15 Essential Air Travel Tips From The Frequent Flyers Of Reddit

When I was a kid, I always thought going on an airplane was the best — and then I grew up, and realized that it's actually the worst. But hey, at least now I have a few essential air travel tips from the frequent flyers of Reddit in my back pocket, right? Hopefully they'll make the entire flight experience a little less awful, from the moment you start packing to the second you touch the ground.

Sometimes I really miss that whole “I'm going on an adventure!” feel flying used to inspire in me as a wee little one. Everything about it was fun: Driving to the airport at weird hours (because when you're a kid, car rides at weird hours are coveted experiences); eating a fast food breakfast as a treat (it was the one time my brother and I were allowed to gorge ourselves on Burger King French toast sticks); being in charge of our own luggage (I miss you, black and purple duffel bag!); heck, even the prospect of having my ears pop was fun, because it meant I got to suck on a Lifesaver, chew some gum, or gnaw on a pack of Mentos. Now, though? Ugh. Just… ugh. Getting through security is a pain in the ass, airport food is overpriced, and I usually feel like hell breathing recirculated air regardless of how hydrated I keep myself. Not even Delta's wacky, meme-filled safety video can help me now.

So when Redditor sopoppunkbro started a thread on AskReddit yesterday soliciting the best air travel tips from the content sharing community's frequent flyers? You can bet I hopped on board ASAP. Here are 15 of the best tips offered forth by the travel gurus of Reddit; head on over to the thread itself for much, much more. Happy flying!

1. Know where you're flying in and out of — and how to get there.

To be fair, getting to a Ryanair airport doesn't have to be monstrously expensive; there are often low-cost buses and shuttles that will take you where you need to go. It just might not be the most luxurious of trips — but then again, if you're flying Ryanair, your goal probably isn't to have the most luxurious of trips, anyway.

2. How to get an instant aisle seat:

Heck. Yes.

3. How to make turbulence feel less… turbulent:

I know the impulse is to grab onto something and hang onto it for dear life, but give this strategy a shot instead. You might feel less “AAAAAAAAAAAH!” about the whole thing.

4. Be nice to gate agents.

Not only is it just, y'know, the decent thing to do — but moreover, you might get some nice travel perks purely because you were the one person who wasn't a total jerk. Everybody wins!

5. Be nice to flight attendants, too.

Who else feels warm and fuzzy right now?

6. Heck, just be nice to everyone.

Yeah. That guy or gal. Don't be them.

7. The person in the middle seat gets the armrests.

All of this is useful information, but I'd like to draw your attention to the last point in particular, because it is absolutely correct. Yes, everyone is usually miserable on an airplane — but the guy in the middle seat is pretty much guaranteed to be more miserable than anyone else. At least let them have those armrests.

8. Don't use your e-cigs in the bathroom.

Or, y'know, anywhere else on a plane. Fun fact: E-cigs do, in fact, set off smoke alarms.

9. How to sleep through a long flight:

Sleeping on planes can be tough. Cover all these bases beforehand, though, and you'll sleep the sleep of the just.

10. Put some thought into your wardrobe choices.

The point here isn't necessarily to get all gussied up (or businessed up, as the case may be); rather, think about what you want out of your flight experience. If you're sick of people treating you like a teenager even though you're a grown-ass adult, try the business casual route like this Redditor here. If you want to implement the sleep tips previously mentioned, go for sweats or yoga pants. Whatever you wear, though, make sure it's clean — good personal hygiene is a must when you're going to be squashed into a tiny metal tube with a whole bunch of other people for hours on end.

11. Bring extra clothes in your carry-on.

I don't know that you really have to bring more than one extra days' worth of clothing — if you do end up having to use it, you'll be able to wash whatever you're not wearing on any given day — but seriously, guys. If you're checking your bag, just assume it's going to get lost. That way, you've already got a backup plan in place (besides buying a whole new wardrobe when you reach your destination, that is).

12. Know when to travel.

This? This is useful. Good to know.

13. How to make friends with everyone:

Admittedly I'm not totally sure how you'd explain the fact that you're traveling with a power strip to the TSA agents as you make your way through security… but maybe it's worth the extra bother in the end.

14. Consider the last row.

It might not seem like a terribly desirable place to be, but this Redditor makes a good argument for it.

15. Aaaaaaaall this.

There's more at the permalink. Go read it. Trust me. You won't regret it.

Images: Monkeypainter/Flickr; Fighting Serendipity/Tumblr; Giphy (3)