A Classy State
posted by Stephanie in Dot Dot Dot
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
Check other posts..
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.
We are The Gypsetters.