Make Long Haul Travel in Economy Class More Comfortable With These Eco Friendly Items
Air travel is not so glamorous these days; seats appear to be shrinking and amenities that used to be free (well, included in the fare) now cost additional fees as airlines monetize everything. Want to be among the first to board? Sure - that’ll be twenty bucks. Oh, your headphones aren’t compatible with our audio system? You can buy ours for only five dollars!
With the exception of a few airlines still holding strong, it seems as though most carriers don’t make your comfort a top priority.
This fact becomes more and more apparent the longer your flight is - particularly on the upper end of long haul flights, which are those that extend beyond six hours.
This is obviously going to be true if you’re flying a lower cost airline, but it can even be the case if you’re flying the economy cabin of a higher quality carrier. If you’re like me and you’re going to be spending longer than ten hours on a flight, you compare different types of air crafts, compare seat configurations, width and pitch, the year it was made, what type of amenities are standard etc. etc. But, even with all that careful research, economy class is economy class and there’s only so much it can offer.
So, since I’m not willing (or able) to fork over the thousands of dollars it costs to buy my own personal first class cabin complete with a lay-flat chair and turn down service, I have become the master at making my “cheap” seat its own little version of first class.
The following are all easy ways to make your long-haul flight feel a little more comfortable (and dare I say, even a little luxurious). Best of all - all of these items are eco-friendly and ethically made.
Compression Leggings | Girlfriend Collective
Sitting in a cramped airplane seat for 10+ hours is not what nature intended for our bodies. In economy class, where there is the most limited space, it can be hard to stretch those legs and get adequate blood circulation without having to get up and walk around regularly. And while you’ll likely make it through the flight without developing the terrifying condition Deep Vein Thrombosis, it’s wise to take the proper precautions - one of which is simply wearing compression socks or leggings. Compression leggings help to improve blood flow to the muscles, and can reduce swelling. These compression leggings by Girlfriend Collective are ethically made from recycled plastic water bottles. All of their packaging is recycled and recyclable.
Botanical Eco Sleep Mask | LaAquarelle
You’re most definitely not relaxing at a spa in economy class, but you can try to summon those feelings by wearing a luxuriously soft, botanically dyed sleep mask by LaAquarelle. Choose from a variety of soft, eco friendly fabrics including organic cotton or organic bamboo silk. Each mask is dyed using a blend of flowers, herbs, botanicals, and trees utilizing an eco print dyeing technique. So block out the light from the window your neighbor refuses to close and get some rest.
Hydrating Accelerator Mist | Josh Rosebrook
Let’s face it - the air quality on an airplane isn’t so stellar. Combine that with the fact that most people don’t properly hydrate before long haul flights, and you have a recipe for parched skin. I carry Josh Rosebrook’s hydrating accelerator with me every time I travel and mist it on my face when I’m feeling dry. I find that it definitely helps soothe my skin, which tends to be dry to begin with. Added bonus: it smells delicious!
Jade and Quartz Gua Sha Tools | Mount Lai
Another way to combat dry skin and reduce any puffiness you might develop over the course of a flight is by giving yourself a mini gua sha facial whenever you feel like you need it! This tool is small enough to fit anywhere (although you might want to put it in a soft padded case to prevent chipping ) and is a nice ritual to add to your skincare routine on a normal day, but is especially useful on a long flight because it will leave you , and your skin, feeling refreshed (or, as refreshed as one can be ). Sneak away to the bathroom if you prefer to use a mirror, but this can be done discretely at your own seat.
My Matcha Moisture Stick *| CocoKind
Keep you face, lips, hands (anywhere!) nice and moisturized throughout the flight without having to pack a tube of moisturizer that may or may not leak / explode/ make a mess in your bag. Apply some of this after a spritz of hydrating accelerator and you’re ready for a mini gua sha facial!
(*not vegan, contains beeswax )
Travel Therapy Mood Booster | La Bella Figura
This sleek, compact little rollerball contains an aromatherapy concentrate formulated specifically for helping to ease travel related tension. With stress reducing blue tansy oil, this concentrate can be applied to anywhere you’d like - try rolling some onto you your temples to promote relaxation. Bonus: it smells so good I like to dab a bit beneath each nostril, especially during service times when the not-so-good aromas of economy meals are wafting through the cabin.
Toothpaste bits | Bite
Whether you’ve just woken up from an uncomfortable 9 hour nap, or you’re just feeling sort of raunchy, you’d be surprised how much better you feel after brushing your teeth on a long flight. These toothpaste tablets are not only eco-friendly, but completely mess and hassle free. Just pop a tablet in your mouth, run some water over your toothbrush, and brush as normal; perfect for on-the-go brushing in cramped spaces, sans-mess!
Toothbrush Travel Case | Ola Bamboo
And for that toothbrush of yours, pop it into an eco-friendly bamboo travel case by Ola Bamboo.
Hex Weave pestemal | Cutalossa
Versatility is important to me when I travel, so everything that makes it into my bag has been carefully considered for the use I’ll get out of it. Whenever I travel I pack some sort of blanket that can do double duty as a scarf or shawl or even triple duty as a bath or beach towel. I love Cuttalossa products because they’re high-quality (I have several), ethically made from organic and eco-friendly materials, and are more affordable compared to other brands of comparable quality and ethics. Their organic cotton hex weave pestemal works well as a throw blanket and also works well as a bath or beach towel. It might seem a bit bulky for a carry on, but it’s actually quite compact once it’s folded and I think is worth it for a long haul flight.
But, if you really don’t have the room in your carry on and you’re not willing to sacrifice space, I’d recommend one of their ultra light organic pestemals - they’re super packable, look great as a scarf so you don’t even need to pack it into the bag, and will do the job of helping you get cozy, and warm, in your seat because airplanes are also SO COLD!
Buckwheat Travel Pillow | beapillowholic
The head rests on long haul flights tend to be a bit more robust than in a smaller aircraft, but I find that having some sort of travel pillow really does make a difference in getting comfortable and reducing neck strain. There are countless types of travel pillows to choose from and it’s easy to find one that will suit your preferred airplane sleeping style. This one is filled with organic buckwheat hulls. Simply buy more of the filling when your pillow needs some plumping.
Organic Socks | People Tree
Maybe you’re one of those people who don’t take their shoes off on flights. I am not one of those people. I always pack a pair of cozy socks in my carry on because if your feet are cold then you’re never going to get comfortable. These organic socks by People Tree come in a variety of prints and colors.
Ok, so I know this one isn’t necessarily eco-friendly, but I think it really does go a long way in making the flight more tolerable. Most long haul economy seats do have little foot rests, but this provides some elevation and more mobility. It attaches to the base of the dining tray and will not disrupt or cause any discomfort to the person sitting in front of you. I searched high and low and could not find any foot hammocks made from eco friendly fabrics. But, the good news is that this is something you only have to buy once. It should last and you can use it again and again. Just do a Google search and find one you think would suit you best.
*This post contains affiliate links. I will receive a commission from any items purchased by clicking through the affiliate link. As always, all ideas and opinions are my own.