Being able to travel is amazing. I’m sure you agree! If you didn’t, you probably wouldn’t be poking around this site. But there is one fairly essential part of traveling that just isn’t fun – getting on that damn plane.
Now, I’m not scared of flying, far from it – I love the flying part. Well, I love the idea of flying. The very notion that as a species we humans got together – ignored the fact we don’t have wings – and have conspired to overcome gravity to take to the skies, is frankly mind-boggling!
No, the flying part is fine. It’s the planes that are the problem. Being jammed together in such close proximity, sucking on recycled air and being fed reheated rice covered in tinfoil is not my idea of fun. No sir!
No matter how good you feel getting on a plane it seems almost impossible not to stumble out the other end feeling drained, crumbled and frankly a little bit unwell. Kind of like you’ve been tossed around – a little bit like your suitcase probably feels after those baggage handlers have finished with it.
Well, if you, like me, suffer on flights then don’t despair below for few of my tried and tested ways to squeeze a little bit of extra comfort out of your next plane journey.
A pair of earplugs
While small and unassuming, a good pair of earplugs can be priceless when that baby next to you starts screaming. Which it will! Or when the two hipsters behind you start discussing which Wes Anderson character they are. Which they will!
With a good pair of earplugs you can maybe drown out all horribleness of being squashed in so close to so many people. Especially when you combine them with…
An eye mask
Similarly lightweight, the simple eye mask is another unbelievably helpful flight buddy to make. Combine your eye mask with your earplugs and hey presto! A homemade sensory deprivation chamber.
By donning this little light canceling beauty you can block out Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson gurning at you from the screen of your neighbor, and the screen of their neighbor. Basically all the screens on the plane. Don’t get me wrong I love The Rock, but seeing him on a plane now makes me furious, fast!
Also with an eye mask, you will no longer be bothered when the cabin crew turned on the overhead lights in the middle of the night in order to feed everyone a breakfast they don’t want just three hours after they gave you dinner.
A travel pillow
Ah, the travel pillow. I scoffed at these silly looking things for far too long. Now I’ve learned the error of my ways. While they may look a little bit ridiculous they really can make a huge difference when trying to get anywhere near comfortable on a flight. Especially if you happen to be too tall or too small for the headrests to provide any relief.
There are a staggering amount of brands and designs for sale, some of which cost an almost unbelievable amount should you be foolish enough to buy one at the airport. My advice, pick one up online for a fraction of the price.
A travel wrap or blanket
Call it what you will. A travel blanket, a pashmina or just a travel wrap. The name isn’t important, what’s important is that it would be sarong to catch a flight without one! Sarong! You see what I did there? Ah, nevermind, my genius is wasted here.
Planes get cold and for whatever reason the blankets they hand out often simply don’t cut it. Either they are so thin that you can almost see through them, or they are so short that you would have to sew four of them together to even halfway cover yourself. Bringing along your own blanket or wrap is a very sensible move, especially if you hope to get any sleep.
The team over at the Sleep Advisor knows a thing or two about the benefits of a good sleep; and how to get it. Whether you are on the road, in the air, or just staying at home.
A phone full of podcasts
Not a conventional accessory as such, but nothing helps me get more comfortable on a plane than being able to pop in my headphones, drown out the endless announcements, and drift off listening to a podcast.
Whenever I have a plane journey ahead of me I make absolutely positive that my smartphone charged and jam-packed full of enough episodes of my favorite shows to get me through the journey.
Don’t worry if you don’t know where to start, there are countless podcasts to choose from and there will be something out there to suit your taste. And if you don’t fancy podcasts, a good audiobook will have exactly the same effect.
Well, there you have it, my fellow travelers, my top five things to bring along to increase the odds of your next flight being at least a little bit more bearable. Here’s to a safe and comfortable flight! I’m not going exaggerate and say enjoyable.