7 Tips to Make the Most of Your Carry-on

With stringent luggage rules, you aren’t left with much room to pack clothing and other goods in your carry-on.  Here are some suggestions to help you make the most of that space.

  1. Wear layers of clothing on the flight.  A great way to get some extra outfits in for your trip is to wear layers of clothing.  Throw an extra plastic bag or reusable shopping bag in your suitcase to put the extra clothes in later.  Always wear your bulkiest shoes and fluffiest sweater or jacket since they won’t condense well.
  2. Pack small objects such as socks and underwear in your shoes. If it is small enough to fit in something, put it there.
  3. Pack your biggest and least moldable objects first, then squeeze softer objects around those items. Pack shoes, bags of toiletries, and anything else that cannot be forced into an odd shape first, then bend your t-shirts and pajamas around them.
  4. If you don’t need it, leave it.  Europeans are known for wearing the same outfit for days in a row, no one is going to notice if you are wearing the same pair of jeans.  Trust me.
  5. Pack dark clothes and plain clothing. If you pack dark jeans and plain clothing, your friends are much less likely to notice you wearing the same shirt in all 300 photos you upload.
  6. Pack accessories. A great way to trick people in to thinking you are wearing a different outfit is by changing something simple like a scarf.  Especially in winter months, focus on packing more of what people will actually see than shirts that will end up hidden under your coat.
  7. Spacebags are a lie, and irritate fellow travelers. One girl I have traveled with a few times carries the travel version of spacebags with her for short trips.  I guarantee I fit 3x more clothing in my backpack than she did, the hard plastic bags do not optimize space in any way.  Plus they are loud and take way longer to pack in than just rolling your clothing. The only thing spacebags are truly useful for is pillows or other incredibly fluffy items with tons of excess air in them.

 

Your Guide to Puerto Rico’s Bioluminescent Bay

Our Kayak Tour in Laguna Grande

Our Kayak Tour in Laguna Grande

 

Undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist attractions in Puerto Rico, the Bioluminescent Bays draw many tourists out on dark nights to witness a unique effect first-hand.  Only a handful of places in the world are home to bodies of water with tiny dinoflagellates which produce a glowing effect when moved. I recently toured one of the Bio Bays on my trip to Puerto Rico. While the experience is something I would absolutely recommend, there are a few things to know before you go.

The Bays:

Of Puerto Rico’s three bays, two are frequently accessed from San Juan.  The first is Laguna Grande in Fajardo on the east side of the island.  The second is Mosquito Bay on the island of Vieques off the east coast of the country.  Mosquito Bay is often regarded as the better spot to witness the effect since it has less light pollution and a larger concentration of dinoflagellates, making it appear brighter than Laguna Grande.  However, a trip to Vieques will require a night’s stay and a flight or ferry ride making it a more time consuming and costly option.  Vieques is still worth looking into if you have the time, since the island has famous beaches and many other sights in addition to the bio bay.

Ways to See the Bays:

By Kayak – Kayaking is definitely the most popular way to see the bay and was the tour I chose.  The tours begin in the open bay before kayaking through a narrow waterway to get to Laguna Grande.  The path to get to the Lagoon is lined with mangrove trees making the journey essentially pitch black.  The guides have dim lights on their kayaks so you can follow them, but otherwise you are quite literally left in the dark.  I have a fear of both the dark and the ocean and while I was expecting the tour to be dark it was much darker than my expectations.  Embarrassingly enough, my friend and I had to be tethered to the guide’s kayak after we kept getting stuck in mangrove trees since we couldn’t see.  You don’t have to be an expert kayaker for the tour but I would be cautious if you are a beginner or have reservations about your kayaking ability or the dark.

By Electric Boat – If you’re unable to kayak (or too terrified, like me), you can still go out on the bay by way of electric boat.  The boats are very low riding, so you can still touch and play with the water and are able to see the effect just like you would on a kayak.  You can also devote all your attention to the bio bay instead of having to focus on keeping up with your tour guide and not getting in fellow kayaker’s ways.

