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  • My Top 10 Air Travel Tips

    Winged Mercury, Rockefeller Center, NYCI have been traveling quite a bit lately and imagine many of you are taking trips this summer, too. In light of that, I thought I would share some tips to ease the rigors of air travel and help you arrive at your destination feeling energized and refreshed. These are things I do whenever I fly, and I have noticed a real difference in how I feel when I land. I hope these tips help you travel with greater comfort and ease.

    Top 10 Air Travel Tips

    1. Pack a light lunch. Airline food is pricey, unhealthy, and sometimes even non-existent. If you are traveling from home, consider a hummus/romaine lettuce/pita sandwich and apple. The pita bread travels well without getting mushy, and the hummus is a good source of protein to keep your energy up. The apple has a high water content to help keep you hydrated and has fiber to help you feel full.
    2. Avoid salty foods, including the peanuts/crackers/chips handed out in the plane.  Salt will make you retain water, and chances are good that you will bloat enough as it is due to changes in air-cabin pressure.
    3. Buy a bottle of water after you clear security.  You should try to drink 8 ounces of water for every hour of air travel. Drinking water can help prevent puffiness, and you will get the added benefit of stretching your legs as you make your way to and from the restroom.
    4. Bring a bag of raw, unsalted almonds to snack on.  They contain protein and calcium and just a few almonds will help stave off hunger during a long flight.
    5. Ladies, wear comfortable leggings.  Choose a soft, breathable fabric and select a size that is not too tight.  The reason I suggest leggings is that, not to put too fine a point on it, you don’t want your clothing to touch the floor of the airplane restroom.  I have found leggings superior to slacks and capris in this regard.
    6. Pack a pair of short cotton socks in your carry-on bag, especially if you are wearing sandals or flip-flops. After removing your footwear, simply slip the socks onto your feet when you go through airport security.  I’m not a germ-a-phobe, but, seriously, do you really want your bare feet touching those rubber floor mats in the security line?  Also, you can wear the socks later on the plane to keep your tootsies warm if the air-conditioning is too cool.
    7. Bring a bamboo pashmina shawl.  This rolls up to a very small size and can be worn around your shoulders or used as blanket while in the plane. Later, the shawl can dress up an outfit and keep you warm on a chilly night. I recommend bamboo for it’s eco-friendliness and super-soft feel.
    8. Two words:  carry-on.  If at all possible, pack everything into carry-on luggage.  This allows on-line check-in, greater flexibility if you need to change planes at the last minute,  the guarantee of having your bags arrive with you at your destination, and zero waiting-time for bags after you land.

      But, please, be sensible and courteous in the size of your carry-on bag and personal item (e.g., hand-bag or computer bag). This means no mega-bags that weigh nearly as much as a small adult. Pack simply and bring less than you think you need.  Simple living allows you to get by with less and to make creative substitutions when called for.
    9. One word:  Kindle.  The Kindle or free Kindle Reader on your smart phone or computer can take the place of a stack of books.  This is technology at its finest.
    10. Breathe.  Travel is inherently filled with unpredictability and uncertainty.  Rather than stressing over situations that are out of your control, remember to take deep breaths and enjoy the journey!

    Bon voyage!

    Your turn: what tips and tricks do you have for traveling more easily?  Please feel free to leave a comment below.

    image: Winged Mercury, Rockefeller Center, NYC © 2010. Christianna Pierce.