On one of my first flights ever, I was decked out in white pants, matching jacket, clicking down the corridor in really high heel shoes. I was doing that sassy walk thing, grinning like I had a new set of porcelain caps.
Six hours later I stumbled from the airplane cabin, exhausted, with the entire food menu imprinted on those white pants, a splitting headache and swollen feet. Life is full of learning experiences. At that moment, I swore I would get smarter about air travel.
Travel always sounds so romantic, mysterious, romantic…oh, I said that already. Travelers know the truth: air travel only qualifies for a string of four letter words. So, let’s get specific about getting comfortable.
Comfort Rule #1: Layer, layer, layer.
Layering is the Golden Rule of Comfort. Between take off and landing, cabin temperatures fluctuate from hot to freezing. One minute you’re sweating, the next you have to flick the icicles off the end of your nose.
Begin with the basics, a comfortable bra. Next, slip on an inexpensive, colorful Old Navy tank top. Then add a long sleeved shirt. Denim is great, but any cotton or cotton blend will work. Finally, add a shawl or scarf.
Comfort Rule #2: Jackets and Scarves.
Because I’m cold natured, an inexpensive scarf resides in my purse 24/7. Like my grandson with his security blanket, I need my binkie, too. As the temperature on the plane drops, wrapping the scarf around my shoulders makes napping a dreamy experience.
Hot or cold outside, carry a jacket. Carrying saves bag room and gives you more options to control your personal climate needs. I prefer inexpensive cotton jackets that can be folded and stuffed into a bag or purse. In case they get damaged or lost, it’s not the end of the world. Another option, although more expensive, are the new ski jackets. They are lightweight, water repellent and warm.
Comfort Rule #3: Wear the jeans, don’t pack them.
Jeans are heavy and take up suitcase space. Wearing them serves multiple purposes: saves bag space, no show on spills and protects legs.
Comfort Rule #4: Shoes and socks
Undressing before passing through airport security has become routine. Walking around barefooted on airport floors makes my toes cringe. A simple pair of black socks solves the “cringes.” On the plane, if I slip off my shoes, I feel my feet are insulated from the floor grunge.
Tennis shoes are a pain to untie, take off, get on, and re-tie. Makes me tired just thinking about it. Loafers work best. They’re classy, easy to slip off and on and look sexy with jeans. More pluses, they’re comfortable and provide good footing if you’re lugging multiple bags (aren’t we always?) I have a pair that I call my Plane-O-Shoes. When they become worn, I trade them in on a new pair and off we go again.
Comfort Rule #5: That indispensable carry-on
Prescription drugs top the list of things that go in your carry-on. If your checked luggage decides to take a different destination, be sure your pills arrive with you instead of Madrid. Over-the-counter pain medication, such as Aspirin, Excedrin or Tylenol should be tucked into one of those carry on pockets. When the cabin pressure causes a pounding headache, of couple of these can be real lifesavers.
Stop off at your friendly Walgreens or CVS before your flight to pick up a few of these comfort items.
• Hand cream. Rubbing your arms with cream makes the whole cramped seat experience a little more enjoyable.
• Hair bands: If you have long hair, pull your hair back for a more open spaces feeling.
• Magazines: Buy a no-brainer magazine with lots of celebrity gossip in it. They’re fun to read and help pass the airtime.
• Lip balm: Any brand will work. The air on the plane dries out your lips. Fight back by lathering something greasy on them.
These five simple comfort rules can make a huge difference in how you feel when your foot hits the jet way. That smile on your face as you strut to baggage claim will make people do a double take and go “Wow”!
Or, just fly first class and forget you ever read this…