By Richard Levy
Being a travel writer, I’ve discovered some valuable secrets to ensure that every flight is comfortable in every possible way.
My Comfy Flight Secrets include my favorite traveling companion, other than my girlfriend, my Solitude WX1 noise-canceling headphones, which cancel engine drone, crying babies, chatty passengers and all other annoying sounds. When wearing them, I’m in my own private world. They’re only $69.99 and provide better sound than more expensive models. The free shipping code is TravelShipFree at www.solitudeheadphones.com.
Reserve your seat in advance even if you have to pay a fee. You don’t want to be stuck in the middle seat. I sit up front so I’m first one out, or I sit over the wing where it’s less bumpy if the plane encounters turbulence. I prefer window seats so I’m not disturbed by passengers with weak bladders.
I never check my bag. I bring my favorite carry-on luggage, Ricardo of Beverly Hills. It’s super-light, has amazing wheels and includes a port to
charge your phone.
Bring an antibacterial spray and hygienic wipes. Once you’re seated, open the dropdown tray and wipe it down thoroughly. There are more germs on it than a toilet seat. Also, wipe down the armrests, headrest and digital controls and avoid placing anything into the seat pocket since it’s cesspool of germs. Bring the wipes when you go to the bathroom and wipe everything you touch.
Invest in a comfortable eye cushion or blindfold that won’t crush your eyes.
Bring earplugs if you intend to sleep or read.
Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. I wear my warm-up suit so there’s no belt choking my expanding waist. Also, make sure to travel in comfortable footwear. (I prefer sneakers.)
On long flights move around the cabin, stretching your legs and wiggling your toes to keep circulation surging and to prevent the rare but still-possible blood clot behind your knees.
Bring a water bottle and keep yourself hydrated; you’ll feel more energized after the flight. If possible, avoid drinking coffee or tea since the water used is from the bathrooms and the machines aren’t often cleaned.
The tip you may be most grateful for is to “cross-pack” with your significant other – placing half your belongings in each other’s suitcase. This way if one piece gets lost or delayed it won’t ruin your first vacation day.
Bring an inflatable neck pillow.
Take my favorite KIND energy bars if you’re prone to getting hungry before cabin service starts. Order a vegetarian or kosher meal because they’re more tasty than regular meals and served first. (Remember to order a special meal when booking.)
I always bring a sweater or long scarf because when you fall asleep your body temperature drops and planes can be cold.
Bring a pack of gum to chew to relieve pressure on the ears when taking off and landing. Buy Refresh eye drops to keep your eyes well-lubricated since the air in planes is very dry. And don’t forget ChapStick.
For the best deals on flights, download the Hopper app. It keeps sending you lower fares for your flight before you book them. Occasionally, I treat myself to an upgrade on a long or overnight flight using credit card mileage points. This way I arrive refreshed and ready to hit the ground running.
And remember, make sure your passport doesn’t expire within six months before or after your flight or you’ll be turned away at the airport and your long-anticipated vacation will be ruined. Bon voyage.
Hastings-on-Hudson resident Richard Levy is a former advertising “Mad Man” creative director and now a travel writer. He’s also an inventor of innovative new products and is writing and illustrating a new children’s book. You can contact him at RichardLevyTravelWriter@gmail.com.