Travel

Why You Need to Stay Hydrated When You Fly

One of the most overlooked aspects of traveling is staying hydrated.

From drinking excessive amounts of caffeine during early morning flights to lessening water intake in order to stay seated on the flight, a lot of people neglect fluids during airtime. 

Here are several reasons why you need to increase your H20 intake. 

Avoid illness

Water flushes out toxins and a lack thereof increases the risk of becoming sick.

When you’re on a flight, you’re surrounded by new people…and all of their germs.

It can be a lot easier to catch a bug on a plane, so drink plenty of water and sanitize your tray table, seat belt, and armrest with an anti-bacterial wipe before you use them. I’m also a fan of using Airborne Immune Support tablets prior to flying.

Low humidity

Because airplanes have significantly lower humidity, not drinking water can greatly increase your chances of becoming dehydrated.

The air available for you to breathe 35,000 feet in the air is relatively dry. Dehydration happens rapidly at high altitudes so water is a necessity for fueling your body. Alcohol consumption at high altitudes can, uh, get you drunk pretty quickly too.

You’ll be uncomfortable

Lack of fluids over a prolonged period of time will cause side effects like dehydration, headaches, dry skin, and dizziness. Planes are already uncomfortable, so don’t make yourself miserable.

You’ll be less alert

Water also allows our bodies to operate at higher energy levels and quicken our processing. Fatigue and exhaustion are somewhat inevitable if you deprive yourself of water on long flights.

Here are the easiest ways to stay hydrated:

Drink water before your flight

Don’t start chugging water bottles in the terminal, but a few days before your flight, try to lessen your caffeine and alcohol intake and focus on getting more fluid so your body is prepared.

Drink water while you fly

Even though no one likes to get up, it is important to continue drinking water throughout your travels. Pass on the Bloody Mary’s and get a cup of water every time you see a flight attendant instead. 

Bring a water bottle

A reusable water bottle will remind you to fill up at the water fountain before your flight, and allow you to take more water on the flight as well. When able, continue to fill it up.

Drink electrolytes

Electrolytes replenish your mineral losses and allow you to make the most of your water intake. Drink a Gatorade the day before you leave or purchase a few electrolyte packets to pour in your drink to stay hydrated. 

With plenty of fluids and a few movies, you’ll be able to make your flight more comfortable.

How I Save Money on Plane Tickets

Expensive airfare can be the largest hindrance preventing people from traveling. By utilizing technology, plane tickets can be more affordable. 

Here’s how I save money on plane tickets.

Book early

The sooner you book your travel, the lower the rate.

Traditionally, the target booking window is 50-70 days before your flight to find the best prices. The only exceptions are spring and summer breaks when the ideal time to book is 90 days out. 

Pick affordable days

It’s proven that Tuesday and Wednesday are the most inexpensive days to fly while Sunday is the most expensive. Holidays and other seasonal circumstances can also affect pricing, so it’s best to book around those periods when possible.

For example, it’s expensive to go to Paris from the United States during the summer and fall. I got a non-stop ticket from Chicago to Paris on United for about $350 in February 2018. It’s not the most popular time to travel and it was cold, but the ticket was very inexpensive and lines at attractions like the Eiffel Tour and Notre Dame were incredibly short.

Use Google Flights (but clear your data or use an incognito browser)

Google Flights is my favorite tool to compare airlines and rates. It will automatically calculate each leg of your journey and I like how you can sort flights by the number of layovers, etc.

If you use Google Flights or any other travel website, be sure to clear your data or use an incognito browser. Web pixels track purchasing behavior and are designed to slightly increase the price and show competitor flights at higher rates to incentivize a quick decision.

(Note: Southwest flight information doesn’t appear on Google Flights, however.) 

Fly from a major city

If you live in proximity to an airport like Chicago O’Hare, JFK, or LAX, flying from international airports can lower costs significantly.

