“Celebrities talk travel” worth the click

My initial thought about the celebrity travel interviews at travel.aol.com was “Oh, great. More celebrity gossip. Who cares?” But, after reading “Jonathan Bennet Talks Travel,” I read another interview– and another and another. I found each interview engaging and useful for picking up a tip or two.

What makes these interviews worthwhile and different from other celebrity interviews is that the celebrities are not firmly on the A-list. Their tone does not suggest that if one were a celebrity one could have a truly great life. You know–if you were Brad and Angelina. Or Tom and Katie. Or Oprah. These interviews are not about how much money one can spend for deluxe experiences, but what people do to optimize their travel success.

Even though the celebrities interviewed have had opportunities to see the world at a higher level than most of us, the interviews reflect their sense of wonder at the world and that they are figuring out how to travel with aplomb just like anybody else. After each read, I was left with the feeling of wanting to hit the road or buy an airline ticket myself.

Here are five celebrities and five travel tips.

  • Jonathan Bennet–Take a shower first thing when you arrive in your hotel room. (That’s the first thing he always does.)
  • Antonio Sabato Jr.–Wear comfortable clothing on an airplane or during a long car trip. (He wears sweats.)
  • Kim Wayans–Bring your own sheets and pillow (I often bring my own pillow case and sometimes a pillow depending on the circumstance and location.)
  • Criss Angel (a video interview)–Know about your destination’s climate so you don’t over-pack. (When going to Cabo, his favorite destination, he only brings a few pairs of shorts and leaves the shaving cream at home.) On the flip side of temperatures, know if you’ll need a sweater or a jacket– or both.
  • Bode Miller–Stay positive and be aware that delays and the unexpected may happen.

Self-preservation comes in a left window seat

A few years back before our lives of traveling with kids, my husband was sitting in the middle seat of a row of three seats. I was in the window seat. Another man was sitting in the aisle seat. My husband who finds coach class not the most comfortable wanted his experience to be more comfortable and asked me to switch seats with him.

I did keep myself from saying, “Are you out of your mind?” and stuck to “No.” It was a firm “No” in order to make sure that he knew I wasn’t kidding.

Seriously, why would I give up my inch or so of space afforded by the curve of the airplane wall to be smashed, unable to move between two men–even if I was married to one of them? Also, we were on the left side of the plane which was a bonus for me. I am left-handed, so for me to be in a window seat on the left side meant I could write if I wanted to. Or be able to eat a meal without worrying about my elbow’s movement being curtailed.

When it comes to travel comfort, a martyr I’m not. I will let my husband share my tray table if he’s too uncomfortable with his down. I will also put the bulkier things under the seat in front of me so he has room for his feet. Giving up left shoulder room is where I draw the line.

Since we’ve had children, most of the time this has given us an added advantage of more room. First, it was our daughter who used to sit between us giving us oodles of more space. Now that our son is in the mix, if there are three seats, our son usually sits between us, and our daughter, gleefully sits on her own. We have a couple more years before our son is too big that he won’t think it’s nifty to sit between his parents. No matter what though, I’m not giving up the ability to move my left arm. It’s either the right aisle or left window for me. Period.

For a funny read about how to hold onto sanity on an airplane, “A User’s Manual to Seat 21-C” by Wayne Curtis published recently in The New York Times may give you some scenarios that you recognize. What’s your keeping your sanity tip?

By the way, the photo is of a seat that is not my first choice. How come?

Sleeping on Airplanes

Falling asleep on
moving objects has never been an issue for me. If I’m not the one in the driver’s seat it’s safe to say I’ll be out
cold until the final destination has been reached. Buses, trains, planes, you name it – sleeping on each has been
something I’ve trained myself to do. For the most part it keeps me from getting "are we there yet"
syndrome and makes time fly a whole lot faster. However, I have to admit snagging my zzz’s on planes can sometimes be a
little embarrassing. Let’s start with the strange gravitational pull that somehow keeps my mouth wide open like a
stuffed bass mounted on someone’s trophy wall. (I know I’m not the only one.) Neck pillow or no neck
pillow I always seem to become a real life bobble head and many times I find myself being nudged by the passenger next
to me to either wake up or get the hell off their shoulder. I don’t know how many times I’ve apologized in the past for
managing to sleep so well on planes at my poor neighbor’s expense, but such is my sleeping style.

Now all of
this brings me to a fine piece of ‘sleeping on plane how-to’ from Independent Traveler, who
better understands that not everyone can nap so well on board. The folks at the Independent title the time spent on
planes "a modern Purgatory for the living" and offer tips on how to close your eyes and make it all
go away. You know – crying babies, the bearded woman, or the poser pretending to chug along on his laptop for some very
important deadline. Yes, just make it go away! Here are some of their tips
with my own two cents.

  • Get seat savvy. Learn which ones are the best and worst seats for getting
    shut-eye on your red-eye.
  • Keep the carry-on luggage to a minimum since they take away from your
    precious legroom.
  • Coffee? Are you kidding! Skip it.
  • Fight for pillows and blankets if you
    have to. Board early and to get yours from the overhead bin if it’s going to help you sleep in peace.
  • Turn
    the neck pillow around for chin support. (Never thought of that one!)
  • If taking off your shoes, know the
    rules. They’ve got the basics listed.
  • Give the bookworm beside you a nasty glare if they choose to use the
    light. Make it known you’re trying to sleep.

Several others which include the use of drugs, headphones and
seat reclining etiquette are listed as well. Whether you have troubles sleeping on planes or not I encourage everyone
to check this piece out.
If you’ve got a moment share a tale from one of your flights. What’s your in-flight sleep style like?