While Zanzibar may seem like a world away, the good news is that it’s only a 3.5-hour flight from Johannesburg. Just enough time for a drink and a romcom! Although Zanzibar isn’t really a long-haul destination for South Africans, having a comfortable flight can make all the difference to how you feel when you land.

If you’ve been looking forward to your beach holiday, the last thing you want is to arrive feeling out of sorts. Which is why we’ve been put together our top air travel comfort tips to help you feel on top of the world when the plane doors open.

A few moments at Driftwood Beach Lodge is enough to help anyone relax but enjoying a comfortable flight can also help you leave your everyday hassles far behind.

Don’t wear yourself out

What you wear on the flight can make a difference to how you feel – loose-fitting, natural fibres are best. A kikoi or pashmina is an excellent addition to your hand luggage, as it can double up as a pillow, a hood to block out the light, or a blanket if things get a little chilly at 35 000ft. Plus, it could come in handy on arrival if your skin hasn’t seen much sun recently. Don’t forget to pack your sunglasses in your hand luggage – putting them on as you leave the plane will instantly make you feel like you’re on holiday, and you may just get mistaken for a film star.

Freshen up mid-flight

Miniature toiletries (bring your own if you’re flying on a budget airline) will help you spritz or smooth away the stress of travel and have a more comfortable flight. The air-conditioning in planes can dry out your skin, so be sure to bring a small tube of your favourite moisturiser. Just don’t forget that any liquid or gel in your hand luggage must be less than 100ml – otherwise you just bought a gift for the nice man or lady at airport security. Hand sanitiser or hand wipes will help you avoid that sticky fingers sensation.

Are you sitting comfortably?

You’ll have a much more comfortable flight if you invest in one of those horseshoe-shaped travel pillows. For some reason, strangers don’t seem too impressed if you snooze on their shoulder for the whole flight! The free headphones on planes somehow always sound tinny, so bring your own pair and you can watch or listen to podcasts or series on your laptop or phone all the way to Zanzibar. That’s what flight mode was invented for!

Snack attack

You’ll love the food on Zanzibar – we can guarantee that! However, we can’t be so sure you’ll enjoy the inflight catering. Airline meals aren’t exactly renowned for being delicious and depending on the time of day that you fly, you may only get a bag of pretzels. Bring your own snacks and you’ll have something tasty to nibble on (and no, we don’t mean your partner’s ear – this is a family flight!).

It’s not who you know, it’s who you sit next to

Speaking of which, pick the right travel companion and the journey will, well, fly by. You can keep each other amused or ramp up the excitement by talking about all the things you’re going to when you arrive. If you ask the stewards nicely, you may even score a mile-high club sandwich when they bring the snack trolley round.

If you have the option to choose where you sit, you might want to know that you’ll have a more comfortable flight (and feel any turbulence much less) if you sit between the wings. Being close to a toilet may be convenient, but it’s also likely to get quite fragrant after a couple of hours. And while a bulkhead row seat might get you a couple of extra centimetres of legroom, it also puts you in prime crying baby territory.

It’s in the bag

Nothing can dampen your holiday spirits like lost luggage, but there are a few ways to avoid this. Given that you’re heading off on a beach holiday, ask yourself if you can’t make do with only hand luggage. After all, beachwear doesn’t take up that much room. If you need a bigger bag, make it a distinctive one: orange is the new black when it comes to suitcases. That way, you’ll soon spot your bag on the carousel, which means less time in baggage reclaim and more time at Driftwood Beach Lodge.


Even if you don’t manage to have a comfortable flight, the good news is that you’re heading to one of the most relaxing places on the planet: Zanzibar. It’s not about the journey – it’s all about the destination, and as soon as you feel the sand between your toes, you’ll know you’ve arrived.

For more advice on travelling to Zanzibar, contact us– after all, our mission in life is to make you feel more comfortable.