Greetings everyone! Welcome to The Loner’s Guide Episode 3: Best Airplane Seat. In this episode I will explain which airplane seat is the best for comfy travels.
When I first started traveling I had no idea what to expect. I did know that I enjoyed aisle seats. Something about being able to stand when I want and not over stepping my neighbor resonated with me. When I booked my first flight it was in 2012. I just wanted to be able to sit, relax, and not worry about being thousands of feet in the air. My first flight was from New Jersey to one of the Carolinas. It was flight one out of eight total flights in two weeks, but that is a completely different episode.
I will give you advice on two different options, one being budget friendly, while the other a bit more pricy, yet well worth the funds.
Option 1: The Perfect Economy Seat
As I’m sure you know economy seating can be a bit of a pain. You are crammed into multiple seats in a row with people who are no doubt going to be sharing your personal space. You will be either side rubbing and or fighting over an armrest. If you are next to someone who is rather tall more than likely they will be in a position where their legs invade your personal space. Or if you are very unlucky as I was when I went from New Zealand to America, you will sit next to someone who takes off their shoes and then sits cross legged in the seat with their foot firmly against your thigh. Basically what I’m getting at is economy is tight, very tight, so close it’s too close, tight. However you can still find a seat that gives you space and a bit more freedom than the average economy seat while still being in economy.
The perfect economy seat rest firmly where the emergency row is placed. Depending on your flight and the size of your airplane, you will either have a three by four by three row seating, or three by three row seating. Regardless of this, always pick an aisle seat in the exit row. If you can pick the center row seats in an emergency row, then that is perfect! You get extra leg room while also avoiding being stepped on by your neighbor when they have to go to the restroom.
Years ago, I went for these seats as they were in my limited budget while providing me comfort. However, I guess some airlines caught on to this and now these coveted seats are considered economy plus seats. These are just regular economy seats, but because of all the comforts that the others lack, the airlines charge a bit more for this. It is a shame when these seats are still the same size as regular economy.
Just so it’s clear, Economy Plus is not Premium Economy. I will explain that next.
Economy seating is great if you can find the right seat in the right area. If you have a short flight, then don’t even bother as you can deal with discomfort for 1-3 hours. However, if you are on an international flight or a flight more than 3 hours, definitely get the seat I suggested.
Option 2: Premium Economy Has the Perks!
Now this seating option is just superb! It is a fairly new seating type which sits between economy and business class. As stated in a previous episode, there are only about 12-24 premium economy seats on a given flight. Compared to other types of seats, they are very few in numbers. These seats, no matter aisle or emergency row, will give you the space and comfort!
For one thing, the seats are bigger, about 1-2 inches on either side. When sitting in this type of seat for the first time, I was enamored at the space my thighs had. I also love how you have your own personal space. This means that your neighbor’s leg is in their own chair away from you. Most importantly, you are separated from your neighbor by thick metal armrests that you each have! This means no more fighting or elbowing by accident.
The other perks of this seating option is that you get amenities that are a tad bit nicer than economy such as a little baggy with gifts. These gifts include toothpaste, toothbrush, socks, hand lotion, ear plugs, and even lip balm to name a few. Yes, there is more! This of course depends on your flight and the company!
The thing about premium economy is that you will more than likely pay a lot more than regular economy. If you are traveling international then just spend the money. Comfort always costs more. It doesn’t have to cost thousands upon thousands like business or first class, but you will spend a pretty penny. In any event, I am more than happy to pay up an extra three to four hundred dollars more to get that extra space for my thighs.
I also must mention that the perfect premium economy seat is nestled in the exit row. Now, you don’t have to be in an exit row to have room for your feet in premium economy, but with an exit row you have double the space! So for all the tall people out there, this is the perfect option for you! I am very short but still love having this option as I do stand regularly to stretch on long flights. It is great to have my own area to do this instead of going in the aisles.
Whatever you choose remember to think of what’s best for you. If you don’t like aisle seats, or if you enjoy staring out the window on flights, my suggestions may not resonate with you. Below are some links to get a feel for what premium economy has to offer and even seat maps to see what area works for you!
I hope you enjoyed the episode. Please share and remember, you only live once, so explore! Until then…
Hello Groovy People,
In this post I will explain why everyone needs to have mad money when visiting others, or when traveling with others.
The first thing I want to do is explain what Mad Money means. If you do a google search it states: Mad money is discretionary money set aside for an emergency or for personal use.
I first heard of the term mad money from an older woman. This was after telling her about a tough time I had visiting someone. She said that you should always have mad money because you never know when things go south. If they do, you can always have a way to take care of yourself.
Mad Money is something useful when you visit others, whether they are friends or family. When traveling, before traveling solo, I would visit others a lot. When visiting, I was strap for cash and would depend on staying in someone else’s home. Now this isn’t a bad thing. After all, you save money by not getting a hotel and you get to spend time with others. A win win right??? Well…this is not always the case. When you are a guest in someone’s home you must play by their rules. I am pretty laid back and a people pleaser. However, when dealing with different personalities and sometimes bad moods, you are bound to encounter issues from time to time.
