Preparing for an Overseas Flight? Air Travel Tips Part Six

Hopping on a plane to go anywhere seems to grow more complex every day. New security procedures and safety considerations trigger a never-ending parade of rules and regulations. This article, the final in a series of six, can help you through the maze. Be sure to collect the entire series.
Do you have trouble sleeping on an aircraft? Are you a nervous passenger? Pack some chamomile teabags in your carryon! Once the plane is in the air, ask a flight attendant for some hot water and steep a soothing cup of chamomile tea. It may help to lull you into a relaxed sleep.
If you have connecting flights, make sure that your luggage is tagged to your final destination. This will save you the hassle of collecting luggage, getting through security, and catching your connecting flight.
Rather than pay the steep fee for headphones, be sure to pack your own.
Avoid that lethargic feeling – take a brisk walk or work out in the gym before heading to the airport. You will arrive feeling refreshed and ready to face the jostling crowds at your destination.
Familiarize yourself with all the airport terminals you will be passing through during your trip. You can use the Internet to locate maps of airports. Study them a bit, and carry printouts with you while you travel. If you anticipate a time crunch between connecting flights, study the map carefully before you land so that you will know exactly where you need to go to catch the next plane.
Airport restaurant food is far superior to what is served on the aircraft. Eat in the terminal before you board and during delays between connecting flights.
Be conscious of where the emergency doors are located. Count the number of seats to the nearest exit so that you can find your way out in a smoke-filled cabin. Read the onboard information about safety procedures. Then relax! The chances of serious problems are very slim.
Try to get an advance seat assignment when you book your tickets. This will lower the likelihood of being bumped.
If possible, see if you can pack everything you need into one carryon. You will save time and bother, because you will be able to circumvent the checked baggage system (and the possibility of lost luggage).
If you take anti-nausea medication, do so the minute you buckle into your seat. The drug needs time to get into your system before it can be of any benefit to you. Waiting until you start to vomit is too late!
The most dangerous parts of any flight are take-off and landing. Try to book non-stop flights when possible. You save time and increase safety. Remember, though, compared to all other forms of travel, air is statistically the safest way to go.
If you wear contact lenses, dry air in the cabin can irritate sensitive eyes. You may want to switch to glasses while you fly. If you do opt to stick with your contacts, ensure that they are scrupulously clean and that you keep them lubricated.
Do not carry your tickets with you while you are out sightseeing and dining. They are important documents that should be treated with the same care you give your passport. If you do lose a ticket, report it immediately. It may take some time to replace, requiring you to pay for a second ticket up front (while you wait up to several months for a refund).
To help very young children with pressure changes during descent, encourage them to chew gum or suck on a soother (or thumb).(c) Copyright Kathy Steinemann: This article is free to publish only if this copyright notice, the byline, and the author’s note below (with active links) are included.

Travel Tips for the Holiday Season

Ah, holiday travel. The packed airplanes, the crowded airports, the high ticket prices: there’s nothing quite like traveling in December to make you long for January. From waiting in a long security line to having your luggage filled with the Christmas presents for your new in-laws delivered to Ohio as you land in Oklahoma, traveling over the holidays can be a real pain. Tis’ the season to go crazy.However, holiday travel doesn’t have to be a nightmare. With a few tips and a little effort, things may go smoother than you thought possible. So, put your tray tables up and heed the following advice on traveling during December.Be Nice to Airport EmployeesAs soon as you enter an airport, democratic values fly out the window; here, the airport employees have absolute power. It may be easy to get angry with them – you’re already running late and you don’t have time to wait – but keep in mind that they are doing the best they can: they want you up in the air and out of their hair as much as you do. Being nice and courteous to an airport employee or being rude and unfair could mean the difference between an upgrade and a cavity search.Fly During Odd HoursThe holidays are the busiest time of the year for airports: everyone has somewhere to go. While there is no way around this fact, there is a way around the majority of the crowds: fly during non peak hours. Flying very early or very late may seen a bit inconvenient, as you could arrive at your destination in the middle of the night, but it will save you so much hustle and bustle that it might just be worth it. The tickets will probably be cheaper too.Bring a Book or TenOne of the things that is most stressed at the airport during the holidays is patience: there will definitely be waiting involved. While some people pass this time by tapping their fingers on escalator railings, glancing at their watches, and growing increasingly agitated, one of the best ways to practice patience is with a new book. You’ll still have to wait, but with something to engage you, you just might not mind as much.Give Security a BreakSecurity lines at the airport can be frustrating. From taking off your shoes to bagging your liquids, it may seem as though the security lines are walking a fine line between safety and privacy. However, keep in mind that airport security was put in place for one reason alone: to save people’s lives. Saving lives trumps inconvenience, as it well should. So, give the security people a break and help them out by not wearing objects that will trigger the alarm, removing your coats and jackets, turning on your laptops, and wearing shoes that can be easily removed and placed back on.Bribe Your ChildrenThe only thing worse than traveling over the holidays is traveling with children over the holidays. When it comes to kids, patience is not a virtue. Because of this, children become easily agitated, upset over having to wait in lines or being stuck in an airport with nothing to do. In order to keep your kids happy – and keep them from driving you crazy – keep them entertained. For younger kids, something as simple as a coloring book may suffice, while the older kids may need a handheld video game or an IPOD to keep them appeased. When all else fails, remind your kids that Santa is particularly observant at the airport: it’s in their best interest to behave.Ship Your PresentsMany people have an aversion to shipping their holiday presents, afraid that the post office will send the wrong package to the wrong house. But, placing presents in luggage and checking your bags can also cause these gifts to travel to the wrong destination. If the present is small enough that you can carry it on, then do so. But, for presents that are too big to be carried, ship them beforehand. Not only will you not have to make room in your suitcase for a present – asking the contents of your bag to “suck in” as you attempt to zip it shut – but you also won’t have to deal with the gifts at the airport: you’ll have enough to deal with as it is.Holiday travel is enough to make anyone think that the sky’s the limit when it comes to their temper. But, with a little planning and a little patience holiday travel doesn’t have to be that stressful. Just relax, think ahead and remember that Santa knows when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, and he knows when you’re flipping off the man behind the registration desk at Delta.