Tips for Comfortable Layovers and Air Travel (Or a guide to being a traveling powerhouse)

Tips for Comfortable Layovers and Air Travel

(Or a guide to being a traveling powerhouse)

After our recent trip to Spain, we became all too acquainted with airport and planes. (It’s a love-hate relationship, a necessary evil, if you will) We had 2 flight delays going to Spain and 1 long layover coming back. When we plan a trip, we often forget about the flight and airport part. We are so focused on our destination that the journey getting us there is often full of discomforts. I know, I know, I am a travel blogger and should know better. Hey, I get lazy and forgetful before a vacation, too! Oh and here are some tips on packing like a pro, you know before you even get to the airport!

I jotted some notes down while in the Philly airport, in hopes that I can help make your next travel experience even more hassle-free and remind you to bring items that I often forget! (where art thou, eye mask?!)

8 Tips for Comfortable Layovers and Air Travel:

1. Wear comfy clothes and shoes: Unless you’re on a business trip, there is no need to dress up in blazers and heels! I wear my elephant pants or broken in jeans and a loose-fitting top. Wear slip-on shoes or sandals for easy TSA check-ins. Also, do not be afraid to rock the granny panties for that added comfort…ain’t no shame in that game!

2.Pack the contacts and rock the four eyes: If you are superman or my husband, with your perfect vision, this tip doesn’t concern you. For the rest of my sight impaired travelers, skip the contacts and wear the glasses. There is nothing worse than waking up with your contacts glued to your eyes, except maybe the constant pink-eye look you are now winking with! Hey, it deters strangers from chatting with you so if you are a fellow introvert, this may be a new technique to try! For me, glasses are so much easier to remove when you are washing your face between flights.

3.Stay hydrated: “But Maegan, I don’t want to have to pee 1.5 million times in that tiny airplane!” I understand but NEWS FLASH that coffee and soda you are chugging are diuretics, meaning they pull fluid out of you. I drink water each time the hostess offers and get coffee every other time on long flights. Combat those travel headaches, literally, by staying hydrated!

*PRO TIP: Save money on water by bringing an empty water bottle from home and refilling at the water stations throughout the airport.

**Here are more travel accessories just for you!**

4.Be a germaphobe: Be mindful of what you touch! Seats, armrests, tray tables, handles, and side rails are LOADED with disease-carrying germs! Wash your hands whenever possible and use hand sanitizer when it’s not possible. Keep your hands off your face! (your nose itches now, doesn’t it?) Your face has many internal entry points (orifices) that can cause you to get sick FAST. Stay inside of your bubble and lay on your jacket if you must sit on the floor of the airport. Being sick can ruin a vacation!

5.Bring comforts from home: Okay, I am not talking about bringing your mama’s meatloaf or your ginormous quilt with you, here aare some smaller comforts I had in mind. I always try to bring a jacket or scarf in case the flight or airport is chilly and they double as pillows. I carry my chap stick and cough drops to fight the moisture loss from the piped-in air. If I have a layover, I will wash my face and brush my teeth to feel “normal” again. Remember to keep your medications with you in your carry on. Flying can cause headaches and other icky-stuff so have what you need handy. Sometimes checked bags get lost! (another travel plight I have faced on my recent Spain adventure!)

Like what you are reading? Check out more travel tips below:

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6.Bring headphones and eye masks: Headphones are great for watching a new movie and even better for blocking out noises or ignoring unwanted conversations. Eye masks are my most valuable item! I have used them in airports, on flights, and in my shared Airbnb spaces. Also, click that airbnb link for a discount on your first booking!!

I need DARKNESS when I sleep. It never fails there is a serial reader near me with the damn light on the WHOLE 8 HOUR FLIGHT! “Maegan, what about neck pillows?” Hey, I’m not a neck pillow gal but give it a shot for yourself!

