How to make long flights more comfortable?


With only a few days to go now before we head off on our big adventure to the US, my mind is spinning.
Have I packed enough? Have I packed too much? Will two pairs of shoes be enough? Will my jacket be warm enough? Why can’t I find my sons underwear? Has he been going commando all this time and just hasn’t told me? Why don’t his tracksuit pants fit him anymore? Why hasn’t my daughter packed her suitcase yet! Why is it only ME who is worrying and stressing and trying to get organised? Why is everyone else so calm? Why will it take almost 30 hours of travel in total (including wait times at airports) to get to New York? How many times will I die of frustration and boredom and discomfort during that epic journey? (25 times at least.)

I’ve googled just about every site and blog I can find (it’s a sickness) to find all the good travel tips.
“How to cope with long flights”
“How to make long haul flights more comfortable”

I know everything there is to know now about what to do, what not to do. What to wear to be comfortable. What to eat and what not to, what to drink, and what not to. I’m going to ignore that though because I HAVE to have some wine. They say not to, because it dehydrates you but in my case if I don’t I’m likely to get strapped to my seat with a guard placed next to the “crazy lady having panic attacks.”

I have learned what a “Pashmina” is now through all this googling.
They say it is a good idea to bring a “Pashmina” as the airline blankets they give you are “icky”. Some folk doubt they are even laundered between flights, even if wrapped in plastic.

I’d never given this any thought to be honest.
Perhaps I’m just not a germaholic at heart but it never occurred to me that these airline blankets and pillows could be breeding grounds for millions of nasty bacteria guaranteed to ruin your holiday.
“Imagine all the snot, the unwashed hands handing them…the hands doing “things” under them” someone said.
This alarmed me.

So I googled what a “Pashmina” is, out of curiosity and maybe even necessity (at one weak point in my mind) and discovered that all this time I’ve had several “Pashmina’s” floating around my house but never really knew what they were for – except to drape decoratively over side tables and the backs of chairs for that carefree ethnic kind of look.

Here’s what they look like if you don’t already know.


I made my daughter model it. She doesn’t look happy does she?

I even (and don’t laugh) washed one of my “Pashminas” and seriously contemplated taking it with me on the plane…you know so I could be part of the savvy travelers who are in the know when it comes to clever travel tips.
I went to get it off the line today and there was a great big black Cicada beetle on it. A black Knight I believe they are called.
Well, that was an omen in itself (I get SO superstitious when I fly) and then I thought…Oh how stupid Tracy….since when are you a Pashmina kind of person!
No…I think I’ll temp fate with a normal old airline blanket.
I just won’t lick it or anything.

I convinced dear hubby that I needed to buy an inflatable seat cushion for this LONG flight.
When he started to object…in an email, I wrote to him that he should care about the well being of my bum and that I really DO need a tush cush!

He refused to buy me one of the good ones (expensive, self inflating ones) Apparently my tush is not worth THAT much (I’m a bit miffed) so instead he ordered FOUR cheap inflatable (blow it up yourself) seat cushions.
How cheap is my husband?
They were $5 each.
That’s how cheap he is.

After I nearly burst a lung trying to inflate mine today I sat it upon a chair and it felt like it was about to pop.
Oh my, I thought.
Imagine if in flight it DID pop?
I can just see a dozen flight attendants descending upon me and wrestling me to the aisle trying to find the concealed gun upon my person.
“It’s just my tush cush! I promise, I did not just fire a weapon!”

So I squeezed a lot of air out of it , satisfied that this would be safer….but when I sat upon the half inflated cushion I began to wobble around, as though sitting on a bowl of jelly.
So while this may be a safer non explosive alternative, I may very well end up feeling sea sick and appearing very drunk in my seat.
BUT….I’ll try it anyway.
Anything to avoid numb bum.

I have hand wipes packed, tissues, an eye mask, earplugs, toothbrush and toothpaste. I indulged and bought some soft fluffy slip on slippers. (Don’t want to walk in the toilets without something protective on your feet. There’s the germ thing again, but THAT makes sense!) Loose socks, moisturiser, lip balm, I will pack some snacks too. Maybe I’ll buy some trashy magazines but I’m balking at the price. Since when did trashy womens magazines cost an arm and a leg? I know my mind won’t focus on reading a book.
Can you think of anything else I should bring?
Maybe a hammer to knock myself out with?

I will watch ALL the movies, no matter what they are because I can’t listen to the “scary plane noises”.
They FREAK me out bigtime!

I don’t know if there really is any way to make long flights pass comfortably, or to make them seem like they are going quicker. Really, it’s just fifteen and a half hours of hell in a sardine can….and then another six.
A pashmina sure as heck won’t do the trick, so for now….despite jet bloat (yes it has a name!) I think I’ll still opt for a glass of wine….or three.

About Tracy Lundgren

I am a people watcher,life observer, nature lover, spiritual seeker loving this crazy wild ride that life is taking me on. I am still a blank piece of paper waiting to be filled and that is good.
This entry was posted in Anxiety, Family, Fear, fear of flying, health and well being, Humour, husbands, Life, life experiences, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to How to make long flights more comfortable?

  1. Loved this. I think you attention to detail is admirable. Given the sensible economies, spending some time working on the ideal amount of air to put in the cushion would be a good investment

  2. Long flights? I usually take a pill – half or full Valium to make me drowsy enough to sleep. Yes, the blankets are never warm enough, ask for 2, get a neck cushion as the seats don’t bend enough and your head will flop..walk up and down the plane – number one thrombosis..number two it relieves the boredom. You shall be ok… it’ never fun on a long haul..when I went to Europe I arrived blood shot and bleary eyed… hated it…think of the final destination..knock yourself out with a tablet and snuggle up the best you can 🙂

    • desertrose7 says:

      Oh to Europe….now that is the most hellish of all flights I imagine! I would think you would need more than just valium for that!
      Wouldn’t it be nice to be rich and be able to afford one of those BEDS on a plane?
      Gosh…The stuff fantasies are made of hey.
      I think I’ll just rely on the wine to make me sleepy.
      I’ve made my own travel pillow but I always snavel as many airline pillows as I can because something always needs cushioning!

  3. Ralph says:

    A very entertaining post Tracy. Have a fun packed flight 😀 Ralph xox 😀

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