As I pack the last of my bags, I move on to my carry-on, arguably the most important part of my luggage. Traveling for 21 straight hours is no easy task, so being prepared for the long haul is a must. Since I have a little less than 36 hrs before I head to the airport, I thought it fitting to share some of my travel tips with you. I feel like I have some expertise in the matter, since this will be my fourth time making this ridiculously long (8,000 miles, to be exact) journey. As I’ve said so many times before in previous posts and on my Don’t Sue Me page, I am not a medical professional and do not claim to have any special health-imparting powers. All I can tell you is what I’ve learned from my own travel experience.
Tip #1 Drink water- Ok, this is a “duh,” but staying hydrate while flying is definitely the most important thing. It keeps your circulation going, helps cushion the blow of jet lag, keeps you from swelling, etc. Over the course of 21 hours, I usually guzzle down a total of 4 liters of water. Yowsa!
Tip #2 Come prepared- Of course, your bags are packed and you’ve crossed off your packing checklist, but most people neglect to make a body checklist. For me, swelling on the plane is a major problem. The first time I made the trip, I was appalled to find that my feet looked like stuffed sausages as I exited the aircraft. A few days prior to my trip, I limit my salt intake, and for a day or two before, I eat mostly raw fruits and veggies (with almonds or boiled eggs for some protein), up my Vit C intake, and take my greens!! This keeps me feeling clean and light on my trip.
Tip #3 Bring snacks- Most people stock their bags with candy, chips, or cookies, but I always make sure to pack some homemade trail mix, protein bars, and maybe dried fruit. Having those things with me on board keeps me satisfied in between meals (or act as a substitute for said meals). Also, snacking on healthy stuff keeps me from feeling yucky the next day.
Tip #4 Take a neck pillow- Let’s face it. Those airline pillows just don’t cut it, and sleeping on the flight is so important. Also, a nice neck pillow doubles as a donut when my tail bone starts getting achy.
Tip #5 Pack comfy shoes- If I’m not already wearing comfy shoes, I always bring a spare pair that I can slip on and off. Sometimes, I just have to let my feet breath and not be restricted. This helps with that swelling too…
Tip #6 Make friends with the flight attendants- This one goes hand-in-hand with Tip #1. If I make nice with the flight attendants, they are ever so willing to bring me all the water I will be consuming throughout the flight.
Tip #7 Bring activities- My brain goes non-stop if I don’t have something to occupy it, I will literally go crazy. So I make sure to always pack books, notebooks, iPod, and anything else that can keep my attention for a few hours.
Tip #8 Stay active- Those little inserts in the plane that say, “Rotate your ankles,” and, “Do calf raises in your seat,” are no joke. Doing these exercises, as well as walking around whenever possible gets the blood pumping and gives those pressure points a break.
Tip #9 Get acclimated- When I fly, I immediately try to get my body clock on track with the time zone of wherever it is that I am headed to. This coupled with the water guzzling keeps me from getting jet lag every single time. I also take melatonin on the flight to aid me in getting some Z’s.
So there you have it, folks. My best tips for airline travel. They may seem simple, but they help a ton. I can’t wait to put them into practice again!