Sunday, May 20, 2007

Tips for Trips

Sara recently told me that she'd be stepping onto an airplane for the first time, and asked if I had any advice as she's more that a little nervous. I am always happy to oblige this request, as over the years I have figured out how to make the most of my commuting time. I spend anywhere from 4 1/2 to 6 hours sitting on planes "commuting" to and from work the way that some of you may sit on commuter rail trains. God I hope you don't have to sit on one for 4 1/2 - 6 hours! It is not the best time. Many of you may already know about the restrictions applied to liquids on the airplane; basically, you are allowed to bring one 1 qt. zip-loc baggie in which you must put any container containing liquids/pastes/gels that you want to bring on board with you. The containers may not exceed 3 oz (no partially used tubes of normal sized toothpaste...) and the baggie must not be overfull - you have to be able to close it. The baggie must be removed from your carry-on bag and placed in a bin along with your shoes and outer jacket at the security check point, the place where many people experience the most anxiety on their trips. If you think this may be you, then I urge you to watch this video before you leave - it'll allow you to chuckle (I hope) while your bags are being cleared. Any large containers of liquids/pastes/gels you feel like you MUST have should go into a suitcase and should be "checked" (they will go in the airplane's cargo hold with all of the checked luggage) at the curb outside your airline, or the inside ticket counter upon checking in for your flight - before you head to your departure gate. Anyhoo, Sara's flight is going to be about 2 1/2 hours, I think, and while I have things I bring in order to make my trips bearable, or even productive, I've tried to pare the list down to some essentials that can help pass the time. One Book, one magazine. I have learned that any more than this is really overambitious on my part, and adds a lot of unnecessary weight. Water. My first year of flying I had a bad ear infection and my ears "blocked" on a flight. The Dr. I went to told me that the air on a plane is drier than the Sarahara desert and that in order to stay properly hydrated, one should drink one 8 oz. glass of water for each hour of flying time. I don't recommend drinking the "tap" water on an airplane. Buy a bottle after you clear security (any liquids bought after clearing the security check point may be taken on board with you) or request a glass of bottled water during the in-flight beverage service. A small neck pillow, or something you can roll up to prop your head up for a nap. I don't know about you, but to me airplanes=nap time. MP3 player, or other portable listening device. Helps with the sleeping. I also have a Palm Pilot with a few games, or if you like crossword puzzles that's another way to keep your mind occupied if you don't want to or can't sleep. Food. Short flights=no food. Hope that helps, if I think of anything else, I'll update!

5 comments:

c4cara said...

Thank you for that - I am still laughing at that video... We may have to contemplate flying the whole fam-damly over to the UK soon - a nightmare haul of 24-30 hours, and all this shoe-taking-off stuff only makes it funner...
The video was wonderful.

Sara said...

awww, thanks!! I'm in a mild state of panic right now....like maybe if I break my leg I won't have to go. It'll be fine right?

And RYN on my blog---it is weird, huh, how we all have access to these other people's lives through their blogs. The funny thing over therewas that I was writing about my flaw....and then my mother zoned in of hubby. There's the issue with your mom knowing about your blog....she's personally invested.

In any case, I always appreciate your comments and feedback and whatever else you have. :)

NotSoSage said...

Oh, good advice. And I have friends who swear by those neck pillows. I can never sleep on airplanes, but I'm trying one next time I fly.

Mad Hatter said...

re the dryness. I never fly without eye drops. Oh and a mint or two in case my ears pop.

theflyingmum said...

MH: My eyes do alright, for me it's sinus problems. I heart Ocean Saline Nasal Spray.