4 Tips When Traveling by Air

Airplane in flight, headed toward the setting sun.

These 4 tips for air travel can make your flight more comfortable. (Image: Jakub Gojda via Dreamstime)

A safe and comfortable flight requires adequate preparation in advance. Ms. Lin, a 28-year veteran flight attendant at a major U.S. airline, offers some suggestions when you are traveling by air.

4 worthwhile tips when traveling by air

1. Choose a major airline when traveling by air

People often compare prices when shopping for goods and try to choose quality products with the lowest price. However, this shopping method is not suitable for air travel. You should consider safety as a top priority and select a reliable airline.

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Ms. Lin suggests choosing reputable airlines in the United States, Europe, and Japan. These airlines operate under strict aviation laws and their fleets go through rigorous maintenance and repair standards. They take all mechanical issues, big and small, seriously.

Pilot error, mechanical failures, and weather are the top three reasons for aviation accidents. Major airlines focus on maintenance and personnel training to mitigate these risks. It is better to avoid low-cost carriers to save money because it is difficult for a carrier to invest in higher safety standards while offering cheaper fares.

2. Wear comfortable clothes when traveling by air

Wearing the right clothes when traveling by air optimizes comfort.
Wearing the right clothes when traveling by air optimizes comfort. (Image: Hugoht via Dreamstime)

Flight times can last for hours and of course there’s not a lot of space to move around in the cabin. Be sure to wear comfortable light clothing and good walking shoes. A neck pillow and noise-canceling headphones will also add to your comfort.

Long sleeve shirts and pants should be worn for any length of flight for two reasons: the cabin is usually set to a lower temperature, and in the event of an emergency evacuation, long sleeves and pants will better protect the skin from abrasions and burns.

Ms. Lin shares what she wears on the airplane: a short sleeve tee-shirt inside, a light long sleeve shirt, and finally a hooded garment. This way you can take off a layer of clothing if you get warm.

For longer flights wear a pair of compression socks and bring a large shawl and an extra set of clothing in your carry-on luggage. Wearing compression socks can prevent blood clots and are more comfortable. A shawl comes in handy when there are not enough blankets on the plane. The extra set of clothes is helpful if something spills on you during the flight. Plus if you don’t use these items, you can roll them up and put them behind your back for support on long flights.

3. Carry a small pouch when traveling by air

A small pouch keeps bare necessities with you at all times.
A small pouch keeps bare necessities with you at all times when you are traveling by air. (Image: Yaoslav Litun via Dreamstime)

In addition to the above carry-on items, it is recommended to wear a pouch to keep important items such as ID, passport, credit cards, money, etc. It is advisable to have these important items in a small pouch separate from your carry-on luggage. In the event of an emergency evacuation, you will not be delayed during the evacuation process. Meanwhile, the pouch is small and light.

Ms. Lin’s younger brother often travels internationally. He wears a travel pouch around his neck. Even if everything else is lost, the most important items are still with him, and the pouch can be used for any type of travel by air, land, or water.

4. Bring a thermos and food when traveling by air

Water cannot be brought through the TSA checkpoints in the U.S., but you can bring an empty thermos or water bottle and fill it up at the airport terminal or ask a flight attendant to fill it up on the plane. The air on an airplane is very dry, so it’s easy to get thirsty. Having your own supply of water makes it convenient, and you don’t have to worry about waking up thirsty and having to wait for the flight attendant to deliver a glass of water.

There are regulations governing the safety of an aircraft’s water and airlines are required to disinfect and flush the water tanks. Those who are concerned with the quality of the drinking water can purchase bottled water on the plane.

There are very few options when it comes to airplane food. If you are on a specific diet or don’t like the food options, you can bring a variety of food on board. This will help make a long flight more enjoyable.

Translated by Elaine

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