Travel Planning & Flight Tips

When traveling, it's important to focus on health, safety and well-being. Most people don't have any problems when they fly, but it's possible to make airplane travel safer and more comfortable.

Airport

  • Plan to arrive at the airport at least 2 hours prior to departure time The extra time is needed to clear the heighten security requirements.
  • A government-issued ID (federal, state or local) is required. Be prepared to show this ID at various locations, such as the ticket counter, security checkpoint and gate.
  • Passengers must obtain their boarding pass before proceeding to the security checkpoint. Airline boarding passes can be obtained at curbside check-in, ticket counters or automated kiosks located on the terminal.
  • Travelers should clearly mark their bags.
  • The number of carry-on bags is limited to one personal item such as a purse or briefcase and one bag (size to fit in overhead bin or under seat).
  • Refrain from wrapping packages in checked and carry-on baggage. All wrapped packages are subject to opening by the TSA.
  • Only ticketed passengers will be permitted in the concourses those meeting and greeting travelers can do so by waiting in the pre-security checkpoints.
  • Equipment used for screening checked baggage will damage your undeveloped film. Never place film in your checked baggage. Place film in your carry-on baggage or request a hand inspection.
  • Those travelers requiring assistance should contact their airline and advise of their need in advance. All travelers are urged to call their airline before they come to the Airport.

Before Flying

  • Get a good night's sleep before a trip
  • Dress comfortably and wear loose-fitting clothing. Forego clothing made of nonflexible material, since the body expands slightly in flight
  • Pack a light carry-on bag. Checking luggage might be helpful to avoid the strain of handling bags in the airport and onboard especially during long international flights
  • Pack medications in their original bottles -- store them in a carry-on bag for easy access. If contact lenses are worn, pack a pair of eyeglasses and contact solution in a carry-on bag
  • Write down important medical and insurance information, and make copies of all prescription labels. Keep this in a wallet or purse for quick reference.
  • Eat light rather than heavy meals the day of a trip
  • If dietary restrictions exist, contact your airline at least 24 hours prior to a flight

During Flight

  • While in flight, the body adapts to the conditions of the airplane environment. To help maintain physical comfort, a few basic exercises may be helpful!
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids, especially water and juice. Limit alcohol and caffeine intake, which tend to dehydrate the body
  • To relieve pressure in the ears, chew gum or suck on bite-size candy. Yawning or swallowing may produce the same results
  • After takeoff, reset any watches to reflect the time zone of the destination. To help ease the effects of jet lag, try to adjust eating and sleeping patterns according to the new time
  • In order to maintain proper circulation, avoid sitting with legs crossed
  • To hydrate the skin, consider applying a moisturizing lotion to the face and hands
  • Use both hands when retrieving bags and objects from overhead bins to avoid strains and sprains

After Landing

  • When retrieving luggage from the terminal carousel or loading luggage into a vehicle, be sure to use the legs to lift rather than the back
  • It is beneficial to avoid scheduling important meetings immediately after transatlantic or transcontinental flights. Adequate rest will help to ensure that maximum performance is produced after lengthy flights and time zone changes
  • To reduce the effects of jet lag, avoid excessive amounts of alcohol, maintain a regular diet, and get a healthy level of exposure to fresh air and sunlight

Flying with Children

Whether you're packing up the kids to see family or going on an exciting holiday, the break in routine can be difficult for kids. Travelling with children is challenging, but a bit of forethought can help reduce parental stress. If your child is old enough, involve them in planning for the trip so they can get excited about it. Make sure to include enough family events and child-oriented activities to amuse them while on holidays. In many cases, keeping your trip as simple as you can will reduce the number of problems. Remember that children have short attention spans and get fatigued very quickly.

  • Always Pre order kiddie meals through the airline or your travel agent. Also, check with your pediatrician about air-sickness medications.
  • If possible, ask to board the plane early, so you don't have to fight past other passengers with your arms full, and let everyone else off the plane first for the same reason. Take your buggy and/or car seat with you to the gate. Don't check in your stroller - it's invaluable for manoeuvering through busy airports with your arms full, so you can pick it up where you get off the plane, not down with the rest of the luggage.
  • Ask for bulkhead seats or seats near an exit to give your child a safe spot to play on the floor.
  • Check if your flight is full when checking in. Some flight assistants will block out the seat next to you in a less full flight or offer you the option of seating next to a vacant seat. This is particularly valuable if traveling with a toddler under 24 months without a seat.
  • Always test the temperature of food heated in the aircraft galley before you give it to your child. It is often way too hot
  • Disposable bibs are a great idea for infant mealtimes on board an airplane.
  • Ask for bottles and meals to be warmed well in advance of when you need them. Cabin crew don't have a microwave and have to heat using hot water in the galley. This takes time.
  • Some planes have a larger bathroom at the very rear of the plane with a correspondingly larger change table. Wait for this to become free if you have a larger baby to change, as airplane change tables are small.
  • If your child is traveling alone, alert the airline and provide the name, address and telephone number of the person meeting your child at the destination. A responsible adult must accompany the child until boarding. The responsible adult should remain at the airport and confirm the child's flight is in the air before leaving and then monitor the flight's arrival at the destination.

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