I won’t detail any specifics here, but from the stories I’ve heard, sometimes hosts can be a bit persnickety. They mean well, but some people are truly controlling. When you are on a trip, trying to relax and enjoy time away from home, the last thing you want is to butt heads with your host. You can either deal with it, or have mad money on the side.
I can personally attest to the fact that although I try my best to people please, sometimes I am brought to my limit. This is the main reason why I now choose to never stay with anyone when I travel. An hour or so visit is great, but being in anyone’s home, whether that be a friend or family member is no longer a reasonable option for myself. I like the freedom of being in my own personal space, while still being able to socialize. This is of course, on my terms.
Maybe this isn’t you. Maybe you like staying with others. However, having mad money doesn’t mean you don’t like your hosts or that you expect a problem. If anything it means insurance. A “just in case” fund.
Mad money isn’t just for getting a hotel when you have issues with your host. It can also be for other things that may be pertinent to you whenever you see fit.
This blog post is also a podcast. Please share and remember, you only live once, so explore!
Hello Groovy People!
Welcome to The Loner’s Guide. In this post I will give you tips about planning the best trip ever! No matter where you go or want to do, you will have everything you need to get things prepared. Keep in mind that these tips are based on my personal experiences and may not apply to everyone. Find what works for you and explore! *This post is also available as a podcast!*
Where do you want to go? When traveling alone, I try to go to places that are relatively safe. Regardless of where you go, you must always be mindful that dangers lurk in every country. For example, I love going to Japan. Despite the safety of the country and most people keeping to themselves, there are places that aren’t so safe that I do avoid going to at night or even alone. So it is safe to say that you must also keep this mindset when you pick your destination.
Start with a place you like and do your research! Are there locations that the locals will find problematic? Are there other travelers who have certain experiences? Yes, their views could be fueled by prejudice and stereotypes, but when traveling by oneself, you must keep in mind your safety. Therefore, doing your research and getting a variety of perspectives is key. If you know someone from said country, that is even better! They can give you an upfront unfiltered idea of what things are really like and what to avoid.
What will you do? Like in step one, you must research this as well. Now if you are a carefree traveler, then that’s great. However, having this mindset will purge your wallet of funds rather quickly unless you have very inexpensive tastes. I love traveling because I can experience something different than what I can do at home. So I like to find activities that are unique and give me an idea of what the culture is like. Some things are free, like walking on a waterfront or even a museum. However, other activities, like a tour, cost money. So with that, you must think about what types of activities you like to do and see what costs money and how you can do all the things you like without going broke during your trip.
Where will you stay? Now this really depends on a few factors. Are you an extrovert who likes meeting strangers and being around people all the time? Do you like personal space? Are you a mixture of both? I personally like having my own space and meeting people sparingly. If you want to save money on a hotel, you can always get a hostel. It comes with a bed, but all the common places, including your bedroom will be shared by people you don’t know. The only pro I can think of is that a week or two week stay will only cost you $300 or less! Of course, this depends on how long you stay and where you go. Now if that sounds grand, then do it! But if you want to have your personal time to yourself and not be around others when unwinding after a long day of exploring, then here is a tip I think you will like.
Look for hotel apartments from booking.com. The great thing is that more and more companies are trying to appeal to the idea of a home away from home. With a hotel apartment, you get a living space, a full kitchen that includes a refrigerator, sink and stove, a full bathroom, and separate bedroom. Many of these apartments come with a washer. In rare cases, a washer/dryer combo! When I went to New Zealand and Tokyo, I had all of these amenities courteous of booking.com. A 12 day stay was also about $1,200. This was roughly the same for New Zealand and Tokyo! Surprisingly, the location of these apartments were close to the areas I like to explore and supermarkets! Now that may sound like a lot of money, but let me tell ya, $1,200 for 12 days is about $100 a day. That is not only reasonable but think of all the things you get for that money! A kitchen, a living room, a separate bedroom, bathroom, and washer/dryer combo!!!! That is a steal! The best perk is that after a long day I can relax in what is essentially a home away from home. The plus side is that these hotel apartments are from companies and not privately owned. Which means you don’t have to worry about some stranger and all their baggage!
How will you get there? This applies to getting to the country and getting to the hotel. Now to save money you may want to get an economy seat. However, when planning a great trip within budget, it’s okay to splurge just a bit. Now if your trip takes less than 5 hours, get economy. Most short trips like that will have only certain planes available anyway and a business seat is not that different than an economy seat. Maybe an inch wider, but it really isn’t worth the extra money. Now if you are going international and the flight is over 9 hours, you may want to invest a few hundred dollars more. When going to Japan for the first time I wanted to save money and spent $1,100. There were eight planes involved, and it was a long flight; just terrible! With travelers wanting more comfort, but not wanting to destroy their funds, airlines have made a new seating option called premium economy or premium seats.
