10 Ways to Create a Happy Atmosphere for Flying

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

Flying can be stressful - let's not even dig into the reasons why, because it will just make us crabby. But in an effort to discover more happiness in travel, we've published a three part series that focuses on the positive - happy tips for travel. Our resource for all questions about happiness is Deborah Heisz, Editorial Director of Live Happy - and ask her a few questions. Deborah has a B.A. in English from Texas Tech University and an MBA from the University of Dallas. What brings her the most happiness in the world is spending time in the great outdoors with her family and dogs. Her greatest source of joy and wonder is watching her three children learn, experience life and ask questions without filter. 

10 Ways to Create a Happy Atmosphere for Flying

We asked: 

Do you have any tips for creating a happy atmosphere for flying, especially on long hauls or during crowded holiday travel? 

1. Find something that excites you about the airport. Maybe you are looking forward to the trip and you associate the airport with the positive emotions you have around the rest of the trip. 

2. Bring your favorite pair of headphones that are comfortable and light so you can enjoy your favorite playlist. Download podcasts or audiobooks to engage your brain during your flight.

3. Label your luggage with something bright or memorable – a pompom, a ribbon, funny tags that you can buy – this will make finding your luggage upon arrival that much easier!

4. Keep a travel journal to document your vacation so you can remember all your favorite places/experiences, etc., so when you look back on the trip months or even years later you will have it all in one place. Consider using time on your return flight to capture those memories while they are fresh.

10 Ways to Create a Happy Atmosphere for Flying

5. With children, it can be a particular challenge to avoid meltdowns when they are confined to small spaces for long periods of time. Make sure everyone’s devices (phones, tablets, etc.) have been loaded with entertainment and you have a method to charge the devices. 

6. Do some yoga poses or stretch before getting on a flight or in the car for a long trip. These will reduce any physical stress in your body! Some airports even have Yoga Rooms now so you can relax while you wait for your plane instead of going to the bar.

7. Make sure you stay well hydrated on the plane. Drink plenty of water before your flight and take an extra bottle on the plane with you.

8. Ensure you are dressed for comfort and take a light jacket or sweater on the plane to deal with changing temperatures.

9. Be patient and kind with your fellow travelers. There is overwhelming research demonstrating that giving to others boosts our happiness. Help others find that space in the overhead bin or switch seats so a couple can sit together.

10. Be grateful you are able to travel, both financially and physically. In fact, sharing that gratitude with others will help you feel more positive. One way to show gratitude is to say thank you to the desk agent and flight attendants – their reactions to your patience and gratitude can result in a positive experience for everyone.  When you receive great service, take the person’s name and write an email to their company commending them for their service.

10 Ways to Create a Happy Atmosphere for Flying


Want more travel happiness? Our series with Live Happy's Heisz:

4 ways to create happy travels 

An Expert Shares How to Create Happy Family Travel

And more family travel tips for flying:

Top Ten Travel Tips for Flying Families

10 Great Things to Bring on a Trip with Kids

What to do with your kid at the airport?


Airplane photo courtesy and copyright Amy Sobczak, adapted by Wandering Educators