If  you plan meetings, events and incentive travel programs, your job description includes air travel –  lots of it, and often coast-to-coast or overseas. So we don’t have to tell you how stressful and/or uncomfortable flying can be, especially when you need to arrive in your destination fresh, rested, and ready to work.  The Landry & Kling “road warrior” team feels your pain, and they’re eager to share their tips to help make your next long-haul flight a bit more pleasant.

From Jo Kling, President:

Recently, I flew to South East Asia for a memorable Mekong River cruise on Avalon Waterways’ Siem Reap. During the 20-hour flights from the US to Cambodia and back from Vietnam, two items saved my spine!

Feet in Flight:  As far as staying comfortable during long flights, this might be the best $25 I ever spent! The 4″ lift from a folding foot rest keeps your body in alignment, increases leg circulation, and eases lower back strain. It’s light, compact, and fits easily in a carry on and under airline seats.

Your Inflatable Companion: Skimpy airline seats are so uncomfortable! Bringing your own seat cushion can make all the difference between arriving at your destination fresh and rested or spending your first day recouping.  Just open the air valve and watch this little cushion inflate itself!  The time passes quicker when you’re riding on air! And it easily deflates as you role it back up and into its own mesh case, which takes very little room in your carry-on bag.

From Joyce Landry, CEO:

A pair of noise canceling head phones are my #1 must-have travel accessory – without a doubt, the best antidote to crying babies, talkative seatmates, loud fellow passengers and engine noise.  They have made insufferable flights bearable for me.  And I will add three more:

  • Your own blanket – warm but lightweight.  Airline blankets have been treated with flame retardant cancer causing chemicals.  It’s best not to come in contact with them.  Plus it’s comforting to wrap yourself in something familiar to promote sleep.  (p.s. airline seats are doused with the same chemicals – so avoid skin contact by dressing in long pants/long sleeves on a plane.)
  • Aromatherapy oil – whatever fragrance you find most soothing.  A little dab on your neck or wrists will relax you and help you sleep.
  • Saline nasal spray – you can pick this up at any drugstore for a few dollars. It removes airborne contaminants, dust, and other irritants, and will also keep you hydrated.
  • A soft hoodie if you’re on a night flight or long haul trip.  When the air conditioning becomes a little much, bring the hood up to prevent a head cold.

From Ramon Santos, VP Global Events:

You might be tempted to have a few cocktails or glasses of wine during a long flight, but avoid drinking alcohol –  it only makes you dehydrated and keeps you from restful sleep. Imbibing on long flights will also give you a killer hangover (so they say). Drink water – and plenty of it!

From Cyndi Murphy, VP Corporate Planning

I agree with Ramon – stay hydrated! In addition to alcohol, avoid caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea and soft drinks. Long flights give me a chance to dig into a good book or challenge myself with puzzles and brainteasers. Both Apple and Google offer tons of free brainteaser apps that can be used offline on your phone or tablet.

From Vicki Fernandez, Sales Support Manager

If you want to sleep, let your flight attendant know so he or she won’t disturb you when the drink or snack cart comes around. And speaking of sleep, a neck pillow and travel blanket are must-haves for long flights – just remember to buckle your seat belt over the blanket.

From Maureen McKeon, Web Content Editor:

I love long flights! It’s my chance to catch up on all the magazine articles I’ve missed and books I never have time to read. Load up on water and healthy snacks – Kind Bars are the best! I also like to book a window seat on long flights so I have something to lean against when it’s time to catch some zzzzs.

From Gretta Roque, Administrative Specialist:

Comfy socks also come in handy when the a/c becomes a little too much (and you want to kick off your shoes and relax)!

Bonus! More helpful tips for long-haul flights:

From USA Today: 6 Must-Have Accessories for a Long Flight

From Huffington Post: 10 Ways to Survive a Long Flight

From Map Happy: How to Survive a Long-Haul Flight With Finesse

10 Questions eBook