I've been traveling for business ever since I started my career in my early 20's. Some of those early trips were long ones - to Europe, Asia and the Middle East. At that time, I was working for a pharmaceutical company and got to travel first class anywhere outside of Canada. First class was amazing. Unspeakably amazing.
Since 1997, I've run my own business and won't justify first class travel. So I've learned a few tricks for traveling comfortably in economy. And continuing from my last post on how to pack better and faster, here are a few tips for being comfortable in the air:
- For any trip longer than a couple of hours, I bring one of those inflatable pillows to rest my head. The inflatable one isn't as cosy as the flax-filled ones, but I like how it crushes down into a tiny package when not in use.
- For extra legroom, get an exit row seat. On international flights, it costs an extra $90 on Air Canada, but it's well worth it because...
- In an exit row, you can use your carry-on suitcase as a foot rest. With my legs propped up on the suitcase, it's easier to sleep and my legs don't swell up.
- On evening flights, don earplugs and an eye mask and close your eyes as soon as the plane is airborn. Refuse any meals and don't watch the in-flight entertainment. The bright screen can keep you awake.
Travel writers always say to drink lots of fluids on flights because the air in an airplane is very dry. I've tried drinking very little and I've tried drinking lots (water, that is) and the only conclusion that I've come to is that the more I drink, the more I have to use the washroom, which means more stumbling over people and more airplane bathroom grossness. So I drink some water when I'm thirsty and a cup of coffee on a morning flight and that's about it.
A Special Note About Germs
As pressure grows for airlines to turn planes around faster and faster at the gate, I think that the cleaning and upkeep of the airplanes has taken a nosedive. So I bring a bottle of antibacterial disinfectant and some Kleenex with me and the first thing that I do after sitting down is to wipe down the chair arms, the seatback tray and the entertainment system. Call me retentitive, but I'm happy to reduce my exposure to flu and cold germs and limit my chances of getting sick at the start of a trip.
Also, I've tried taking Emergen-C travel suppliments, the tablets that make a fizzy concoction that you have to knock back before getting on the plane. One word - DISGUSTING. It tastes so gross that I can't drink it. So I take a regular vitamin and leave it at that.
Do you have suggestions of your own? Please leave them in the comments and I'll incorporate them into the post.