Sunday, February 14, 2010

How to survive flying Coach International without wanting to kill yourself

So tomorrow I'm spending Valentine's Day on airplanes. Off to Europe for some opera auditions. Exciting, yes..... but looking forward to spending 8 hours cramped in a tiny coach seat to arrived jet lagged..... not as fun.

Fortunately I have flown across the pond a few times so I think I have mastered "The Art of International Coach Travel" swimmingly. For those of us who don't have a couple grand to shell out on First Class ... I'm going to let you in on my secrets of Coach Comfort.

This is my carry on arsenal:


For In Flight Prep (i.e. Before Naptime)
ANTIBACTERIAL SPRAY - Flights are one of the dirtiest places ever with all that recycled air... do yourself a favor ... beat the Swine and whatever else is living on your arm rest. Do a little swab down of your armrest/tray table/window - and spray your hands before you eat.
FACE WIPES - Do your pores a favor and wipe off any makeup. 8 hours in a seat no one cares what you look like I promise.
MOISTURIZER - Flights are EXTREMELY drying for skin. Slather on some lightweight moisturizer before you doze off to avoid skin havoc later.
LIP BALM - Same deal goes for lips.
EVIAN SPRAY - Little beauty traveler tip. This is basically water in an aerosol can. WHY? You spritz your face after putting on moizuturizer to help lock it in and uber-moisturize naturally.

In flight entertainment:
KINDLE - I love the Kindle. I have 6 books pre-loaded already to go for my perusal with no bulk. A frequent traveling readers dream.
SHEET MUSIC - Unless you are an opera singer.... you probably won't need to bring your music. But let me tell you... airline loses your bags... you can buy new clothes... trying to find a random Handel Aria in the middle of nowhere is damn near impossible.
TRANSLATION DICTIONARIES/PHRASEBOOKS - If you are going to a foreign country. Take this time to brush up on your Guten Tag's and Buon Giorno's.

How to pass out and stay asleep:
XANAX - You may laugh. You may call me a druggie. But damn if this stuff won't knock you the HELL out. It's the most wonderful drug ever. You take some, sleep, wake up not groggy in London and feel like you took a 15 min power nap. I've tried Lunesta and Ambien ... both make me groggy and have scary dreams. Tylenol PM doesn't keep me asleep long enough. Seriously... if you can get a Rx for even a couple pills for your travel... you will thank me a million times over when you don't want to kill yourself from jet lag the next day.
BLOW UP NECK PILLOW - Now I've seen those of you with the big stuffed ones. Well I'll tell you... they don't support your neck as well as the cheap-o blow up one and they are bulky and obnoxious to carry. But if you have any hope in hell of sleeping a wink in the tiny chair that reclines approximately 4 inches.... you need a neck pillow.
EYE MASK - You may feel silly... but they give them out for free in first class for a reason. Block out that light and you will sleep better.
EARPLUGS/EARPHONES - Now I'm a musician so I've invested in some sweet over-the-ear Noise-Cancelling earphones. They actually supply these in First Class too. But if you don't really have a practical reason to shell out for fancy earphones... nice little $2.99 foam plugs will do just fine.
CASHMERE SLIPPERS - Ok this is a bit indulgent... but so heavenly. Shoes are hard to sleep in... and these keep your tootsies warm. How pretty are these? I love the sparkles. I found them for only $40 (marked down from $120) at MARTIN + OSA online. Go check them out!
LAVENDER OIL - Put a little on your temples to block out the weird Indian food smell from the person next to you and also very relaxing.

Freshening up in the morning:
ANTI PUFFY EYE ROLLER - This one is great to travel with by Garnier. Helps with those pesky bags in the morning.
COMPACT & BLUSH - Nothing will perk up your overall complexion like a little powder and some flush to your cheeks.
DEODORANT - Do I need to explain? I don't care if you are going to the goddamn Congo, that is no excuse to stink. DO YOU HEAR ME?
TEASING COMB and HAIRSPRAY - Now I'm from the south... that means big voluminous hair all the time. Add a little lift to your now flattened sad plane hair with a little tease and some flexible hold hairspray.
EMERGEN-C - You are probably feeling kind of out of it from lack of sleep/time changing which is a big stress on your immune system. Help it out a little and chug a packet mixed with water.
TRIDENT - For lovely morning breath.
TIGHTS - If you are traveling to a colder destination in winter ... many of us know that a good layering technique is tights under your jeans/leggings. Tights on a plane are super uncomfy though... so bring them with you and change in the bathroom when you get there.


JEWELRY - Heaven forbid the airline lose your bag.... DON'T PACK YOUR GOOD JEWELRY IN THERE! Always bring it with you in your carry on. Learned that the hard way.

Well .. Now I'm off! Hope this helps you next time you travel International or take the Red-Eye.

Arrivaderci amici! Baci!


  1. Loved this, Kendall! Will be sharing it with friends who are about to travel to Japan. Thanks so much, and keep it up!! :)


  2. Well, crud. Must've had Leah Bell on the brain. I meant CHINA. And I still like it...will probably use it myself one day, God willing. :)


  3. Thanks for the post, I might be heading overseas for the first time later in the Winter so I will definitely be needing these tips! :)