How to have a relaxing flight

11 January 2019

Hate flying? Consider it a necessary evil to be endured in order to get where you're going? Here are a few simple suggestions to help you relax during your flight.

For some, flying is the worst part of travelling abroad. Many of us wish we could skip the uncomfortable stressful hours in the sky and be transported magically to our destination. You could try to make the experience more comfortable by upgrading your seat, but for most of us that’s not an option, so here are a few simple suggestions to help you relax during your flight: 

An early traveller is a calmer one

To maximise in-flight relaxation, try to avoid getting caught up in a last-minute rush at the airport. If you allow more than enough time between arriving at the airport and boarding the flight, you will be well on your way to a relaxed start to your holiday. 

Download your favourite box set

Whether you’re on a short, medium or long-haul flight, you should be able to cram at least an episode or two of your current box set into the flight time. Downloading them to your laptop or tablet will also give you plenty of entertainment for when you’re relaxing by the pool.

Essentials to grab at the airport

Load up on books and e-books

If you’re able to lose yourself in the pages of a good book, the flight will go by in the blink of an eye. You’ll look down after take-off and before you know it, it’ll be time to put your seatbelt on again and prepare to land. Whether you prefer to flick through the pages of a paperback, or keep your books stored on your phone or tablet, take a few books with you to ensure you have plenty of variety to suit every holiday mood.

Drink responsibly

Decreased pressure in the cabin during a flight diminishes the body’s ability to absorb oxygen, which means the effects of alcohol are felt much quicker than normal. With this in mind, it’s best to limit the amount of alcohol you drink during a flight so as not to inadvertently overdo it. 

Cosy up

Home comforts can help on your journey to relaxation. Wear comfy clothes and don’t forget to pack slippers or fluffy socks if you’re on a longer flight. On long-haul trips, you may be given a ‘comfort item’ such as a blanket. That may be OK, but often the travel pillows you get are too thin, which is why should consider getting a Muffie. It’s a hand muff that doubles up as a travel pillow, which you can either tuck behind your head or put your hands inside and rest your head very comfortably on it.

Tips for single bag travel

Plug in and tune out

It’s often preferable not to have to listen to what’s going on around you. You may want to minimise the noise of the plane or your fellow passengers by putting on your earphones and listening to your favourite playlist. On many medium- and almost all long-haul flights you also get plenty of in-flight entertainment to dive into, from music and movies to games. Simply plug in your headphones and you’re away.

The best gadgets for travel

People relax in many ways, and it’s no different on a plane. Hopefully, these suggestions will contribute to a more comfortable flight in future. However, if you are a particularly nervous flyer, it may be a good idea to tell the flight attendants, so they can keep an eye on you and offer any necessary reassurance during the flight.

Saga readers say...

'Stay hydrated - and l don`t mean alcohol - move around the plane plus do leg exercises in your seat.' Stella, via Facebook

'I always take a blow up pillow with me. The type you can get from a camping shop as it’s flat and will go against the window. I don’t like the ones that go round your neck because they are not as comfy, in my opinion. If your hands are warm it’s definitely easier to get to sleep.' Angela, via Facebook

'Smear a little Vapour Rub on your nostrils to keep the dreaded in-flight, airborne/air conditioning germs at bay.' Philippa, via Facebook

'Loose clothes, comfy shoes, no alcohol, set your watch to the destination time and avoid jetlag by staying awake until bedtime at the destination.' Keith, via Facebook

'Take a pack of antibacterial wipes so that you can ensure that the area where you are sitting is as clean as can be.' Susan, via Facebook

'Take your own blanket - I heard that airlines don't wash theirs after they have been used; they just repack them and in tests many have been found to be full of germs and other nasty things!' Maggie, via Facebook

'A tip I heard recently is take your own refillable water bottle and get the cabin staff to fill it so you’re not relying on the little cups and bothering them every five minutes.' Grace, via Facebook

Article written by Teresa Gwilt, Founder of; if you often get cold hands or suffer from a condition like Raynaud’s Syndrome, then a Muffie is the perfect way to warm up painful frozen fingers fast. And much better than gloves, because it’s so simple to take out your hands to text, pick up a drink or use the remote to change channels.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.