Traveling Overseas When You’re 6 Feet or Taller

Well, I learned quite a few things in my recent travels to Thailand by way of China! It’s especially challenging when you’re someone like myself, who’s over 6 feet tall, seated in Economy Class.

No bones about it, you’re going to be uncomfortable if you’re not in First or Business class. However, rest assured, you can minimize this discomfort.

The first pro tip is to get all of your necessary goodies for your long flight out of your carryon and stow your bag in the overhead bin. This allows for additional legroom when it’s not stored under the seat in front of you. Taking your shoes off can also grant you a few millimeters or additional space as well.

Second, is by selecting the appropriate seating. If possible, and if you’re a responsible samaritan, try to get an emergency exit for additional leg room. If that’s not an option, I personally prefer the window or aisle. AVOID THE MIDDLE SEAT AT COSTS. I repeat, AVOID THE MIDDLE SEAT AT ALL COSTS. Choosing the window allows you to use the window or side of the plane interior to rest your head against while angling your body and legs underneath the seat in front of you. An aisle seat affords you the ability to dangle one leg in it, but beware, the food and drink cart does make routine trips up and down the aisle.

The third tip is to stretch and hydrate before, and during the flight if possible. A hydrated body is a happy body and helps to minimize swelling in your feet, ankles, and calves. Compression socks can further aid in reducing swelling. Additionally, if possible, try to get up and stretch every hour or so to help prevent blood clots which can be quite the dangerous situation.

Lastly, if you can, and the person behind you doesn’t mind, recline the seat pitch back to gain some additional stretch for your legs. This may not always be available, but it’s worth a shot!

All in all, once you’ve landed and evacuated what feels like a sardine can walk around the airport a bit! This will aid in stretching those sore, tight legs, and will get the blood flowing again!