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Flight Attendants Share Their Best Travels Hacks

Preparing for a flight can be stressful. Packing the necessities, organizing your itinerary, and navigating the airport can all add to the burden of flying. Even if you have prepared everything flawlessly, the flight itself can be full of anxieties. Tightly packed seating, a screaming baby, or a dirty seat tray all contribute to your stress.

Perhaps you’re not sure how you should be prepared, so try advice from the people who travel the most – the flight attendants. Flight attendants spend an average of 960 hours in the air per year. Not only do they have to deal with all the same flight hazards that we do, but they also manage to keep a smile on their face while helping us passengers stay happy and calm. In order to have the best flying experience, take it from the experts…

Photo: Olena Yakobchuk

The Best Seat In The House

People always rush to fill up the front seats of the plane. What they don’t seem to realize is that the flight attendants, and their carts of goodies, are in the back of the plane. Seating yourself near that mystical curtain near the restrooms just might have some merit. When it comes to an extra soda, you could be in luck. They are more likely to give you one because they don’t have to trek all the way to the front and risk everyone else asking for something too.

Photo: Shutterstock/SeventyFour

Calming Your Nerves

If you already know that you get nervous while flying, or even just stress over the cramped conditions and busy airport, try preparing to relax during your flight. Noise-canceling headphones are a lifesaver in this situation.

If you have excessive nervousness when boarding a flight, you can also utilize controlled breathing. This works in all kinds of scary situations – most notably for women going into labor. If they can get through childbirth with some breathing exercises, they can certainly tackle flight take-off. Here is a link to basic breathing exercises, as well as more tips on curbing your anxiety.

Dress Warm – It’s Cold Up There

Whether this is your first flight ever or your first flight in a few years, keep in mind that it gets chilly on flights sometimes. Bring a cozy sweater or your own soft blanket. Simply be sure that whatever you bring along can easily stow away and won’t create a tripping hazard in the aisle.  Now, you’re nearly set up for a cozy, relaxing flight.  

As a heads up, here is an insider tip from the flight attendants: blankets are available, but they are not always reliably washed or sanitized. These blankets may work in a pinch, but planning ahead is always a safer option.

Sleeping On The Plane

If you plan to take an overnight or a similarly long flight, pack yourself a sleeping bag as well. No need to go overboard, the attendants say, but a small pillow of your own, a blanket, and a sleep mask will do wonders for your quality of sleep once on board.


Flight attendants also recommend, if necessary, tweaking your usual sleep schedule the day prior so you’ll be tired enough to fall asleep on the flight. Looks like you just got the green light to stay up binge-watching your favorite show.

No matter where your flight takes you, these tips should have you happily on your way. Remember, you can always make friends with the flight attendants if you’re still curious about more stories or tricks. Most of them love to chat in their free time, and it will help keep both of you entertained.