Travel is one of life’s greatest pleasures – leaving behind the quotidian banalities of normal life and escaping on a plane to a far off locale is an intoxicating experience. Unfortunately for many, the practicalities of travel have somewhat hampered its romantic notion by virtue of strip searches, confiscation of pricey perfumes, and the cacophony of crying babies over in the next aisle.
While flying private could easily solve all of these ills, the price can be somewhat prohibitive. The next best option is flying First or Business, whether by shelling out the credit card or depleting a cachet of frequent flier miles, but this is still out of reach for some. If you find yourself in the back of the plane, tightly squeezed between a nursing mother and a behemoth mass of flesh overflowing onto your seat, there are remedies for alleviating the malaise that is sure to arise from this draconian experience.
Visit the doctor beforehand
You’ll want to make sure you stock up on prescription narcotics to mitigate the discomforts of travel. A sleep aid or anti-anxiety medication can go a long way in improving a flight. If you can’t enjoy it, you may as well be unconscious or hallucinating.
Always dress for air travel
Seemingly gone are the days when men would wear a suit and women would don a chic dress for the plane. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Since one never knows who one might meet while on a plane, it is advisable to look at least presentable. This could mean a comfortable knit over dark denim or an AUGUST FIELD brocade suit (as seen on Ke$ha).
Fly with a service animal
Flying with a service animal technically makes you a disabled person in the eyes of the airline, which means that even without a first class ticket or elite status, you can board with the infirm and child toting before anyone else.
For flights longer than 12 hours, make a stopover
When in for a long haul flight, it is more pleasant to break up the time in the air with a layover. Make your way to one of the lounges (either buy a one-day pass or get a credit card that enables entry). Most international airport lounges have showers, massage chairs, an open bar and a hot buffet. My favorite has been the ANA lounge at the Narita airport in Tokyo.
Travel with steamer trunks
They may be impractical, but they add a dash of nostalgia to travel and allow for the clothing to arrive unwrinkled and usually unmolested by TSA. You may also require a footman to aid in the transport of these monoliths to and from the baggage claim.
Have a driver waiting upon arrival
There is nothing worse than coming off of a long flight and having to stand in an endless line for a taxi. Normally a hotel offers an airport pick up service, but you may also hire the services of a driver from a private service before you land. In certain developing countries, this will also save the hassle of price negotiation and being fleeced.
When traveling for vacation, many of the same rules apply, though choosing the appropriate destination is absolutely capital to having a truly luxurious experience.
Here it is worthwhile to emulate the jet set, for whom a vacation is not so much a break from reality, but reality itself. Life is a vacation, filled with bottomless champagne flutes, shrimp cocktail and plush Turkish towels draped over poolside reclining lounge chairs.
Save European travel for business and choose somewhere tropical and exotic such as Thailand, Fiji, or Bora Bora. For the price of a 3 star hotel in Paris, you can stay in total luxury on the beach in one of these locales.
Like in rehab, the people you meet are sure to be fabulous. You’re all sharing the same slice of remote heaven and it’s easy to make friends when you’re tipsy and tits out. Most likely your fellow luxuriators have beautiful homes elsewhere that you can go and visit, thereby securing your next vacation destination.
Rationalize the cost by thinking about how much money you’ll save on new clothes when you only need to pack a bikini or your favorite Vilebrequin swim trunks. Whereas you would likely probably spend the majority of your time shopping in a city, you won’t feel the need to purchase anything at all on a secluded beach other than another round of margaritas. Moreover, each museum not visited is at least two Mai Tais, every cab fare saved a platter of oysters. The time spent on the beach soaking up the sun’s rays is several sessions worth of the tanning bed or spray gun saved. When you calculate all that you don’t spend, you might even come out ahead.