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Published: February 18th 2023
From Explored Plant (Sara Horton), some pretty good hacks and hints for your pre-flight enlightenment. Take a photo of your parking location-Back when I drove to the airport often, I always parked in the same spot, always. I could find my car in my sleep. But I tend to have problems finding my rental car, often forgetting either the color, make or location!!! Contacts vs glasses-Long flights are difficult for contact lens wearers, particularly if you are able to sleep. Though I no longer wear glasses or contacts, I carry some artificial tears just in case. A refillable water bottle-This is one hint I rarely follow. Why? I tend to lose nice bottles. And they usually weigh more than a disposable plastic bottle. To each his own, I say. But it will save money! Always know-Certain carry-on items and gifts may not be allowed on your carryon or backpack. Save time and money by doing a little research before you get to the airport. Beef jerky has been problematic for me in the past, along with fried fruit. Some favorite, comfortable clothes-My so-called "uniform" is a nice pair of stretch, denim jeans, long sleeve shirt, and jacket (usually the one I
will wear during my trip). My shoes are always sneakers, and I wear support hose on longer flights to avoid deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Snacks-I always bring my own. Usually, my favorites are trail mix (raisins and nuts), rice crackers, cookies, and once in a while, a half sandwich. My goal is not so much to save money, but to eat something semi-healthy, and convenient. I also take a few items from the airline lounge when available, things like fresh fruit, yogurt, crackers, cookies, or chips. Flexibility-Whether a red-eye, or bargain flight, unless you are in a hurry, choose the cheapest flight. Avoiding busy airports for transfers, like Chicago, LA, Denver, Dallas and Atlanta are also important. Flying from my current home airport, Fresno, usually requires a transfer, preferably in San Francisco. My red-eye days are over! Yes, your seat is important-I like an aisle seat, whether in coach or business. I also prefer the front of the plane, even though statistically, the left, rear seats in the plane are the safest. I also like the coach seats with extra legroom and will pay extra for them. Reusable bags-I prefer suing Ziplock bags, since I can keep or toss whenever
I please. And in business class, the amenity kit is usually a decent mesh or cloth bag, filled with sundries, socks, and earplugs. Photo of your luggage-I never really thought about this, but it sounds like a great idea. If you have basic luggage, I strongly recommend a bright splash of color, some yarn or duct tape works well. Germs-Always carry hand sanitizer or anti-bacterial wipes, even post Covid. The plane and airport are full of germs. Colder in the plane-Always, I repeat, always carry a jacket, sweater, or large scarf, as planes and airports can be quite cold. Know your layover and destination airports Accessible pockets on your bags Wear your heavy jacket Science says go left! Carry a portable battery charger Be aware-Do not get carried away with your music or cell phone. Bring your own podcast or music if you don't like the airline's choices. I watch whatever they have since it puts me to sleep!! Yes, I covet lounge access, usually free when I am in Biz class. And I also have Priority Pass with my Chase credit card. But if I must, I will pay for 3 to 4 hours of a relaxing lounge, with free food, beverages, newspapers, TV, and a very comfortable chair. I use the same luggage for my trips, a carry on for shorter and domestic flights, a slightly larger one for overseas. It could be time for an upgrade, but how much longer will I be a frequent traveler? Be organized! I try to use a mental checklist, even though I have written checklists. The most important items: cell phone, charger, backup battery, medications, passport, comfortable shoes, gifts for friends and strangers, coffee, laundry soap, a Grisham novel, sunglasses, cap, sunscreen, and umbrella. Try to establish a routine. While I hate hotel gyms, I do more than my share of walking and climbing stairs. And I generally eat only two main meals per day! But I carry or buy interesting snacks. Whatever you do, just continue to go!!!
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