Making the Most of a Low-Cost Flight without Sacrificing Comfort
For many of us, vacations are a luxury, and having that rare escape can take months, if not years of saving. Scoring low-cost airfare might make or break your trip, but finding a cheap flight doesn’t mean you can’t fly comfortably.
You’ve got your tickets, your out-of-office message in turned on, and it’s time to head to the airport. Remembering a few of these tricks will help you sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!
Select your seats
If your fare will allow you to select your seats ahead of time, select an aisle seat. You’ll have a bit more room to stretch your legs out. (If you have knee problems, also keep that in mind when selecting which side of the airplane you will sit on – if you’ve got a bad left knee, sit on the right side in an aisle seat).
Window seats are nice on a short trip if you don’t expect to need to use the lavatory or stretch your legs, but the wall under the window often curves with the airplane, so you will likely notice discomfort from accommodating the curvature on a longer flight.
Passengers with lower fares, i.e. basic economy, are often the last to be allowed to board. Overhead space will be extremely limited by this point, and most airlines will charge a fee for checking luggage unless you are an elite member of their frequent flyer program. Be aware of the airline’s luggage size restrictions and pack as lightly as you can.
Make sure any items you will want to use during the flight are consolidated in one easy-access spot. Small electronics bags are great to keep your phone, charging cord, and headphones in easy reach. A toiletry bag with necessities, including pain medication and gum, should always be easy to get to in the bag at your feet.
If you are able to move about the cabin, take a quick stroll to the lavatory to stretch your legs. Take cleansing cloths for your face to cool down and feel refreshed. For long hauls where you hope to sleep, take a small make-up bag and toothbrush with you.
Dress in layers
Wear your bulkiest item, if possible, to avoid having to fit it in your bag – a sweater or jacket is perfect. Airplanes can tend to get quite cool at times, so why not have an extra layer for warmth or a soft cushion to rest your head on?
At the very least, take headphones that you can plug into the airplane’s jack if they offer movies or tv. Some airplanes are also equipped with USB ports so you can charge your phone while watching a video or listening to music. It will also help drown out the noises around you.
Prep for a nap
If you hope to get some sleep on the flight, a nice scarf can be used to help support your neck. Travel blankets take up little space and can give you some added warmth.
Don’t go hungry
You may bring food on the flight that you bring from home or purchase at the airport. Avoid salty foods or anything that might make you feel bloated or might not sit well for a long flight. Here is a great list of ideas of flight- (and TSA-) worthy foods you can bring!
Perhaps the most important tip of all – drink plenty of water. Not only will water help keep you and your skin refreshed, but it can also help combat jetlag.
Getting there is a huge part of your adventure and there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to enjoy the trip!
* Airlines will each have their own policies concerning seat selection, carry-on luggage, checked luggage, pets, and more. Always be aware of the policies of your carrier so you can best prepare for smooth flying.
Photo Credits: Shutterstock Royalty-Free License
Nancy Wideman, Travel Specialist