Preparing to fly overseas? Air Travel Tips, Part Six


Jumping on a plane to go anywhere seems to get more complicated every day. New security procedures and safety considerations are provoking an endless parade of rules and regulations. This article, the last in a series of six, can help you through the maze. Don’t forget to put together the whole series.

  • Do you have trouble sleeping on a plane? Are you a nervous traveler? Pack a few packets of chamomile tea in your bag! Once the plane is in the air, ask the flight attendant for some hot water and soak a soothing cup of chamomile tea. It can help you fall asleep in a good night’s sleep.
  • If you have connecting flights, make sure your luggage is marked to your final destination. This will save you the hassle of packing, going through security and catching your connecting flight.
  • Instead of paying the steep headphone fee, be sure to pack your own.
  • Avoid this lethargic feeling – take a quick walk or work out in the gym before heading to the airport. You will arrive refreshed and ready to face the crowds in your destination.
  • Get to know all the airport terminals you will pass through during your trip. You can use the Internet to find maps of airports. Study them a bit and carry prints with you as you travel. If you expect a time crisis between connecting flights, study the map carefully before landing to find out exactly where you need to go to catch the next plane.
  • The food at the airport is much better than the food served on the plane. Eat at the terminal before boarding and during delays between connecting flights.
  • Be aware of where the emergency doors are located. Count the number of seats to the nearest exit so you can navigate in a cabin full of smoke. Read the information on the safety procedures board. Then relax! The chances of serious problems are very small.
  • Try to get a pre-distribution of seats when booking your tickets. This will reduce the likelihood of shocks.
  • If possible, see if you can pack everything you need in one carry. You will save time and worry because you will be able to bypass the checked baggage system (and the possibility of lost luggage).
  • If you are taking nausea medication, do so as soon as you are in place. The medicine needs time to enter your system before it is good for you. Waiting until you start vomiting is too late!
  • The most dangerous parts of any flight are takeoff and landing. Try to book non-stop flights whenever possible. You save time and increase safety. Remember, however, that compared to all other forms of travel, air is statistically the safest way to travel.
  • If you wear contact lenses, the dry air in the cab can irritate sensitive eyes. You may want to switch to goggles while flying. If you still choose to stick to your contacts, make sure they are thoroughly clean and kept lubricated.
  • Do not bring your tickets with you while you are sightseeing and having dinner. These are important documents that you should treat with the same care as your passport. If you lose a ticket, report it immediately. The exchange may take some time, which requires you to pay a second ticket in advance (while waiting for a refund for up to several months).
  • To help very young children with pressure changes during the descent, encourage them to chew gum or suck on a pacifier (or thumb).

(c) Copyright Kathy Steinemann: This article is free to publish only if this copyright notice, instructions and author’s note below are included (with active links).