7.Sleep as much as possible: This handy trick helps you to combat jet lag. When we arrive in a new city, we hit grab espresso and hit the ground running. However, we ALWAYS try to sleep on our overnight flights to readjust to our new time zones. Also, just keep moving to fight jet lag!

yoga station

8.Keep the blood flowing: Stand up, bounce your feet and legs, stretch often, and walk when possible. Any layover you have, move around and get that heart rate up versus sitting at your next gate. The older we get, the easier it is for DVT blood clots to develop. Blood clots are painful and can be deadly if they migrate to your heart and lungs! Yes, I do work in a hospital at my day job, how did you know? Also, this link takes you to some of the better compression socks available on Amazon!

For more tips on surviving long haul flights, this post will hook you up.

Did these give you any new ideas? What are some things you would add to this list?

Be Well and Travel Often!

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tips for comfortable layovers

About Author

Maegan and Michael are Adventurous Southerners who share their world journey and approach to living the travel lifestyle. You can expect humor and lighthearted banter blended with REAL travel stories and tips. Maegan is a registered dietitian, while Michael has an excerise science background, but both are outdoor lovers, and revel in the beauty of cultures unlike their own. Now, Maegan and Michael are working towards expat life through remote work. Join the adventure. Do you love to travel? Does your full time job or career prevent you from living the life you dream of? This is the duo to follow. Feel free to contact us if you have questions.


  1. Rachelle says:

    These are all such great tips! I think that staying hydrated is absolutely key and is the one thing that is the easiest to forget! I have to say that I’m so glad I don’t wear glasses and don’t have to worry about dry eyes and contacts!
    Rachelle recently posted…Eclipse 2017: Staring at the Sun and Off-Roading through the FieldsMy Profile

  2. D says:

    So true, you have to think about comfortable cloths, eye masks etc. when changing flights a lot. It can really get overwhelming. And it’s not that pleasant to be dead tired when you finally reach your destination, lol! 😀 Nice tips, guys, thanks!

  3. Jasmin says:

    I always wear contact lenses when I travel and I regret it every single time. Even when I don’t fall asleep the aircon just dries my eyes and thus gives me headache. I also always forget to drink and I’m super dehydrated when the plane lands. I’m an idiot 😀 Great tips, should definitely adopt these!
    Jasmin recently posted…Where to Find Street Art in Manchester?My Profile

    1. Maegan says:

      I seriously become zombie blogger if I wear my contacts on long haul flights!

  4. Dave says:

    Really good advice, especially dressing for comfort, makes a huge difference. I always get sick when traveling long distances, so I adhere religiously to the being a germaphobe and getting lots of sleep. I’m pretty tall too, so once the layover begins I need to stretch as well. Great advice, I’ll make sure to go through this like a checklist on my next layover!

    1. Maegan says:

      Thank you, I hope it helps you in the future!

  5. haha i had a laugh about the title and the funny pictures in your article! lovely tips and read for newby travellers. you ve got a funny writing style, makes me wanna read more.

    1. Maegan says:

      Thank you! I try to keep things upbeat!

  6. Taryn says:

    I second that contact lens advice. I don’t know how many times I’ve woken up with them still in my eyes! I usually wear monthly contacts but when I travel I wear daily disposable contact lenses. That way I can just pop them out and throw them away on the plane, then put in a fresh pair when we land. And I don’t have to worry about bringing contact solution.

    1. Maegan says:

      My eyes are too “jacked up” to attempt Dailys but it would be a nice option!

  7. Nicola says:

    Really useful article! I am also a glasses-wearing, eye-mask, ear plug, germ-o-phobe kind of girl!
    Nicola recently posted…The Carrowmore Pile of RocksMy Profile

    1. Maegan says:

      Haha say it loud, say it proud! 😂

  8. Mae-Gene says:

    Maegan, this is such a useful post! I am also a hugeee fan of eye masks, and would normally struggle to get any sleep on a plane without one. I’ve also become a recent fan of using them when I sleep normally because even the tiniest amount of light can wake me up!

    The tip to keep moving is so important, and an easy one to forget, so thank you! My dad was recently on a 7hr flight form Melbourne, Australia to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and unfortunately a day after he disembarked the plane he had a minor stroke! Thankfully he got to hospital and has since been discharged, but it definitely makes me wonder whether it was the long haul flight that contributed to it. It’s definitely important to move when flying (for everyone!) Thank you for sharing 🙂

    1. Maegan says:

      Oh my goodness that is terrible! I’m glad he’s ok. Has he had poor circulation or high blood pressure in the past? So scary!

