If you hate long plane rides, but are planning a trip cross country, then you need to plan for it so that you are comfortable. Unless you feel like hopping onto a cross country bus, or find an Amtrak train, then you're going to have to fly. It's better to make your flight comfortable then to have to suffer through a super long bus or train ride (which could take several days). Here are some tips to make your trip comfortable.
Request An Extra Legroom Seat Near The Escape Exit
If one of your big problems with flying on a plane has to do with the tight seating arrangements, then you need to request a seat with extra legroom. These seats are available in regular coach, so you don't have to worry about paying for first class. What you will want to do is ask the airline to sit you near an escape exit. The airline will ask you if you are comfortable opening the door in the case of an emergency landing (the door is heavy, so young children are often not allowed to sit in these seats). You will also have to agree to follow the flight crews instructions in the event of the emergency. As the person sitting right next to the door, you might have to open it during an emergency landing, and will have to listen to special instructions to know what to do. So, you can't sit down and tune out the flight crew, you need to listen and be aware.
Noise Canceling Earbuds For Quiet
If you find the constant chatter and noise a bother, then bring along noise canceling earbuds to use with your music. Find a pair that works well before you get on the plane. Test it out on your iPhone or mp3 player in store or on the subway and see if it blocks out the conversations around you. This will give you a good idea of how well it will work on a plane.
Bring A Blackout Mask
If your problem is that you want to sleep, but you find the plane too bright, then get a really good, lightweight, travel blackout mask. These can be slipped on and will instantly block all of the light and let you get sleep. Oftentimes just turning off the light above your chair is not enough since there is tons of ambient light from the rest of the cabin.
Get A Travel Pillow For Your Neck
If you find that your neck kills you when you try and sleep on the plane, then you need to bring along your own travel pillow. You don't want to try and make due with the small pillows that are found on most airplanes. What you want to get is a pillow that is specifically designed to relieve neck strain. You can get these small pillows that can be carried with you so that you can place them behind your neck once you are ready to sleep, and then store them back in your bag when the plane has landed and you are ready to disembark.