Big summer vacations are a ton of fun. Big summer flights, not so much. Flying doesn’t have to be a drag. Upgrade your plane experience and bring back a little bit of that old-school flight magic with these four tips.
1. Take The Edge Off
Let your vacation start in the airport. Get to your gate a solid hour and a half prior to boarding to avoid any last-minute stress, and then relax in the airport bar. Sit back and enjoy a nice glass of chilled white wine, or a festive tropical cocktail if you’re headed somewhere near the equator. Treat yourself to a drink on the plane, or bring your own — many companies are making pint-sized cocktail kits designed specifically for whipping up your own Moscow mule on your tray table.
2. Get Comfortable
Say goodbye to neck kinks! One of the best travel accessories for long flights is a travel pillow. Many modern travel pillows are inflatable or compress down so they take up hardly any space in your carry-on. And the additional luggage space is more than worth it for five hours of solid sleep on the plane.
If you don’t want to bring a travel pillow, consider packing a compressible down jacket. Balled up, a down jacket can double as a plane pillow, and also make a great layer when you reach your destination.
3. Keep Your Toes Warm
Even if you are headed to a balmy locale, the brutal AC on the airplane will send a chill straight to your bones. Make sure you pack some cozy layers to wear on a plane to stay comfortable on your long flight. A wide scarf can make a great throw blanket in the air.
Frozen feet can make a five-hour flight feel like a five hundred-hour flight. Stick a pair of wool socks (or two!) in your bag to keep your toes warm on your way to your vacation. If air pressure makes your ankles swell up, consider picking up a pair of compression socks. Compression socks help with circulation and help reduce blood clots to keep you healthy and comfortable on your long flight.
4. Bring Your Creature Comforts
Just because you are away from home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy the comforts of home. Pass on the sad bag of airplane pretzels in favor of a homemade spread of delicious nutritious snacks. Hunger can make even the best flight unbearable so pack healthy high protein snacks like almonds and apple slices with peanut butter. Stick a tea bag in your purse and ask the flight attendant for a cup of hot water so you can enjoy your favorite tea at 39,000 feet.
Prepare for Takeoff
The days of luxurious commercial aviation may be long gone, and while commercial airlines may have stripped down some of the more luxurious aspects of flying, follow these tips and take back a few of the pleasantries to make your journey a more pleasant experience.