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A Classy State

posted by in Dot Dot Dot
first class in economy featured

I love to travel and as much as I’ve gotten spoiled in the recent years accumulating points and saving up for Business Class tickets for long haul flights, anyone who knows me well enough will tell you that I am willing to ride in the cargo hold if it means choosing between traveling somewhere or staying put. That how much wanderlust there is running through my veins. Over the years of traveling as a students around Europe, shuttling back and forth to visit my family in the Philippines and the US from France and recently hopping about Asia discovering new cultures… I believe I have mastered the art of truly enjoying travel regardless of whether you are flying in luxury or low cost. Here is the article I wrote in Hola Magazine Philippines for their travel issue last April. Hope it helps!

Love and Light, Stephanie

How To Feel First Class in Economy

Passionate travellers will tell you that they truly enjoy the trip whether regardless of what class they are in during their flight. The excitement of heading to a new destination or the weary but happy return home, looking forward to your own bed your heart filled with pleasant memories of vacation past. Seasoned travellers on the other hand will tell you that enjoyment and comfort can be had in any situation with a little bit of planning and organization. So you’ve saved money on your ticket, bought yourself a cheap odd-hour flight on a budget airline but instead of cramming it up with the rest of the pack and feeling stiff and desolate there are a few things that don’t cost too much and make all the difference especially if you’re flight is three hours or more long. Here are some tips on how to feel First Class in Economy.

  • Patronize an airline company or group so you can accumulate points. Carriers have been paying more and more attention to taking care of loyal customers like allowing access to lounges or extra baggage allowance. I have been using Qatar for the past 3 four years and have really started accumulating points. (On a trip to Paris where I was on Economy outbound from Manila as a Gold member, I was able to check-in at the Business Class queue. the flight was not so full so their reserved me a whole row to myself in economy plus brought me the cozy pillows, nice blankets, chocolates and a bottle of Evian from Business. I was also able to use the lounge while in transit. I am so happy they are now part of One World!)
  • Check-in online when possible to avoid crazy long queues and frustrated attendants.
  • Spend on preferred seats like those in the exit rows or front rows. What’s an extra $10 or $20 if it means avoiding getting cramped legs and pins and needles. Space is a luxury and especially on a weary trip home, this is truly where you can appreciate it. Same goes for extra baggage. If you plan on doing some shopping purchasing an extra luggage ahead of time online will cost only a small fraction of the price than paying for overweight.
  • For short layovers, find yourself a nice cozy spot on a cushiony banquette of a coffee shop. Often times you’ll have free wifi and no one will kick you out. It most definitely beats the cold steel airport waiting chairs. For longer layovers consider spending a little money to go into a paying lounge where you’ll have nice arm chairs, food, drinks, wifi and TV. In most places you could take a shower and feel refreshed. If you’re looking for something in between, most airports in Asia have foot or body massage parlors. It’s a perfect way to pass the time and feel re-energize. Massages can be as short as 15 minutes so you can easily squeeze them in before a flight.
handcarry

Some of my favorite travel things: I like to keep my passport and tickets in the same place, right now I use an old leather passport holder from Firma and a clear plastic envelope for boarding passes and tickets. I am currently in the search for the perfect travel wallet. The LV Neverfull is my preferred travel bag especially if I want to minimize my carry-ons. It can fit my Macbook air in a simple sleeve, my cosmetics case, a bottle of water, magazines and even food and snacks. Its also very easy to search for stuff and very light. Plus I never get worried about stains if I leave it on the floor under the seat in front of me in the airplane. I always have a cozy grey cashmere cardigan with me with which I swap my blazer for during the flight and a silk, brightly colored scarf. My favorite travel shoes are these ultra soft braided brogues that I bought in Paris some time ago and my recent addition to my travel gear are these cushy Urbanears headset. I have been working hard on paring down what I bring on board and try as best as I can to limit to only one magazine and one book.

  • BYOB – bring your own water bottle. In most cases as soon as you’ve passed security you can purchase water from any convenient store. Spend a few cents more on buying good mineral water like Evian or Volvic, in large bottles to keep yourself hydrated throughout your flight. No more asking for refills in those flimsy plastic cups.
  • BYOF – bring your own food. Yes. Bring along some healthy snacks, solids as long as they aren’t fresh fruit can be brought from home in ziplock bags stored in an insulated pouch in your hand carry. Almonds, dried fruit, power bars, chocolate… At the airport purchase a sandwich, sushi rolls or a large salad if you know the airline is not famous for its fine cuisine. You’ll be the envy of your seatmates as you relish your goodies while they nibble on miniscule bags of over salted peanuts and sloppy, bland food.
cashmere travel sets

My absolute lustworthy travel item… I still haven’t indulged myself in these ultra soft cashmere travel sets from www.sofiacashmere.com and Plum and Ivory. I always hesitate because of the lofty prices but then again I always travel so often so I suppose it should be justified… Hmm…. My birthday is coming up soon…

