Increase Your Comfort en Route
June 10, 2011 | Permalink
It’s not likely that airlines are going to make wider seats or increase legroom any time soon, and even the nicest car can leave you stiff and achy after hours on the road. While there are no magic tricks to make the getting-there part of a trip totally comfortable, there are a number of strategies and products that can help.
Keep Track of Stuff
The first step in comfort simply may be keeping track of all your stuff so that you can avoid having to squirm around to rescue the earbuds that slid down between your seat and the cabin wall or digging under the seat for the Kindle that slid out of your carryon. A number of companies make convenient caddies that loop over a tray table and have all sorts of pockets and pouches to keep everything corralled and within easy reach. Organizers from Magellan’s (about $35) have flap and zipper closure pockets to keep items in place when the organizer is stashed in your suitcase. Organizers designed for use in the car are available in similar over-the-headrest hanging models, often with specially designed pockets to mount an iPad for backseat travelers’ entertainment. If you are often on the road alone, you’ll find the box-style organizers, which you secure to the passenger seat, handy to keep food, phone, water bottle, maps and everything else tidily within arm’s reach.
Many of us suffer from cold feet during travel—and we’re not talking about the metaphoric kind. Sitting still, especially in an over-air-conditioned or under-heated plane or car slows circulation and results in feeling chilled, which then also leads to stiffness and overall aches. Taking breaks to get up and walk and stretch, plus doing in-seat exercises (like toe stretches and ankle rotations), help. You can also make sure to carry along lightweight warmth. There are a variety of travel blankets on the market, in warm fleece or super-light silk or Coolmax, and many are constructed with a foot pouch into which you can tuck those chilled tootsies. If space permits, consider adding to your carryon a pair of down booties. True, they may not make a style statement, but who’s really going to see?
Get a Little Support
Those half-donut neck pillows are pretty popular with air travelers, and for good reason. Without such support, either your neck has to work hard to keep your head upright for all those hours, or if you rest your head against the chair back, your neck curves backward in a crink-creating arch. However, your neck isn’t the only part of your spine to take a beating during long travel, as you’ve probably noticed. Skwoosh makes lightweight travel seat cushions that help eliminate leg numbness by reducing pressure on the spine. Lumbar support pillows can also make a huge difference in travel comfort, in both planes and cars. Ranging from $15 to $65, these cushions are available in inflatable as well as latex foam models. And although you might not think of them, footrests can also dramatically increase your comfort in a plane—especially if you’re not among the tallest of folks—as they raise your legs and take pressure off your knees and lower back. Travelsmith.com carries an inflatable footrest (also by Swoosh and under $20) that’s perfect for tucking into your carryon.
And to maximize your travel comfort, be sure to book a reliably cozy and economical room at an Extended Stay Hotels location. Knowing the comfort awaiting you will help you relax during those long hours spent traveling.
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