15 Travel Hacks from Flight Attendants
Iron clothes faster (flat iron/shower steam)
Packing your flat iron maybe worth your while; after a flight, heading to the bathroom to freshen up, pull out your flat iron to touch up your hair and straighten out any wrinkles in your clothes.
Alternatively, when you get to the hotel, when you have a shower, leave your wrinkles clothes on a hanger while you’re in the shower. The steam from the hot water will help straighten out any wrinkled-up clothes.
Always sleep on clean sheets
When you arrive at your hotel, take note of how the sheets look on the bed. Are they creased? Sheets without creases have been slept in; clean fresh sheets will have creases down the middle from being folded after they were cleaned.
When making hotel bookings, check if they have a washer/dryer available. Pack some detergent packs and dryer sheets in a zip-lock bag to eliminate an extra few days of clothing.
Save space in your bag
Roll your clothing rather than folding; it will save space and also minimise the wrinkling of your clothes. Storing smaller items such as socks or underwear inside your shoes can also be a space saver.
Get through customs in a jiff
If you’re a regular traveller to the United States, you may consider applying for Global Entry. “Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travellers upon arrival in the United States. Members enter the United States through automatic kiosks at select airports.”
The quietest seats on a plane
Plane rides are never easy on the ears; however, you’ll usually find seats in front of the plane’s wings are quieter. The engines can generate a bit of noise, but by sitting in front of the turbines, the noise levels may be reduced slightly. Of course, some planes are quieter than others.
Keep hotel rooms dark
After a long flight, a good night’s sleep is needed. Use the clips on pant hangers in the hotel to keep curtains closed all the way. This will keep any city or morning light from creeping in through the small split between the curtains.
Avoid damaging your hearing
Although it isn’t always in your control, it is best to avoid flying with a severe cold. All the pressure can damage your eardrums and may affect your hearing for a few days after flying.
Avoid being seated near a baby
While there’s no escaping (or blaming) the shrill of an upset child, choosing a seat that’s located far from the partitions on board can lower your odds of sitting directly next to one. These partitions (bulkheads), are one of the only places on an aircraft where a parent can safely secure a baby’s bassinet; therefore, most children under one year old will be situated in that general area.
Sit near the back for most attentive service
Most passengers tend to choose seats that are at the front of the aircraft; first chance to disembark and better chance of securing their preferred meal option. However, flight attendants know that if you're sitting towards the back, you'll receive the most attentive service. The reason is simple: “We like to avoid responding to call bells from the front of the plane because answering one means potentially flaunting whatever item the passenger has requested to everyone else along the way.”
This can cause a problem since planes often don't have enough extras for everyone, or on shorter flights, there is not enough time to deviate from the service schedule. However, it is much easier to slip in that second mini bottle of wine to those passengers sitting near the back of the plane.
If you are sitting in a window seat, bring extra layers as those seats tend to get the coldest during flight. The cabin temperature drops quite substantially during long- or medium-haul flights, so don’t wear a singlet, short and thongs. Sitting down for such a long period of time, there is little muscle movement, making it more difficult to ‘warm up’ again if you do get cold. Tracksuit bottoms are great for flights; you can keep some tracksuit bottoms to change into on your long-haul flights.
Fighting dryness of airplanes
Drink water, of course! Also, keep a small moisturizer in your carry-on or purse. A few other things that work wonders are nasal spray, for those super-dry flights and altitude change, eye drops and some medicated lip balm for dry lips.
Store makeup/moisturiser in a contact lens case instead of bottles
Save yourself some space and some mess by keeping small amount of your moisturiser and liquid makeup in contact lens cases instead of their bottles. Just give the container a little tap before opening to make sure the contents don’t spill out when you open them.
Use essential oil to mask unpleasant smells
Dab a little essential oil under your nose to help mask the odour of any unpleasant smells on the plane; lavender, lemon, tee tree, peppermint, are just a few suggestions you might like to try.
Dabbing some lavender oil on your temples may also help you sleep on long flights.
Keep clothes smelling fresh by packing your suitcase with dryer sheets inside.
Placing dryer sheets between your clothing and in your shoes while packing can keep them smelling fresh, rather than absorbing the musty smells of the aircraft.
BONUS: If the iron in the hotel room is a bit sticky, rub the iron over a dryer sheet on a low heat, and it should come clean!