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How To Travel First Class (in Economy)

We fly back to Sydney every Christmas. It is a loooooong and expensive flight. We can’t afford the flat bed luxury of first or business class, but experience has taught us many tricks for comfortable long distance traveling, so now seems like the perfect time to share! Here are our best tips for traveling in style (no matter where you’re seated):


1. Map out your trip. Look at your itinerary. Really look. And not just at the departure and arrival times. Clock your layover if you have one 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.

2. 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 from home, especially if you are flying domestically. Nobody wants a $4 pulpy apple. Or Chex mix. 

3. 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 into sweatpants once you’re onboard. Score!

4. 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.

5. 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 dopp kit with our overnight basics: travel toothbrush, mini toothpaste, my own face washer and face cream, lip balm, face mister and face oil.

An extra sweater. We use old 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 cozy French terry fabric that you could seriously sleep in.

Slip on shoes or pool slides for trips to the airplane restroom. The floor is unthinkable in bare feet or socks. Don’t go there.

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.

Our own headphones and an eye mask to escape a bad movie or an overly chatty fellow passenger.

A good book and diary with a good pen (for those analog moments)

Mobile device chargers and extra battery pack.

A lightweight, foldable tote to hold all above and tuck behind your legs. With a plastic liner for trash.


Bon Voyage, Baby!



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