'These are the hacks I use to sleep on planes and yes, they work every time.'

Locking in annual leave before switching on your chirpy out-of-office email might be one of the best feelings in the world. See ya responsibilities! There's an ambiguous fruity cocktail waiting for me.

You know what isn't a great feeling though? The aching neck and pounding headache after another sleepless flight on your way to vacation paradise. It almost makes you not want to go on holiday. Almost.

But... not quite, and luckily the internet community has gathered together to share their secrets on how to actually get some sleep and feel comfortable on a plane, even if you aren't one of the blessed travellers flying business or first class.

If you've got a long-haul international flight coming up or if you've always watched in envy as other travellers are able to nap the flight away as you rub your red eyes and watch another movie you don't care about, then we've pulled together some of the best travel hacks to help you have a restful journey.

Watch: The ultimate travel hack. Story continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

Hack your neck support.

We all know that a lack of neck support is a big reason we feel so uncomfortable during a flight. Let's be honest, an economy plane seat is not your bed and even through they have adjustable head rests, it's hardly the support we need to snooze effectively.

Of course we're all across the humble neck pillow but if you've forgotten yours (or just don't... want to buy one), there are a couple of makeshift ways to get that spinal support you need.

One TikTok user suggests that most of the neck pillows available on the market are actually not providing adequate support for in-flight sleeping. His hack is actually a lot more economical and genuinely looks like it will hold your neck in a comfortable position without falling.

His advice? Roll up a jumper and place it around your neck, then fasten the ends with a hair tie or a rubber band to secure it in place. He says this will stop your head from flopping off to the sides which can happen when using a neck pillow.

Image: TikTok/@levitex.


Alternatively, if you're heading somewhere cool, take your puffer jacket, roll it up and stuff it into a fabric drawstring bag. Then raise the armrest to around three quarters of the way up and rest your makeshift pillow against it. (Plus, bonus: you don't have to try to squeeze a coat into your luggage.) It isn't foolproof, but it's how one member of the SkyScanner team gets the "best sleep" on planes, every time.

Clever! Image: TikTok/skyscanner


If you do happen to have a neck pillow handy, the SkyScanner team also have some ideas about how to max out the comfort factor.

If you've fallen victim to the 'noddy head' while flying, try spinning it around so the opening is at the back. This way if your head falls forward it won't fall through the opening and won't jolt you back awake.

Image: TikTok/@skyscanner.

And if you have a travel buddy, sharing a neck pillow can help get you both some sleep. Pull your arm rest up three-quarter of the way and place the neck pillow at the top — that way, you'll both be able to lean inwards to rest your head on a pretty solid set up.

Image: TikTok/@skyscanner.


Invest in extra space.

Ever gotten through the last leg of your long-haul flight and just wished you'd sprung for the extras instead of saving your coins for frozen margaritas? Maybe this is your sign to pay a little extra for more leg room by securing a first row seat in economy — it might make a bigger difference than you once thought.

Especially if you add this little trick:

"TRAVEL HACK: Get the first row seats in economy that has extra leg room (but make sure it is NOT an exit row) and get an inflatable foot rest!" shared travel influencer @geezelouiseeeee, and we have to admit, the setup looks pretty luxe. Just double check with your airline first that there aren't restrictions on bringing items like this on board

Much like a neck pillow, she invested in a blow-up foot rest which can be placed in that ample space between seat and screen in the front row. This way you can recline and hopefully sleep in a more laying down position.

Image: TikTok/geezelouiseeeee


And yes, we know — you usually have to fork out to nab yourself one of these front row economy spots, but the comfort could well be worth the extra bucks you splash. (Just check your plane's configuration on SeatGuru first so you know exactly which seats to book for this hack.)

@geezelouiseeeee TRAVEL HACK: get the first row seats in economy that has extra leg room (but make sure it is NOT an exit row) and get an inflatable foot rest! 🤭 ✨you can find the foot rest on my website in my bio > Amazon storefront > travel essentials ✨ FLIGHT: I would give @STARLUX Airlines a 9/10 in terms of cleanliness, food, and comfort even for being in economy. I heard their business class is actually AMAZING 🤩 TRAVEL POINTS: I used my Chase Sapphire travel points to purchase our seats. Each of our seats were about 40k points on the Chase Travel Rewards website or 42.5k points if you use your points on @Alaska Airlines website (Starlux’s partner airline). SEAT CHOICE: I paid an extra $100~ per seat on the first row of economy to take advantage of the extra leg room. #travelhack #traveltips #travelpoints #businessclass #starluxairlines #starluxeconomyclass #economyclass #longhaulflight ♬ original sound - louie | navigating my 30’s

Create a foot rest.

Now this one is slightly contentious, if the TikTok comments section is anything to go by. But when it comes to getting sleep on a flight, anything is worth a shot, right?

Many TikTok travellers profess their love for a 'foot hammock', which attaches to the tray table in front of you and hangs down, making the perfect little swing for your feet. You simply release the tray table and fasten the clip so it hangs down below before popping the table back up. You can then slide your feet into the hammock with the extra support you need to recline.

Seems... like a good idea? Again, check with your airline that there are no rules against using one of these on your flight.

If you don't want to purchase an extra product, you could use a sarong or wide scarf and rig up a makeshift foot hammock — low investment, (possibly) big reward. This TikTok user took her sarong and tied a secure knot at the ends before hanging it off the tray table to create the perfect foot rest.

Image: TikTok/@wandering__around


Change your seat the night before.

When present-day you takes the time to look after future you, we call that the ultimate kind of self-care. And while this isn't exactly an in-flight, in-the-moment hack, it's definitely one that can set you up for a comfortable journey.

TikTok influencer Shayla Jay says that if you want an entire row to yourself (or at the very least, a spare set next to you), you can often get ahead of the curve by jumping online the night before your flight to change seats.

Image: TikTok/shaylajay

If it's not a full flight, move your designated to seat to one that has all three seats spare, or select a middle seat with a spare set next to it — chances are other travellers will be less inclined to pop themselves on the aisle seat, she says, so you'll get either a full row or a spare seat next to your for a bit more space.


Feature Image: TikTok/@shaylajay;@skyscanner.

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