Q: I just read you returned from a whirlwind trip to Asia. I’m a skittish flier — how do you handle such long flights? — Bea, Dallas

A: I’m not the best flier, either, but I do have some rituals to make myself more comfortable. In the airport, I stock up on snacks like almonds, pretzels and hard candies and magazines (from Us Weekly to The New Yorker). I don’t really watch movies on-board, but I download a few books on my iPad — I read Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Infidel: My Life on our China trip. Because I can’t receive e-mails on my Blackberry, it’s actually the perfect time to catch up on them. I always carry a red ribbon (a family tradition) for good luck, and if I miss my boys, I look through vacation photos on my iPad. Otherwise, I travel with my favorite baby Porthault pillow and try to sleep.

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