10 Ways to Make Your Flight More Comfortable

iStock
iStock

Flying in economy seating can be a drag, especially on tinier airplanes where leg room is at a premium. But just because you're confined to your seat, it doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable. Some basic tricks will help ease you through your trip.

1. DRESS STRATEGICALLY. 

Layers are key to flying comfortably. You never know how hot or cold it’s going to be on the plane, so wear clothing that can easily be removed. Soft, breathable clothing like sweatshirts and cotton t-shirts will help you feel more relaxed and comfortable. Avoid wool, tight fitting clothes, or scratchy tags. There’s nothing worse than feeling itchy while stuck in a small space. 

2. WEAR THE RIGHT SHOES.

Stay away from high heels or clunky boots when flying. You want shoes that are not only comfortable, but can slip on and off easily so you can get through security without a hitch. Once on the plane, take those shoes off. Feet tend to swell on flights, so wear socks or bring a pair of slippers so your feet can breathe.   

3. BRING EARPLUGS.

Tune out crying babies and chatty passengers with a good pair of earplugs.  With your newfound silence, naptime can finally become a reality. 

4. PACK A LIGHT SNACK.

A small healthy snack will make for a good pick-me-up while flying. Consider baby carrots, trail mix, fruit, or something else that can be easily kept in a plastic baggy. Try to avoid anything greasy that could make you lethargic. Also keep any pungent foods at home: Your neighbors will thank you. 

5. CHECK IN EARLY.

Cross one stress off your list by checking in early. By checking in online before you head to the airport, you'll save some time waiting in line and will also be able to pick your seat ahead of time.

6. PICK THE RIGHT SEAT. 

Everyone has their own preference on where to sit, but that doesn’t mean all seats are equal. Taller flyers would be wise to grab an aisle seat, where it's easier to spread out, while nappers might want a window seat, so they're not disturbed by neighbors who need to use the restroom. All passengers, however, should try to grab a seat closer to the front of the plane—the back is plagued by the engine noise and bathroom smell.

7. HYDRATE.

Skip the coffee or soda and go for water. The caffeine and sugar will just lead to a crash leaving you more tired and dried out than before. Additionally, the air inside the cabin is notoriously dry: Humidity levels are typically around 10 to 20 percent, compared to a typical room's 30 to 65 percent. This dries out your eyes and skin, leaving you itchy and uncomfortable. Don't be shy about asking the flight attendants for more water! 

8. EMPTY YOUR POCKETS.

When trying to settle into your seat, the last thing you need is stuff poking you in your side. Unload the contents of your pockets into the seat pocket in front of you for a smoother ride. If you’re worried you’ll forget your possessions, bring a small bag to store them in.

9. LISTEN TO A RELAXING MIX.

Decide on an airplane playlist before boarding and load up your smartphone or mp3 player. Calm music or a sleep-inducing podcast will help you zone out and feel more at home while flying. For shorter flights, it can be fun to create a playlist of pump-up music to get you in the vacation mindset—some people like to choose music that directly relates to the city they’re going to visit. 

10. UTILIZE THE PILLOW AND BLANKET. 

Most airlines will provide you with a pillow and blanket for longer flights, so you might as well use them! But it's smart to bring a neck pillow or sweatshirt you can roll up to rest your head, just in case a pillow isn't available. 

Lucy the Elephant, a Jersey Shore Landmark, Is Now Booking Overnight Guests Through Airbnb

Aneese, iStock via Getty Images
Aneese, iStock via Getty Images

One of the Jersey Shore's most iconic landmarks is hard to miss. Constructed in 1881, Lucy the Elephant looms six stories over tourists in Margate City, which is five miles south of Atlantic City in New Jersey. As Travel + Leisure reports, Airbnb is opening the unique building to overnight visitors for the first time since 1902.

Lucy has been a real estate office, a restaurant, and a private home. But for three nights in March, she'll be an Airbnb. The listing, written from the elephant's perspective, reads, "I take pride in being one of the last of my kind, with tourists still flocking to see me every year, delighting young and old generations alike. I am a National Historic Landmark and the oldest roadside attraction in America—older than even the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower in Paris!"

The one bedroom inside embodies a "fun eclectic Victorian vibe" that mimics the retro exterior. In addition to the trunk on Lucy's face, there's an antique trunk where guests can store their clothes. The space also features flower arrangements, a canopy bed, and a view of the ocean.

The Airbnb is hosted by Richard Helfant, who first started volunteering at the site as a teenager 50 years ago. Lucy was nearly demolished in 1969 following years of neglect, but thanks to a group of volunteers, the structure was renovated and reopened to visitors. Today Helfant is the director of the nonprofit that maintains and runs the tourist attraction, which welcomes about 132,000 people to the landmark each year.

Lucy the Elephant is available to rent for March 17, 18, and 19, and stays costs $138 per night. If you're interested in taking a Jersey Shore vacation of epic proportions, try booking the listing when it goes live on March 5.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

Can You Identify the U.S State by Its License Plate?

These non-U.S. license plates won't give away any quiz answers.
These non-U.S. license plates won't give away any quiz answers.
Zuberka/iStock via Getty Images

Long before cars came with built-in TV screens, and streaming services let you download movies for offline viewing, kids passed many a road trip with round after round of the license plate game. If you’ve never played, the rules are pretty simple: Try to spot a license plate from as many different states as possible before you reach your destination. The winner is whoever scores the highest (or whoever reaches all 50 states first).

For anyone who has played the license plate game, this quiz might be a breeze. Each question gives you the name of a state and asks you to choose its corresponding license plate from five options. Although the state names have been erased from the plates, the designs themselves still offer useful clues. A few of them list the year that state was annexed, while others depict recognizable geographical features, landmarks, animals, or foods. Others include the state nickname, which can be helpful—the license plate that reads “Aloha State,” for example, is probably not Minnesota.

The quiz, created by vehicle leasing service Vanarama, comprises 10 questions, which change each time you play. In other words, you should definitely take it at least a few times to really show off all your state knowledge. After each question, it’ll reveal whether you’ve chosen correctly, highlight the right answer if need be, and give you a little background information about the license plate.

Try your hand at it below:

[h/t Vanarama.com]

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