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Memorial Day Weekend and Air Travel Comfort

Air travelIf you are flying this weekend for the holiday, you might dread the discomfort of a typical flight experience. Here are some travel tips to help you address those things that you do have control over, so that you can stay comfortable and relaxed when you fly.

Noise: Between roaring jet engines, screaming babies and chatty neighbors, it pays to be prepared for a noise free experience. Travel tips to address the noise in flight:

  1. Noise Canceling Head Phones: Bring your own headphones, and if possible, make them noise canceling headphones. They rescue you from using the airline headsets which tend to be low quality and, at times, questionable in regards to hygiene. Noise canceling headphones, however, make the in flight experience much more comfortable. Not only do they allow you to listen to your own entertainment in flight, but they have superpower ability to block out unwanted noise. Generally, those head phones that cover your ears, such as Bose QuietComfort 3 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones are best for canceling out noise. However, we continue to see ear-buds on the market that claim great results, such as the Panasonic RP-HC55-S Noise-Cancelling Earbud Headphones. If convenience is a factor, the ear-buds might be a better option.
  2. Ear Plugs: If you don’t want to spring for a good quality set of noise canceling headphones, then at least bring a set of ear plugs. Although the ear plugs don’t do as good or thorough of a job of canceling out the noise, they are much lighter (and cheaper) than the headphones.

Seat Comfort: Let’s face it, airline seats, especially those in coach or economy class are not all that comfortable. Even First Class or Business Class seats leave a little something to be desired. If you will be in flight for less than two hours, you can deal with a little discomfort. If, however, you are flying for a longer haul these travel tips should help make your seat more comfortable:

  1. Neck Pillow: I’m not a big fan of lugging a squishy, over-sized neck pillow on board, but there are some good products that you can use that take up very little space. The Samsonite Double Comfort Travel Pillow with Pouch, for instance, comes with two inflatable chambers for greater comfort and support, or the Samsonite Convertible Travel Comfort Pillow, which packs neatly into your roll-on.
  2. Lumbar Support: The one thing I find most uncomfortable with airplane seats is the lack of lumbar support. The Back Booster 1001 Inflatable Lumbar Support Cushion or The Original McKenzie Self-Inflating Airback are great inflatable options for this as well.
  3. Temperature: The temperature in the airplane cabin can vary greatly from airline to airline, destination to destination and trip to trip. Dress in layers so you can adjust for the in flight temperature variances. For instance, you might wear a t-shirt (undershirt) or tank, a button down shirt, a sweater and a jacket. Women should avoid wearing skirts so legs remain warm in flight. Make use of the blankets if necessary and finally keep your feet in socks as opposed to open shoes, as extremities get coldest in flight. If you want to wear flip flops or sandals, pack a pair of warm socks in your carry-on.

Air Quality: Dehydration is pretty common during air travel. Not only does your body suffer, but so do your skin and mucus membranes. Drink plenty of water in flight, as well as before and after the trip. A few things to consider packing and taking in your carry-on:

  1. Lubricating eye drops
  2. Lip balm
  3. Nasal gel

Light: If you are flying overseas or crossing timezones, you may hope to get a few hours of shuteye. Some airlines will provide you with a sleeping mask to help. However, many of the free sleeping masks aren’t very comfortable or very helpful. I recommend you invest in a higher quality sleeping mask that blocks out light and is more comfortable than those that are handed out by the airline. A couple to try: Dream Essentials Sweet Dreams Contoured Sleep Mask with Earplugs and Travel Pouch which also comes with earplugs or Dream Zone- Earth Therapeutics Sleep Mask.

Are you flying this upcoming weekend? What travel tips do you have to stay comfortable?

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