fly better

Everything about going on a Vacation, or travelling in general is exciting!

From the minute you search for your destination online, to when you arrive at your resort or hotel, the whole process is invigorating. It evokes such excitement that the following days leading up to your departure has the clock going seemingly backwards!

For some people (formerly me) the worst part is the flight. The very thought of standing in line, watching, waiting and grinding my teeth as the swarms of ignorant people standing in the way, looking up at the ceiling in what seems like a daze and total loss of self, try their best to be in the way just burns me up and makes me want slap a nearby vegan.

Lets not forget the whole security process

These super jacked guards looking at you like a peasant, foaming at the mouth just seething and hardly containing their excitement at the prospect of taking you down in the worlds biggest headline bust so they can claim their crown as the most incredible douche bag.

Then there's the

actual flight...

We get strapped into these child seats, beside actual children and babies, and behind sumo wrestlers that just have to recline their seat ALL the way down so that the shitty advertisements on the screen (that may or may not include Matthew McConaughey driving a Lincoln while using his eyes to skull fuck the camera) are so close you can count the pixels...

That is,

if you even get a screen.

Please, god, don’t forget headphones! you'll be listening to the human animals around you belching and farting and recycling groceries in their lipless mouths while they grunt and shift and complain about how flights are the worst without being self aware enough to figure out that they are what make it so terrible!

Well, believe it or not, dear reader, there are things you can do to get through that day!

I'm Alex Vaan, I travel a lot for work. I'm a touring guitar tech, sound guy, FOH Engineer, Monitor Engineer and Stage Manager for a Canadian band called Glass Tiger. This gig is a total dream and has me travelling all over when the months are warm. This also has me seeing my share of the inside of airports and airplanes, to the tune of about 60 per summer.

Its no big surprise that I've developed a few great ways to make the day better, and I'd love to share them with you if you'd be so kind as to lend  me your ear...or eyes I guess.

Tip #1

Definitely. DEFINITELY wear comfy clothes. Nobody is looking at you. Nobody cares about you. This isn't a fashion show. You'll just make everyone around you mad if you look like a million bucks, because nobody else wants to put in the effort of doing Instagram ready makeup before having to haul ass-and-luggage to an airport full of strangers.

Elastic waists, Comfy slip on shoes, Hoody, Neck pillow, and nothing tight. Thats what I'm talkin about! Why would you want to wear your favourite skinny jeans on 5 hour flight? So you can pick your wedgie the whole time? Your neighbours will think you have crabs.

Be comfy.

Tip #2

The airliner's App, AND CHECK IN ONLINE BEFORE YOU GET THERE! Pain in the ass I know. Download another app on my already cluttered phone? you ask.. Yeah, sorry. It just works out. You'll be able to check in online before you get to the airport, choose your ideal seat if one is left, and it will update you if there are delays (if its a good app, anyway). Also, it will help you collect travel points and manage them as well.

Middle seats are saved for those that don't check in online ahead of time. Don't be a sucker!

Tip #3

Parking. 

Nothing is worse than shelling out a fistful of your week's wages just to keep your car somewhere it wont get trashed by the local thugs. If you go online a few days before, you can often find great coupons for a park and fly, or valet service. When my girlfriend Erin and I went to Mexico, we ended up paying $40 for the week, and it was VALET! so it dropped us off right at our gate, and picked us up at our gate. The car was warm, we were hungover and tired, it was glorious.

Tip #4

Luggage Straps will save your luggage if you are checking a bag. Talking to airport staff I learned that luggage breaking open at the zipper or at the seams is a daily event. Grabbing a cheap set of luggage straps on Amazon will save you big time! Here's a link below to the ones that I use: http://amzn.to/2E69G8h

Tip #5

Grab yourself some proper soap and shampoo bottles. I've tried them all. 99% of them leak. Remember that when you reach altitude anything that is a sealed container builds pressure inside, and you don't want to open your toiletry bag to a gooey mess. Again, here's a link to the ones I use: http://amzn.to/2EvZMdH

Tip #6

Grab yourself a sling bag! Nothing makes me crazier than having to wait behind someone in the isle of the airplane because they have to sift through their carry on luggage to find their neck pillow, and blanket, and snack, OH! and tablet, headphones, charge cable, credit card, put their cell phone away. I can't take it!!!

Get yourself a sling bag and fill it with all the things you'll want for mid flight. For me its a cheap tablet loaded with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video (you can download the shows and movies for viewing offline now), my credit card for buying food, cheap noise cancelling headphones, charging cables, passport, boarding pass, sunglasses, power bank, and a few other little goodies like chapstick, because airplanes suck the moisture out of me until I'm devoid of all water particles. I'll make a list of the items I recommend you grab, complete with links to Amazon.

Tip #6.5

Get yourself a canvas carry on bag!! Get rid of that solid cube that you're using! A carry on bag (if you have a sling bag) will probably only have clothes in it and other stuff that won't get damaged. So save yourself the fight, and get a bag that can fit into any size overhead, regardless how full it is. Now with your sling bag and canvas carry on bag, you're the first to sit down! You get on the plane, dunk that puppy above you and sit down with your sling bag knowing all you need is in a neat little package that fits under your seat.

Tip #6.75

If the overhead compartment directly above you is full, take a few steps TOWARD the exit and find a spot that way. DO NOT go in the opposite direction of the exit. When its time to leave, nobody is going to let you go against the traffic to get your bag. If someone took your overhead space, pay it forward, go forward, but don't forget to shoot a look at the douche that took your spot.

So the plane has landed, everyone is pumped to get off, the madness is about to start. You can see all the people around you who didn't read this blog starting to squirm and seethe and try to pack everything up. But not you! You're relaxed, finishing your episode, turning your phone back on, sporting a smile as the tormented sea of angry passengers around you pleases you in your rapturous glee.

Here's some links to the stuff I use, its all super budget stuff and its the best of what I could find for the price, you're welcome:

Travel Chargers that work everywhere: http://amzn.to/2BMgWRD

Extra long charging cables because hotels are terrible at outlet placement (USB-C): http://amzn.to/2GE4VRG

Extra long charging cables because hotels suck at providing plugs near your bed (Micro USB): http://amzn.to/2nzxC9J

Coolest Cheapest Tablet that you won’t have to worry about: http://amzn.to/2nz3RGe

Another Cheap Tablet: http://amzn.to/2FAOh43

Budget Noise Cancelling earphones that sound great that you won’t have to worry about: http://amzn.to/2E6b6j2

Sling Bag (My Fav): http://amzn.to/2FBDO8C

Other Sling bags I recommend: http://amzn.to/2E9hs10

Carry on bags to fit any overhead compartment: http://amzn.to/2DU0X5V

Easy on Easy off shoes: http://amzn.to/2DSl700

Luggage Straps to identify your bag and also keep your stuff tight: http://amzn.to/2E69G8h Power Brick for charging your stuff because some airlines truly suck: http://amzn.to/2GFvB4K Packable Down Jacket: http://amzn.to/2DS03qk

Neck Pillows that don’t wreck your face: http://amzn.to/2DV7Ljp

Soap/Shampoo bottles THAT ACTUALLY DON’T LEAK!! http://amzn.to/2EvZMdH

Dry Bag…for when you get there. Trust me: http://amzn.to/2GDlo8H