How to Have a Comfortable Flight

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Having a comfortable flight is as simple as being good to your body. It involves staying hydrated, keeping your blood circulating, and having a few travel accessories on hand to make in-flight relaxation easier.  Here are four easy ways to make your next flight more comfortable.

Stay Hydrated

A long flight time coupled with the air-conditioned and pressurized cabin environment in the plane makes it easy for you to become dehydrated. Even minor levels of dehydration can leave you sluggish. Maintaining hydration is the first step to having a comfortable flight. A good rule of thumb is to drink eight ounces of liquid for every hour of flight time. This can include water, sports drinks, or juices.  Limit coffee, tea, and alcohol consumption, as these can act as diuretics. Water is often the least expensive option and won’t load you up with extra sugar. Tightened airport security, particularly in the United States, makes it difficult to take liquids through security screening areas. You can buy bottled water once you pass through security or bring your own favorite bottle and fill up at the drinking fountain before you board your plane. Plastic and aluminum bottles are good light-weight options. Collapsible plastic styles are available at outdoor stores and can be a compact alternative.

Block Out Distractions

Traveling with a good pair of noise-canceling headphones and an eye mask can help you relax and sleep on your flight. Noise-canceling headphones work by reducing unwanted background noise.  From engine noise to talking passengers to crying infants, there are a lot of ambient noise sources on airplanes. Cutting out these noises can help you rest and relax. Most noise-canceling headphones will also double as an audio output device, so you can plug them into your portable music player or the in-plane music system to enjoy your favorite music or podcast. An eye mask is essential if you want to sleep on day flights. They block out the light and typically have an interior eye chamber which minimizes pressure on the eyes. Eye masks are available in a range of fabrics, from soft fleece to luxurious silk. For the benefit they can provide to keep you comfortable on the flight, they are worth packing.

Head or Neck Support

Sleeping on a plane can be a great way to relax on a flight. It also helps you arrive refreshed at your destination. However, sleeping in a seated position usually means your head will flop to one side or down on to your chest. These positions often result in neck and upper shoulder strain. Having a good head or neck support is essential if you want to sleep. Popular styles include inflatable neck pillows and flexible padded head rests.

Remember to Move

Sitting for long periods of time on a flight can result in muscle stiffness and decreased circulation. Doing a few minutes of simple stretches every hour will help keep your muscles relaxed and the blood circulating. Easy in-seat exercises include ankle circles, foot pumps, knee lifts, forward stretches, neck rolls, and shoulder rolls. These exercises can be done in your seat and will not disrupt adjacent passengers. Getting out of your seat every hour or so is another way to get the blood moving. There may be times when you need to stay seated due to turbulence. Just make sure the seat belt sign is not turned on and take a quick stroll up and down the aisle. Also, remember that passengers are not allowed to congregate in the forward part of the plane near the cockpit door.

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