By Foot – If you prefer to keep your feet on dry land, Para La Naturaleza offers walking tours to Laguna Grande. A guide will take you to experience the Bio Bay from a boardwalk over the Lagoon where you can play with the water to create the glowing effect.  The walking tour is also a steal at $22 ($12 for students), half the price of the other tours.

Things to Know:

Leave the cameras behind. Unless you have an amazing camera and get your settings exactly right you will not be able to get a picture of the effect of the Bio Bay.  I brought my iPhone naively hoping I could get something on film and instead worried the whole time about getting it wet with nothing to show for my attempts.  Plus the kayak company sent us a free picture after the tour to commemorate the journey.

If it is supposed to rain on your tour date don’t reschedule.  It began to rain on our tour and it was by far the coolest way to experience the effect of the bio bay.  Since the dinoflagellates only glow when moved, you typically only view them by the movement of the boat or your oars.  The rain hitting the water made the dinoflagellates appear everywhere. Cheesy as it sounds, it was like being in the stars. Incredible.

If you’re kayaking wear water shoes and swim bottoms.  In order to get into the kayak you wade into the bay just below your hips. Make sure your cover up is fast drying or water resistant fabric or you’ll be sitting in wet shorts for the rest of the evening.

 

Best Free Travel Apps for iPhone

We pay a lot for our iPhone’s so why should we pay for expensive travel apps? These five apps can help you be more prepared for your trip and save you money.  Get your iPhone handy and download away!

1. uPackingListFree Figure out what you need beforehand 

There’s no way you can forget anything with this app- it covers all your grounds.  Download this before you leave and you won’t be spending money on pricey necessities while you’re trying to enjoy your trip.

2. Hearplanet – Learn about where you are

Sometimes finding time for a tour that also fits your budget can be hard, so use HearPlanet on any of your major landmarks and learn everything you need to know.

3. Tripit – Organize your trip

Between flights and other travel plans things can get muddled up quickly.  Tripit centralizes  and makes the travel experience that much smoother by doing things such as sending flight confirmations and syncing up with your calendar.  A must have!

4. Road Trip LiteCalculate gas, MPG, and more. 

When driving it can get pricey and frustrating.  RoadTrip is awesome tool to calculate how much you’re paying for gas and the mileage.  We learned that our car got us 39 MPG on a 1000 mile trip to Los Angeles.

5. Yelp – Find the best locations 

Finally, you’ve got to find the best foods and fun and Yelp knows it all.  Whether you want it to use your location or find what you like by search, reading reviews and looking at photos will help pick the best places during your trip.

 

9 Things You Should be Packing in Your Carry-on

Packing for a trip can be a daunting task.  

We previously posted about 8 things you are probably forgetting to pack for your trip, but there are also a number of things you will need to be sure to have in your carry-on.

Here is a list of some of the most common things you’ll wish you had remembered to pack in your carry-on.

1)      Eye Drops– The air in planes is very dry.  Especially if you plan to sleep on the flight, you will want to pack some eye drops to put the moisture back in your eyes when you wake up.

2)      Socks– I like to be as comfortable as possible when I fly.  Often I want to take my shoes off, but don’t want to freak other passengers out by sitting in my seat barefoot.  If you pack a pair of neutral socks no one will notice you getting comfortable and your toes will stay warm.

3)      Layers of clothing– Never underestimate how cold airplanes will be.  If you are going to a tropical location, you will probably want to wear shorts and a tank top.  Even if you are not, bring multiple layers to accommodate to the cabin temperature.

4)      Billow– Okay, so you can take a little pillow and blanket, but a billow (a blanket that is stored as a pillow) is more fun.  If it is cold on your flight or you just want to snuggle up, you are going to want to bring a pillow and blanket.

5)      Water and Snacks– Relying on the plane food is a terrible choice.  When you get bored, you typically get hungry, so even if you don’t think you will use it make sure to pack drinks and a snack to tide you over.

