Chris and I flew across country recently and it was not bad at all. Here are 18 Tips for Traveling On A Plane Post Covid Mandates.
I have to admit, before you keep reading, Chris and I both stayed close to home during Covid mandates and restrictions, so we had not traveled by plane in a long time. We traveled by plane a lot before Covid, so we could see firsthand the difference of pre, during and post Covid. This is what we learned.
Some of these tips are new, but some are old tips that still ring true until this day that have been tried and true over and over again.
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18 Tips for Traveling On A Plane Post Covid Mandates
Drink More Water: You should drink a bottle of water for every hour you’re in the air; the increased bathroom breaks will offer an additional opportunity to stretch your legs. If you have a hard time drinking so much water try using Liquid IV packets. Here is my favorite flavor! I take them everywhere with me.
Drink Less Alcohol: I know! Don’t shoot the messenger! Alcohol makes it more difficult for cells to absorb oxygen, which will worsen your altitude symptoms, but it also dehydrates your body faster. So if you’re feeling stressed about flying, opt for a non-caffeinated tea instead of a stiff drink. I love this chamomile tea while I fly. I ask for hot water to mix with it and voila, my own tea.
Prepare Your Immune System: Getting sick on a plane ride is more likely due to a combination of excessive germs and your body’s compromised ability to deal with them. The best way to combat sickness is to get plenty of rest and stay hydrated.
Keep Disposable Wipes On You: Hundreds of people have touched what you’re touching and everyone is breathing — sometimes sneezing — in the same confined space for multiple hours. You can pack disposable sanitizing wipes for the tray tables and seats very easily and can come in handy.
Flex Your Calves: Contract your calf muscles — for example, by tapping your feet, which also moves the shins, thighs and hip joints — to get the blood flowing if you cannot walk to the back of the plane for a while. Walking to the back of the plane or using the restroom are also easy ways to get the blood flowing if you can.
Opt For a Window Seat: While you shouldn’t count on restful sleep on the plane, it could be an opportunity to rest during your travel, particularly if you’re facing jet lag by booking a window seat before travel. If you plan to catch some shut-eye definitely, opt for a window seat. Not only will you have control over the window shade (and sunlight), but you’ll also be out of the way of climbing seat neighbors or people bumping into you in the aisle. Pack a neck pillow especially if you are prone to slump while you sleep on a plane.
Dress Comfortably: Travel attire is a personal decision, but regardless of how trendy you choose to dress, layers are key. Airplanes tend to be cold, but the ability to add and remove layers will be incredibly helpful as you acclimate to different airports and maybe even climates. Here are a few ideas you might be interested in.
Show Up To The Airport at the Recommended Times: Check with your airport to find out the best time to be at the airport for your domestic or international flight.
Know the Rules for Security Lines Ahead of Time: Check with TSA before you go. The rules may have changed since the last time you flew on a plane, so make sure you get a refresher.
Buy Your Flight Ticket With the Same Name as on Your ID or Passport: This may sound like a no-brainer, but if the names on your ticket and passport or government-issued ID don’t match, you’re going to have a problem. When you purchase your ticket online, make sure you are entering it exactly as it’s written on the document you will be using to travel.
Free In Flight Food Is Rare: Check with your airline before you travel to see if they are providing drinks, snacks or meals. If they are not providing you with anything, make sure you pack snacks that will not disturb others too much, like anything with a strong smell such as, egg salad, sushi, tuna fish or anything too garlicky. And make sure you are mindful of any kind of nuts when eating on a flight. You never know, you could be sitting next to someone with severe allergies.
Carry-On Luggage Sizes and Rules Vary By Airlines: Each airline has a different set of sizes that they allow for carry-ons. This is compounded by the fact that each airline also sets different weight limits for those carry-ons. Keep in mind that your personal item — your backpack or purse, usually — is often included in the total weight you are allowed to carry on. If your carry-on and personal item are overweight, expect to pay extra. Even if you make it through check-in with your carry-on, there’s a chance you may be asked to check it at the gate, depending on flight capacity. So make sure you check your airlines website before departing.
Invest in Noise Canceling Earphones, Eye Masks and/or Ear Plugs: In addition to the noises the airplane itself makes, your fellow passengers provide some fun sounds. This can range from crying children to drink and meal services. If you’re traveling on a red-eye or long-haul flight, and are hoping to get some sleep, you’ll likely need something to block out the noise. We recommend investing in a set of noise-canceling headphones and a white-noise app, or a good pair of earplugs.
These Noise Canceling and Bluetooth Headphones are a lifesaver for my kids and I. They are perfect for listening to music, a movies or white noise or you can wear them to cancel out any noise. If you would rather some simple earbuds, these are perfect and have saved us a time or two.
Some flights provide their own cheap eye masks for even more comfort, but since that’s becoming more and more rare, we suggest getting one of your own. I love these eye masks and, of course, they are cute!
Deciding Between a Short or Long Layover: If you’re flying on the same airline for the duration of your trip, layovers can technically be as short as 50 minutes. Having a short layover is stressful, particularly if you’re connecting through airports like Heathrow, JFK, LAX, or ATL where security is intense. If you have a short layover and are flying on two different airlines, or have found a fare that requires changing airports, you should think twice before booking. On the other end of the spectrum, long layovers in airports can be expensive as you buy more food and drinks in the terminal. Be mindful, when you book, you know you and your family best.
If You Want to Sit With Your Travel Party Book Your Tickets Together: There’s a bit of a catch 22 when it comes to booking flights. You’ll often see cheaper fares when searching for one passenger versus two people or more. If your ultimate goal is to save money and you don’t care about sitting together, book separately. However, if you’re hoping to have side-by-side seats, you must book your flights as one purchase. Doing so means you’re far more likely to be placed together.
For groups of more than two, this won’t always be the case, and couples are sometimes placed across the aisle from one another. In addition to booking your seats as a single purchase, you should book as early as possible, and potentially also shell out extra money to select your seats. If you’re planning on sweet-talking the airline crew on the ground, you’re often going to be out of luck. Sad but true, but you never know, sweet talking may help.
In-Flight Entertainment Is Not Always Guaranteed: Make sure you pack a portable backup battery pack so you can keep your app games, downloaded TV shows and movies and/or music going during your flight.
Air Travel Can Be Cramped: More and more, airlines are devoting space to premium classes — and those who pay three or four times more than everyone else reap the numerous perks. On long-haul flights, these classes have floor plans that are arranged so you don’t have to crawl over your fellow passengers to reach the restroom. If you don’t want to be as cramped maybe opt for a premium class option.
You can also pack lighter if you need more room for your legs. Most airlines have overhead storage as well as storage at your feet. Pack light so you do not have to use the storage in-front of you and you can have more leg room in the process.
Do Not Travel If You Or Anyone In Your Party is Sick: This is just common curtesy. Covid or not, please be mindful of your symptoms and do not make others sick if you can help it.
Chris and I traveled after the mask mandate was lifted so we did not have to wear one, but you are more than welcome to if it makes you feel better. We felt safe without one and did not get sick in the process. Even before Covid, Chris and I have always been mindful of germs and such. We wash our hands frequently, keep our distance from others when possible, cover with our arm when we cough or sneeze and sanitize hard surfaces when necessary. Be mindful, but son’t make yourself crazy in the process.
Hopefully these simple tips will help and make you feel a bit better when traveling next on an airplane.