Plan ahead and do all your packing a few days before the flight. That way you won’t be stressed and will likely have a better night’s sleep instead of rushing to get to the airport. Also, pack lavender oil – a calming scent for the long haul – and take a neck pillow and comfy wrap that doubles as a blanket.
Block out the noise
Invest in the best noise-cancelling headphones you can find – they really do make a difference by cutting out the noise of the engines and passengers. Sony’s WH-1000XM3 has been hailed as the best for the last couple of years with exceptional noise cancelling and a huge range of features. Those on more of a budget should consider the Sennheiser HD 4.50 compact over-ear headphones that feature noise cancelling and sound quality rivalling much more expensive models.
Book into the ‘quiet zones’
If you want some less noisy moments the next time you’re flying economy, book a flight that offers quieter areas. Air Asia X’s A330 flights have a Quiet Zone dedicated to silence, where children under 10 are not allowed, and Scoot has the ScootinSilence zone where you must be over 12 and you’ll also get to stretch out a bit with 10cm extra legroom (where available). Both services come at a slighter higher cost but are worth investigating if travelling without younger kids.
Choose the right seat
Don’t be caught in the middle! Decide if you are a window or aisle person and nab that seat as early as possible. But should you pay extra for the exit row? It depends on the flight and carrier. Seat Guru has seat maps, and consider which type of plane you choose to fly on – an A380 and a 777 may fly the same route, for example.
Want great service on your flight? Be nice to the staff. Some say that nothing endears you to the crew quite like a box of chocolates. You never know what you may get in return, extra Champagne perhaps, or the option to spread out should there be empty seats. It’s a nice gesture regardless.