Imagining yourself in front of the pristine beaches of Bali, the picturesque skyscrapers of Hong Kong or the historic temples of Ayutthaya helps you find your next destination. But making it a reality entails lots of thinking, trouble, and time.

Expensive tickets fully booked schedules and travel warnings have become a common challenge for aspiring travelers. And as if that’s not enough, bad weather, crying children and cramped seats are there awaiting travelers who have secured their plane tickets and granted permission by the human resources staff.

But let’s accept them as part of the adventure and must therefore be dealt with squarely. However, with proper guidance — especially for newcomers — excitement often prevails over stress levels.

Now, the questions:

Window seat or aisle seat?

Just in time when the attendant at the counter asks you this question, be prepared with an answer. Not that they are impatient, but this preference must have already been decided long before embarking on a flight, especially on a long haul.

Boeing 747-400 ER

Window seat has the advantage that you are less likely to be troubled by someone heading to the toilet or making a customary break in the middle of the flight. In fact, it will be you who will bother your economy class seatmates in case you do the same. This is best if you are bound to sleep during the flight.

Aisle seats work best if you wish to access to the overhead bin, toilet, or do simple stretching, but you may find it hard to sleep as people shudder as they make their way up and down the aisle. However, window seats are best during night flights, especially when you are expected to sleep most of the time.

For your convenience, as a rule of thumb:

