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Whether you are going for business or leisure, traveling gives you an opportunity to explore new places, experience different cultures, relax, rest and explore. However, traveling, especially air travel, comes with numerous issues and challenges. For instance, you may have to deal with inconvenient arrangements, annoying passengers, overweight baggage, missed or delayed connecting flights, uncomfortable seating situations, as well as lost or misplaced luggage. Unfortunately, some of these issues are unavoidable. So, how can you make your journey more comfortable and enjoyable? Here are some travel hacks to consider.
When booking your flight, make sure you book a direct whenever possible. By opting for a direct flight, you will avoid some of the issues that arise with layovers like having your connecting flight canceled or missing it. Also, you might even lose your luggage or it may end up in a different destination, thus throwing your travel plans into disarray. As much as booking a direct flight may be slightly more expensive than a non-direct one, it will make your travel less stressful. And if it’s not possible to fly direct to your destination, then you should opt for a flight that offers a longer layover. That way, you will have adequate time to relax as you wait for your connecting flight.
Nothing can spoil your trip like opening your bag and realizing that some of your liquids have exploded or leaked. Exploded liquids will spoil your clothing, electronics and other items that you might have packed in your suitcase. And the damage might sometimes be permanent. If possible, you should avoid traveling with liquids completely. You can instead opt for a conditioning bar, a shampoo bar, as well as a bar of soap from a local store near you. Some items like body lotion, facial oil, toothpaste, and facial cleansers are also available as solids. Therefore, regardless of the amount of turbulence you face or how roughly your suitcase is handled, you will never have to worry about liquids spoiling your valuables. Besides, they simplify your travel without compromising the quality of your hair and skincare.
Choose Your Clothing Wisely
If you want to have an enjoyable travel experience, then you will need to choose your travel clothes wisely. The best travel clothes will keep you comfortable on the plane, without slowing you down at the airport security checkpoint. So, what should you wear when traveling?
- Layers: Air travel entails a combination of different microclimates. Therefore, if you want to remain comfortable during your travel, you should layer up. Wraps, cardigans, vests, light jackets, and sweatshirts are perfect for air travel. Also, when you layer up, you will reduce the number of clothing that you have to carry in your luggage. You can then add or remove these layers depending on the conditions.
- Breathable fabrics: Cleanliness and comfort are key when it comes to traveling. Fortunately, you can achieve both by wearing breathable materials like linen, silk, and cotton. Garments made of these materials will allow moisture and air to pass through. On the other hand, wearing fabrics that are not breathable, will leave you feeling sticky and dirty, thus making your travel less enjoyable.
- Compression or support legwear: Pregnant women and people with feet and leg problems like deep vein thrombosis and varicose veins should wear compression stockings when taking long-haul flights. Compression stockings or socks are designed to promote blood circulation. They are readily available in drug stores and pharmacies across the country. Some travel-supply stores also sell them.
- Loose clothing: As noted above, deep vein thrombosis is a common problem in long-haul flights. To minimize the risk of this condition, you should avoid wearing tight clothing, socks, or nylons. Tight clothing might limit blood flow through your veins. Instead of wearing skinny jeans, you should opt for loose-fitting trousers, microfleece pants or A-line skirts.
As for shoes, make sure you choose a pair that is simple and comfortable. It’s highly advisable to wear flat shoes. Also, your shoes should be easy to slip on and off, so that you can save time when passing through airport security.
Choose the Best Seat Possible
If you are going for a long-haul flight, then it’s important to choose your seat carefully. The seat you choose should depend on your width, height as well as personal preferences. Seats in the emergency exit rows offer the most legroom. If you will be traveling with a smaller aircraft, then you will find such seats at the overwing exits. However, you should note that if you don’t speak the airline’s local language, you have mobility restrictions or you have a baby, then you might not be allowed to occupy those seats. Another viable option is to choose seats at the bulkhead. With these seats, you don’t have to worry about fellow passengers reclining into you. And if you fear traveling because of turbulence, then you should opt for seats that are close to the front of the aircraft or over the wings. Avoid sitting close to the rear of the plane as much as you can. While flying is not always a comfortable mission, you can make your travel more relaxed, comfortable and enjoyable by choosing the right seat.
Download Your Airline’s App
While you might feel like you have too many apps on your smartphone already, it’s always wise to download and install the app of the airline that you will be using. After downloading that app, make sure you’ve entered your flight information. That app will help you to stay up-to-date if there are any delays, gate changes, or cancellations. Some airlines also provide in-flight entertainment through their apps, which means you can watch a free movie or listen to music using the app.
Carry a Reusable Empty Bottle
Most airlines have strict liquid limitations. As a result, most people usually assume that they have to purchase water once they clear airport security. However, you don’t always have to do that. You just need to carry a reusable water bottle through airport security and then fill it up with water using one of the water fountains scattered across the airport. This way, you will avoid spending too much money on water while minimizing plastic waste. Drinking that water prior to the flight will keep you hydrated throughout your flight, especially in higher altitudes when the drier air dehydrates you. Avoid drinking water when flying, so that you don’t have to keep rushing to the washrooms.
Pack a Sleep Mask and Ear Plugs
If you have booked a direct flight and your journey is going to take 12 hours or more, then you should invest in quality earplugs and a sleep mask. They will come in handy when want to take a short nap during your flight. Also, they will help to block the fluorescent lighting and constant noise on the plane, making your trip more enjoyable. Earplugs and a sleep mask will also come in handy if your flight is delayed for whatever reason, and you want to sleep for a few hours. As much as you can purchase them from a flight attendant or from airport kiosks, bringing them from home will save you a few dollars.
Create Time to Explore
As much as you might have traveled for business, it doesn’t mean that you should spend the entire time attending business meetings. You should plan for your travel in such a way that you will have time to explore your new surroundings. For instance, you might be tempted to take a short nap when you arrive, in an attempt to shake off the jet lag. However, doing that might end up interfering with your sleeping patterns at night. Instead of taking a nap, you can go for a 30-minute walk or jog close to your hotel room. Jogging will help you to combat the jet lag as you enjoy your new surroundings. And if you have enough time on your hands, you can also go for a short hiking tour with one of the local companies and check out some of the trails in your new city. You can also attend local events, concerts and festivals, try out some local dishes and socialize with your new neighbors. Therefore, when you travel to a new city or a new country, don’t spend the entire time stuck in your hotel room. To travel is to experience and explore new places, things, and people.
Leave Extra Room
As much as you might be tempted to carry as much as you can and fill your bag to the brim, it’s advisable to leave some room in one of your travel suitcases. After all, no one visits a new city or country without bringing back home some unique souvenirs. And since you might buy fragile items like a picture frame or a shot glass, it’s best if you leave space in your carry-on bag. Since your carry-on bag will not leave your site, you can make sure that the bag is handled with caution to prevent your souvenirs from being damaged.
As much as travel can be stressful, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have an enjoyable and fun-filled trip. By focusing on the positives, not letting the negatives to stress you out, and following the above hacks, you will have a great journey and you will always look forward to your next travel. So, book your flight, grab your suitcase and head out.