  • Isolate and comfort yourself. Bring along your own eye mask (look for a cotton or silk one and avoid synthetic material which will make you perspire), noise cancellation headphones, a good pashmina or throw (yes gentlemen, you too! You’ll be grateful!), a cozy cardigan and those inflatable neck pillows. You may look silly but at least you don’t have a stiff neck. You could also bring a pair of hotel slippers so you can easily hop to the bathroom without putting back on your shoes or ending up with dirty socks.
  • Don’t be at the mercy of being bored to tears in case you’ve seen everything in the In-Flight entertainment system. Carry a tablet filled with music and movies, buy a good book and a magazine.
cosmetic airplane pouch

I always choose a colorful cosmetic case so it’s easy to find and preferably in a lightweight water resistant material in case of leaks. These are the actual products I bring along. Airports are full of germs and people so I always have some really good hospital grade Anios Alcogel on me, Berocca which I drop into a bottle of cold water plus some Strepsils and not pictured Claritin for allergies, Decolgen non-drowsy and Neozep forte depending on whether or not I want to sleep and lastly some Biogesic. To freshen my breath I carry a small toothbrush and Smints. I love that all you need is just one Smint to really work fast! I find that the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moiturizer is perfect because it is scent free so I can share with my hubby if he needs some and quickly absorbed into the skin without being greasy. I find the rose and lavender scents of the Rosebud Salve and L’Occitane hand cream calming during a long flight. I always remove my contact lenses and switch to eyeglasses during a flight to keep my eyes from drying. I love the easy to apply combo of K-Palette Okuma concealer 2, Shu Uemura Eyebrow Pencil in Walnut, Benetint, High Beam and the Honey Bronze bronzning powder of Beauty Shop which wakes up my face instantly. If I’m feeling a little snazzy I will slick on some of Soap and Glory’s Sexy Mother Pucker gloss.

  • Pack your own luxury toiletry bag consisting of hand sanitizer, hand cream, face moisturizer, lip balm, toothpaste, a toothbrush, mints, some cologne and eye drops. If you have more space bring some drops for a sore throat, effervescent vitamins like Berocca or Airborne, a nasal decongestant and a pain reliever. If you wear contact lenses make sure to have your eyeglasses, a case and some solution with you. Don’t bring cheap products, use what you would normally use or even more luxurious products. If you can find travel sizes place them in smaller containers. Remember creams and liquids need to stay in that ziplock bag and are less than 100ml.
  • Use your products. A few people bring them along but never use them. A little bit of pampering goes a long way.
  • Bring an extra blouse or shirt to change into before deplaning after a long haul flight. Always bring a blazer that you can neatly fold after departure and keep during flights and then throw on upon arrival. A bit of blush and gloss for the ladies and a good pair of sunglasses. Looking put-together and sharp at immigrations and customs is always a plus. No flip-flops, shorts, tracksuits or rumpled clothes. Remember that ultimately First Class is a state of mind, so whether or not that’s what it says in your ticket, always act and look the part. You may just get upgraded!
zara airport looks

I love these looks from Zara’s latest collection! It’s so easy and comfortable, perfect for traveling. I hate it when people are in pajamas, but of course sometimes skinny jeans are not comfortable. I always wear a good jegging, in a dark color in case of stains.

 

airport ootd

I also often adapt what I wear to my destination and have found that these canvas, tasseled flats from Sapato Manila have taken me to fun exotic destinations in comfort and style. I’ve worn them to more boho places like Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam, while I use my brogues, Repettos or these leopard print moccasins from Renegade Folk for European or cosmopolitan Asian cities like Paris or Beijing. To save on space, I only bring one large handbag with me which I will use on the flight, however for longer trips and work trips I still prefer my LV Neverfull. I have also taken to getting a quick shampoo and blow-dry before hopping on a flight because I find having clean hair let loose is much more comfortable on a flight than tied up in a ponytail or tight bun. While I now use a watch less and less because I rely on my cellphone for the time, while traveling I still feel it’s an absolute essential to have a wristwatch because you no longer need to fish it out of your bag.

Comments - 2 Responses to “ A Classy State ”

  1. Cheryl Tiu says:

    Super loved this babe! I find that I do some of the same things as well whenever I fly economy! Especially the buying a bottle of water after security so you don’t have to keep asking for kuripot refills and end up dehydrated throughout the flight!

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The Author

Stephanie
Stephanie
Writer. Traveller. Wino. Foodie. Bohemian at heart. "You can not travel the path until you have become the path itself." - Buddha


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We are two friends who were former magazine editors. Having moved onto other things, we both realized that the creative flow the publishing world used to offer us was missing from our lives. Armed with a common love of travel to the exotic and familiar, a penchant for the bohemian, an obsession with food and a lust for writing, we decided to collaborate our unique and fashionable journeys through life together in one passion project.

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