Air Travel Tips

I’m back in the Philippines after 45 days in the states, visiting three states, and sleeping at five different houses.
What with one thing and another my journey back home to the Philippines took me 52 hours from first take-off to final landing and I was in five airports. I slept in chairs and on a carpeted floor of a private lounge (they had sort of curved lounge chairs falsely advertised as comfortable but they were hard, the cushions hit me in the wrong places and the curve left my feet dangling below my heart and my ankles were already the size of melons even wearing compression socks). In random order here are a handful or tips which may or may not be useful to you:

Visit sleepinginairports.com. Bookmark it. Make it your friend.

When you get off the plane at an airport never, ever visit the first bathroom you pass. Everybody else on your plane is in that bathroom. Walk fast with your knees together and make it to the next bathroom, which will be empty and there won’t be a line which is good because by that point you are desperate.

Carry diaper wipes whether or not you have a baby.

Get a small atomizer/spray bottle of rubbing alcohol and add a few drops of your favourite essential oil and use it on armpits and other creasy places.

When you have to use a bathroom do wall pushups

There are exercises you can do from your plane seat that help with circulation and stiffness. I did the following:
Ankle circles- stretch one foot in front as far as you can, draw circles in the air with your toes (3-5 of them) then alternate.
Foot lifts- put your feet flat on the floor in front of you. Leaving your heels on the floor raise your toes and balls of feet as much as possible. Then put your toes on the floor and lift your heels.
Arm stretches: lock your fingers in front of you, back of your hands facing you, and lift your arms as high as you can
Neck stretches: lower your left shoulder while tilting your head to the right. Reverse and repeat.
Twists: While still in your seat twist to the left as far as you can and then to the right. Repeat. This is easier if your seatmate is sleeping and better still if you don’t have a seatmate.
Bend over and touch the floor, first to the left, then to the right- pretend you lost something if you need to.
Roll your shoulders forward 3-5 times and then back. Repeat.
Squeeze your buttocks, together, alternating.
Blushing when your fellow passengers stare at you is probably also good for circulation.

We all know we should walk more and use the moving sidewalk less. Put that knowledge into practice if you can, or walk on the moving sidewalk.

Wear Compression socks. I have done both of these: https://amzn.to/2K0GeiT, https://amzn.to/2uVm0SZ

Airports are cold, even the one in Manila. Have something you can use as a light wrap, whether it’s a shawl, extra shirt, or sweater. You can also roll these up and use for extra padding for a pillow or arm rest on the plane.

Bring your own headphones. Mostly I find the ones provided by the airline do not work.

I bring a small bottle of mouthwash and dampen my toothbrush with this to brush my teeth- no need to rinse and spit and leave toothpaste residue on your face.

Eye mask or at least sunglasses to dim the lights so you can sleep.

Put your hair up while it’s wet and clean. Take it down 12 hours later and it will look fairly clean still.

Another reason to pack that small spray bottle of rubbing alcohol- if the passenger behind you sticks his bare foot up on your arm rest you can fake sneeze while spraying that offending foot at the same time.

Pack a couple of plastic bags and a change of socks and underwear at least.

If you have a chance for a massage (available at the Hong Kong and Manila airport) and can afford it, take it. It’s not a luxury. It’s a real health and wellness tool.

Keep a sense of humour.

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6 Comments

  1. Stephanie
    Posted July 27, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    I love the one about the other passengers feet. I dont know why people think that is okay. Even if they are pedicured and somewhat clean, they are still feet.

  2. Posted July 27, 2018 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    I was going to recommend taking a little plastic baggie with cotton balls soaked in alcohol plus a spritz of perfume for underarms and creasy places, which is what I do, but then I got to the part about the offending feet, and my cotton balls simply would not do that job.

  3. Amy
    Posted July 29, 2018 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    I lift my feet and spell the whole alphabet with them to get my blood flowing. Now that I’ve been doing it a while and have my strength up, I spell the alphabet with one foot then the other, and then I do them together. My muscles are screaming by the time I’m done, but my blood is flowing.

    • Headmistress
      Posted July 30, 2018 at 12:15 am | Permalink

      That’s excellent! Thanks for the idea.

  4. Lindsey in OK
    Posted August 11, 2018 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Hahaha! I love this! It makes me want to travel even more than I already did! I’m glad you’re back with your family safe and sound. And I will be saving this “cheat sheet” for future reference.

    • Headmistress
      Posted August 11, 2018 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

      Thanks!! At this stage, I am back in the Philippines again, tho. We’ll return to the U.S. together (husband, Cherub, and I) in Decembre.

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