December 1, 2017

Flight Survival Tips

If you’re a frequent flier, you probably already have your airport and flight routine down to a science.  For those of us who only occasional board a plane, here are some tips to make the flight a bit more enjoyable.

Dry Air

The air in an airplane is much drier than on land so it’s important to stay hydrated.  Avoid dehydrating beverages such as caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.  Aim to drink one liter of still water every four hours. 
Dry air can also cause discomfort for contact lens wearers.  Considering taking them out before the flight or at least have some rehydrating drops with you. 
The dryness can also impact your skin.  Carry a small tube of hand cream and lip balm with you. 

DVT

DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) is a condition that can develop when sitting too long in one space – such as on an aircraft.  Blood clots can develop, particularly in the legs, due to a lack of circulation.  If you are concerned about this, speak to your doctor.  They may recommend compression garments.  However, in general, dress in loose clothing and switch out your shoes for a comfortable pair of socks once seated.  Walk the aisles when possible and when not possible, do some in-seat exercises such as ankle circles, foot flexes, and contracting and relaxing all the various muscle groups.

Air Sickness

If you are prone to motion or air sickness, choose a window seat in the center of the plane over the wing. Avoid large meals and alcohol. Consider a natural remedy such as ginger chews or go the medicinal route with an anti-nausea medication.

Comfort

For long-haul flights or those that change time zones, you may want to get some shut-eye so that you will arrive refreshed and ready to hit the ground running.  Sleeping on planes is not the most comfortable but using a pillow to relieve neck strain, an eye mask to block out light, and earphones or earplugs to block out sound help.  Store carry-on bags in the overhead bin to give yourself more leg room. 
Check with your airline before heading to the airport to see what in-flight entertainment options they provide.  Long-haul flights usually provide TV, movies, and music to keep you occupied, but many lower-cost carriers are removing these perks.  Know ahead of time if you should pack your own entertainment.

Medication

Always carry your medication with you in the cabin.  Do not put it in your checked luggage.  Carry medication in the original packaging so it can be easily identified.  Inhalers, Epipens, and diabetic supplies are all allowed on the plane.  If your medication requires refrigeration, check with your airline for their protocol.  You may be required to provide your own small cooler. 
 
Sources:  aircanada.com, cdc.gov
 
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