Instructables, Reddit

11+ Airplane Hacks To Make Flying Suck A Little Less

Back in the day, flying was a comfortable, luxurious experience.

Yeah, I don't know what happened.

While it's overpriced and basically a nightmare from start to finish, it's a necessary evil if you ever want to travel anywhere (besides, it's not like the Amtrak and Greyhound options are any better).

Flying sucks. But you can make it suck slightly less with these helpful hints.

1. Battery packs are your friend.

Flickr |

Airport terminals usually have a few power outlets to charge your devices. But once you're in the air, there are no guarantees. Charge up and pack a few battery packs for your flight. You'll be glad you did.

2. Want to avoid turbulence? Here's where to sit.

pxhere | Lenny K Photography

Think of a plane like a giant seesaw that rocks when turbulence strikes. Where's the most stable part? The middle, obviously. What's in the middle? Wings. Try sitting over the wings when you're flying — you should experience less turbulence.

3. Bring baggies.

Wikimedia Commons | JamieS93

Ziplock bags take up virtually no space, but on a flight they're invaluable. Throw a few in your carry-on to keep liquids separate from your other stuff or to stash snacks you might pick up along the way.

4. Keep your kids occupied.

Artful Parent | Artful Parent

If you've got little ones, it's absolutely essential to give them activities for the plane. Jean from Artful Parent shared a few ideas for different sizes of portable art kits. If you don't have one of these, you'll wish you did the next time your flight is delayed.

5. Get that club life for free wifi.

Wikimedia Commons | 663highland

Airport wifi can be spotty, unpredictable, and expensive. But if you're part of a super exclusive club lounge, you get it for free. If you're not part of a super exclusive club lounge, you can hang around near the super exclusive club lounge and take advantage of their wifi.

6. Mount your phone using a Ziploc bag.

Instructables | mikeasaurus

As we've mentioned, ziplock bags are super handy to have when flying. One such use is this crazy simple solution for a hands-free phone mount, as shared by Instructables user mikeasaurus. I'd tell you the instructions, but the pic pretty much says it all.

7. Ear popping problems? Bring gum.

Pixabay | davidgaigg

I'm super sensitive to changes in elevation (one time my ears stayed popped for, like, two days). If you're like me, never travel without gum. Emphatically chewing it will help keep your ears from getting all messed up.

8. Make yourself a proper tablet mount.

Instructables | OrenLederman

There are many ways to mount your phone or tablet to the back of the seat in front of you, but if you want to do it the proper way, this is it! Instructables user OrenLederman shared instructions for a mounting system that's downright genius.

9. Hotel stuff is your friend.

Flickr | Jessica Rossi

Those little hotel toiletries might seem ridiculously small, but they're actually pretty handy when it comes to flying. That's because they're (almost) always smaller than 3.4 ounces, making them fit within the TSA's limits for carry-on luggage.

10. Anything's a smartphone stand if you're crafty.

Reddit | Saynomorefamily

Flight attendants typically pour refreshments out of standard soda cans. Always ask for an empty can so that you can strategically crease it to give your phone a place to rest (if you don't have a mount). Thanks to Redditor Saynomorefamily for this handy hack!

11. Acclimatize yourself to your new timezone.

Unsplash | Crew

If you want to avoid jet lag, try getting yourself used to the next timezone as quickly as possible. You can do this by setting your watches and devices to the new time as soon as you get onto your flight.

12. DIY a hanger on the back of the seat.

Instructables | jdtwelve12

You know that twisty lock that keeps the seat-back table in place? Turns out, it's just about perfect for fastening the right size of carabiner clip. You just need to fasten the little clip, as demonstrated by Instructables user jdtwelve12, to keep your jacket or sweater free of wrinkles.

13. Make your luggage stand out.

Wikimedia Commons | hiroo yamagata

When you're tired and bleary eyed at the end of your trip, it can be tough to find your baggage from the carousel. If you haven't bought a hot pink suitcase, you can still make it distinctive by adding colorful tape or ribbons.

14. When it comes to booking, book smart.

Reddit | Reddit

If you're traveling as a pair, try this one out: book the aisle and window seats of a section. There's a fair chance the middle seat will go unclaimed, giving you extra space. If there is someone between you, well, be glad you're not in the cramped middle seat!

15. Bring an empty water bottle.

Instagram | @lularoebyashleygibson

The TSA won't let you bring a full water bottle past security. But you can always bring an empty bottle. Once inside the terminal or on the plane, you'll have a big vessel to fill with free water, saving money on airport prices.

16. Treat yourself to a decent travel pillow.

Instructables | NScott70

If you want to sleep on the plane or at the airport, you'll need somewhere to rest your head. For this reason, a travel pillow is a much. There's a world of selection out there, but if you're the handy sort, you can DIY one, following instructions from Instructables user NScott70.

17. Bring your own mug and tea.

Instagram | @wazzala.outdoors

This way, you can just ask for boiling water on the flight and you're not restricted to a small cup on the plane.

18. Opt for TSA Pre-Check to avoid getting stuck in a long wait for security.

This is especially handy if you live in a major city like Los Angeles that has terrible highway congestion and you end up caught in traffic longer than anticipated.

19. Know how long the security check-in wait is.

Instagram | @jonathansterritt

TSA actually has a smartphone app now that tells you how long the wait times are, so you can plan your travel day perfectly.

20. Wear slip-on shoes.

Unsplash | Briana Tozour

The last thing I want to do after I get though security is tie my shoes back up after I've just untied them. Everyone is in a rush, so wearing slip-on shoes is easier and comfier for your plane ride.

21. On long flights, make sure you get out of your seat and take a couple minutes to stretch and move around.

This will help reduce your risk of developing deep vein thrombosis or blood clots.

Just don't do what Angelica is doing.

22. Wear surgical face masks.

Instagram | @tecmask

People might look at you weird, but you're going to enjoy your vacation a lot more by avoiding even the slightest chance of getting sick.

23. Pack powdered vitamin drink mix to keep your immune system in A1 shape.

Instagram | @karadce

The travel day can be long and exhausting and you might not be eating the foods you usually do.

24. Bring your own earbuds or headphones.

Some airplane companies might charge you to purchase their headphones, so it's safer to just bring your own.