Portrait of a young woman in the boarding bridge, boarding an aiIt’s officially the start of summer travel season, and what does that mean? Airplane rides! And while air travel has never been known to be comfortable, there are a few things you can to do make your tiny seat the best home in the sky it can be.

Layered clothing – Airplanes are notoriously fickle with their temperature control. One second it’s freezing, the next it’s burning hot. And in case you end up one of the many unfortunate passengers that have been left sitting delayed on the runway for hours with no A/C, you’ve gotta be prepared. So my best advice to you: dress in layers. Start with a tank, a light cardigan, and pack another sweater just in case.

Socks – I don’t know about you, but one of the first things I like to do when I settle into the plane is take off my shoes. But there’s nothing worse than having cold feet when you’re trying to snooze, so make sure to pack a pair of soft, warm socks. I’m partial to those weird fluffy ones you always seem to get as Christmas gifts.

Neck Pillow – Have you ever tried sleeping with that flat excuse for a pillow the airline tries to give you? Forget about it! Don’t waste time shifting and rearranging, and invest in a nice neck pillow instead. Especially for those long international flights, there are crucial. If you’re worried about it taking up too much space in your carry-on, they make inflatable ones that are easy for traveling.

Hand cream/facial spray or moisturizer – With all of the recycled air going around the plane, your skin starts to dry out – and dry out fast. So make sure to toss a mini hand cream or moisturizer in your purse to keep yourself comfy and hydrated.

Snacks – Food in the airport is astronomically expensive, and now, so is food on the plane (not to mention gross.) So do yourself a favor and pack some food. Try something easy and non-offending to the noses of your fellow passengers like a PB & J (or three,) and fruit and chips.

Laptop/iPad/Kindle – No matter where you’re flying, plane rides always seem much longer than they actually are. So don’t count on them for entertainment, and pack some of your own. Movies, games, photos, and ebooks are all at the tip of your fingertip with these electronic devices (and much lighter than toting around 3 books!)

Happy flying!

– Esther Carlstone

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