  1. Book your flight as early as possible. This increases the likelihood of getting your preferred seat. If you book your flight as early as possible, you can get the seat you want better. As the flight date gets closer, more seats may be taken, limiting your choices. Booking early is an excellent way to ensure you have the best selection of seats.
  2. Choose your seat at the time of booking. Many airlines allow you to choose your hub for free during the booking process. You might be more likely to get the seat you want on your flight if you decide it when you book. Many airlines let you select your hub for free during the booking process. This makes it easy to get the seat that best fits your needs and preferences.
  3. Use online check-in to secure your seat in advance. Online check-in is a great way to reserve your seat ahead of time and avoid the stress of finding a good airport seat. When you check in online, you can usually choose your seat and print your boarding pass before you get to the airport. This makes the check-in process faster and easier.
  4. Join the airline’s frequent flyer program. Members of these programs often receive priority seating. Joining an airline’s regular flyer program is a great way to ensure you get a seat near the front of the plane. Members of these programs often get perks like early boarding, better seats, and upgrades, which make traveling more accessible and more comfortable.
  5. Consider upgrading to a premium economy or business class seat if you can afford it. These seats have more room, amenities, and privacy, making the flight more enjoyable and relaxing. If you can afford it, upgrading to business class or premium economy can make your flight much more comfortable and pleasant.
  6. Look for less popular flights. These flights may have more empty seats and give you a better chance of securing a desirable seat. If you’re looking to book a hot seat, it may be worth looking for less popular flights. These flights may have more empty seats, giving you a better chance of selecting a chair that best meets your needs and preferences.
  7. Choose an exit row seat for extra legroom. An exit-row heart might be a good choice if you want more legroom on your flight. These seats usually give you more leg space, making the flight more comfortable and easy.
  8. Avoid seats near the lavatory or galley as they are noisier and have more foot traffic. If you want a quieter, more comfortable flight, it’s best to avoid seats near the bathroom or galley, where there are usually more people and noise. If you choose a seat farther away from these areas, you may be able to relax and enjoy the flight more.
  9. Seat maps on the airline’s website or a third-party site can help determine where you’ll be sitting on your flight. Check seat maps on the airline’s website or a third-party site to understand the seating arrangement. This can help you choose a seat that fits your needs and preferences, ensuring a more comfortable and enjoyable flight.
  10. Use seat selection tools like SeatGuru to find the best seat for your needs. Tools like SeatGuru that let you choose your heart can help you find the best one for your needs. These tools can help you select your seat on a flight by giving you detailed information about how the chairs are set up and what amenities are available on each plane.
  11. Ask the airline representative at check-in if there are any available seats that better fit your preferences. At check-in, it’s a good idea to ask the airline representative if any open seats better suit your needs. They may be able to do this. This can be a great way to get a better seat, especially if the one you were given at the beginning wasn’t the best.
  12. If you’re traveling with a companion, choose seats together or a row with only two seats. If you’re traveling with a friend, you should choose seats close to each other or select a row with only two seats. This ensures you can all sit together and talk easily during the flight, making the trip fun and less stressful.
  13. If you want a more peaceful flight, you might want to consider booking a seat in the back of the aircraft. This area is usually less busy and gives you more privacy, making your flight quieter and more relaxing. Consider booking a seat in the back of the plane for a more peaceful experience.
  14. Avoid middle seats if possible. When choosing your heart on a flight, it’s best to avoid the middle seats if you can. Some middle seats are less comfortable and have less room for your legs than aisle or window seats. This can make you feel squished on a long flight.
  15. Check the aircraft type for your flight and choose a seat accordingly. Different types of planes may have other seating arrangements.
  16. Consider booking a seat with extra widths, such as a bulkhead or aisle seat. If you want a more comfortable flight, you might want to book a bulkhead or aisle seat, which is more comprehensive than a regular seat. Most of the time, these seats have more space for your legs and for you to move around. This can make a big difference on a long flight.
  17. If you have a disability or special needs, contact the airline in advance to request a seat that accommodates your needs. If you have a disability or special needs, you should contact the airline to request a center that meets your needs. This will make sure that your trip is more comfortable and safe.
  18. Choose a seat with a view if you enjoy looking out the window during your flight. If you like to look out the window during your flight, it’s best to choose a seat to enjoy the scenery and the beauty of the sky. It can make your flight more enjoyable and give you peace.
  19. Consider purchasing a seat upgrade at the airport if available. Sometimes airlines will offer last-minute promotions at a discounted price. If you want a more comfortable and luxurious flight, you might want to buy a seat upgrade at the airport if that option is available. Many airlines offer last-minute upgrades at a discounted price, which can be a great way to improve your travel experience without breaking the bank.
  20. Seats in the front row are best. They are the quietest since you are in front of the engines, and with their relative position to the show, they are less bumpy in times of air turbulence. You’ll also be among the first to deplane at your destination and be assured of the available meal menu if the service crew begins serving from your area. It’s not a wonder many airlines charge extra to passengers who prefer to occupy the first few rows.
  21. Seats in the middle row are likely just above the engine, which makes them a bit noisier but is more stable in times of air packets. So they make an ideal place for a rainy day trip. But passengers in this section may be among the last to deplane, mainly if exits are only located at the rear ends of the aircraft.
  22. Seats at the back rows are the worst. They are the noisiest and tend to get bumpier during rough stretches in the journey.
  23. Avoid middle seats. While each aisle and window seat has advantages, the same can’t be said of middle seats. You need to give way to window seat occupants but don’t get the slight legroom advantage of aisle seat occupants. Avoid seats B, E, F, and J for bigger aircraft with a 3-4-3 seating layout (designated as ABC-DEFG-HJK).
  24. Avoid seats next to toilets. You may have the fastest access if you need one. Still, you don’t expect to visit that tiny cubicle every 20 minutes, not to mention the beeline of people queuing for their turn and the unpleasant odor you’ll inevitably encounter on a long-haul flight.
  25. Seats located near emergency exits offer outstanding legroom. Although you’ll also be responsible for emergency procedures should something go wrong, you have the privilege of much-needed legroom in virtually all cases. Yet, be aware that placing your hand-carried luggage is only possible in the overhead compartment with no seat in front of you. Also, you may not have access to the best views of in-flight entertainment features.
  26. Bulkhead seats are located immediately behind a solid cabin divider. Although they seem to offer more legroom, there are also significant drawbacks. For example, placing extra carry-on luggage can be an issue since there is no seat in front of you. Also, the armrest becomes your tray table, and you may feel uncomfortable when left in that position for a long time.

Not all airplanes have the same seating configuration. Smaller ones like Airbus A319 have one aisle that it’s simpler and easier to decide which seat you’d like to occupy. For bigger ones like Boeing’s 747, you have more flexibility — with more toilets or exit doors — but you’ll also have to deal with more passengers on board.

Choosing the right seat could be a promising way to start your journey. If once you deplane and feel refreshed, you have enough energy to start your holiday. If you’re grumpy and sleepless, you might want to spend more hours in your hotel bed than outdoors.