Even connecting here can be more affordable than a direct flight in the U.S. from the airport closest to you.

Stay loyal to an airline and/or use a travel credit card

Choosing one airline will help you familiarize yourself with the best rates, times to fly, and allow you to accumulate rewards.

If you use a travel credit card like Southwest, Delta, or Capital One, points can accumulate pretty quickly.

To get to Europe and the Middle East, I use my Southwest points to fly from Chicago or Indianapolis into JFK in New York. From there, I’ve found one-ways to London as cheap as $100. 

Subscribe to Next Vacay

If you have a flexible schedule or want to travel but need some inspiration, I highly suggest you subscribe to Next Vacay.

Next Vacay is a database that scans for cheap flights based on your “home” airport. You set 3-4 airports that are closest to where you live and Next Vacay will email you with inexpensive deals to destinations around the world with links to actually buy tickets. It takes a lot of guesswork out of travel prep and in my opinion, pays for itself.

This is how I found my inexpensive roundtrips to Iceland and Paris in 2018!

In the last few weeks, I’ve gotten emails with deals from Columbus to Hong Kong for $575,  Cinncinati to Amsterdam for $450, and Chicago to Bali for $800 – and these are all-round trips!

Have an idea of standard ticket prices

The more I travel, the pickier I get about ticket prices.

For example, I’m not impressed by round trips to New York from Europe for $500+ when I know that I can probably find something cheaper from Chicago without having to use my flight points or spending the time to get from Indianapolis to NYC.

The way I see it, round trips from the Midwest to major cities in Europe like London, Paris, or Zurich are reasonable if priced $400-$600. It’s an incredible deal if you can find a round trip like this for $400 or less.

One ways to Europe from New York are reasonable for $200-$300 but are especially good deals if you can get $200 or less.

And any flight from the Midwest or East Coast to Asia for $1,000 or less is always a great deal IF they are nonstop or have one short layover.

Any more than one layover on a flight that’s more than 10 hours gets tiresome and it’s worth it to me to spend a bit extra to avoid sitting for hours in airports.

How to Look Put Together On an Airplane

Most frequent flyers I meet want to be comfortable without compromising their appearance while traveling. (They also want to make their connecting flights, free drink tickets, and/or bumped up to first-class.) 

Although traveling across time zones can be extensive and exhausting, it’s still important for most folks to look (and feel) presentable while flying. 

Try some of these tips to cultivate the perfect look on your next trip. 

Dress up athleisure wear

Ditch your sloppy sweat pants and dress up athletic attire. Try pairing black leggings with a pair of slip-on sneakers and a cardigan for a comfy casual look, or add a blouse with your favorite slimming joggers. 

Add slight touches of makeup

Though red-eye or 4 a.m. flight can be exhausting, adding slight touches of BB cream, tinted moisturizer, mascara, and a little lip gloss can go a long way if you want to look more presentable. You’ll have light coverage and feel more confident after you wake up from a mid-flight nap.

Use layers

Airplane temperatures vary, so use dressier jackets you may not be able to fit in a suitcase to tie your outfit together so you can save precious luggage space. Find pieces to layer like scarves or bomber jackets.

It’s all in the shoes

Though pumps are typically not the best option for navigating around an airport, if you’re tight on time, keep them in a bag to switch out with a pair of flats. Bulkier boots or pointed ballet flats tighten up any look.

Add a blazer

Even the most casual outfits can be made more elegant with a blazer. Consider wearing your favorite stretch skinny jeans, a comfortable graphic tee, and throwing on a blazer to add a more professional flair when necessary.

Use a backpack or purse organizer for your small item

Being put together extends beyond clothing, and no one wants to be behind a person rummaging through their belongings to find personal items. Instead of searching through your purse, use a backpack as your personal item and sort your necessities by pocket. If you insist on carrying a purse, purchase a purse organizer to better access what you need – because no one likes the person who can’t find their passport in the TSA line.

