Daniel H. Pink is the author of five provocative bestselling books about the changing world of work. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife and their three children.
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Pink’s Travel Tips — IntroPink’s Travel Tips — Tip #1
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Not as cheap as your option, but has a lot of the same benefits over active noise canceling devices (can sleep with them, compact, etc.). And hey, you can still have a pair of ear plugs for takeoff and landing!
Adrian — Interesting option. I’ll check it out.
I TOTALLY LOVE my earplugs. I use the Hearos Ultimate Softness Series. Neon is too obvious for me. These are peachy brown colored (the neon may not go with my outfit.) Because they blend – no one knows I’m wearing them. So you can wear them during the crazy loud safety instructions or if your pastor is droning on, etc. And they are soft – made from the same stuff as a squishy tempurpedic mattress.
Good idea. And they are also good for protecting your ears when you go with you children to hear some heavy metal band atommize the brains of America’s youth.
I bought my plugs and a gun shop. They block out more of the noise.
Not too sustainable is it?
I’ve been using this idea for over twenty years myself. I’m an ex-testpilot and always put mine on prior to flying to prserve my hearing which I did during my career on a very noisey aircraft flightline. Besides, most people don’t realize that noise is stressful to the human body. When on long crosscountry driving trips I also use them. You would be surprised at how much more realaxed you’ll be after the trip just because of the reduction in stress from the reduction in sounds from highway noises, window wind, etc. This works particularly well if you are a motorcycle rider for the same reasons. Stress is additive and noise is a big one! Foam earplugs are an easy cheap fix that works wonders. Great job Mr Pink, keep up the good work!
I had custom molded ear plugs made from ChEARS in San Diego. I think they cost less than $200, I can’t remember. They fill your ears with a mold and create custom ear plugs the color of skin. They reduce the decibels of jet engines and are super discreet for concerts. They make traveling more comfortable, sleeping better (as they fit perfectly), and your ears won’t ring after a loud show. Well worth the investment.
Another benefit, years ago I worked on the tarmac with airplanes and when it gets up to a hundred degrees and your standing on pavement you really don’t want to be wearing earmuffs These are much cooler and I actually believe better noise reduction due to the fact that they don’t jostle around on your head.
The best thing I ever purchased was a premier pass account. This membership basically lets you get into all of the airport lounges, without having to have a separate membership for each airline. You can try noise canceling headphones all you want, but nothing beats sitting in the club lounges. Some of the larger ones even have decent free food & open bars. You have to renew it every year, but for those who spend a lot of time in airports is definitely worth it. All it takes is a single flight which is delayed by four hours because of snow and you will start feeling the benefits of having a truly quiet space.
I agree that you need something small and non-electronic. So as a fellow Road Warrior, here is what I use:
Shure In-ear buds. They come with these white attachments that act just like the ear plugs I get at REI. When not attached to my music, they act like decent earplugs. They are brilliant!
I’m not much of a traveller, but I’m a swim dad who spends a lot of weekends on pool decks indoors during the winter. Ear plugs have been such a salvation to me. Many times other lane timers and officials have given me the thumbs up sign when they see my plugs. Why? Because swim meets are so loud sometimes that they just plain hurt your ears, especially relay race events. So here’s a fellow celebrant of those beautiful, cheap, and indispensable things you stick in your ears!
Just to check, you are not putting the earplugs in correctly. I’ve learned that the only right way is to roll them up (most people get this part right), then take your opposite hand and pull up your upper ear lobe while inserting the ear plug with the other hand.
Not sure if you do this or not.
Of course, if you want to listen to music or watch a movie on your iPad those noise canceling headphones work pretty well. I routinely watch movies and listen to music on my iPad on flights so use Bose noise canceling headphones on almost every flight I’m on. However, if I wanted to sleep, I’d pull out my earplugs, just like Dan.
Some airlines (Southwest, for example) permit the use noise cancelling headphones at all times. They can’t be plugged in to a personal electronic device that’s powered on during take-off and landing but the headphones themselves can be powered on.
In addition to noise cancelling, I also use earplugs to lighten pressure changes on my inner ear. I have notorious eustachian tubes and have had experiences where I did not hear properly for days after a flight. With earplugs in from takeoff to when the cabin door opens, my ears are much more comfortable.
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