Archive for the ‘Planes trains and automobiles’ Category

Long Flight Comfort Part 2
January 7, 2010

Winners and Losers

Seat Cushion—loser  😦 Again, I think this could be useful but because I got to lie down across four seats on the flight from Tokyo to Manila I did not need it. So I guess maybe it’s not really a loser, just not a winner?

Travel blanket—loser 😦 Maybe it’s because Japan Airlines is really good, or maybe because technically I was flying internationally so they had more amenities. But they have blankets there that are lightly stitched together after washing so you know nobody has used it before you. So needless to say I did not use my travel blanket. Also, I know that they post dimensions on Amazon, but I swear this thing was way bigger than I expected.

Compression socks—winner!! Actually, big winner.  They are not perfect, as I could still see some mild swelling in my feet.  My ankles were barely bigger than normal, though, which is a minor miracle. Considering that I was in transit for 27 hours total, I think they worked amazingly well.

Slippers—winner!!  They were very helpful on the long flight. Highly recommend for long flights.

Toiletries—neutral.  I didn’t end up needing any of these things, as American Airlines gives you a little bag with toiletries in it when you fly Business Class. But if I were in coach the whole way I would definitely need these items.

I guess the bottom line is that if you are lucky enough to get upgraded, long flights are much more comfortable without you having to do anything.  However, if I were in coach I think I would use all of the items I brought. So I guess that means everyone is a winner! Go team Road Warriorette!

Okay I think the lack of sleep may be making me delusional. Can’t wait to get back home!

Long Flight Comfort Update 1
January 5, 2010

This is the Winners and Losers version, Part 1.

Kindle—Winner!!  Normally for a two day trip I will bring 4 books. For a trip with 50 hours of flying I brought 8, on my Kindle. The first thing I noticed as I was picking up my purse to leave for the airport was how light it was. Awesome! I have read two books so far, and my eyes have not hurt at all, which I was concerned about. It has been great! The only problem is that I did not receive my case before I left, so I am constantly worried about dropping it or breaking it.

Eye mask—Winner!! Of course, I didn’t end up needing the one I bought because they give you one in Business Class on American, which I didn’t realize. Oh well.  Not only did I use the eye mask on both long flights, but I used it in my hotel room yesterday when I was sleeping during the day (remember, I’m working at night and sleeping during the day).  The only disconcerting moment came on the first flight when the nice man beside me had to wake me up so he could get out of his seat. It was pitch black even when I opened my eyes, and there was a quiet, unknown, Japanese-accented voice in my ear. Took a minute  🙂

Ear plugs—loser 😦  I didn’t end up using them, because when it comes down to it, it creeps me out. I didn’t realize this until I was about to put them in. Maybe I will try again, maybe not.  What I did end up using was my iPhone White Noise app with headphones, and that was great. With the eye mask on and the white noise going in my ears, it was like I was the only one on the plane!

Seat Organizer—Loser  😦  I still think this could be really useful, but it took up a lot of room in my backpack that I just didn’t have to spare, so I didn’t even bring it. I think for another trip it could work, so I’m going to try again.

Next edition:  Seat cushion, travel blanket, and compression socks. Fun times!

Landed in Manila
January 4, 2010

I have arrived in Manila! It took 27 hours of time to get from my house Sunday morning to the hotel Monday night.  It is 1am here and I am about to leave for the office, because the office here works at night in order to work during American day-time hours. What a crazy world!

A couple of quick thoughts about my trip. First of all, the flying was actually not as bad as I thought it would be. Business Class for the longest leg certainly helps, but even on the flight from Tokyo to Manila the plane had a lot of empty seats so I had four seats all to myself.

The airport in Tokyo was like all other airports (besides the writing in Japanese) except for one thing–in the ladies’ room, one of the stalls had a toilet in the ground instead of the one I am accustomed to. If anyone knows why this is so please share! I walked past that one to the normal toilet, but am dying of curiosity.

Finally, my hotel has excellent coffee, which is great since I will probably be needing copious amounts during my short stay.

More later!

Long Flight Comfort
January 2, 2010

Tomorrow I leave for Manila. It takes 26 hours of travel time just to get there. So I leave Sunday morning and land (because of the time difference) on Monday night. Wow! That is a long, long time in the air.  I will be honest, I have never been on a plane or in transit this long.  Luckily I got upgraded to Business Class during the longest flight, from DFW to Tokyo, which is fourteen hours. However that still leaves me with a five hour flight from Tokyo to Manila in coach, so I want to be as comfortable as possible.

Because of this long flight, I am trying several new things to facilitate my comfort. Here is a quick rundown of what and why, and I will come back (hopefully throughout the week, assuming my internet connection is solid) and give updates on how everything worked.

Kindle—I am very excited about this! Instead of packing 10 books for the combined 52 hours of flying, I am just bringing the Kindle. So much easier!

Eye mask and earplugs—hopefully this will help me sleep

Seat organizer—I am iffy about this, but if it makes things easier I am willing to try it. Basically it hangs on the back of the seatback tray in front of you and has room for glasses, a water bottle, books, a newspaper, etc.

Seat cushion—I know it’s probably silly, but five hours sitting sounds so long! I want to be as comfy as possible.

Travel blanket—I know in coach travel blankets are scarce (and sometimes scary). This one folds us into its own fairly small case.

Compression socks—trying to keep my feet from swelling! My mom swears by these. We shall see.

Slippers—so I don’t have to wear shoes all the time but can still get up and move if I need to

Toiletries—I’m also taking a little bag with chapstick, moisturizer, facial mist, and lotion so I don’t get dried up

For the actual trip in Manila, I am bringing a couple of new things.

Clothespins—Because I will be working at night and sleeping during the day, a friend recommended I bring these to keep the curtains closed

Emergen-C—because I will surely be somewhat sleep deprived. Got to keep the energy up!

Tune in throughout the week so I can (hopefully) update you on how everything worked out!!

Full Body Scanners vs. Privacy
December 31, 2009

There have been a lot of articles this week, everywhere from NPR to MSNBC to Huffington Post, about the new full-body scanners that may make an appearance in airports around the US.  Some say the high tech scanners could have prevented the would-be terrorist from getting onto the plane on Christmas Day.  The main reason these scanners have not been put in very many airports is because they see through clothing and form a full body image on a screen, which privacy advocates are concerned about. It can “show the body’s contours with embarrassing clarity” and perform “virtual strip searches” (from AP).

Of course I want our country and airways to be safer. But is this the answer? I don’t know. What do you think? Is it worth it to sacrifice this much privacy?

Oh Pashmina, How I Love Thee
June 29, 2009

I think the pashmina may be the most useful, versatile item you can pack when traveling.  It has so many uses! Blanket on cold planes, scarf to jazz up an outfit, sarong for over a swimsuit….I could go on.  They are available in a range of prices, materials, and colors.  If you forget yours, you can probably buy one for $10 at your airport.  So convenient!  I found the one below at www.thepashminastore.com and I feel cozier just looking at it.  Probably has something to do with security blankets during childhood.pashmina