Traveling for Christmas or New Year’s? Here are a few holidays travel tips for arriving fresh in your final destination.
We all know flying during the holidays has its ups and downs. The upside is, you’re most likely traveling to spend the season with family and friends. The downsides are the potential bumps in the sky such as delayed and cancelled flights due to weather issues, lost baggage and the potential of catching a cold while in flight.
The frustrating part of traveling is the inability to control certain situations such as weather, mechanical issues and sitting next to the consistently coughing passenger. There are a few things that can be done to control the travel experience in order to arrive fresh and refreshed in your final destination. These include eating the right food, exercising at 35,000 feet, carrying on refreshing toiletries and getting enough sleep in which there’s an app to ease worries. Read on for details…
Choose Your In-Flight Food Wisely
My nutritionist would tell me to pack my snacks when traveling, as would Michelle Dudash, award-winning registered dietitian and Cordon Bleu-certified chef, but some airlines get it right when it comes to serving small bites in the friendly skies. In fact, DietDetective.com has surveyed a dozen airlines to rate the best ‘Calorie Bargains’ and “Calorie Rip-offs” at 35,000 feet.
DietDetective.com issued the 2013 Airline Food Survey rating foods for twelve (12) airlines. The survey assigned a “Health Score” based on eight criteria including health of meals and snack boxes, health of individual snacks, healthy offerings, calorie levels (snacks, meals, snack boxes), improvement from last year’s survey, menu innovation and cooperation in providing nutritional information. The survey includes health ratings, average calories per airline, cost, comments, food offerings, calories, and exercise equivalents. The average number of calories per food item for all airlines last year was 388. This year its 360 calories per food item — a drop, but honestly, still high for being a snack.
So which airline is doing it right? According to Charles Platkin, PhD, MPH, public health advocate, editor of DietDetective.com and Distinguished Lecturer (professor) at HUNTER College and the City University of New York School of Public Health, “This year Virgin America and Air Canada are tied for the top spot with the “healthiest” food choices in the sky, and Alaska Air not too far behind.”
For complete survey results including full listings of the snack/on-board food, comments, ratings, cost, calories, exercise equivalents, and tips visit www.DietDetective.com.
And, don’t forget to pack along some dark chocolate. My choice is Wild Ophelia!
Workout in Your Seat
Shana Schneider, fitness expert and Founder of FITWEEK, a fitness company dedicated to helping women turn any week into a fitweek, offers fun, sky high fitness tips for holiday travelers. She suggests the following exercises which can be done at least once an hour. If you’re worried about looking like a freak to the other passengers, don’t worry. They’re unobtrusive enough so you won’t bother the passenger sitting next to you.
Crossover Knee Lifts – Cross your right leg over your left knee. Lift your left leg up and down. For more of a challenge do the pulses up and down while never letting your foot touch the floor. Don’t forget to do the other side, too.
Double Knee Lifts – Put your knees together than lift them up and down. Just touch your toes to the floor don’t let your abdominal muscles relax.
Side Twists – Tighten your abdominal muscles and sit up straight. Put your right arm on your left thigh and lift your left leg up, then twist and do the same with the opposite arm and leg. Do 10 on each side.
Once landing, she offers this fun tip int the Baggage Claim…Take three deep breaths while you’re waiting for your luggage. (Better than holding your breath hoping it arrives. Plus, you’ll be more relaxed in case it doesn’t show up!)
Pack Refreshing Toiletries
Over the last couple of decades of flying I’ve learned to expect the unexpected especially when it comes to traveling over the holidays. The best way to be prepared is to carry aboard comforting toiletries to help you stay fresh so you arrive refreshed. Suggested items include:
Facial Wipe – I’ve been using Simple’s but have recently been trying Olay Fresh Effect’s S’wipe Out cloths which leave my skin soft and clean.
Deodorant – Please, do your fellow passengers a favor and apply this before boarding but keep it handy in case of extended delays. My underarm protection of choice is Secret Clinical Strength.
Dry Shampoo – I think this is the greatest invention since sliced bread, especially when it comes in travel size. I’ve used Suave but recently received Not Your Mothers Clean Freak Dry Shampoo and so far I’m a fan. It has a nice clean-linen scent and dries up oil and grime pretty quickly.
Blotting Cloths – These are kind of a luxury but great for soaking up facial oil.
Pantyliners – Excuse me while I get a little intimate but traveling isn’t always glamorous. It can be sweaty, stinky and grimy which is why Always Incredibly Thin Regular Daily Liners can keep us women a little fresher. Thanks to Always, I learned from a recent survey 50 percent of women agree wearing a daily liner during a long flight would keep them feeling fresher and amen to that!
Note about bringing liquids, gels and aerosols on an airplane: consult with the Transportation Security Administration for regulations on what you can carry on the plane.
Catch Some Zzzz’s – There’s Even an App Offering Peace of Mind
The night before a flight I’m tossing and turning hoping I don’t sleep through my alarm and running a checklist through my mind to make sure I haven’t forgotten to pack anything. For peace of mind, check out the free productivity app called Any.do to prevent what the developers call “those Oh $%!# I forgot!” travel moments. It’s a task management app that feels and looks like a to-do list with time and location-based reminders.
The app also makes it easy to delegate, organize and share tasks. Any.do is the #1 productivity app for both iPhone and Android, and was named a Top 10 App by the New York Times. It’s available in iOS and Android and available on iTunes and Google Play. Have I mentioned it’s free?
For long-haul trips, if you can swing it in your budget, at the check-in counter look into the cost of upgrading to business class. I did this when traveling with Iberia Airlines from Miami to Marseille, France, in September. I knew as soon as soon as I landed in Marseille I’d be hitting the ground running and getting a good sleep before landing was the right choice. My flight was delayed and I ended up missing my connection in Madrid but since I slept in a nice pod while flying across the Atlantic I arrived refreshed.
For shorter journeys departing at o’dark-thirty in the morning I typically request a window seat, bring my pashmina to either wrap around me for warmth or use it as a pillow and sleep against the window.
Will you be traveling this holiday season or staying home?
Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links and some items mentioned were provided to me in order to sample and provide my honest opinions.