If I could, I’d be all year round travelling the world. Until then, I try to visit a faraway destination at least once a year.
Although air transport is the fastest and safest way to travel, it’s also the most uncomfortable (I’d maybe not say the same if I use to travel in Business or First class!).
Fortunately, over the years, I developed some habits to make flying as pleasant as possible.
As always, I select my seat in advance because I don’t want to be allocated a seat in the “middles”, any seat in the middle row or a middle seat on side rows, or at the back of the plane.
I hate the middle row because I’m not able to have at least a glimpse of what’s going on outside and worry at the slightest noise or turbulence.
However, there is one exception, which is the row where baby cots can be put because there is a lot of space for the feet and it’s free, which is not the case for the exit seats for which, most of the time, you’ve to add an extra if you want to select them.
I hate the middle seat too because people, when sleeping, tend to fall on their neighbour’s shoulder. And I don’t want to be the person who falls or is fallen on.
And I hate the last row too because the seats can’t be reclined.
Comparing to a short-haul flight, I don’t care to choose a seat near the entrance/exit of the plane because I know that I’d have to wait for my luggage anyway (except if very lucky).
This is why I select my seat according to the toilets and the food&drinks station location if possible.
I don’t choose a row too near from the toilets because I don’t want to be disturbed by the possible smells and people going back and forth.
But I choose a row just after the food&drinks station in order to be among the first to be served (I’m always hungry) and also to be sure to have the widest choice.
The selection of the seat itself is harder.
Before, when I travelled alone, I used to select a seat near the window to rest my head. The problem was when I wanted to pee (and I often want to pee). As a child, I remember myself stepping over my neighbour(s). I don’t see myself doing that anymore. First, because I lost my agility but also because it would be kind of awkward if my neighbour(s) just woke up at that time…
When I started to travel with my boyfriend, I continued to select the window seat for me (middle seat for him) but he became pissed off to have to ask his neighbour to stand up to let me go to the toilets. To be honest, I preferred him to be pissed off than me to be pissed on!
Then, I started to select the aisle seat for me (still middle seat for him, poor guy!). It’s not that bad because I can come and go as I want but it’s definitely not the best place to sleep. On the other hand, I can’t sleep if I don’t pee. This is why I finally think that it’s the best seat location. And I developed new ways of trying to sleep, like by resting my head on my boyfriend or on the table or seat in the front.
I read a clever trick in a magazine consisting in selecting the window seat and the aisle seat. If lucky, nobody will select the middle seat (nobody likes middle seat) and you’ll have the whole row for you and if not, you just have to ask the person to switch seats. Brilliant!
The first time I tried this trick, we had a free updrage to the Premium Economy. It don’t know if it’s pure coincidence or if this tactic also works to have a free upgrade. I will to try again to know.
The most important for me is to feel comfortable and warm.
This is why I more or less always wear the same clothes when I travel far:
-A comfortable pair of pants, such as legging pants or sweatpants
-A comfortable bra (very important!), or no bra at all
-A cashmere sweater
-Shoes that I’ll not have to remove at security check (ballerinas, Ugg, sneakers, flip-flops) but easy to remove in the plane.
I also always take a full set of change, just in case, since I was sick with gastroenteritis in a flight between Paris and Hanoi (I was very happy to have an aisle seat on that occasion!). Disaster was avoided but I learnt that we never know what can happen and therefore that we’re never too foresighted.
I take a super large bag that I put in the storage compartment because I don’t need most of the things I carry with me. And for the things that I might need, I put them in the pocket in front of me.
My bag always contains the following items:
-Items compulsory to travel: my passport, my travel documents and my wallet
-Items not to be bored: (my I Pod), a magazine, a travel guide and a book
-Items of value that I can’t put in my suitcase: my phone, my Mac Book, my camera, my jewelry, my sunglasses and the keys of my apartment
-Items compulsory to my survival: Ibuprofen tabs, as I’m subject to headaches
-Items to help me to sleep: a sleeping mask and a set of earplugs
-Other items: a pack of chewing gums, a pack of m&ms, a pair of socks if needed (according to the shoes I wear), a full set of clothes, a lip balm, my agenda, a pen, my toothbrush and some toothpaste, my pills and Immodium tabs
Having a super large bag is very useful when the suitcase is suddenly not big enough on the way back!
Having a nice boyfriend is also very useful to carry the heavy bag!
I invested in a four-wheels cabin suitcase this year. So depending where we go, if my boyfriend is with me or no and if I plan to shop a lot or not, I take the bag or the suitcase.