Sunday, May 20, 2007

Free Your Mind - Quick Tips for Relaxing in Flight

One of the most difficult challenges of flying is getting that elusive amount of needed rest. Not everybody can get any real good sleep on a plane especially on a crowded cramped aircraft but hopefully these suggestions will help.

Before Your Flight -
Shake those feelings of anxiety. Honestly, if the prospect of flying is a stressful event, then get a doctor's advice. On the other hand it's a matter of letting your mind be free. Take care of any work issues well in advance of your last day of work. Don't be scrambling at the last minute. Like packing at the last moment, you'll feel that time is short and something forgotten or incomplete.

Also constantly review your travel plans and packing. Cluttered minds leave things behind and undone. It's amazing what you think about one day that you didn't the day before. The Hopeful Traveler finds himself writing in a pocket notepad and sending himself emails to home from work just to remind himself of something he may have forgotten.

Most travelers believe the vacation begins once you reach your destination. But the Hopeful Traveler believes it begins from the moment you leave home. Those moments at the airport checking-in, going through security and waiting for your flight can affect how you enjoy the next leg of your journey. So plan on being at the airport ontime to avoid rushing or the prospect of long lines.

On Board -
The clothing you wear should be comfortable but appropriate for the duration of the flight and arrival at your destination. Dress in layers to keep warm considering airlines have cut back on blankets for passengers. Use slip-on shoes that you can remove inflight and clean socks to keep your feet warm.

Many already do this but being ready at the call of your group number or row will help you secure the overhead bin to get the most leg room possible.

Some passengers bring their own sleeping mask, pillow or blanket and that's fine. Whatever you need to make you feel more comfortable provided the items are easily accessible and stowed. Many of these items and more can be found at (see Quick Links). The Hopeful Traveler cannot fly without an iPod. A battery pack and portable charger/dock helps viewing videos for long-haul flights. If you can afford it, noise-cancelling headphones can help you enjoy your media device or in-inflight movie/music. Bring a book or several magazines. If you can't sleep don't just sit there doing nothing. You'll feel a sense of restlessness as you constantly check your watch.

Set your watch to destination time as soon as you board the plane. Always think of the time of where you are going and not of the time at home. To avoid that rush for restrooms before landing, plan on preparing for landing ahead of the in-flight announcement by setting a watch alarm. This will offer you the opportunity to stretch your legs and get yourself fully awake.

If you can sleep on the plane through the entire flight, fasten you seat belt so the flight attendants can see it is secured so you are not awaken if the pilot turns on the seatbelt sign.

Always drink plenty of water because the humidity in the cabin is extememly low. Stay away from alcohol and caffeine which can dehydrate you and interfere with sleep.

If you're traveling first class, then you got it made. But remember the alcohol flows often and free so just say 'no'.


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