Flying the Friendly Skies, Part 2

Last week, I discussed how to plan summer air travel to help minimize stress and travel disruption.     

Since I frequently take five or six flights during the course of a week, finding ways to maintain my sanity in crowded airports and airplanes is crucial.

Here are a few tips I follow to make travel as comfy as possible:

Pack healthy snacks.  My carry-on always includes packages of mixed nuts.  Do you really want to pay $5 for a granola bar at the airport newsstand?  Me neither.

Drink plenty of water.  Dry cabin air can leave you dehydrated and fatigued when you reach your destination, so sip water throughout the flight.  Don’t depend on the in-flight beverage service.  Buy a large bottle in the airport, or bring an empty bottle to fill after clearing security.

Pack a scarf.  Summer is hot, but planes can get chilly and blankets are in short supply.  Stay warm with a lightweight pashmina or scarf, which will double as a chic accessory at your destination.

Load up on reading material.  Pack enough books, magazines, movies and other activities to stay productive and occupied.  I am an avid reader, and frequent travel enables me to read at least one book and multiple magazines each week.  A subscription to NextIssue delivers dozens of magazines directly to my iPad, which is also regularly loaded with eBooks from the New York Public Library.

Don’t forget your headphones.  Not only are headphones essential for listening to music or watching movies, they can discourage the talkative seatmate who wants to tell you his or her life story.  If travelling with kids, headphones will keep them occupied and help them avoid disturbing others with noisy videos and games.    

Create a “happy zone” around you.  Be nice to TSA workers, gate agents, flight attendants and other passengers.  Smiles and calmness are contagious, and they will help you maintain a good attitude – even when faced with travel disruption.