The glamor of air travel – its aspirational meaning in the public imagination – disappeared before its luxury did, dissipating as flying gradually became commonplace. -Virginia Postrel
Anyone who has flown before knows just how stressful it can be.
While there is no cure yet for avoiding flight delays, screaming babies, and long security lines, there are ways to make air travel a little bit more bearable. And no, it doesn’t have to require the purchase of $11 bottom shelf whiskey three times per flight. (Although you can’t deny that it works for some).
Being as familiar with tedious and cramped airplane travel as I am, the following is my insider’s guide to surviving your flight.
Purchase water before getting on the plane.
Even though airport prices are insanely expensive, staying hydrated is essential for traveling. Not only will you feel better, but it will keep your skin hydrated as well as help to maintain your energy levels. You never know when the flight attendant will come around with water, so it’s best to just purchase your own. Or even better, bring an empty water bottle with you and fill it up in the fountain!
You never know how cold the plane will get. And even if it isn’t too chilly, a sweatshirt can substitute as a blanket when you want to get some shuteye.
Invest in noise-cancelling headphones.
I have a strong feeling that the inventor of these headphones took one redeye too many with a baby. Even the quietest airplane can be hard to sleep in, and these headphones will make you feel like you’re back in the womb. Trust me, they are worth the cost for all of the expenses you could save on overnight flights!
Stock up on magazines.
You probably tell yourself the same thing that I do before a long flight: oh, I’ll finally read that Russian novel! But the chaotic and sometimes exhausting nature of traveling really takes a toll on your ability to concentrate. Instead of assigning yourself heavy-duty reading during your trip, do yourself a favor and bring a variety of light reading material. It will help you relax without giving you a migraine.
Before your flight, download your airline’s app.
This will ensure that you are up-to-date with any flight delays, cancellations, or changes. A lot of the apps also allow you to check in through your mobile, as well as access your boarding pass. You’ll never have to worry about checking your pockets every five minutes to make sure you still have your ticket. (But you will probably still do this).
Wear comfortable shoes.
Although many people have their gripes about it, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of having comfy feet during a long flight. Exercise your own judgment- if you’ve been known to have stinky feet wear sandals or shoes with extra air circulation. Keep a pair of really nice socks in your carry-on to keep your piggies toasty and also to be as least offensive as possible to your fellow passengers.
Bring chewing gum.
For some, the intense change in pressure can be extremely painful for their sinuses and ears. Chewing gum during takeoff and landing will help prevent too much pain during this time.
Be prepared for very dry air.
Don’t forget to bring a nice lotion and chapstick for the airplane ride! Staying moisturized will help make you feel calmer during the flight and looking more refreshed upon arrival. Even better, bring a lotion or oil that has lavender or rose oil in it- that way you can ensure the ultimate level of relaxation!
With a couple tweaks, traveling can feel more like a luxury and less like a hassle.
It’ll never be a walk in the park, but being equipped and prepared is certain to make your traveling experience a much more positive one. Going into your journey with an easygoing attitude is a great defense against the anxiety-inducing overcrowded hustle and bustle of airports. They say it’s more about the journey and not the destination- but when your destination is Honolulu, and your journey is in a cramped airplane with 150 strangers, you gotta make some adjustments.