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by Aidan Booth November 30, 2018 4 min read

Just because you can't afford a first-class ticket doesn't mean you can't enjoy a luxurious flight. Sure, you won't enjoy the wider legroom and pampering from flight attendants, but there are plenty of ways you could significantly boost your comfort in economy class. Let's go over a few simple travel tips to help you fly with ease. 

1. Choose The Best Seat For You

One of the best things you could do before your flight is book the seat you're most comfortable with. While there's no "ideal" spot on the plane, there are different benefits to choosing between different seats. For instance, window seats are superb if you just want to be left alone and nap. Obviously, nobody will pass you to get into the aisle if you're seated by a window. If you're looking for extra space, then consider booking an aisle seat, especially in the emergency exit row. A few other things to keep in mind when booking seats are that seats further from the wings tend to be quieter and the best place to reach flight attendants is in the plane's rear. 

2. Comfy Clothing

Riding on a plane is one of the few legitimate excuses for prioritizing comfort over good taste. Don't worry about dressing to impress on a long-haul fight. Break out those sweatpants and hoodies! Heck, even wear your pajamas if it makes you feel better. Being stuck in a plane is already uncomfortable enough, don't make it harder on yourself by wearing tight-fitting clothes. It's also a good idea to wear beltless pants to help you easily pass through TSA screenings. 

3. Let Your Feet Breathe

While we're on the subject of comfort, please don't mangle your poor feet in dress shoes on your flight. Once you're settled in your seat, immediately take off your shoes and stretch out your toes. For added comfort, you could pack a pair of your favorite socks or slippers to keep your feet extra warm. When you arrive at your destination, your feet will feel fresh & well-rested rather than achy & swollen. 

4. Always Order Water 

It's tempting to order an alcoholic beverage (or two) while traveling to take the edge off. The truth is, however, that the only liquid you need to consume more of while fly/flying is good old H2O. The air you'll be exposed to in the airplane's cabin is extremely dry. If you don't have enough water in your system, you could easily start to experience unpleasant sensations like dry eyes and/or itchy skin. Please, don't get dehydrated on your flight! Always ask your flight attendants for plenty of water and/or hydrating beverages like herbal teas or seltzer water. Also, consider bringing an empty water bottle with you through the security check-in so you could fill it up with fountain water while waiting for your flight. 

5. Don’t Forget The Hand-Sanitizer

Airplanes and airports are a germaphobe’s nightmare. The only way to protect yourself from the countless bacterial strains you’ll be exposed to is to bring along plenty hand-sanitizer and/or disinfecting towelettes. Amazingly, scientists have discovered that the airplane’s tray tables are one of the most contaminated areas on the plane. Think about this for a second, there are at least eight times as many bacteria on the tray you will eat off of than in the plane’s bathroom! Scientists also note that seatbelts, the seat pouch in front of you, and aisle seats tend to have more bacteria than average. In airports, the most contaminated objects are those new self check-in touchscreens. Washing these areas and your hands will significantly reduce your risk of picking up a disease. 

6. "Get Physical" Before Flight

As much as your inner child might like to, you simply can't get up and do a couple of laps up and down your plane's aisle. Accept the fact that you're going to be mostly sedentary for the duration of your flight. The best thing you can do for your body to prepare for this ergonomic nightmare is to do plenty of exercising the day before your big flight. Going on a long run the day before will relax your muscles and make your body tired the next day, which will help you catch some much needed ZZZs while you're up in the air. 

7. Pack Some Power Snacks

Those complimentary bags of peanuts just won't cut it. You need some superfoods in your system to keep your mind & body satisfied. It's a great idea to pack some nutrient-dense snacks in Zip-lock bags beforehand so you won't have to rely on the food your airline is offering. You want foods that are hydrating, packed with nutrients, and have little risk of causing gastrointestinal distress. A few nutritionist-approved foods specifically for long flights include dried fruits, nut mixes, protein bars, carrots, and cucumbers. It's also a good idea to pack a few bags of hydrating herbal teas like ginger, peppermint, and chamomile. All three of these teas can naturally relieve travel nausea. 

Sitting through a long flight is extremely stressful, especially if you're one of the many people who have a fear of flying. The above tips, however, can help significantly reduce stress if you're stuck in economy class. Follow these tips and you'll be amazed how well rested you'll feel once your plane touches down.

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