With travel season coming up it is good to remember that with travel, planning is everything. The proactive travel plan can ease frustrations and minimize stress, both of which are at odds with the well-being lifestyle. Whether you are jetting off for rest and relaxation or the next client meeting, you will want to be at your best, so that you can get full benefits from the experience.
Once you know you are going to fly somewhere, think about the trip from the time you leave your home. You will want to plan to leave in ample time to navigate any unexpected roadblocks beyond your control. You will feel much better sitting at the departure gate watching people than having people watching you arrive at the gate in a panic because you were short on time. Although there are a number of obstacles that can create havoc with the best laid plans, here are some tips that can help aid in your enjoyment of a drama-free flight.
1. Adhere to the recommended arrival timeline that the airline encourages.
2. Wear loose comfortable clothing and shoes. If you are using an employee benefit pass, check with the employee to make sure your clothing choices are on point with employee travel dress codes.
3. Check-out the travel guidelines from the Transportation Safety Agency (TSA). Though the guidelines may change due to threat levels, generally speaking any liquids, lotions or other toiletries in sizes larger than 3-ounces should be packed in checked bags.
4. If you use knives, sharp objects or firearms in your work, make sure you check that you’ve removed them from your carry-on bags. These items should be in checked bags or left at home.
5. As you prepare to go through the security checkpoint, stop, look and listen:
Stop - to make sure your boarding pass and identification are in order to hand to the screener. Look - around to make sure you are in the correct line and that you are aware of your surroundings.
Listen - for any announcements or last-minute instructions from the security screeners.
6. Stay hydrated. Try to drink about 8-ounces of water every few hours. Freeze a plastic bottle of water solid before your flight and drink any water that has melted before you go through the security checkpoint. If the water is frozen, you most likely will be able to take it through to the secure side of the airport. You can easily add water if there is space in the bottle from a water fountain.
7. Pack two to three pocket-size bottles of hand sanitizer to aid in keeping your hands germ-free.
8. Skip the caffeinated beverages, alcohol, salty snacks and high sugar foods—they will work against your ability to stay hydrated.
9. During the flight, try to contract the muscles in your calves, lift your feet off the floor and rotate your ankles to keep the blood flowing. If you can, a stroll down the aisle is a good idea too. Get your body moving as much as you can, to avoid deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or blood clots developing during the flight.
10. And last but not least, smile. I won’t fall back on that cliché about smiling, but do know that smiling relieves stress, generates “feel-good” emotions and smiles are contagious!
Take Away: Planning is everything and pre-planning before starting your travel will reward you with an enjoyable trip and an overall feeling of well-being.