How to make an economy flight feel more first class

Flying economy can be a grim experience, but not everyone’s got the dollar to drop on a first class ticket. Here’s how to get maximum comfort with minimum spends.

Pack a luxury toiletries kit

Parched mouth, red eyes, dry skin, raging headache. The effects of a flight can make you feel like you’ve just woken up after a monster night out. A small bag full of luxury lotions and potions costs pennies but allows for a little bit of indulgence.

Pamper yourself with some cooling face moisturiser. Treat your peepers to a few gentle eye drops. Stop your lips from cracking with a soothing lip balm. With a little in-flight self-care, you’ll emerge from your flight feeling a million dollars.

Provide your own entertainment

Bear in mind that most budget airlines don’t have any in-flight entertainment whatsoever. So unless you’re planning on sleeping the entire journey, you’ll need to take something to do. All it takes is a little bit of forward-planning.

Get your favourite Netflix series downloaded onto your phone or iPad. Remember to pack your Kindle and load it up with a guaranteed page-turner. Or if you’re flying with friends take a deck of cards or mini travel game.

Pick the best seat

Where you sit can be all important for a smooth ride in economy. The back of the cabin tends to be noisier from the whir of the engines and also where you feel the most turbulence. Middle seats are inconvenient for bathroom breaks and generally feel more cramped.

Instead of leaving it to chance, take the time to pick the best seat for you. It may cost a few more bucks but is definitely worth it. Emergency exit or bulkhead seats will give you the most leg room so are usually a good bet.

Get your own gourmet grub

It’s a common misconception that flight regulations mean you can’t take food and drink onto flights with you. In fact, it’s only liquids that are prohibited, so as long as you’re not a soup fiend, you’re fine to pack a lunch box.

Forget about the unbelievably overpriced soggy sandwiches and bland boxes of grub you tend to get in economy. Take yourself some top nosh to enjoy during your flight, whether that’s a full gourmet meal or some delicious snacks.

Layer up

A large part of flying in comfort is dressing comfortably. That means stretchy, soft fabrics and loose fitting garms. But temperatures on planes can fluctuate wildly as well so you need to be prepared for all temperatures.

Resist the temptation to get into holiday mode by sporting your flip-flops and short sleeves for the flight. Instead, dress in layers so you can remove or add them depending on the cabin conditions.

Take a sleep kit

Are you the kind of person who likes to catch a few zeds on a flight? If so, it’s vital you take the right gear to make your snooze as comfortable as possible.

Pack a pillow to avoid the dreaded crookneck. Take an eye mask to provide you with a total blackout no matter what time of day. And definitely, don’t forget your earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones, aeroplane cabins can be filled with all kinds of unwanted sounds that will disturb your doze.

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