As a frequent flyer myself, I have accumulated a few steadfast personal rules for air travel. I am someone who is highly impatient and mildly claustrophobic, and waiting through the longs lines and delays in airports and then confined in planes means that flying is not one of my favorite activities. I am sure that if you have to travel regularly for business, crowded airports and even more cramped airplanes appeal to you about as much as a traffic ticket.
Here are five of my own personal tips for making the voyage as painless as possible:
- Invest in a quality travel pillow. Never underestimate the power of a good nap. Now a well-made travel pillow can run you anywhere from $15 to as much as $50 or more. They come in fun colors, if that’s your thing, and you can even get them filled with aromatic herbs like lavender, to make your unfortunately upright and possibly turbulent nap that much more relaxing. I was never able to sleep on planes until I invested in one for myself.
- Buy a colorful luggage tag. Especially now, with all of the airline regulations regarding what you can and cannot (mostly cannot) bring on planes, it is becoming more and more necessary to check your luggage every time you fly lest airport security throws your stuff away. A colorful tag on your bag, like these found here will help you spot yours easily among the sea of black bags on the conveyer belt.
- Bring snacks. You never know how long you may be at the airport and it’s a good idea, for your own well-being, to have some snacks with you for the airport and on the flight. The food found is airports is not only overpriced, but your choices are limited, often unappealing, and seldom healthy. Bananas, granola, and a bagel are favorite choices of mine. They keep well and are filling.
- Bring an empty water bottle with you to fill up in an airport drinking fountain once you pass security. Staying well hydrated is necessary when traveling, paying $3 for a small bottle of water is not.
- Stow extra clothes in your carry on. You could spill coffee on your shirt during turbulence and need to change. Or maybe, as is often the case for me, find that what was comfortable in the airport leaves you chilly on the plane. If you check your bag, stash a change of clothes in your carry-on, just in case.