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How to Keep Comfortable in Coach

By June 25, 2024June 26th, 2024Featured, Travel
Comfortable in coach
Keeping comfortable in coach sounds like an oxymoron, but it is possible.   As we prepare for our journey to Greece in a few weeks, I’m looking forward to the adventure that awaits. However, the prospect of another long-haul flight in coach has me thinking about how to make the experience more comfortable, particularly for my entire family.  While we’d all love the luxury of first or business class, budget constraints make coach the sensible choice, especially when buying four tickets. With this in mind, here are some tips and strategies I’ve gathered to ensure our comfort and health during the flight.
Comfortable in coach

1. Choosing the Right Seat

Choosing the right seat is imperative to being comfortable in coach.  Even though we may not be able to swing first class, we do splurge for some extra legroom.  We are a tall family and this upgrade is worth not having to sit with our knees jammed into the seat in front of us for 10+ hours.
I also like to ensure that we have an aisle seat.  Getting up and moving around during the flight is essential for our comfort, especially during a long flight.

2. Timing Matters

I try to adjust meals and my sleep schedule as much as I can to align with the time zone of my destination a day or so before my flight. This helps me adapt more smoothly and enjoy the journey. Being tired and able to sleep on the plane helps with the flight and jet lag. However, if the flight happens to fall during daytime hours, breaking up the flight mentally into shorter segments and focusing on one leg at a time helps make the experience feel less daunting.
3. Wear Comfortable Clothing
Loose-fitting, breathable layers are a must to accommodate temperature changes in the cabin. Since cabin temperatures can vary, I always pack extra socks and a sweater for everyone to stay warm and cozy.
4. Stay Hydrated
 Dehydration can worsen discomfort and fatigue, so we drink water regularly throughout the flight.  Try to steer clear of excessive alcohol and caffeine to avoid dehydration.
5. Invest in Travel Accessories
Neck pillows, eye masks, and noise-canceling headphones are essential for added comfort and better sleep. To reduce the risk of swollen ankles and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) I sometimes wear compression socks or stockings.
6. Bring Entertainment
This is especially important for the kids. Keeping kids entertained on long flights can be a challenge, so remember to pack their toys, movies, games, etc to keep them occupied. Both of my kids bring their iPads loaded with games, movies, and such. This helps pass the time if they’re not sleeping.
7. Stretch Regularly
I try to do in-seat exercises and stretches every hour or so, that is, if I am not sleeping. This will keep my blood flowing and reduce muscle stiffness during the flight. Simple ankle circles, knee lifts, and neck stretches will be part of my routine.
8. Support the Back
I try to pack a lumbar support cushion or small towel that can be folded to maintain the natural curve of my spine.  Adjusting my seat to a comfortable recline angle will also help alleviate pressure on my lower back.
9. Walking and Moving
I make it a point to take short walks around the cabin every couple of hours to prevent stiffness and improve circulation; this is another reason I love the aisle seat. Visiting the galley area for a quick stretch is a regular part of my routine.
10. Mindful Eating
Light, easily digestible meals are my choice during the flight to prevent digestive discomfort. I avoid large, heavy meals, which can lead to bloating and discomfort.  The last thing I want is to feel bloated on a 10-hour flight.
11. Staying Relaxed
 To stay calm and reduce stress during the flight, I practice deep breathing exercises and meditation.  Entertainment options like a good book or movie helps distract me from discomfort.
12. Being Kind to My Eyes
I try to remember to take breaks from screens by closing my eyes or focusing on distant objects to prevent eye strain.
13. Staying Positive
Maintaining a positive attitude is key. I remind myself that the long-haul flight is just one part of our incredible journey to Greece.

While first or business class would undoubtedly offer a more luxurious experience, coach class is the budget-friendly choice that allows us to embark on this exciting adventure. By following these strategies and maintaining a proactive approach to my comfort and health, I’m confident that we’ll arrive feeling refreshed and ready to explore all it has to offer. Safe travels to us!

If you would like to read more about some of our travels be sure to check out my post on Europe with Kids: The Ultimate Three-Week Itinerary. 

flying coach comfortably

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