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How to make airline travel stress free & more enjoyable!

Updated on August 17, 2013


1. Comfortable Travel Pillow - The dreaded head bob when you are falling asleep on the plane is quite embarrasing, not to mention uncomfortable. There are all different types of travel pillows on the market. I personally prefer the memory foam version as it molds to the most comfortable position. Make sure the model you buy has a retainer strap of some sort, so you can attach it to the handle of your suitcase. Otherwise you will certainly lose it, as I did. My second version secures easily to the handle of my telescoping trolley bag

2. Travel Blanket - If you are traveling domestic, and not on business or first class most of the airlines no longer provide blankets. It is not uncommon to be on a plane that gets rather chilly in the cabin. Additionally, taking your own blanket will certainly be more sanitary than taking your chance on a blanket that may if been previously used on an earlier flight.

3. Eye shades - Today there are so many different versions. In fact, you can even find a model that is designed for longer eyelashes. The better versions contour to our face and really give you total black-out to block all light.

4. Mp3 player - Make sure it is fully charged up and ready go as you never know when you’ll be sitting next to a stranger who wants to tell you their entire life story.

5. Ear Buds or Headphones - Your music device won't do you much good if you forget your ear buds or headphones. Keep in mind that those with the noise cancelling feature require batteries. So check the battery size and be sure to take extra.

6. Ear plugs always come in handy, especially if you are overly sensitive to the change in air pressure. Some models are designed specifically for this purpose.

.7. Medical face mask. The airlines have grounded several planes, and many flights are going out with every seat filled. If you are sitting next to someone coughing, and wondering if they have the H1N1 virus, you will certainly feel relieved if you have the medical face mask. Most people assume that you are concerned about getting someone else sick, yet the fact is you are actually looking out for your own welfare. In the best case scenario, someone will think you are sick and might vacate the seat next to you. Finally, don’t worry about looking stupid it is highly doubtful you will ever see those people again.

8. Book or magazine, it will come in especially handy when you are in queue for takeoff with 10-20 planes in front of you. This gives you something to do before they allow you to turn your computer, or sound devices.

9. Bottle Water - Of course, you can purchase your bottled water once you clear security and on most domestic flights carry your water on board. Please keep in mind that some International Flights will require you to discard your bottle water upon boarding the plane. If you want to save money, you can always take an empty water bottle and fill up at the water fountain before boarding the plane.

10. Emergency Snacks - Delays are not that uncommon and if you are making a connection some times the connection time is shorter than you anticipate. It always comes in handy to pack some easy-to-access snacks for these unanticipated delays.

11. Foldable Emergency Packing Bag - These are generally rip-stop (parachute nylon) and fold up into their own outside pocket. Instead of traveling with a disposable plastic bag these come in extremely handy for carrying snacks, lunch, drinks, etc. They are available in mini backpacks, mini duffels, and mini totes and generally fold up into a 6" pouch or smaller.

12. Slip-on Shoes - All domestic flights require you to remove your shoes and pass them through the x-ray. Slip-on shoes when passing through security will make this process much easier and avoid delays

13. Empty pockets - Most security checkpoints in the US will ask you to empty all pockets, remove watches, jewelry, etc. For your own security I recommend doing this in advance of passing through security. Many handbags, backpacks, and business cases have an accessory pocket. It will save you time, and reduce the risk of leaving a valuable behind if you empty your pockets and valuables into a secure accessory pocket before getting into the security line. Most of us have already learned this from experience and possible left a pen, watch or valued possession behind.

14. 3-1-1 Bag - Even if you have a short flight it is always nice to have cosmetic or hygeine items. The airlines allow a 1 quart clear bag with bottles that do not exceed 3 oz. Most grocery and drug stores today offer the miniature bottles that meet these standards in everything from mouth wash, shaving cream, tooth paste, deodorant, etc. Please keep in mind that security only allows one clear 1 quart bag per passenger and the bottles can't be larger than the specified three oz. size. Although, some airports make these bags available for free, I recommend that you always travel with your own to avoid having the items confiscated.

15. Mini Flashlight - Have you ever dropped anything on a plane? Try to find it when you are in a hurry, it has probably rolled down under your seat or even down to the person sitting behind you. Having a mini-flash light comes in real handy when you are searching for something you dropped.

16. Duct Tape - Don't take up valuable space in yor carry-on. However, if you are checking a bag and staying for a few days, having a roll of duct tape is a super life saver. I can't tell you how many times something happens to your suitcase or travel article and a simple roll of duct tape can temporarily fix the problem until you get back home. Better and more economical than purchasing a suitcase for the trip home.


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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for your comments, it is always encouraging to get feedback. I hope that I've provided suggestions that make airline travel less stressful.

    • The Rope profile image

      The Rope 

      8 years ago from SE US

      (That bag just gets bigger and bigger. :D:) Sorry, I travel a lot and these are very valid tips. The bottled water and the slip on shoes are absolute musts! Never thought about the duct tape. Can definately see the value, my "charmed travel" pass must be about ready to expire.


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