#Travel140 Travel Tips:
Chatty seat mate when you’re craving quiet? Simple ways to keep the peace without being rude.
We’re generally friendly, social people who enjoy chatting with other friendly, social people. That’s especially true when we can talk about travel! Whether it’s to decompress, focus, or just relax, every so often, we just need some quiet time. Here are our favorite travel tips to quiet those chatty seat mates!
Plug in and Tune out
Nothing says “don’t talk to me,” without actually saying it, like a pair of headphones. For this trick, bigger is better, since some people seem to overlook earbuds, especially the small, wireless kind. You don’t actually have to listen to anything, although we find some smooth jazz or cool chill music helps drown out aircraft noise and soothes the nerves nicely. Just wait for a brief break in conversation, slip into your headphones and rock out.
Headphones work well if you have to get some work done, or are trying to Netflix & Chill your way through the flight. The drawback, of course, is that bigger headphones take up more valuable carry-on space.
Don the Eye Mask
We’ve found this almost as effective as headphones, unless you need to get some work done. Since we tend to nap on most flights, and don’t mean to rudely shun our neighbors, this works well for us. We appreciate that eye masks take almost no space in your luggage, and are dramatically less expensive than a good pair of headphones. Once you’ve blacked out the world, the world seems to leave you be until the flight attendants need your attention. For maximum effect, combine with headphones to be in your own little cocoon.
Don the Face Mask
For some reason, people don’t seem to want to talk to sick people. When you’re wearing a surgical-style face mask, people seem to assume that you’re sick and sort of steer clear. Good for when you want some alone time. Not good for when you don’t want to be shunned. Be forewarned: We have seen people get irate when “forced to sit next to someone who’s sick.” Personally, we’d rather sit next to someone with a facemask than someone openly spreading germs. Just us?
Warning: This can easily backfire. When someone starts rattling away at you in English, just look confused and say, “Sizungumzi Kiingereza.” And hope like heck you’re not sitting next to the one person on the flight who speaks Swahili.
Stick Your Head in the…
Let us say right up front that we don’t recommend this solution for a variety of reasons, though mostly to help preserve your dignity.
We’re talking about slipping into something a little more, let’s say outlandish, for your flight: the Ostrich Pillow. On the up side, your noggin is cocooned in pillowy softness. On the other hand, people may assume you’re the lead scout in the alien invasion. Either way, it will almost certainly guarantee you an uninterrupted flight, unless your seatmate is insatiably curious about that thing on your head.
While we approach the subject with humor, there are always people who like to chat, and some who don’t. How do you respond to a chatty seat mate when you’re hoping for a quiet flight? How do you respond when your seat mate is the one looking for quiet? We trust you approach the situation politely, and hope you’ll share your favorite tips, too. We’ll re-post the best tips, so be sure to include your Twitter handle and a link to your blog, if you have one. Or click for more #Travel140!