This photo shows the interior of a full airplane with dim lighting.
I’ve always been an avid fan of Singapore Airlines due to the complimentary in-flight wifi for me to work on Writer’s Room Stories. Photo Credit: Ernest Yen

Traveling by Plane is always an exciting affair. You get to experience the wonders of the airport, cramped seats, eating barely-passable food in the air—well, you get the picture. But let’s not dwell on that.

In essence, traveling by plane is sometimes an uncomfortable experience, and believe me, I would know. As a frequent traveler, I have had my fair share of good and not-so-great experiences, but this does not have to be the case! 

Here are some travel hacks you will find useful whether you’re traveling on a budget airline or on a premium carrier.

Hack 1: Dress in Comfort, then Style

This photo is a collage of two screenshots from TikTok, both showing men dressed in black outfits consisting of hoodies and sweatpants.
I usually find outfit inspirations on TikTok for the airport, but Pinterest works too! Photo Credit: Ernest Yen

The plane is already as uncomfortable as it is, so why not make your life easier by choosing to dress in comfort? 

Opt for long sweatpants and long-sleeved apparel such as hoodies and sweatshirts. Airplanes are usually cold, so wearing these clothes will go a long way in keeping you warm and relaxed. 

Another overlooked part of traveling is the choice of footwear. You wouldn’t want to wear something that you hate for a 5-hour flight, so a pair of thick cotton socks with easy slip-on, slip-off shoes would do the trick.

This photo shows a collage of two photos showing the author's socks and sandals.
Sandals and socks are the secret to comfort on a plane. Photo Credit: Ernest Yen

Personally, I like to pair my Birkenstock Arizona sandals with the Pile Half Socks from Uniqlo for ultimate comfort.

If you want to dress fashionably, there are many great resources for ‘airport fits’ on social media that combine both comfort and style! Apps such as TikTok and Pinterest have an abundance of fashion inspiration, so there will always be an outfit for you!

Hack 2: Bring an Empty Bottle

I love Tupperware bottles. This is the 350ml version, which is both durable and conveniently fits into the seat drinks holder. Photo Credit: Ernest Yen

Airplanes are notorious for their low humidity, which makes your lips and throat extremely dry when spending extended periods on the plane. 

Bring an empty reusable spare bottle before you fly. It needs to be empty as the airport does not allow you to bring any liquid above 100ml into the departure gate. 

Instead, refill your bottle with drinking water through one of the many water dispenser stations at the boarding gate. This will ensure that you will have a source of water on the plane and won’t feel thirsty for the remainder of your flight.

Hack 3: Always choose the Aisle Seat

The aisle seats on airplanes are usually alphabets: C, D, F, and G. My personal preferences are C and F, as I like to stretch my legs to the right. Photo Credit: Ernest Yen

If you prioritise the views outside of the airplane, then the window seat is the way to go!! However, for travellers who prioritise comfort over the view, the aisle seat is the better choice. 

Why? Well, it gives you easy access to all parts of the airplane as you won’t need to squeeze past your seatmates to go to the washroom. Furthermore, with the aisle right beside you get more room to stretch out.

Hack 4: Bring Hand Sanitiser and Wet Wipes

I never enter the plane without this kit, the airplane is dirtier than you think. Photo Credit: Ernest Yen

Did you know airplanes are sometimes dirtier than public toilets? An article by Forbes revealed that airplane seatback trays (the trays in front of your seat) have 2,155 bacteria colony-forming units (CFU. That is 8 times higher than the plane’s toilet flush button, which only has 265 CFU!)

This highlights the importance of keeping your seating area clean. There was once I slept with my head on the seat in front of me and after the flight, I had an acne breakout festival on my forehead. Fun times!

Here’s what I recommend: grab a wet wipe, add a squirt of hand sanitizer, and thoroughly clean every part of your seat, from the seatbelt buckle to the tray table. 

A little goes a long way in keeping yourself clean and hygienic!

Hack 5: Download your Entertainment before the flight

My preferred entertainment is Suits on Netflix. Please do not mind the expired episodes… Photo Credit: Ernest Yen

Airplane rides are downright boring at times. For those who have the luxury of in-flight entertainment, congratulations! But for those who don’t have it, you have to make do with what you have.

Download any movies, TV shows, and podcasts you enjoy on your devices before you board the plane as not all aircraft carry complimentary wifi. This allows you to dwindle the hours spent on the plane. Plus, in the event there isn’t wifi in the air, you won’t be receiving those pesky notifications from everyone, which gives you quality time to binge-watch or listen to your favourite shows, podcasts, music et cetera!

Hack 6: Don’t forget to do your Deliverables!

My recent trip back to Manila. Photo Credit: Ernest Yen.

Finally, do you want to be stuck in the immigration of a foreign country because you forgot to fill up a document? Well if not, please don’t forget to do your immigration documents!

Different countries have different rules and needs, but here is the checklist I will do at least 24 to 36 hours before a flight:

  • Online Check-In for the flight
  • Online Check-In for the flight

Do also note that this also applies to you returning to your home country. In Singapore, there is an online arrival card required by law that travellers must do once they reach Singapore. 

So save yourself some time and hassle, and do your deliverables before you depart!

With these hacks, travelling by plane will be a more comfortable and pleasant experience. I hope that you’ve found these travel hacks useful and as always, have a safe and pleasant flight ahead!