I have flown over 350,000+ airline miles and when it comes problems with flying it feels like I’ve experienced it all. But the truth is, I haven’t. I am constantly streamlining my travel routine based upon ever-changing airline rules and flight experiences Right when you think you’ve seen it all, you see someone go into the plane bathroom 3 minutes out from touching the ground. You just never know what you’re going to see!
That’s why I am going to share with you some of my travel war stories while giving you solutions on how to fix them I’d like to think I have gone through these things so you don’t have to. Here are 5 Problems with Flying and How To Fix Them.
Do you ever look over at a frequent flyer in the line at TSA and wonder how they have it all together? Calm, composed, organized and getting to where they are going in half the time it takes a casual traveller? Well I have the secret. It is because they have gone through years and years of airline horror stories and have made adjustments to not experience those things again.
Keep reading to learn about my 5 problems with flying and what you can do about them.
Problem With Flying 1: Noisy Babies Or Other Loud Passengers
Brian and I were flying from Frankfurt to DC which is about a 8.5 hour flight. We didn’t get upgraded that day (boohoo, I know, but it is a bummer for frequent travelers.) About 4 rows back were three, count ‘em, THREE new born babies. Triplets nonetheless. It was 8 grueling hours of synchronous crying and it is one of the worst flights I have ever had. (AKA The Triplets from Hell)
Unlike a lot of people, I don’t blame the parents, I’m sure traveling with babies is really stressful as babies cannot equalize their ear pressure on their own. To remedy this common problem with flying would recommend the following things:
- A good pair of noise cancelling headphones. Yes, they are an investment but they can be a game changer as far as blocking out unwanted plane noise. I love this pair from Beats by Dre. They are functional, cute, have good battery life, these are a must.
- Another great hack is good old fashioned ear plugs. I like these for sleeping as well as I personally can’t sleep with headphones on. A lot of foam ear plugs are too big and can be uncomfortable, but a trick I learned from my husband is to
cutbite off about 1/3 of the ear plug so that it sits in your ear more naturally. I always have these in my bag for flights and for the off chance we have a noisy hotel room.
Problem With Flying 2: Arctic Tundra Temperatures
It was my very first flight overseas and I was bright eyed and bushy tailed. I had overpacked for August in Amsterdam, but was not prepared for the subzero temperatures on my 8 hour flight. We all know that the tissue paper thin blankets do nothing, if you’re lucky to even have one. Being too cold on a flight is a consistent problem, especially in the summer time. I recently read that the reason planes are typically kept on the cooler side is to help prevent people from fainting. (You can read about that here) So know you’re not going crazy thinking about how cold it is every flight you take. To circumvent turning into an ice cube on flights, I dress in layers. This works both ways because there is the rare occasion a flight can be too warm.
- I never fly without some type of sweater or wrap in my bag. Grab this one from Amazon. I love it because it is a super comfy wrap that can also work as a blanket, or serve as a scarf for your winter destinations as well. It comes in a handful of colors and is under $15. Pick one of these up, you’ll thank me.
- Another good item to have is a pair of fuzzy socks. If you’re flying in the summer and have sandals on, having cold feet tends to keep me extra chilly. I like these because I can wear them for an instant warm up and can fit easily in your bag.
Problem With Flying 3: The Airline Lost Your Luggage
5 years ago I travelled to Russia with Brian for the first time. I was excited to experience a new country and had to strategically pack because we were going to be there in February. The forecast showed temperatures in the negatives everyday! I really took the time to buy extra warm clothing from North Face and pack lots of layers. Long story short, our checked luggage never made it to Russia, so we had limited clothing. We actually had to buy some supplies at a local Russian Mall. (Which was fun but also stressful due to needing things for below freezing temps)
This was long before my days of packing in a carry-on bag, and truthfully I don’t know that I could have due to heavy winter clothing. Something that I always do now if I *must* check a bag is keep essentials and at least one change of clothing in a carry on. I try to always pack in a carry-on bag these days, but if for some reason you can’t make sure you have enough to get by a couple of days.
- Get yourself a nice carry-on suitcase like this one from Rimowa. Another option at a lower price point is this one from Away.You can read how packing in a carry-on bag makes your life easier here.
Problem With Flying 4: Sick Passengers On Your Flight
I don’t have one specific flight in mind about this, but it is something that has happened to me too many times to count. There have been times where I had someone in the immediate vicinity coughing and sneezing. I get a tickle in my throat just thinking about it.
Now I take major pre-cautions when flying to avoid getting sick especially during flu season. Of course nothing is 100% but it’s worth it to do as much as you can. There is a lot you can do everyday to stay healthy, but this is what I do on flights.
- Get hand sanitizer. It may seem overly simple, but I legit get anxiety traveling without. I like these from Bath and Body Works. They are cute, smell good and affordable. From touching the bins in the TSA line to the seat belt’s on the planes. Planes feel like a petri dish. If you have ever paid attention to how quickly planes are “cleaned” you’d notice it is merely a quick trash pickup and maybe restocking toilet paper. I am no doctor, let that be known, but this is what works for me. I hand sanitize often, after security, after using a plane bathroom and sporadically throughout the flight. I even put some right below my nose if someone near me is sick. (Again, this is what works for me.)
- Another way I avoid getting sick on planes is keeping my nose from drying out. A dry nose allows germs to pass through more freely. Stay hydrated by drinking a lot of water, and keep a nasal mist with you that will help keep the inside of your nose hydrated as well. This one by Flight Spray is great and is all natural.
Problem With Flying 5: Sleeping (Or Lack Thereof)
The first time I flew to Australia I planned on sleeping most of my 15 hour flight. Before boarding I asked the gate agent about moving to an empty row. It wasn’t a full flight so they kindly moved me to an exit row. To my surprise, it turns out my row of seats had arm rests that did not raise up. From then on out it was hours trying to pretzel my body into different shapes to try and sleep. No bueno!
- A great place to start is an awesome neck pillow. I have picked many over the years and find that they are not comfortable for me and prevent me from sleeping on flights. I like this one from Manta Sleep* because it does not let your neck fall too low. It is inflatable so it is easy to pack and customize how firm you’d like the pillow to be. I have tried a lot of neck pillows and this is the first one that is very comfortable. (* It is currently sold out, but I contacted Manta Sleep and they said they will be back in stock this month in August.)
- For flights over 6 hours, I always take something to help me fall asleep. Over the years I have tried different things including Ambien, and I find that this Melatonin by Olly works really well. This is a great option to help you dose off for a few reasons. It has a low dose of Melatonin and includes other ingredients like L-Theanine, Lemon Balm and Chamomile to help ease you into sleep. I feel like the sleep hangover is minimal and one gummy is enough to get some shut eye. This is essential for getting your body clock to adjust if you are drastically changing time zones. Check with your Doctor before adding supplements to your routine.
*Transeau Travel Hack* Keep cough drops with you to offer to a coughing seat mate. It is good for them and you as well.
Being able to travel and see different places around the world is such a joy that I would not trade for anything. Even if it means being enduring temporary discomfort. Ultimately it is all apart of the journey. You can’t have the ups without the downs. I hope that this has been helpful and helps you avoid these common problems with flying too.
What are some of your travel horror stories or problems with flying you have ? Do you have any tips to make flying feel better for you? Let me know in the comments below!