bathroom, walk to say hi to a family member or friend, or simply walk up and down the aisles a few times to give your legs a good stretch.
Walking around for a few minutes should be enough to keep pain at bay. It can also eliminate the chances of you having to deal with painful blood clots later on.
10. Keep Your Mind Busy to Block Out Any Pain You Might Feel on a Flight
If you spend an entire flight sitting and staring at the back of the seat in front of you, your mind is going to have no choice but to focus on the pain you feel. You won't be able to think about anything other than how uncomfortable you are.
But if you keep your mind busy by doing any number of things, you can block out any pain that you're experiencing and focus on something else. You can occupy your mind by:
- Reading a book
- Having a conversation with those sitting around you
- Watching a movie
- Doing a crossword puzzle
- Playing a game on your phone, tablet, or computer
The busier you stay on a plane, the faster the time will fly by. It won't be long at all before you're standing up to exit the plane. And when you do, you'll be surprised by the fact that you're not in as much pain as you may have anticipated you would be in.
These Keys to Comfortable Travel Will Make Your Next Flight a Breeze
There are some people who will tell you that there is no such thing as comfortable travel. They can't imagine sitting on a long flight and not experiencing at least some pain.
But if you keep the keys to comfortable travel found here in mind while on your next flight, you'll be amazed by how well they work. You won't have to grapple with much pain at all when you use them to your advantage.
Are you interested in ordering any of the travel accessories that we've discussed here to take on your future flights? We can provide you with them if you would like. Get in touch with us today to place an order.