I flew United and at times All Nippon Airways. Both companies have premium seats. These seats are between economy and business class. There are about 12-20 seats, so very few. The good thing is that you get more space, which means you don’t have to fight over arm rests or brush legs with your seat mate. You also get more room in front and leg rests! Not just foot rests, leg rests!! There are also some extra food perks such as business class desserts that you may not get in economy!
Premium seats can be more expensive than economy, but are loads cheaper than business and a fraction of the cost of first class. When your flight is frightfully long, you deserve comfort and with my experience, comfort costs money. Just invest, and thank me later!
Now let’s change gears and discuss how you will get from the airport to your hotel once you’re there. I suggest you research trains and buses and even shuttles depending on the hotel. Nowadays I keep it simple and find taxis’ from booking.com. I booked a taxi for the first time when I went to Tokyo in 2020, before the pandemic. Setting it up on the website was easy, just plug in your hotel’s address, your flight number and date, then browse the type of taxi you need. There’s even an option for the sign the driver holds up so you know exactly who your person will be. This is key when traveling alone! I personally think a taxi is best when you want to keep it simple, safe, and easy. The average flight for when I travel is always 12 plus hours. So I am just exhausted when I arrive and no longer want to do trains. Find out what’s best for you!
Bring less, take back more! Now if you are a fashionista or just into going all out with your personal style, you may bring an extra large suitcase. However, large cases weight more and if you want to buy things during your trip, you will have to foot the bill of all that weight! So take my advise and take a medium sized bag, plus a separate carry on with little to nothing in it! That way you can fill it with all the things you buy without spending extra on weight fees. From my experience, taking an international flight means you get two free checked bags. Even if you can only take one checked bag, you can still have a carry on with a personal bag such as a backpack or purse. With that in mind, you can have two suitcases, a backpack or purse and still be within your limits going to and from your country of choice! This is why I stress having a washer/dryer combo because you can take clothes that you can wash so that you have room for other things.
I am not sure how others travel, but I take clothes that match each other so that I can change things up even though there is very little. I wash them when I wear certain items too much and that way I can keep things clean and reasonable. I travel to explore, not to impress. This step may be the most interesting as this really depends on your personal style and how you pack bags.
Conclusion and Safety Tips for the Loners:
Regardless of what you decide to do, remember, this is your trip. Think about what you want, what you want to do, and research! When going it alone, definitely keep your safety in mind always! Know your options and if possible, get a cheap international phone. If you can, order it online and have it with you before getting there. When you get to your destination, turn it on in the airport and try a local number. That way if it doesn’t work, airports always have phones available. The staff are usually helpful too! Know of all important numbers such as that country’s emergency numbers. Also, have the embassy of your country in mind when traveling. You never know if you need to contact them for anything, even in emergencies! This may seem like a lot, but these are quick google searches that can mean the difference between having the time of your life, and being stuck in a really crap situation.
I hope you enjoyed the podcast. Please share and remember, you only live once, so explore!
Hello Groovy People!
Recently I published my first short story, Will Work for Air. It is available at Amazon.com. You can get this short story on a Kindle, or a physical copy! Here is the cover and description of Will Work for Air. To see the full image, move the arrow to the left or right. If you can, please rate and leave any and all comments on Amazon. I can really use the input!
Hello Groovy People!
Journey’s End is my second self published novel. If you would like to hear the first chapter read aloud, please go to Journal Jazzi’s Youtube page! If you would like to read the first chapter, please head to this link!
If you enjoy complex characters and thrilling adventures, please read, Journey’s End.I hope you enjoy!
Hello Groovy People,
As December comes to an end, I have started a new plan in marketing my book. It was always easier to create a story, and over the last several years, it was even easy to publish. However, without being attached to a publishing company, I must do all the hard work of publicity alone. There is so much information out there on what to do, how to do it, how to do it right… But there are no real answers as to what will work for me. As frustrating as this has been, I look at my current plan with optimism. Perhaps I am just happy that I have varied ways of marketing my book (for free), even if it doesn’t generate the numbers I need (yet).
Anywho, I have an instagram page, and now a YouTube page dedicated to putting myself out there. Will it drive traffic to my books? Not certain, but I have high hopes. If you would like to see my pages and support me by subscribing, click the following links:
A poem by Jasmine Clark
A tightrope in the middle
Happy on one side
Sad on the other
You teeter on the balance with ease
I fall to either side
Unable to climb back up
Drowning in this emotion
I choke on its power
You see me down there
Impossible to imagine why I can’t get myself out
For I am stuck in the abyss of emotion
To strong to let me go
You reach out to save me
But eventually you tire
A mere bout of kindness is stifled by that abyss
It continues to cover me
And here I am left with a void
Alone, I find myself on the tightrope, the balance you once stood
Only to fall to another side
You reluctantly return
But like before, you leave
Exhausted and done, you never come back
And as a cycle always finding itself back at the same point
I repeat my climb to the tightrope
But it repeats, and I fall
Only, I am alone