Calgon, take me away…… on an airplane!
If finding moments of zen in your life is difficult in general, imagine trying to find some peace while crammed into a metal tube hurtling across the sky at a bazillion miles an hour. Inconceivable, right?
Well, hold up there my dear Vizzini! (The Princess Bride, anyone? Anyone?) As I write this blog, I am squished into a seat fit for Thumbelina while seated next to a Danny DeVito lookalike who feels it absolutely necessary to prop up his stinky, dingy-socked feet up on the tray table next to me.
Miraculously, I’m not about to stab him to death with my plastic dinner fork. So what’s the secret to my laissez faire attitude? No, not Xanax, just some tried and true tips for maintaining your equilibrium while flying... with a few fun song lyrics thrown in.
1. “Just give me no lines and keep your hands to yourself”
Before you even get on the plane, save yourself the headache of security lines by enrolling in the trusted traveler program. For $100, plus a background check, you can get access to a priority security line and skip having to go to third base with the TSA agent. The more you travel, the more crucial this timesaver becomes. Bypassing the lines makes me feel less stressed when traveling. Learn more at http://www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck
2. “I feel invincible with my headphones on”
Once on the plane, earplugs or noise canceling earphones are a must. I’m sure everyone has at one time or another been seated next to a fussy baby, a Chatty Cathy or an over-sharer who you can hear even though he/she is seated five rows away. Keep all of these distractions at bay by investing in devices that will keep your ears (and your sanity) intact. Earplugs cost just a few dollars and usually come in multi-packs. Stash sets in multiple places like your purse, computer bag, carry-on or fanny pack for easy access. (Kidding about the fanny pack part. Do not! I repeat do not, carry a fanny pack…ever!)
A more high-tech option for blocking out unwanted sounds is a pair of noise canceling headphones. Not only do these headphones deter unwanted conversations and screaming kids, they also filter out airplane cabin noise. thereby giving you some much needed quiet time. Here’s one of my favorites.
3. “Sleep with one eye open, gripping your pillow tight”
How many times have you wanted to take a pillow with you while traveling but it just didn’t fit in your luggage? A clever alternative is deflated plastic beach ball. A beach ball, you say? Yes! These inflatables can serve as anything from a makeshift foot rest to a lumbar support to a pillow and you can adjust the air pressure to your liking with just a few puffs of air. When you’re done, simply deflate again and store flat in any carryon without taking up additional room.
4. “I’ll be there for you, ‘cause you’re there for me too”
Nothing takes you away from your cramped economy seat like a good movie or your favorite show. Download goodies from sites like Hulu or Netflix and make sure you have ample battery life for your mobile devices by using battery extenders. With these handy gadgets, it’s just a matter of time before you getting swept away by Friends reruns or Ryan Gosling’s hotness instead of dreaming of beating your seat mate senseless with the Sky Mall catalog. Here are two of my favorites.
5. “Use the sleeves of my sweater and let’s have an adventure”
Being too hot or cold on a plane is a surefire way to jolt you out of your tranquil mood. Make sure to dress comfortably and in layers so you can add or remove clothing as the plane’s temperature fluctuates. I especially like convertible pieces like a light jacket that, when rolled into its own attached bag, becomes a pillow or a scarf that becomes a blanket. I make sure to have a couple of these items tucked into my carryon every time I fly. Here’s one of my favorite convertible jackets.