  9. Elise says:

    Great tips! I would add that earplugs have made my sleeping on planes a dream – no more getting woken up by crying babies! I also always book a window seat so noone disturbs me! 🙂

    1. Maegan says:

      I’m a window seat always type of girl! Haha

  10. Love this. Good, practical advice. Love the Granny Panties, sleep mask and spectacles tips. I too find it way better to travel with my glasses rather than contacts. The other thing I like to do is wear layers – easy to acclimatise in airports and planes.

    1. Maegan says:

      Layers are perfect for flying!

  11. Bri says:

    Great tips! Especially staying hydrated (even though airplane bathrooms are the most disgusting places ever lol). I find that water + sleep is the best way to prevent jet lag for me.
    Bri recently posted…Paris Is Always A Good Idea.My Profile

    1. Maegan says:

      Haha I know, they are the worse but the water thing has helped me the most!

  12. Great post! My personal bug bear is plane food.. bleugh.. it is as if they have done everything possible to make it taste awful and as processed as humanly possible!
    Fiona Thackeray recently posted…Hot spring hopping in Kurokawa OnsenMy Profile

    1. Maegan says:

      Yes, I pack plenty of snacks, if I remember. That definitely helps!

  13. I definitely agree with all of your tips for comfortable flights and layovers! I also am not blessed with perfect vision, and I learned the no contacts lesson the hard way.

    1. Maegan says:

      Me too! It was not pretty!

  14. Yep, totally agree with all of these, modern day long haul travel is somewhat more of an endurance test and less of an exciting adventure than it used to be (until one lands, of course) so staying comfortable is key!

    1. Maegan says:

      That is the truest statement! It really is an endurance test.

  15. Lina says:

    I think I follow all of these, and also wear compression stockings 😂
    Lina recently posted…Crossing the Diama borderMy Profile

    1. Maegan says:

      I’ve done that too! There are some cute ones online now

  16. Helene says:

    Some great tips! I wish I could sleep on an airplane, but it just doesn’t work for me, so I actively try to avoid overnight flights. Went to Mexico earlier this year and on the way back we had to fly overnight as there was no other option – that was horrendous: no matter how I turned the seat was just too uncomfortable..
    A big yes to headphones, expecially noise-cancelling ones – I invested in Bose and it was the best thing ever, made such a difference!
    Helene recently posted…London to Puerto Vallarta Flight on Thomson Airways Boeing 787 DreamlinerMy Profile

    1. Maegan says:

      Yes bose rocks! I don’t sleep well but more so cat nap!

  17. Jessica says:

    My list of must-haves is very similar to yours! Especially the scarf. Even in the dead heat of summer….yep, this girl has a scarf in tow! Hope you enjoyed your trip to Spain!!
    Jessica recently posted…Top 9 San Diego Boutique Hotels for The Perfect StayMy Profile

    1. Maegan says:

      I always travel with a scarf especially when I know I’ll be visiting a sacred space! Spain was phenomenal!

  18. Carrie says:

    I’m with you…cannot sleep if there’s light. Those eye masks are a life saver. And I definitely notice being much more miserable when I don’t stay hydrated.

  19. […] layover. But before we even get to Singapore, here are some great tips on how to have more comfortable layover and keeping hydrated is one of […]

  20. DRay says:

    Great article Maegan!! These are great tips! I certainly agree with the water, snacks and stay moving tips. I set an alarm for about every 2 – 2 1/2 hrs to remind me to get up. I’ve done plenty of 10+ hour flights and it helps a lot. It is worth climbing over someone to get out. Two things I’d add… 1) Be sure to bring your own headphones. The ones on the plane are terrible. 2) This is HUGE… Just be nice! Even if you aren’t a people person, be nice. You will encounter jerks. You will encounter people who are tired, uncomfortable, and grouchy… Don’t be one! Make up your mind in advance to treat others the way you want to be treated, not the way they deserve to be treated… You’ll end up enjoying yourself more no matter what happens.

    1. Maegan says:

      I love your additions! I agree! Just be nice because no one wants to be on a 10+ hour flight!

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