When you’re traveling via plane, you may face many obstacles. There could be that one child (or adult) behind you that has the desire to kick your seat for the entirety of the flight. The temperature in the cabin is either way too hot, or way too cold. You could be right between two strangers and socializing just isn’t on your agenda. Not to mention that infant two rows over that cries for extended amounts of time. If you have seen movies depicting how planes have all those stereotypes listed above, and many more, then you probably know some of them are quite true. After all, the ideas of these stereotypes are coming from common experiences.
If you have never been on a flight before, then don’t let this frighten you. I have been on many flights and I have experienced pleasant flights more common than unpleasant flights. From my experiences, I can tell you some things to look forward to, as well as plan for.
#1 – HEADPHONES
Remember your headphones! This is something that you’re probably assuming is obvious, however they are easy to forget. Headphones provide you with an ultimate level of relaxation, while you block out the screaming child two rows over. You can listen to your favorite playlist or watch TV shows and movies. Also, headphones don’t need to be flashy either, you just need quality headphones. Something that gets the job done and remains comfortable for long periods of time.
Sennheiser HD 598 SR Open-Back Headphone are good headphones. Many models from this brand are sufficiently manufactured. I own a pair myself and really enjoy the sound and comfort. Plus, I have owned them for a few years and they are still in good condition. The comfort level allows me to wear them for a few hours without feeling irritated or distressed.
With non-flashy headphones, you are also less likely to be targeted by thieves.
If style and quality are equally important to you, there are many options out there. Just be cautious that they are not sold by third-party sellers, as they can be refurbished models or scams. Beats by Dr. Dre headphones are widely popular throughout the world and maintain a high level of trust in their brand. Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones – Gloss White provide just what you need in terms of quality and style. Furthermore, they can be a variety of colors.
#2 – EXTRA LAYERS OF CLOTHING
Being on a plane for a few hours means that your body is going to go through periods of hot and cold. Wearing appropriate clothes prior to boarding can save you from going insane when you’re asleep or trying to enjoy the flight. You want to make sure that you are wearing clothes that can help you control your body temperature easier. A light sweatshirt that can be taken on or off can come a long way. Pants however are more difficult, unless you have shorts underneath. Just remember you might get a few funny or unwelcoming looks if you decide to do a quick strip.
In addition to dressing appropriately for your flight, you want to dress appropriately for your destination. I have had flights that start with snow on the ground and end with sunny skies and 80-degrees Fahrenheit (about 27-degrees Celsius). There have also been times where I arrived at the destination only to find it absolutely down pouring. So, dress accordingly to your destination!
#3 – A DAY PACK OR SMALL BAG
One of the best things about most flights is the ability to bring two carry-ons with you. Whether you are checking in luggage or only taking a carry-on, it is always smart to have a small bag that has your essentials in it. It might include: headphones, snacks and drinks (purchased after the security check), an extra layer of clothing, chap stick, your devices (phone, tablet, computer), wallets and identifications, and/or a book to help pass the time. This bag can be represented similarly to how headphones were reviewed. It doesn’t need to be flashy or expensive as long as it gets the job done. I use an L.L. Bean Stowaway Day Pack that isn’t super expensive but has worked for me for years. It’s a few years old and works brand new to this day. I love it.
Not only does the day pack serve a purpose on the flight, but you can use it during your day excursions at your destination too!
#4 – TABLETS / COMPUTERS / OTHER DEVICES
If you’re traveling on a flight that has a layover or two or perhaps your flight is roughly 6-8 hours long, you need something to help pass the time. Some people try to sleep (which is what I do most of the time), others need to keep themselves busy. With today’s technology you can see that most commercial flights are now equipped with personal display screens at each seat. These devices allow you to play games, watch TV or movies (new releases too!) or get caught up with flight details (ETA, weather patterns, time zone changes, and sometimes location of the plane during the flight). However, there is always a limitation to these free devices. You need your own headphones (unless you wish to purchase some low quality ones), you might not like the selection of movies or TV shows, the games might not be engaging, or you’re tired of the same flight information.
Now if you seem to be caught up in these limitations, no need to worry. Simple answer, bring your own device. You can use your own device to install games of your choice, as well as download TV shows and movies of your liking. Netflix and Amazon Prime allow users to download media while online and watch them later offline. Tablets are great for this, because they are just the right size to pack and watch movies/TV shows. Also, depending on which one you get they can be versatile. The tablet I bring traveling is a Samsung Galaxy tablet. Some tablets are inexpensive as well, Fire 7 Tablet with Alexa, 7″ Display, 8 GB, Black – with Special Offers can be purchased at a fair price compared to other models. If you don’t need it for work purposes nor the highest performances, a simple tablet will do just fine. Another sweet thing with tablets, is using Google Maps to your advantage. If you don’t have an international phone plan and are afraid of getting lost abroad, you can download specific maps from Google Maps free before you leave. This worked great for my last trip across Europe, I downloaded a map for every city I went to before I left. The maps will be saved on the device for 30 days unless you update them. So, take the time and download your maps to help you find destinations or keep you from getting lost!
#5 – A TRAVEL PILLOW
A travel pillow might seem a bit too much sometimes, and some people might not want the attention of it during the flight. On the other hand, it can be a real life (or neck) saver for you. Most people are going to be flying economy class during their flights and won’t have the luxury that first class provides. To protect you from having a stiff neck and keeping you sleeping well during the flight period, a travel pillow will help. You’re mostly going to be in an upright position, and in case you do not know any of your seatmates you won’t be able to share a shoulder to sleep on. With that in mind, you’re going to want to provide some level of relaxation for your head while you sleep. As some of you know, you can fall asleep in a content position, but when you wake up it probably wasn’t the most comfortable position. Travel pillows prevent your neck from slouching or straining during long flights. When you reach your destination, you don’t want to be in pain or have a headache. You want to be at your fullest, which means investing in comfort. The Evolution Travel Pillow is one of the better types of pillows. What makes this one special is the design of the shape. Most brands just have the donut shaped pillow, while the Evolution brand offers additional support. This extra layer of support prevents slouching and keeps your neck in a comfortable position. The pillow also has cooling technology to prevent overheating, enabling you to wear it for long periods of time.