Why This Frequent Flyer's Handy Air Travel Tips Are Going Viral
Pro tip: orange juice will make you feel much better than wine.
Let's face it: as much fun as traveling is, spending more than three hours in an airplane can be a total bummer. At 30,ooo feet, a third of your tastebuds go numb and your ability to perceive the difference between sweet and salty reduces by 30 percent (which is part of the reason airplane food seems to taste so bland). You get dehydrated due to the low humidity, which can lead to bloating, dry skin, constipation, and headaches. Your ears pop due to the changes in air pressure, and your saliva production slows down, causing your breath to stink. And these are just some of the really unpleasant effects air travel has on your body.
Given that the seats and bathrooms are getting smaller and smaller, it's easier than ever to feel stiff and cramped in economy, which increases your risk of blood clots. And the overall discomfort sometimes leads to a breakdown in basic etiquette from fellow passengers. (For more on that, read about the guy who not only took off his socks but also his pants on a recent flight.)
Luckily, if you travel a lot, you've probably got a tried-and-true strategies for making the flight as comfortable as possible. (For the record, my go-to tips involve a bottle of water to drink, a 3.4 ounce bottle of rose water to spray on my dehydrated face, and a 2 oz bottle of Listerine for freshening up in the tiny bathroom). But if you don't, you can steal the tips from this viral thread by frequent flyer and creative producer Taha Khan.
Now, you may have heard some of these tips before, but if you haven't, know that they're very handy and effective and worth remembering—because the only thing that can make air travel worse is poor decision-making on your part.
First, make sure to move around, especially on longer flights, even if it's just a walk around the aisles and a little bit of stretching (for more on this, check out the Best Way to Do Yoga on An Airplane). And as tempted as you might be to spend ten hours catching up on all of the movies you haven't seen yet, listening to music or podcasts is much better for the eyes. And, of course, don't forget to moisturize your skin and lips as often as possible.
If you don't sleep well on flights, noise-canceling headphones and sleep masks are a must (you can try this copper-infused one recommended by Gwyneth Paltrow, which allegedly helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles as well as puffiness). Bring a portable charger with you because the USB outlets in airplanes aren't always reliable, and ask about an upgrade before you board because sometimes they're cheaper than you think. If you're a frequent flyer, you might even be able to get into a better class by exchanging miles (for more on this, check out the two words that will get you an instant upgrade).
Always travel with just carry-on luggage. You really don't need as much clothing as you think, and wherever you're going, they have clothes there. And it's worth speed-walking your way to passport control once you get off the plane.
It's much easier to get sick on an airplane due to the proximity of the people around you, so it's worth bringing hand wipes or a small hand sanitizer on the plane. You want to use it before you board, as well, given that a recent study found that the gray bins at airport security carry more germs than bathroom toilets. It's also a good idea to drink some orange juice on the plane or before you board, because the vitamin C boosts your immune system and keeps you hydrated.
Always keep your passport in your front pocket to avoid having to waste time shuffling through your bag looking for it every time you need to show it to staff. And be prepared by the time you get to airport security by removing your laptop, shoes, coat, and belt. It'll save you time and the people behind you will thank you for it.
And of course, try to be as polite and friendly as possible. It might not always be easy, but a smile goes a long way! And for an inside look at the easiest way to travel, check out this personal essay of what it's like to fly in a private jet.
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