Getting the rest you need while flying the friendly skies is not always easy. We chatted with Fiona the Flight Attendant to gain some insight on sleep while travelling. We learned all about sleeping in hotel rooms, jet-lag and catching some zzz's in-flight (as a passenger, of course).
Fiona is from Toronto and has 30 years of experience as a flight attendant. Check out her interview and let great sleep while travelling take flight.
1. It must be so exciting to have a job that allows you to travel to so many destinations! What has been your favourite place to go so far? Where do you hope to go next?
Thinking back, I most enjoyed Hawaii and would love to have the opportunity to head back :).
2. One of the challenges with your profession, I'm sure, must be dealing with jet-lag. Do you have any tricks that you use to combat this issue?
I always make sure I get enough sleep before I leave. It's also very important to take good care of yourself by eating properly and making you that you hydrate (and not only with alcohol, lol). Finally, rather than getting too focused on 'bedtime,' sleep when you can--even short naps can be real lifesavers.
3. When you 'deadhead' back to catch another flight OR when you're a passenger, how do you sleep on a plane?
First and foremost, it's always easier to sleep on a plane when you are good and tired, so, being tired enough to sleep is a major contributing factor to being able to fall asleep no matter where you are. Having a window seat to lean on is key to comfort, and a neck pillow really helps. Beyond that, headphones are great to cancel out noise and a nice cup of camomille tea can be very relaxing.
4. What items do you never leave home without to make your flights as comfortable as possible?
My headphones and my neck-pillow are always tucked into my carry-on for maximum comfort as a passenger on flights.
5. Sleeping in a hotel room can be tricky sometimes. When you overnight at a hotel, what's your perfect sleep scenario? Are there items you bring with you to help you get the rest you need?
Being in different hotels in different cities on a fairly regular basis, I like to bring a little travel candle so all the rooms I stay in smell like home :). Even though it's a small thing, it allows me to take the comfort of home with me. My ideal sleep scenario would be to hit the hotel gym before having dinner with my crew then taking a soothing bath before crawling into bed. We don't always have that kind of time when we overnight, sometimes we only have a few hours. In that case, I always try to take a short nap.
6. Is there anything you wish passengers knew that would make your job easier and more pleasant?
For passenger convenience and ours, it's best to keep carry-on baggage to a minimum. It's also very important to listen to the safety announcements on the PA, particularly regarding remaining seated during takeoff. It's very unsafe to get up and change seats (which happens, believe it or not) while the plane is taking off. If you see an empty seat, just ask one of us if it's okay to move once the seat belt sign has been turned off.
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