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View from a plane Photo by Cristian Santinon licensed under CC

You may plan to fly to your next holiday destination, but are you looking forward to it? Try following these simple steps for a more pleasant and enjoyable flight experience.

1. Plan ahead

Choose your seating preference in advance and tell the airline or booking agent about any dietary requirements you have. You don’t necessarily have to settle for the same food that everyone else will be having on the plane.

2. Bring entertainment

A selection of light paperback books, magazines and newspapers should pass the time nicely. You could also bring a portable music player (fully charged or with batteries) and a deck of cards.

3. Pack a few extras

Wet wipes can come in very handy to mop up any spills or to freshen up. For the best chance of a good sleep on a long-haul flight, you may also want to buy a neck rest. There are usually restrictions on what you can carry through the security gate but you can usually buy a bottle of water and snacks on the other side before boarding the plane.

4. Personalise your luggage

With a sticker, strap, or sewn-on patch you will easily distinguish your luggage from everyone else’s when you collect your cases which could make your journey a lot less stressful.

5. Dress comfortably

Light, loose clothing is best and don’t forget to bring a jumper or something to keep you warm if the air conditioning gets too cold for you.

6. Arrive on time

For a smooth journey you should arrive at the airport well before your flight, so check your booking details for the exact time. You may end up waiting but at least you will have time to deal with any disruptions such as adjusting the weight of your baggage.

7. Stretch your legs

Every so often try walking up and down the aisle of the plane. This will help to protect you from Deep Vein Thrombosis by boosting your circulation and will help loosen any stiffness you experience from the cramped conditions.

8. Don’t be afraid to ask

If you see an empty seat that looks more comfortable than your own, it may be worth asking if you can swap. Or if you suffer any kind of discomfort just tell an air steward and they might be able to help.

9. Talk to your neighbour

If they are willing, you can have a very interesting chat to the person next to you. To exchange travel stories, or even life stories will keep boredom at bay.

10. Allow yourself to sleep

Some people try to stay awake during flights to prevent the effects of jet lag. But this could be a struggle and a good sleep could leave you feeling refreshed and prepared for the rest of your journey.

Starting your travel adventure at Gatwick Airport? Our travel partners Silver Travel Advisor have useful tips on parking, special assistance, flight cancellations and luggage pickup, you will be certain to have a comfortable time at the airport, before boarding your plane.

Read the Gatwick Airport guide

Further information

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 169 2081