Invest in better luggage

If you’re traveling a lot, it may be time to purchase a protective suitcase with four wheels in order to navigate airports more easily. Cheap luggage easily breaks and looks…cheap. I invested in AWAY luggage last year and haven’t looked back. 

How to Stay Healthy While You Travel

Traveling on a consistent basis – especially for work – can truly become exhausting. What appears glamorous at first glance can quickly become draining if you aren’t intentional about maintaining your health.

Here are some easy ways to continue implementing healthy practices on the road.

Have a hotel exercise routine

Every little bit counts, so even if you aren’t planning on running 4 miles, incorporate physical activity into your travels. Create a note in your phone of some workouts you can do from your hotel room, use a workout app, or if you’re visiting family plan time to walk or jog in the morning.

Bring snacks

Lack of access to food leads to binge eating while traveling in airport terminals or at restaurants. Instead of indulging every meal, bring healthy snacks like almonds, RX bars, or other protein bars to feed your appetite. Your body will thank you later.

Stay hydrated

Though we all despise the idea of asking the person next to us to move during the flight, drinking water is important. Since water flushes out toxins and provides more energy, it’s important to keep your intake high. Buy water in the terminal, and either try to purchase an end seat when you can or start practicing your pitch to tell the person next to you you’ll need to use the restroom on the flight.

Sleep 

Lack of sleep not only weakens your immune system – but it also affects your recovery from being sick. In order to fully enjoy your travels and set yourself up for success upon returning, sleep must be a priority. Try using the Calm app or noise machines on your phone to help rest if you are anxious sleeping.

Have an emergency kit

Carrying emergency items like Emergen–C, Excedrin, hand sanitizer, granola bars, caffeine pills, medication – really, whatever you need to function – can offer peace of mind. Keep a small pouch of airplane-friendly items in your purse, briefcase or backpack with a steady supply that’s ready in case you need it.   

Stick to a routine or establish one quickly

Though the nature of your travel can drastically vary depending on if you’re on vacation, attending sales meetings, or simply working remotely – do your best to establish creating some system to adjust more quickly. For instance, if you’re leisurely traveling from the east coast to the west just for a couple of days, try to stay on your east coast time clock. Or, if you’re visiting a new country for a period of time, try sleeping on the plane or scheduling time to adjust to the new time zone.  

Pro tip: Don’t touch your face. I’m serious. When you’re out and about touching surfaces like counters, handrails, doorknobs, or table trays on an airplane, germs can build up. If I’ve been out of the house, but especially if I’m traveling, I wash my hands or use hand sanitizer before I touch my eyes, nose, or mouth.

It may seem a little crazy but it works for me, plus, I haven’t had a cold or the flu in almost ten years. (Sinus infections are another story, however.)

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  • Here’s a #TravelTuesday tip: GET ✈️ ENOUGH ✈️ SLEEP ✈️! I can sleep on planes, trains, automobiles, and have even slept through tornadoes and one Earth quake. (And through a riot in the occupied part of Israel...😬) When changing time zones, adjust as quickly as you can. A 5+ hour difference may not seem like a big deal, but it can catch up to you quickly if you’re not used to it. 😴
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I had to spend my first time on the European continent in Paris. I studied French from grades 7 – 12 and even earned a minor in college! I wish I would have had the time to study abroad when I was younger, but I’m grateful that I was able to experience Paris in the winter of 2018. ⠀
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"Are there terrorists?"⠀
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I've stayed in a lot of places that are considered "dangerous" and these are the comments/questions I get the most. ⠀
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Altering my appearance to "blend in" is silly and not all parts of Central & South America or the Middle East are dangerous. In Israel, you're going to see soldiers with machine guns in public places. Expect to see the same in most of Latin America outside of resorts. ⠀
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If you're looking for trouble you're bound to find it, regardless of location. (And as a writer who covers oppressive/corrupt governments, I know I'm not always going to be the most welcome wherever I go.)⠀
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