Update 2018: After having received over a thousand upvotes on Quora and being featured in newspapers, my post below was removed on Quora (without given a reason). Hence, I hope you get even more out of it right here 🙂
As I’m flying over 200k a year, I often get asked what my recommendations are for traveling. Here are my “hacks” for flying.
- After years of laughing at people walking around with a neck pillow, I got one myself. If you fly in economy class, this is one of the best investments. Get one that you can stow in your backpack or carry on. I got this one: Luxury Travel Neck Pillow by MemorySoft
- Get noise-canceling headphones. Seriously, do it. I got the Bose q20i. $300 but you will not regret it. I hear no engine noise, almost no kids screaming or other “noises”. Best thing ever, especially on those international flights. Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones
Update 2018: After two years of heavy use, the cable ripped and as a result I’ve had bad sound (the same happened to my wife’s pair). As the headphones were out of warranty, I had to get new ones. This time, I got the QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones II. They are quite nice. However, the noise-canceling of the in-ear ones is better. Also, I get a headaches after wearing them for 13 hours.
- If you travel with family and you have a higher status, book for your family so everyone gets the same perks. I’m a United 1k member so it helps others as well (better seats, boarding groups, etc.)
- If you travel a lot it pays to get lounge access. Some lounges contain their own help desk. In case your flight gets cancelled you can do it within the lounge avoiding the 200+ people at the “standard” customer desk.
- Hydrate! I always travel with my Contigo mug. Contigo Autoseal West Loop Stainless Steel Travel Mug
- Always have some bars in your backpack. Cliff’s or alike.
- Get a great suitcase and if possible only travel with a carry-on. I only travel with a carry-on. I easily do two weeks with it. This is mine Briggs & Riley Baseline Domestic Carry-On
- Wear comfortable clothes but still presentable. Meaning, no sweatpants or flip-flops or alike. Comfortable shoes (closed ones as it can get cold in the air) and think about bringing a vest or alike with you. I can’t count how many times, my vest kept me warm. Personally, I always wear long pants and a long sleeve.
Apart from that and as I’m flying over 200k a year, I would say that good behavior and mindfulness of others will also help here. Meaning, do NOT bring your stinky food on the plane (you are sitting in an air tight tube with 200 other people!), make sure you don’t smell (seriously it is annoying sitting next to someone for 10h who smells or hasn’t brushed his teeth) and be kind to the flight attendants (they are merely doing their job).
Ok, that’s it for now. Thank you.