Ross: The simple secret to a relaxing travel experience

Apr 12, 2022, 7:31 AM | Updated: Apr 13, 2022, 8:33 am
Sleeping flight...
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

I saw a headline in the Seattle Times titled, “Is it possible to sleep comfortably on an overnight flight?” I don’t think I’m giving anything away if I tell you that the answer was no.

Travel expert Christopher Elliot had several tips on how to make your red-eye bearable, but ultimately, he advises just avoiding the red-eye unless you can afford to fly first class on Qatar Airways, and to me, that’s just giving up.

So, I would like to offer an alternative opinion, because I fly the red-eye to the east coast about twice a year — the 11:30 p.m. via Chicago – and I do pretty well.

To me, the most important thing is to de-stress yourself ahead of time.

To do that, I start packing weeks in advance, and put every piece of clothing into a large baggie so I can easily rearrange the suitcase. This way I can re-pack without having to re-fold – and by the departure date, I can be sure I haven’t forgotten anything.

I also stick to one carry-on, so there’s no baggage claim stress.

By taking an 11:30 p.m. flight you’re not stressing about traffic, and it’s easy to get to the airport two hours early, which also de-stresses you because even if they have to sniff your luggage and strip you naked – you’ll get to the gate in plenty of time.

As for the actual in-flight sleeping, that takes some work. It helps to practice the art of vertical rest. I practice five nights a week writing these commentaries at home. If I get stuck on a word, I’ve gotten to the point where I can close my eyes to think, and boom! I’m out, until my internal deadline alarm goes off. Or until my wife says “are you in there sleeping again? The kale is getting cold.”

But on the red-eye, no deadlines. No stress at all, because my clothes have been in baggies for weeks, I know I haven’t forgotten anything, and there’s no dinner in danger of getting cold. That makes it so that I can give in to the fatigue without a care in the world.

That’s the secret! It’s not about buying a sleeping pod on Qatar Airways, it’s about pro-actively de-stressing and learning to doze off at a desk. If you can master that, you should be able to conk out even in a non-reclinable 17-inch seat.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross

Light rail transit fare...
Dave Ross

Ross: You have to pay your transit fare now; imagine that

Starting this week, new signs are going up at all the light rail stations.  They are bright yellow signs that say “Pay To Enter.”
22 hours ago
light rail, Sound Transit...
Dave Ross

Ross: Ex-football players would convince people to pay for transit

Yesterday, the State Supreme Court ruled in favor of Zachary Meredith, who in 2018 boarded a Community Transit bus without paying his fare.
4 days ago
chatgpt jeopardy...
Dave Ross

Dave Ross quizzes ChatGPT on the hardest Jeopardy! questions

With the new update to ChatGPT being rolled out I found a Reader’s Digest feature headlined: “14 Final Jeopardy! Questions Everybody Got Wrong.”
5 days ago
vaccine mandate policing...
Dave Ross

Ross: Community policing program should include public tackle training

There would be five or ten of our burliest male and female citizens trained to swarm the assailant and, in 30 seconds, have him zip-tied
5 days ago
Dave Ross

Ross: The myth of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps

A lot of us take that to the extreme by assuming everyone has those magical bootstraps that, if only you pull on them hard enough, will fix everything
6 days ago
Dave Ross

Ross: Census expands ethnicity classifications to 217 unique identities

Next year, just in time for the election, the federal government will be rolling out a new list of possible ethnic and racial census classifications.
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!
safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Ross: The simple secret to a relaxing travel experience