Follow Me

Therese Iknoian

Traveler | Photographer at HI Travel Tales
Little did her parents know that a short trip to Europe in high school would launch a lifetime love of travel, languages and cultures. Trained as a news journalist, Therese Iknoian spent a decade as a daily newspaper journalist before launching a freelance writing career specializing in outdoor, fitness and training. All the while trotting the globe, her focus finally turned to travel. Fluent in German, Therese runs a translation business (www.ThereseTranslates.com) working primarily with companies in the outdoor/sports/retail industry. Also a French speaker, she loves to learn a bit of the language wherever she goes -- gdje je kupaonica? Мне нужна помощь! -- often embarrassing herself in the quest for cross-cultural communication and the search for great travel discoveries.
Follow Me

So you’ve booked your ticket, chosen a seat, and you’re packing your luggage, including your carry-on bag. But will you be flying in comfort?

You DO want to have a comfortable flight, and you hope you won’t have a neighbor from h— sitting next to you. Assuming you used SeatGuru.com to help you choose the best seat you can (knowing it really is a bit of a crap shoot), what else can you do to plan and pack to ensure a more comfortable flight?

Wear comfortable clothes. No, that doesn’t mean your jammies, oh please. A little decorum is still nice. But wear a skirt or pants that you love, that have stretch, that don’t bind in all the wrong places, that preferably don’t demand a non-stretch belt, and that have a pocket or two you can access while seated (to stash any necessities or keep your phone nearby).

Clothing Arts shirt product review

Michael still very happy in his Clothing Arts shirt that went from plane to train to wine without a hitch.

Wear comfortable footwear. Same goes for footwear. Forget heels or awkward- fitting shoes. Slip-on shoes are dandy for getting through security or leaning over to free your feet easily during the flight without shoving your face into your neighbor’s lap. Low heels make transitions between flights or to and from the airport better too.

Take an extra pair of old socks. What? Have you ever stopped to think about what happens in that airplane bathroom? Do you want that on your feet or your socks? ICCCKKK!!! Once you free your feet after takeoff, slip on these extra socks, which will make for a more comfortable flight, keep your toesies warm, AND protect you from unmentionables in the john. At the end of the flight, peel them off inside out, stuff them in a baggie you of course brought, then rinse them out in the hotel for the return journey.

Flying in comfort helps makes arrival better too

Pack a few toiletries. A travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste, a little mouthwash, a lip balm, a teeny tube of lotion – these things go a long way to making you feel like a human being upon arrival.

Keep water at hand. OK, so you can’t take a full bottle through security to help you plan for a comfortable flight. But you can do one of two things: either buy a bottle before boarding (expensive perhaps) or, as we do, take a collapsible bottle like one of the Vapur bottles we love and then fill it after getting through security for a comfortable flight. You’ll be more environmentally sound in your comfort too!

Vapur Bottle with Alexander means Alexandar is indeed flying in hydrated comfort.

Vapur Bottle with Alexander. Our traveling stuffed friends need to stay hydrated too.

Take snacks. No matter if the flight is 2 hours or 10 hours, pack SOMEthing. Sound silly? Nope. Not with the delays you can experience these days while perhaps captive on the plane or in a boarding area. Or with the price of airport food. Or the chance that the food truck for the plane’s galley didn’t show up (It has happened to us!). We like simple bars like those from Clif Bar or Larabar. Forgot chocolate coatings since they can melt and make a comfortable flight a gooey experience. And choose good quality energy, perhaps even with some protein. Fruit may sound healthy but doesn’t often travel so well. Smooshed brown banana anyone?

Personal essentials help ensure you are flying in comfort

Choose your personal creature comforts. For some, that may be noise-blocking headphones (He loves them, She finds them too bulky to deal with), others may want a light wrap to stay warm on sometimes chilly flights (She likes a scarf), and some people want to have downloaded TV shows or movies to stay entertained. You’ll also see your share of U-shaped neck pillows, which can be divine too, and She likes a light sweater, which can also serve as a back pillow. Or maybe you want to take a pillow!

Cocoon's Lumbar Support Pillow is perfect for added support

Cocoon’s Lumbar Support Pillow is perfect for added support behind the neck when sitting up to read when traveling or it doubles as a lumbar support.

Last but not least, pack a smile and a good attitude. Flight attendants and other personnel will be nicer to you if you are nicer to them. Avoid being that demanding wench or curmudgeon you hate – those people with permanent frowns and grumbles that definitely have not planned for a comfortable flight. And make everybody else uncomfy too. Go with the flow and breathe and you’ll be much more likely to be flying in comfort!