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10 Tips to Help Make Your Next Flight More Comfortable

traveler sleeping on flight
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Over the years, an increase in budget airlines and deals on flights has made travel more accessible. The downside is that cost-cutting measures that fit more passengers on planes have resulted in less space for you and your things. And to get the lowest airfares, passengers book red-eye flights on which jet noise and spotty temperature control can make catching needed rest seem impossible. Here are some in-flight hacks to make the experience more comfortable, so you can focus on what you’ll do when you get to where you’re going.


Air within plane cabins is notoriously dry and can feel like an assault on your skin and eyes if you’re unprepared. Bring an all-purpose lip balm and eye drops on board. You can also pre-treat skin before the airport with a heavy-duty face moisturizer or sheet mask.

Pick your seat ahead of time

If it’s possible to choose your seat online, it’s best to sit towards the middle of the plane and in a window seat if you need a nap, flight attendants say. If you’re tall or restless and want to stretch, an aisle seat may be best.

Check in early

Besides the opportunity to choose your seat, checking in online gets you to your gate faster, and with less stress. No one likes to wait in line.


There are a lot of annoyances that can throw off your Zen on a plane: Turbulence, cramped legs and crying babies, to name a few. Meditation can help regulate your mood amid stress. A simple breathing technique may be all that’s needed to ground you and banish negative thoughts. Try breathing for four counts and notice your stomach expanding. Breathe out for eight counts and feel your stomach contracting. Do this whenever you begin to feel anxious.

Apps are also a great tool to help focus your meditation. Virgin America has teamed with Headspace to offer meditation films that can help you sleep or take your mind off of work. British Airways also offers a channel with a wide variety of short meditation exercises. And the “OMG. I can meditate!” program by Delta helps fliers tackle holiday stress. Or, you can connect to Wi-Fi to access other leading meditation apps such as Calm.

Rest assured

Travel is full of snags but Allianz Global Assistance can help you navigate the difficulties. Allianz Travel Insurance can protect you with benefits such as reimbursements of certain expenses incurred due to covered flight delays, and expenses due to covered baggage loss and damage.

Let’s say you went skiing on Aspen Mountain for a girl’s trip and you are all set to arrive home the following day but a snowstorm has your plane grounded. That means another night at your expensive resort. Your trip delay benefits may reimburse you for eligible expenses such as that extended hotel stay. Explore our travel insurance plans and learn how your trip can be protected in the event of trip delays, trip cancellations, and more.

Don’t cross your legs

Sitting still for hours on a flight can put you ask risk for a blood clot, and crossing your legs increases that risk because it further restricts blood flow. If you can, get out of your seat every couple of hours to stretch and walk the aisle.

Watch what you eat and drink

Eating high sodium foods before a flight can cause dehydration, and eating too much beforehand may unsettle your stomach – just pass on the large burger and fries at the airport terminal restaurant.  Try to eat small meals a few hours before your flight.

And speaking of dehydration: Don’t drink too much in-flight booze. Alcohol is more likely to cause both dehydration and blood clots at altitude.

Mind your melatonin

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Darkness stimulates the production of melatonin in the brain to help make us drowsy. But light, such as bright overhead light in a plane, and blue light from phone and computer screens, may cause sleeplessness – even when you desperately need a wink. Wearing an eye mask can trick your brain into making melatonin by simulating darkness, which helps you relax and fall asleep. It also helps to limit your screen time.

Tune it out

Noise-canceling headphones are an obvious tip. But if you find them too expensive, many airlines offer a sleep channel with soothing sounds and music to help you unwind. Earplugs also effectively shut out unwanted noise.

Wear sensible shoes

Shoes that can easily slip on and off will get you through security checkpoints faster. And feet can sometimes swell while in flight, so you may want to bring a pair of comfy socks or slippers.

Flights don’t have to be so uncomfortable. When you pack Allianz Travel Insurance in your carry-on, you can rest assured knowing you’re protected in the event of flight delays, lost luggage, and other travel mishaps. Get a quote for travel insurance.

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