Tips to Make Coach Feel Like First Class
Many a seasoned globetrotter will tell you they love everything about travel—except the actual traveling. Airplane seats have gotten smaller, flights are more crowded and it’s been a long time since anyone claimed that “getting there is half the fun.” But that doesn’t mean you can’t travel in comfort. Here, we’ve compiled some tips to help you settle in and relax between takeoff and touchdown.
Even on short flights, sensory overload can make you feel harried and hassled. But a few key items tucked into your carry-on will help you create an island of tranquility just big enough for one, so you can arrive at your destination refreshed.
An eye mask lets you block out the glare from the window or your seatmate’s reading light and sends the message that you’d rather rest than chat. Choose one that’s soft, lightweight and equipped with a wide, adjustable strap for a comfortable fit.
Noise-reduction earphones use phase-cancellation technology to block sound from the outside, so you can hear your music or the in-flight movie more clearly, or simply enjoy the quiet. Look for padded ear cups and an adjustable headpiece for wearability on long flights. Travel-savvy models also fold flat for packing and come with a plug adapter for two-pronged sockets.
Stay Cool (or Warm)
Temperatures can shift wildly on airplanes—from uncomfortably warm on the runway to downright chilly at cruising altitude. A few well-chosen items will help you keep your cool, or stay cozy, through all the ups and downs.
Breathable fabrics, like cotton, linen or wicking microfiber, will keep you cool and dry as you find your gate, board your flight and get settled in your seat. And less perspiration at takeoff means you’ll stay warmer and more comfortable mid-flight.
Layers of clothing offer personal climate control, letting you add or subtract as necessary. When choosing a sweater, jacket or tunic, opt for fabrics that offer warmth without bulk. Select a style with a full front placket, so it’s easy to open, close or remove without leaving your seat.
A personal travel blanket is a little luxury that’s become a necessity, as fewer airlines offer blankets in flight. The best blankets are soft, lightweight and breathable, and can be packed and washed easily. They also come in handy when you reach your destination, for impromptu picnics or pre-dinner naps.
Travel slippers will keep your feet toasty and give them much-appreciated wiggle room, while also letting you move about the cabin without putting on your shoes. They’re generally lighter in weight than conventional slippers, and designed to fold flat for easy packing.
Sit Back & Relax
Airplane seats are designed to accommodate a wide range of body types and sizes—a one-size-fits-all approach to seating that doesn’t always translate into individual comfort. Fortunately, a range of clever products exists to help you customize your seat and make even the longest flight more comfortable.
Neck pillows come in an impressive array of designs, from super-supportive memory foam cushions to light, cushy beanbags to super-packable inflatable models. There’s a size and shape to suit every traveler and every mode of travel. Our favorites have soft fabrics and shapes that ensure they stay put as you doze.
Lumbar and seat pillows are the latest must-pack comfort accessories, saving you from having to find an extra blanket (or scrunch up your jacket) to tuck behind or beneath you. Like neck pillows, they are available in a variety of travel-friendly designs, and can make a huge difference in how you feel both in flight and on arrival.
A footrest is one of the features that make a seat in First Class so comfortable. But you needn’t pay premium prices to prop up your feet. A folding footrest will do the job quite nicely, and you can use it between trips, beneath your desk at home or at work.
Compression socks combat the effects of prolonged sitting in a tight space—they minimize swelling and stimulate healthy circulation to ease aches and help prevent deep vein thrombosis. These days, they come in an array of colors and patterns to pair with everything from jeans to business wear.
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