How to relax on a plane – it’s not easy but doable

When my wife and I started to travel longer distances the flights were more often than not very exhausting. The more we traveled, the more relaxed we arrived at our destinations. How come? Obviously you somehow “learn” how to relax on a plane – aware and unaware it seems. In the following article we want to share with you some of our “secrets” regarding this topic.

Chose the right seat (and row)

Seated in the plane

The choice of your seat may affect the comfort of your flight. What we want to say: For example, I have very long legs. Therefore, I wouldn’t want to sit in the middle seat or at the window seat. I want to sit at the aisle because I have the chance to put my legs out on the aisle what gives me some extra comfort. On the other hand, sitting at the aisle seat may cause a problem: If there are three seats in that row there are probably two persons who will wake you and ask you to get up if they want to go to the toilet or somewhere else.

That problem on the other hand can be avoided if you chose the window seat but I would only recommend that to you if you are not too tall.

Most comfortable in the economy class would certainly be the seats at the emergency exits but – unlike in the past – airlines charge you an extra-fee nowadays for these seats.

I would also recommend to avoid seats in the rows close to the lavatory because there can (and will) be gatherings of people and a certain noise level and unease that you do not want to have if you are trying to relax or sleep.

Avoid dehydration – Drink enough water

On a long flight the chance that you will dehydrate in the one way or another is relatively high. As this condition will certainly lead to discomfort you should drink as much water as possible. You may also want to bring your own refillable water bottle with you into the cabin as the supply with drinking water by the cabin crew may be short of your needs more often than not. We have – for example – experienced that a member of the cabin crew was very impolite to us when we called him in order to get some drinking water during a time of reduced service in the nighttime.

You may also want avoid alcoholic beverages as they dehydrate you as well.


Use the in-flight entertainment system, bring your own stuff or do something else

As your flight may seem as if it takes ages and you will probably not be able to sleep all the time (if at all) take advantage of the in-flight entertainment or bring your own stuff that will help you overcome the seemingly endless time of the flight. For example, watching a cool movie that lasts two hours will reduce the perceived flight time of – let’s say – six hours by a third!

Also use the chance to talk with your travel mate or your seat neighbor and/or share a glass (or let’s better say plastic cup) of wine with them – but not too much in order to not dehydrate. We met very interesting people on airplanes while traveling. Every one has his story to tell.

Bring your own magazines, books, eBooks, music players, play some parlor games etc. That will most likely also help you to reduce your stress level and relax.

Other useful tips in order to relax on a plane

  • As the air in the cabin is usually very dry we recommend to use throat lozenges in order to avoid a sore throat.
  • You may also want to use moisturizing eye drops, hand lotion and face moisturizer to give you a fresh feeling and do better.
  • It doesn’t always feel so in the first moment but if you are seated for a long time it can get pretty cold in the cabin. Use a blanket and wear a sweater, especially if you want to sleep.
  • Wear comfortable clothes like joggers instead of jeans, for example. Try to be relaxed as much as possible.
  • Use a headset and listen to music if you want to switch off the monotonous noise you will always hear in the background.
  • A travel neck pillow may give you some extra comfort while seated.
  • Use a sleep mask in order to sleep better.
  • Try to breathe in a normal way and if you want close your eyes inhale deeply and exhale. Do some meditation.
  • Try to get out of your seat regularly, walk around a bit and do some light exercises like stretching. This will help you avoid getting tensions and in the worst case thrombosis.
  • Try to get rid of waste and other stuff on your tray table as the opened table will reduce the little space you have anyway even more.
  • Store you hand luggage in a way that doesn’t reduce the limited space you have any further.
  • Use the time on the plane to plan and organize your next steps, read your travel guide or talk to your travel mate or other passengers about the great time ahead or about what you have experienced. The pleasant anticipation will help you reduce the discomfort and make you feel more relaxed.
  • Look out of the window (if possible from where you are seated), track the position of the aircraft.

Get off the plane relaxed

As we stated at the beginning – it is not that easy but if you follow the tips above and with some air travel experience you will certainly manage to arrive at your flight destinations more and more relaxed. Get some rest, organize your seat as comfortable as possible, drink enough water, do some light exercises and dream of the awesome things you will experience shortly or you have already experienced!

2 thoughts on “How to relax on a plane – it’s not easy but doable

  1. Due too my height I am always taking an isle seat. That helps alot. 😉
    As I usually don’t drink without being thirsty, the reminder about dehydration is definitely a good advice for me.
    Having your own laptop/cell phone with you to watch movies/series helps alot to pass time, especially on long flights, as sleeping is really challenging with all the noise.

    1. Hi Chris, thank you very much for your comment. Yes, it is indeed very important that you drink enough water when traveling on a plane. It is quite easy to “forget” it and that doesn’t support your well-being!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *