Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Travel tips from an airport refugee

This week, I survived a total of 10 hours of combined flight dealys, 2 missed flights due to delays, 1 night stranded in Atlanta, and 1 lost contact lens. While talking with other travelers about all the bad luck we were having, I realized, this is not the first time I have had such luck. In fact, this happens to me a lot. What have I learned from all this?

- DRINK LOTS OF WATER: The low humidity in airports and on the plane causes drying of the mucosal lining (a part of our body's natural defense system) and makes it harder for our body to protect against colds/flu. The prolonged close proximity to a sick person next to you will increase your risk, so make sure your body is ready to handle it. The recirculated air may actually help decrease exposure to colds/flu. See the MSNBC article from this week here. When I'm tired and traveling, I always end up in the Starbucks line more than usual. BUT, all that caffeine leaves you even more dehydrated, susceptible to colds/flu, and ultimately feeling more tired due to dehydration when that caffeine high wears off. Limit it to 1 cup.

- BE READY FOR AIRPORT SECURITY: ID and boarding pass out or in your pocket. Wear slip-on shoes. Put all toiletries (liquid or not) into a ziploc freezer bag (they don't break as easily) and pack it last so it's right on top. Skip the giant zippered laptop bag, you want to pull it out in 5 seconds or less. You can pass the stragglers and easily save 10-20 minutes by doing it right.

- HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR: I had been wearing the same jeans for 3 days and awake for 22 hours so I used the fragrance samples from the magazines I bought to rub all over my clothes. On a sidenote: I highly recommend Bvlgari Pour Femme.

- SEE THE SILVER LINING: At least you get to meet some new people and bond over your hatred for the airlines, catch up on the news whether it be from People or CNN, and maybe score some hotel or round-trip ticket vouchers.

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