13 tricks for making plane travel easier

Written by admin on May 18, 2009 – 5:44 pm -

There are two types of travelers: those who are constantly in the air and others who take occasional trips. People who fly a lot appear to have it down (kind of) to a system.

Much depends on whether or not you’re flying coach or in the front of the plane. Are you flying more or less than three hours? This will dictate some of the preparations you’ll need to make — but fewer than you think. Travelers should always be prepared for delays and what’s supposed to be a short trip may end up being anything but.

Here area a baker’s-dozen tips that I follow whenever I jet off into the skies.

Wear really comfortable clothes so not to feel confined if you’re stuck sitting for hours. This doesn’t mean sloppy but they should be loose. Shoes should be the slip off type. I always wear (or pack) a pair of really comfortable socks.

Dress in layers. Some flights tend to get very cold and there’s no joy in freezing while flying from one coast or continent to another

Pack a blanket and pillow if you’re flying long haul. It can be a neck roll or another type that helps you catch a few winks. Your own blanket can be a godsend and you know whether or not it’s clean. If it’s not as clean as it should be, you’re the only person who’s used it.

Bring a small package of baby-wipes. They can come in very handy and negate your having to go to the WC if all you want to do is wipe your hands or face.

Don’t forget a package of tissues. Be germ conscious and careful how you blow your nose. Immediately dispose of the tissue in the sack supplied in case of airsickness.

Use headsets and ear plugs. Most ‘road warriors’ have a set of noise canceling earphones and wear them throughout the flight. Bring a pair of foam earplugs in the event you’re seated next to screaming babies or party animals.

Heavily padded eye shades are godsends if you want to sleep.

Power adapters help. If you’re traveling with a computer and want to work, buy a charger that’s specifically configured for plane outlets. It will keep you from playing beat the clock. Plus, if you want to watch a CD on your laptop, you won’t need to worry about the battery’s life.

Don’t forget reading materials. Take books and magazines you’ve wanted to read. An increasing number of people will probably be traveling with “Kindles.”  iPods seem to be the fashion of the day so you can listen to books and/or music you’ve downloaded.

Bring a notebook and a pen. You never know when you might get creative or need to make some notes. If you’re traveling internationally, you’ll need a pen to fill out the immigration forms. Flight attendants are the first to admit they’re at a premium because of cost cuts.

Don’t forget to pack your medications (and copies of the prescriptions) and enough of them in the event your trip is delayed, you won’t panic. Some people I know wouldn’t fly without Airborne or a cold remedy.

Pack some snacks, even if you’re traveling first or business class, in case you’re stuck sitting on the plane waiting for it to take off. When you’re traveling coach, you may want to pack a meal brought from home rather than buying something at the airport where they tend to be expensive and not necessarily what you’d prefer to eat.

Bring an empty plastic bottle and fill it up with water after you clear security.

These are some obvious tricks and tips. My next article will include carry-on packing ideas, clearing security, airline clubs, how to select seats and anything else you’d like to have me research.

In the meantime, please add your travel tips.

Karen Fawcett is president of BonjourParis.

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Posted in Consumer Traveler |