4 Secrets for a Stress-Free Flight

4 Secrets for a Stress-Free Flight

After long last, March has arrived and spring is just around the corner.  Soon the snow will melt and our beautiful country will be renewed and turn back to spring.  But all of this means one very important thing.

It’s time to try and cram a vacation in before the snow fully disappears!  It’s well known that winter is when people get away for a while to try and avoid the cold, so now the time to try and get a last minute vacay in if you haven’t already.  But if you’re going, here are a few things to always bring with you for both a vacation spot and the plane ride in general.

1.  Passport

It’s the ultimate horror story.  You have everything packed and you’ve double checked it all three times.  You leave early enough to be sure you’ll make it on time.  Maybe you’ve even measured your carry-on luggage to make sure it’ll fit in the overhead bins.  You get to the airport, get to the departure desk and the woman sitting at it says, “May I see your passport, please?” …And your heart just drops out of your body.

It doesn’t sound like it’ll happen (and I feel fortunate that it’s never happened to me), given that it’s one of the few crucial things required to fly anywhere at all, but the cold reality is that it does happen and people have to reschedule their flights all the time just to go back home and pick it up.  No matter who you are, where you’re going, what you doing, or however long you plan on taking to get there, you need to have your passport.  Always, always, make sure you have it.

2.  Ear plugs and a face mask

Now, if you’re travelling on a two-hour plane ride from Ottawa to, let’s say Vancouver, then this may not be all that necessary.  However, if you’re like me and you enjoy travelling to parts of Asia, which can occasionally take thirteen to fifteen hours, you might want to at least try and sleep while on the plane.  Sleeping on a plane is never very comfortable, but it beats trying to stay awake for the entire time.  But some of the biggest problems are the lights that people always turn on and the constant noise from around you.  Whether it’s a coughing passenger, a crying baby or just the noise of the airplane in general, planes are actually very noisy all the time.  Any movie you’ve seen when a plane is quiet didn’t do its research very well.  It may not be for everyone, and it might hinder your ability to sleep the first time you try it, but I’d recommend a set of earplugs as well as a mask to put over your eyes and block out the light.  Perfect essentials for anyone travelling a far distance.

3.  Toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant

Once again, this won’t really apply to a short-range trip, but anyone going a long distance may want to keep these things in their carry-on bag.  There’s no chance to shower or clean yourself while on a plane, and after several hours of this, you will start to stink.  I don’t care who you are, it’s going to happen.  It won’t make you any cleaner, but a bit of deodorant will at least help mask the smell for the duration of the flight.

Sometimes though, your teeth can be worse.  The feeling of having stuff covering your teeth and leaving you with a disgusted sense in your mouth is truly a terrible sensation. Having to wait about twenty hours to take care of it isn’t fun.  Trust me on this one.  Don’t pack soap and shampoo in your carry-on, but these few toiletries will make your flight just that little bit more enjoyable.

4.  Lastly, entertainment

In-flight movies are always nice, and these days planes have a lot to offer in terms of keeping their customers happy, but sitting there watching movie after movie can occasionally get boring and somewhat hypnotic.  Other forms of entertainment will help break the chain and make the flight go by that much quicker.  Bring a book or two, maybe some comics, a handheld device to play a game on, or a physical game to play with someone you’re travelling with.  The worst thing anyone can ever do in a time-consuming situation is watch the clock, thereby making the time feel like it’s going so much slower.  Keeping busy is the easiest form of self-distraction, so no matter what happens always do something.  Unless of course you’re sleeping, then try to do nothing at all.

Hopefully you can all have some kind of vacation this year. If you do, I hope that these few tips will help out to make your flight more enjoyable.  Always remember, the travelling is the worst part of a trip, so just try and put your head down, blaze through and do whatever you can to distract yourself.  As a great man once said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” 

And remember, the guy behind who’s kicking your seat won’t stop until you ask him to.  He has no idea that it’s driving you crazy until you speak up.


A young writer, novelist, and playwright from Ottawa, Dave Coleman covers topics like books & literature, theatre, and the arts.

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