Let’s be honest, no one travels economy class because they prefer it. We travel it because its affordable. If more legroom and better seats were affordable we’d jump at that option in a heart beat.
Still, there are things you can do to make your trip more comfortable. In fact, you may do such a good job you’ll almost forget that you’re in economy.
How To Travel Comfortably in Economy Class
- Bring your own pillow and blanket
Pillows and blankets provided by airlines are small and the blankets are thin despite the cold environment. What more is, unless the pillows and blankets are wrapped in plastic, they've probably been already used by other passengers recently.
Because of this I always bring my own pillow and blanket set which gladly do not count as your personal item. This set has a warm blanket, memory foam pillow, eye mask, ear plugs and a caring case.
Use the pillow provided for lumbar support
The seats on flights, including long flights, do not provide good lumbar support. However, if you bring your own pillow, you can use the pillow provided for lumbar support to fly more comfortably.
- Use a foot swing
Airplanes do not provide a place to rest you legs and sitting with them straight down for extended periods of time can become very uncomfortable. To resolve this, companies have created a foot rest that attaches to your food tray and hangs down. This will make your flight much more comfortable.
- Keep everything you need access to in your personal item
Carry-on suitcases are stored overhead where they aren't really accessible if they are not checked all together. I was on a flight that didn't have enough room and they insisted on checking my carry on.
So, any valuables and items you'll want easy access to you should keep in your personal item.
- Keep your DIY Amenities kit or toiletry kit within reach
While you're on a long flight it's very comforting to be able freshen up after hours of travel. By keeping your DIY Amenities kit or toiletry kit in your personal item you'll be able to retrieve it quickly whenever you want to use it.
- Bring your own earbuds
The earbuds provided by airlines are cheap and uncomfortable. Because of this it's good to bring your own pair that you like. Just make sure to also bring an adapter so it will work with the airlines entertainment system.
If you choose not to create a DIY Amenities kit you should still bring a pair of socks. Many airlines provide first and business class passengers with socks in their amenities kits since as mentioned, flights are cold, and if you want to get comfortable you're going to want to remove your shoes.
I always bring a pair of fuzzy socks which really improve my comfort level.
- Bring your own snacks
Its annoying to wait on attendants to bring around snacks and it is even more annoying when they aren't ones you like or if you cannot eat them due to dietary restrictions. Also, since bodies tend to swell during flights salty snacks often provided will actually lead you to being less comfortable.
So by bring your own you can enjoy a treat of your choosing when ever you like.
Avoid snacks that rely on sweet and salty flavors. It is much harder to taste sweet and salty when you are thousands of miles up in the air. Instead focus on other flavors such as sour, spicy, and umami.
I like to bring orange dark (bitter sweet) chocolate because it has complex flavors that feel decadent. Regular dark chocolate, dark chocolate with nuts, and mint dark chocolate are also nice. So are dark chocolate covered nuts, dark chocolate covered coffee beans, dark chocolate covered orange peals, and more.
Of course, there are also healthy snacks, such as cheese, veggie sticks, and more.