How To Make Coach Feel Like First-Class — And First-Class Feel Like Heaven

Eight Great “Off-The-Radar” Tips For Air Travel Success

By Debbi K. Kickham

For some people, travel is a four-letter word. But if you plan ahead — and go armed with my insider advice (culled from 30 years as a professional travel journalist) — you can make your bon voyage even better. This way, you can look and feel first-class fabulous — even if you travel in coach. Ready for takeoff? Tote these in your carry-on.


Here’s a product I swear by in my travels. Take Oscillococcinum the moment you feel a headache, body aches, chills, or fever coming on. Oscillo reduces the duration and severity of these flu-like symptoms, and — get this — it’s an industry secret found on many Hollywood movie sets. That’s probably why movie stars always look so good! Better yet, Oscillo doesn’t cause any drowsiness or that foggy feeling, and it’s widely available in drugstores and supermarkets. Although I’ve worked with Boiron, the maker of Oscillo, for many years, I genuinely love telling others about this product because it has worked so well for me.

Satin or Silk Pillowcase & Eye Shades

Why silk? Because silk is softer on your skin and hair than cotton, and it doesn’t cause creases and wrinkles. Bring your own pillow, and top it with a silk, or even a satin, pillowcase. And don’t forget eye shades, which are oh-so-soft for sleeping on the plane, as well as ear plugs or noise-reducing headphones.

Scented Towelettes

Many companies make scented towelettes that smell divine — they’re usually fragranced with real essential oils — and have a million-and-one uses. Use the orange ones to disinfect your surroundings on the plane (including the tray table). Use the lavender type to tuck into your pillow at night to induce sleep, or to relieve bug bites or remove makeup. And try the lemon variety as an aftershave on your legs, to clean your computer keyboard, or as a pick-me-up after exercising.

Flavored Water Packets

Your local supermarket has a wealth of flavored water packets which can add zing to that plain old bottled water you receive from the flight attendant.

Low-Fat Snacks

When I travel by plane, I always bring special snacks, so I never fall off the diet wagon. These include dried prunes, which at 20 calories per prune, are filled with antioxidants and potassium, and put a tiger in my tank (especially before I go to the gym and need some fuel). I also never go on a trip without my preferred snack and breakfast of champions — puffed rice, raisins and powdered nonfat milk, packed in a clear plastic bag. Just add water for a great snack. Almonds, low-fat cheese and diet bread are also healthy choices (and after you land, more slimming options than the hotel minibar).

Facial Moisturizer

Up at 35,000 feet, the air is not only stale, it is dry. And if you don’t do something about it, you’ll disembark with a dry dermis. To obviate a parched complexion, bring moisturizer or skin serum to apply — and reapply — to your face while in flight.

Products From

Most airports won’t let you board with any liquids or gels that are larger than 3 fluid ounces. The website offers a wealth of cosmetics and goodies from prestige brands in small sizes — everything from cosmetics to duct tape to packets of fat-free salad dressing — which you can take on board. This website is a one-stop travel wonder.

Lastly, there’s one more thing that you should always travel with: sense of humor. It doesn’t cost a thing or weigh you down. It easily goes through customs, and it’s your passport to the best trip ever!

For more fabulous travel suggestions, read Debbi’s bestselling book, The Globetrotter’s Get-Gorgeous Guide: Diet and Beauty Secrets of Travel and Beauty Pros, Traveling Executives and Celebrity Travelers, the world’s first beauty book for traveling women and #1 on in the “Honeymoon Travel Guide” category. Also, check out her beauty/well-being/travel blog at Debbi is the owner of Maxima Marketing, a marketing communications firm near Boston. She is a former editor of Robb Report magazine and a long-standing member of the Society of American Travel Writers.