How to survive air travel (in style)

Some find air travel a stressful business. But amongst the sweating, frantic throngs of every flight you’ll always find those passengers who seem to travel on a cool breeze of calm. How do those flyers manage to travel in such style and grace? King & Man has the answers.

Pick the right flight
No matter how much cheaper the flight at 4:30am on Easyjet is, you will pay that monetary saving back in eye bags, headaches, vending machine nutrition and escalated taxi fares. Stick with the reputable airlines, with allocated seats and civilised departure/arrival times.

Travel in the right clothes
Even if you’re flying to the sun, there is no good reason you should be boarding a plane in a vest and flip-flops. Seasoned flyers believe that wearing your most formal clothes on the plane stops them from getting creased in your luggage. Travelling clothes should be loose and light. Avoid white shirt or t-shirts as any stains will show. Unless your destination is very cold, leave the jacket behind.

Only carry what you need
Never easy to determine what you ‘need’, however these are restrictive conditions, so you must be disciplined. We recommend the following; one book (no newspapers or magazines – they will be readily available on the plane and in the hotel), headphones (preferably noise cancelling, definitely not the noise leaking kind) and a selection of new music (digitally stored of course), extra water to avoid dehydration, sunglasses (if you’re destination requires them) and a light sweater (airport air conditioning is not your friend). Everything else should be in the suitcase.

Don’t assume you have lots of time
Between checking in, security and boarding you will have at least two hours (on most international flights). When considering this time you must not forget to allow time for walking to the boarding gate. A common mistake is to imagine you have a clear couple of hours that can be filled with shopping, eating, phone calls and toilet breaks. You don’t. You have half of that. Avoid a panicked run to the gate.

Board in your own time
If you paid attention to the first pointer you’ll have a seat number, so when the plane starts boarding just hang back. There are no prizes for the first man in his seat. Board slowly and it will (albeit marginally) reduce the amount of time you’re strapped in your seat.

Drink, eat and sleep
Even the food in first class is nothing to write home about, but not taking the opportunity to fill up will leave you snacking through your onwards journey. Sleeping may be easier said than done, but even if you can’t get a full sleep, it’s worthwhile closing your eyes and sitting quietly for at least a fifth of your flying time. Face it there aren’t many occasions when you have nothing to do, but sit still.

Depart with purpose
The flight is over, your real adventure is about to begin, so don’t waste time at your destination airport. Luggage collection, security and straight to the taxi rank. No messing about. No stress. You’ve made it.

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