Not everyone gets to sit back and relax in first class, devouring hors d’oeuvres and caviar while seating next to a unicorn. Yeah I know what goes on there on the other side. I know you guys lounge in Chanel pajama sets while getting a foot rub from a masseuse on standby. I get it, first class is the shizz. But for the rest of us who has to endure the pain of dealing with that guy who’s a sweaty mess and is leaning a bit too close or a kid who won’t stop kicking the back of our seats, we have to fully accept that flying coach SUCKS.
Why does it suck?
Aside from being packed like sardines in a can and not having the same amenities compared to first class, other travelers are the main reason why flying coach sucks. You know what really gets to me? The lack of social awareness by people on board. So far, I had to deal with a guy using my shoulder as his pillow, a guy sitting behind me finger punching the life out of the buttons on his tv screen causing my seat to bounce back and forth for half of the flight, a teenager kicking the back of my seat and a lady who felt the need to recline her seat to the point it’s touching my knees…and people wonder why I prefer going on road trips.
How to survive long flights in coach?
1. Get enough sleep the day before your flight.
- Sleep and flying economy doesn’t really go together. Make sure you get plenty of rest before your flight because you won’t get enough any once you board. Plus you’ll need all the energy to deal with security check and baggage claim.
2. Bring your essentials and make sure they’re handy.
- Determine what you might need during the flight and make sure you have them close to you. My flight essentials are: lip balm, lotion, face wipes, mouth wash, eye mask, ear plugs, headphones, neck pillow, socks and an oversized scarf that I use as a blanket.
3. Don’t forget your flight entertainment.
- In-flight entertainment systems are not always reliable. Some flights don’t even have it. Come prepared and have your electronics fully charged and your reading materials ready to go. Some of my favorite flight entertainments are: iPad with movies and books, adult coloring book, travel journal, Spotify for music and playing cards.
4. Wear comfortable clothes.
- Even if you’re headed to a tropical destination, always wear layers of clothes. Airplanes are notoriously known for having freezing temperatures so it’s always good to have options. My go-to travel wear are: leggings, oversized shirt, cardigan, oversized scarf and running shoes.
5. Protect your health.
- Don’t forget to take vitamins before your flight. I usually drink Emergen-C before I travel because getting sick is the last thing I want during my vacation. Two things I never forget to bring are hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes. I really don’t care if my seat neighbor thinks I’m weird but I always wipe down James and I’s arm rests, seat belts and tray tables before finally settling in. I’d rather be weird than sick. Also don’t forget to stretch, stretch, stretch!
6. Eat before flight or bring your own snacks.
- Food in economy class sucks. I found that out the hard way a few months ago on our way to the Philippines. I thought why should I buy food when I get a free one on board. Nope! Aside from looking like cat food, the food itself tastes gross and salty. Eat before your flight or bring your own snacks like chips, protein bars, crackers or sandwiches (not tuna pls!).
7. Go to the restroom before you board.
- Boarding takes awhile – people looking for their seats and placing bags on the overhead bin – so don’t forget to go to the restroom before you board the plane. Chances are there will be other people trying to make a beeline for the restroom right before the seatbelt light comes on.
8. Stay hydrated.
- As a health care professional, I can’t stress enough the importance of staying hydrated during a long flight. Airplane cabins are exceedingly dry so drink plenty of fluids even if it means you have to go to the restroom a lot. Also avoid alcohol and caffeine, if possible.
9. Arm yourself with lots of patience.
- Traveling means you have to tackle the inevitable – long lines and annoying people. Try to maintain a positive attitude even when your patience is running thin.
10. Be kind.
- Don’t be that person who thinks he/she is the only person on board. Make it easier for everyone and keep a stress-free environment. Always be aware of your surroundings and the people around you.
What about you? What are your favorite survival tips for long flights in coach?
Share them in the comment section below!
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