I’ve taken well over 100 flights and still look forward to every single one. It’s uninterrupted time to watch movies, read, eat sleep, think, or do whatever you like to do.
It could also be rather terrible with you feeling anxious and trapped at 30,000 feet in the air if you aren’t prepared. Let’s avoid that! Here are 10 super easy, simple things that you can do to make your next flight, the best flight.
- Store your carry-on luggage in the bin
This first point is so important once you find your seat, make sure that you store your carry-on luggage in the bin directly above you or in front of you. Trust me, when it comes time to get off the plane, you do not want your luggage to be stuck in an overhead bin behind you.
If you do, you will need to wait for all of those people that are sitting at the back to get off the plane before you can go back there, get your carry-on luggage, and disembark.
- Get a mini carry-on
Before you even board the plane, make sure you pack your carry-on strategically with a mini carry-on. This is going to be the best way to optimize the space at your seat.
I always have a small bag inside my main carry-on with things that I want for the flight. This includes my phone, eye mask, earplugs, water bottles, snacks, gum, toothbrush, toothpaste, and headphones. So grab your mini carry-on, store your larger carry-on in the overhead bin, and get cozy without that big bag taking up all of your foot space.
Speaking of headphones, you will need to bring wired headphones with you. You may be wondering who still has wired headphones these days when everyone is carrying AirPods around? The answer should be you, especially if you plan to fly soon because they are not always given out for free on flights these days.
So if you want to use the entertainment device on the seatback and watch all the new movies, you will need to bring your own set of headphones or be prepared to pay at least $5 for a pair of rather low-quality headphones.
So if you fly often, try and invest in a pair of noise-canceling headphones. Even if you don’t want to watch a movie, you can put them on top of your AirPods to cancel out airplane noise, or you could even put them over earplugs to get some sleep or meditate and hear absolutely nothing around you.
If you don’t already own a pair of noise-canceling headphones check out a marketplace like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist and see if you can get a pair of used ones at a cheaper price for your next flight.
You also don’t want to be relying on a backseat entertainment System to keep you occupied during your flight. Not that many great movies have come out over the past few years, and many budget airlines don’t even have TV screens for you anymore.
If you are signed up to one of the 100 streaming services like Disney or Netflix, you can download movies or episodes of your favorite shows to your phone, tablet, or laptop to watch offline.
If you do want to download any content, make sure you do it before you leave your home. The free Wi-Fi that you can connect to at the airport is probably not going to allow you to download content, especially not at the speed that you would need it to while you’re waiting to board your flight.
In addition to movies and TV shows, you can also consider downloading podcasts or audiobooks to your phone.
Something else I like to do is to download actual books, It’s a nice backup to have books, audiobooks, and podcasts available even if you end up watching a movie 90% of the time.
- Charging Cord
If you are flying this year, that wouldn’t have been a problem a few years ago, is that you need to bring the correct charging cord with you that is going to accept USB-C. If you plan to charge your phone or any other devices while you’re on the plane you’re probably going to want to charge your phone during the flight. This is important since so many people are going to be relying on their phones to show documents or even to book an uber when they arrive.
Every airplane I have ever been on has a USB-C charging port, so that means that your charger has to have it. This is important to know and plan for if you do have a fancy USB-A charging cord for your phone. In addition to the standard USB-C charging slot, there is also a plug that is often found underneath your seat. So you could always bring a plug with you and then charge your devices that way, as opposed to using the USB-C charging slot.
On my most recent flight, the under-seat plug did not have any power running through it and the flight attendant told me that it’s very common for these to be out of order.
If you’re curious about what plugs and amenities you’re going to have at your exact seat on your specific flight, check out Seatguru, it’s a free website. That’s going to show you exactly what you’re going to have at your seat and help you prepare for your flight.
- Prepare for all Temperatures
Something that surprised me on a recent flight was that there were no blankets provided, even though the cabin temperature still went sub-zero. So my next tip is to prepare for all temperatures by dressing in layers. I often even bring a winter toque with me.
Even if I’m flying from one warm destination to another, depending on the airline that you’re flying with, it really can get that cold while you’re up in the air. Even though there were no blankets available, those little pillows were still provided at every seat.
If you haven’t tried putting it on your lower back, I suggest you should try it. It’s very nice.
I have also noticed that airline food is going downhill, and sometimes even on long-haul flights, they are not even provided to you for free. So instead of paying $15 for a disappointing meal on the airplane with a very limited selection, I would recommend that you pick something up at the airport that you love and then bring it on the plane with you.
You can bring any food or drinks purchased after the airport security checkpoint with you right onto the plane, with no limits or restrictions. You can also bring food and snacks from home, but remember that they will need to go through airport security. At which point they’re subject to the liquid limit. So you will need to make sure that any food items brought from home are not considered liquid by TSA security.
So these could be obvious things like soups, but also less obvious things like mashed potatoes. I don’t know who considers mashed potatoes a liquid, but you probably can’t bring it through security.
- Walk Around
Once you’re up in the air and the seat belt sign has been turned off, make sure you get up and walk around at least every couple of hours. There are often spaces in between the cabins, where you have some room to do a little bit of stretching as well. You will feel so much better after a long flight if you just take a few minutes every few hours to get some movement.
A bonus is that you can walk around and see if there are any better seats for you that potentially have a free road with them.
- Refreshment Station
One of my favorite things on many long-haul flights is that at the back of the plane, there’s often a refreshment station with snacks, water, and various other drinks available for you to grab. So take a walk to the back of the plane and you might be pleasantly surprised by what you find there.
Even if there’s nothing there, you got some steps in and you’re going to feel better when you land.
- Set an Alarm
You may not have thought about this. Set an alarm on your phone for about two and a half hours before you land. You’ll want to do this because it’s about two hours before landing that the airplane lights are going to turn back on. Drinks are going to be served and everyone is going to be waking up.
Once everyone is waking up, getting these drinks, and getting ready for landing, they are all going to be rushing to the bathroom. By having an alarm set for two and a half hours. You have that extra 30-minute window, where you can get up brush your teeth, freshen up, and use the washroom before the rush of everyone else trying to do the same thing.
I hope these tips help. Enjoy your next flight!