Travel Comfort

By: Pilot Paul

This article is designed to help you learn proven tactics to travel comfortably to rest and sleep on your journey.

As an Airline Captain, I'm extremely interested in my passengers' comfort. I'm also very skilled at sleeping on airplanes.

What? A Pilot who is good at sleeping while flying?

On the long-haul international flights that I fly, we bring an extra pilot. This is so we can rotate out and take rest breaks. We have a crew rest seat in the passenger cabin. I'm very adept at resting in passenger seats.

While on our rest breaks, we take our rest very seriously. That's because our job is to be at our peak while at the controls. Our 2-3 hour rest break is critical because that is all the rest we get during those over-night flights. You depend on us to be as fresh and alert as possible for the approach and landing. Anything else would be negligent on our part.

That said, there are some travel accessories that will help you get this important sleep enroute. Many crewmembers use these things on our very important rest breaks. I don't like to leave home without them.

If you are comfortable while traveling, you'll be much more likely to sleep. Even if you can't sleep, which is unlikely if you utilize these techniques and recommended travel accessories, you will certainly be more rested.

You can use these strategies and tools to help you travel comfortably and sleep in challenging conditions elsewhere.

If you have a routine you normally go through before going to bed at night, try to do this on the plane too. For example, if you brush your teeth, wash your face, and then read for a few minutes before retiring at home, then do it on the plane too. Studies have proven that this is also helpful for settling in to sleep when you arrive at your destination.

Travel Accessories That Will Help You Rest While Traveling

Travel Pillows I use two. One to support my lower back and one for my head. Without these, I usually can't sleep on a plane.

They're great for car trips too. I'm a big fan of the ones that wrap around your neck to stabilize your head. They really help you get as comfortable as possible. Without one, your head might flop around, which may wake you up.

Without one of these, I've tried leaning against the window. I never seem to get comfortable, and if I am able to sleep, I usually wake up with a very stiff neck or back.

Having your own travel pillow is more sanitary than using the airline pillows. Those are moved around everywhere and the covers are not necessarily changed before every flight.

For a review and recommendations of the of travel pillows go to

For ultimate travel comfort, you can use a full body travel pillow. This is an inflatable, full-length seat liner. I bring mine on every long-haul flight. To learn more about this full body travel pillow, go to

Sleep Masks. An important low cost and effective travel accessory for avoiding jet lag symptoms is a sleep mask or eye shade.

These are great for sleeping on the plane. Many people have difficulty sleeping enroute because the light level changes frequently.

Passengers turn on lights, the movie scene brightens which brightens the cabin, people open their window shades, or the galley curtain opens flooding the area with bright light. Wearing some good eyeshades will make you oblivious and immune to all that.

For reviews and recommendations of sleep masks, go to

Noise Canceling Headphones. To sleep on the plane, you need to have it quiet. Since you can't control the noise level around you, you have to bring the quiet along with you.

How can you do that? Two ways- earplugs or noise canceling headphones.

Ear plugs are terrific for some uses. I always wear them in noisy areas, like on the ramp when I check the jet before flight. While they are small, light, and inexpensive, the drawback is that I find them difficult to sleep with. Something stuck in my ear disturbs my sleep. Every time my head moves and the ear plug is bumped, it's annoying.

For successful sleep during my important rest breaks, I always use noise canceling headphones.

I really love these headphones and think that they are one of the best inventions in years.

Many airlines provide these headphones for their first class passengers. But they have to give them back at the end of the flight.

If you bought yourself a pair, you'd get one of the best first class benefits at less cost than a first class upgraded ticket. Then they're yours to keep and use whenever you're in a noisy place and want to slip on some peace and quiet.

Warning! Once you've tried these there's no turning back. You'll be hooked on them and will want to use them regularly.

For more information, reviews and recommendations of good noise cancelling headphones, click on

Travel Footrest. The first and business class seats have these, but even in coach you can benefit from using a footrest.

Using a footrest helps in two different ways:
o If you're tall, it takes strain off your lower back.
o If you're not so tall (or a child), and if your feet don't touch the floor, this helps prevent cramps behind your thighs.

There is an excellent folding foot rest available that works very well. To learn more about this, click on

Other Tips And Strategies For Sleeping While Traveling

Wear Comfortable clothing. Comfortable clothes, warm socks and a sweater will enable you to sleep better.

Loosen or Remove Your Shoes. I often untie my laces to get some extra circulation to my feet.

Avoid/Manage Caffeine. In addition to being a stimulantHealth Fitness Articles, caffeine also dehydrates you.

Avoid Alcohol. Consuming alcohol before or during the flight will make it more difficult to sleep well. It will also dehydrate you.

It is best to avoid alcohol from 12 hours before the flight until you're at your destination.

These proven techniques should you sleep while traveling. Try some of these tips and travel accessories on your next trip.

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