Having been on several First and Business Class flights (see here and here) it’s easy to get used to the comfortable pillows and blankets, ample leg room, abundant personal space and the ability to recline without injuring the person behind.
2018 will see me through a total of 15 flights, most of which are in economy, and a couple which will test my patience at 14 hours in duration! Over many trips I’ve managed to find several ways that make the ordeal easier to bear.
1. The Perfect Carry On Bag
When travelling on my own, I like to check in as much of my baggage as possible. I’m a petite sort of build and hate having to fuss around with baggage on the plane, particularly with the overhead locker. As far as I’m concerned, the overhead lockers don’t even exist.
Instead, I’ll bring along a backpack and a bag large enough to fit my carry on essentials, but small enough to push under the seat in front of me. My dynamic-duo for carry on bags are:
Rebecca Minkoff Medium Julian Backpack:
I really love this bag. It’s not only very practical for travelling, but also looks amazing with virtually every outfit. I’ll keep all of the essentials like passport, boarding pass, bank cards and SIM cards, stored in an easily accessible, but secure, pocket. The security latch feature makes extra sure no one will get into your bag!
Herschel Strand Duffel XS:
Toiletries, on board travel tools and things I would never dream of checking in (like jewellery, laptop and camera) are stored here. This bag is the perfect size for me and I can walk around comfortable with it on my shoulder, and fits nicely under the seat while on the plane, easy to reach when the need arises.
2. Download Content
I don’t like to cut it too late when catching a flight which always means I have quite a bit of time to spare before boarding the plane. Most of the time I won’t have access to an airline lounge (aka their wifi) so I rely on having an ample supply of movies and TV shows on my iPad to kill time before boarding.
3. Select Your Seat
Ending up in the middle seat is horrid. Almost as soon as I purchase a ticket I’ll login and select my seat and a special meal, so the meal comes out sooner.
My happy seat:
is as close as possible to the front of the plane where any turbulence is less felt
in the middle-ish of the cabin to be far enough away from crying infants as well as the noise of the toilets and galley
middle section of the seating arrangement (rather that either of the planes seating) which lessens the chance of someone climbing over you from the middle seat
an aisle seat, where the other aisle seat on the other side of the seating arrangement has already been selected, as people are less likely to choose the middle seat when the flight isn’t full
Read more able the perfect plane seat.
4. Board ASAP
Yes, I’m a hoverer. When there is an indication that boarding will commence (usually shortly after Business Class passengers are let on) I hover around the gate. The sooner I’m able to get on board the sooner I’m able to begin making my seat as comfortable as possible.
5. Don’t Use the Overhead Locker
I hate having to reach the overhead lockers. On larger planes I have to step up on the plane seat in order to actually reach. It’s annoying.
Anytime I travel alone I make sure to check in my luggage, even if it’s small, and only carry on a bag that can be stored under the seat in front. Both of my carry on bags slide in perfectly.
6. Get Comfy
As soon as I’m seated I’ll take off my sandals/shoes, put on my compression socks, clip in the foot hammock to the tray table in front, connect the USB cable to charge up my phone, drape the blanket over my lap, slide my bags under the seat in front of me, secure my belt and get started with the in-flight entertainment.
7. Bring Toiletries
The low humidity levels of the cabin never fail to make my insides feel like a desert. Apart from drinking PLENTY of water, making sure my skin is properly hydrated is key to making me feel better.
I’ll bring along some fragrance, a muslin cloth, face oil, moisturiser, Lucas Papaw Ointment and a toothbrush and paste.
8. Comfortable Clothing
My go-to plane outfits vary according to the weather at the destination but usually involve maxi dresses, midi dresses layered with a light scarf or tights with long, loose fitted tops. For cold weather I’ll layer more items at the airport after getting off the plane.