First Class in Economy
Let’s face it: Modern air travel is challenging at the best of times. It goes without saying that any trace of the glamour formerly associated with flying has completely vanished, but, like all things: There are ways to improve even the most ordinary travel experience.
Here are our best tips to travel in style:
- Map out your trip. Look at your itinerary. Really look. And not just at the departure and arrival times. Clock your layover and scope out the airport terminal ahead of time. Even if you are a member, airline lounges are almost always the same: Dreary waiting rooms with bad upholstery, stale sandwiches and terrible coffee. On the other hand, there are some really first rate restaurant kiosks in most major airport hubs these days. Take the opportunity to check one out. You may discover a new favorite!
- Request a special meal. Even if you aren’t a child; a vegetarian, trying to keep Kosher or are gluten intolerant, try requesting a special meal. They are almost always better than the usual fare. And don’t forget to take a healthy snack, especially if you are flying domestically. Nobody wants a $4 pulpy apple. Or Chex mix.
- Dress the Part. It is an unwritten but common practice of ticket agents to allot the better seats to well dressed (and well mannered) passengers. You don’t have to wear a suit, but an ironed shirt and tailored jacket will go a long way toward helping you to snag that aisle seat. You can always change once you’re onboard. Score!
- Carpe Diem. Sometimes, a long layover or a delayed flight can be a plus if you are prepared to seize the day! Flight cancelled out of Austin? Time to sample some world-famous Tex-Mex or Bar-B-Que while listening to some great music! Endless delays out of Dallas? This is the perfect opportunity to indulge in a guilty pleasure: An airport massage and a Danielle Steel novel. Why not? Attitude is everything.
- Be Prepared. This is the part that really counts. We are against dragging overstuffed carry-ons onto planes, but always have a satellite bag or large handbag, packed with everything we need for the flight (and an overnight stay, just in case).
- - Healthy, portable snacks (of course).
- - A TSA compliant “emergency” kit. We know a good one.
- - A dopp kit with our overnight basics: travel toothbrush, mini toothpaste, face washer and face cream, lip balm, face mister and face oil.
- - An extra jumper. We use an old, holey cashmere one to wrap around the airline pillow.
- - Secretly Comfy Pants: We like J. Crew’s “Saturday Pants.” They can almost pass for slim trousers, but made in a heavenly French terry fabric that you could sleep in.
- - Slip on shoes or pool slides for trips to that airplane loo. The floor is unthinkable in bare feet or socks.
- - A practical wrap. Turkish-T towel. The perfect multi-tasker. A blanket, beach towel, pillow, sarong or scarf. It’s whatever you need it to be.
- - A good book and diary with a good pen (for those analog moments)
- A lightweight, foldable tote to hold all above and tuck behind your legs. With a plastic liner for trash.