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Economy class is a joke. With very few exceptions worldwide, economy class is purgatory. I usually find myself wishing for heavy turbulence just to make the experience a little more exciting.
After taking more flights than I care to count, I’ve become more than used to the awful experience that is flying in economy class.
One of my tactics for surviving a long-haul flight is to drink heavily so I can pass out. But that has its drawbacks, including hangovers and difficulties with immigration. On a side note, KLM Airlines long haul from Amsterdam to San Francisco had free and unlimited alcohol. It was the best flight I’ve ever taken.
So what would I say is the number one product I need to bring with me on a flight?
The answer? My patience.
But apart from that, I’ve come up with a few products I personally like that are just perfect for staving off the urge to punch your irritating next door neighbor and having a comfortable long haul flight.
Book Your Seat in Advance on Long Haul Flights!
For short to medium haul flights it’s really not that important where you sit. I can survive a middle seat for a couple of hours, but try sitting in a middle seat for 13 hours and 20 minutes.
That was the experience I recently endured during a nonstop flight from London to Buenos Aires. It was miserable. Foolishly, I didn’t choose my seat because in almost four years I’d always been assigned either an aisle seat or a window seat.
And most of my long-haul flights were never full anyway. So I took a chance and finally I got caught.
Always book your seat in advance, even if you get charged for it. It’s the kindest thing you can do for yourself.
Now, that I’ve gotten that tip out there let’s jump into the products that you’re going to need to survive and economy flight.
The first step to surviving a flight is to pretend the rest of the world isn’t here. So it all starts with some great earphones.
Personally, I’m cheap, so I don’t like to spend hundreds of dollars to listen to music or watch a movie. These are the best earphones I’ve found for under $100. They come with an ergonomic design so they don’t keep slipping out of your ears and they can slip right into your pocket.
The sound quality is extremely high. It doesn’t come with noise canceling because they’re under $100, but the natural sound insulation is a high point.
Ignore the marketing nonsense about the world’s best travel pillow. Everyone has different preferences as to the best travel pillow for them. This Kmall inflatable travel pillow is the one I like for a few reasons.
It’s inflatable, which I prioritize. I don’t want to carry anything bulky around with me. Plus this one doesn’t require you to blow it up like a clown preparing to make balloon animals. Not only is it easier to just press the switch on the bottom but it prevents the spread of bacteria.
I also like the fact that when fully inflated it’s bulky enough on the sides to stop your head from hanging over the side. So it keeps your neck and spine in perfect alignment at all times.
It even transforms into a square pillow if you prefer the old-fashioned way of sleeping!
It boggles the mind how many planes don’t have power outlets for you to charge your devices in 2019. Yet here we are. So you must bring a portable charger along with you.
You don’t need anything fancy with these. Reliability is all you need. This Kuppet 20,000 mAH portable charger fits the bill. It charges your devices and doesn’t break after a couple of uses, what more do you need to know?
The reason I always suggest 20,000 mAH or under is that some countries won’t let you travel with anything bigger. This is rarely enforced, but in places like Thailand and China it’s checked rigorously every time and they will confiscate your device.
Rumor has it that countries will start enforcing this more in the future due to the threat of terrorism.
Ever find yourself fighting for the armrest because the guy next to you wants to be a jerk? Luckily, I’m a large man and so these are battles I usually win with ease, but it’s not an enjoyable experience because you have to jealously guard your position for the whole flight.
The Soarigami Portable Armrest aims to stop this problem. It clamps onto the armrests on most planes and provides you and the person sitting next to you with their own armrest.
So now you get your own spot and the chances are you’re going to make a friend out of your neighbor as well.
Some people suffer from jet lag more than others. I’m not someone who really suffers from hard jet lag. But I know plenty of people who do.
If you’re one of those people, these Miers Labs No Jet Lag Tablets are the alternative. They’re a homeopathic remedy that uses only totally natural ingredients.
You take them before, during, and after the flight and it reduces many of the symptoms of jet lag, including high blood pressure, fatigue, and physiological problems.
Bonus Product: A Pen!
Sadly, many countries still insist on paper immigration and customs forms. I’ve never seen anyone in any airport ever read these things. They take them from you and toss them on the pile of other unread forms.
But airline staff are hesitant to hand out pens and trying to interact with strangers to ask if they can borrow your pen is a nightmare. So bring a pen!
I also recommend filling out the form in the immigration line so you don’t have to lend your pen to someone and risk not getting it back.
Last Word – Is First Class Worth It or Can You Survive in Economy Class?
That depends on how much money you have and how often you travel. If you’re so rich that first class is always your choice then the chances are you aren’t reading this.
For me, I wouldn’t take first class. I take too many flights per year and going first class to enjoy perfect comfort is simply way out of bounds of any reasonable budget.
But if you’re going on the trip of a lifetime across the other side of the world I say yes, absolutely, take it.
Do you fly economy or are you more of a first-class person?