6)      Tylenol or other painkillers– Whether you experience muscle pain, back problems, headaches from the cabin pressure, or any other issue, you will be glad you packed a painkiller for a flight.

7)      Immune System Booster- Planes are known as breeding grounds for sicknesses, take Airborne or some form of vitamin C to protect yourself as much as possible from getting sick.

8)      Everything you will need if your luggage gets lost- many people only pack the things they foresee needing on the actual flight, but if your bag gets lost you are going to want things that cannot easily be obtained at your location.  Make sure you carry-on your prescriptions, phone charger, a change of clothes, a toothbrush, and anything else you wouldn’t be able to make it two days without.

9)      Hotel and transit directions in paper form- On a trip to Spain, I made the mistake of saving the address and phone number of the people I was staying with on my Iphone and Laptop.  When I arrived, both devices had died and I was without any way of locating where I needed to go.  Make sure you have exactly what you need to get to your final destination on a piece of paper or something that cannot lose power.

If you think there is anything we are forgetting, let us know below!

 

What You Need to Know About TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry

Separate your liquids, take off your shoes, remove your laptop and place it all in bins. Going through security can be quite a hassle. In 2011, TSA introduced a program called Pre-Check, which one could compare to the Fastpass at Disney World for security lines.  After application approval, travelers can enjoy separate security screening with shorter lines and added benefits.  A similar program, Global Entry, allows travelers to use separate (and thus faster) lines at customs and immigration.  Are the time, cost, and effort required to get Global Entry or Pre-Check worth it though?  Here’s what you need to know about the program.


Benefits:

– Faster security lines. Pre-Check travelers go through separate lines in security. Upon approval in either program, you will receive “TSA Pre-Check” mark on your boarding pass, which allows the TSA officers to direct you to the Pre-Check screening area. Pre-Check lines are usually much shorter and faster than regular security lines.

– Simplified Screening. Pre- check travelers are not required to remove liquids, laptops, or anything else from their bags for screening. You can simply place your bag in its entirety on the conveyor belt and walk through the metal detector with your shoes still on.

– Metal Detector instead of the Controversial Full Body Scanners.  Pre-Check travelers go through a metal detector instead of the full body scanners, which are criticized for being invasive. This also means there is no need to remove your shoes, jackets (coats do need to be removed), or belts.

– Global Entry. If you opt to apply for Global Entry, you get all the benefits of Pre-Check with the addition of separate lines in customs/immigration when traveling internationally.  You also do not have to fill out customs forms if you have Global Entry.


Cost:

It’s hard to put a price on convenience, but the TSA found a way.  There is a $85 application fee for Pre-Check, which is non-refundable if you do not get accepted into the program.

For $15 more ($100), you can apply for Global Entry.  All approved Global Entry applicants get Pre-Check as part of the Global Entry program. So if you plan to travel internationally at all, it is definitely worth applying for Global Entry instead of just Pre-Check.   However, more enrollment centers accept Pre-Check applications than do Global Entry. Which means if you don’t live near a major airport, you may need to travel to an office that accepts Global Entry applications.

Both fees cover 5 years in the program, after which you will need to renew to remain in the program.

Some credit cards have started to reimburse customers for their Global Entry enrollment fees. Likewise, United offers reimbursement for the fee to certain customers. Find out if you are eligible to be reimbursed here.


Application:

Pre-Check:  You can apply directly at one of 270 enrollment centers across the country (click here to find a location center), or you can pre-enroll here before going to the office to register your fingerprints and finalize your application. A few weeks later you should receive your Known Traveler Number in the mail which is what you will need to register in all your frequent flyer accounts in order to receive Pre-Check when you travel.

Global Entry:  Apply online after registering as a “New GOES User”.  After your application is reviewed, you will be notified to schedule an interview at one of the 40 centers that offer Global Entry enrollment.  Global Entry is quickly becoming a very popular program, some applicants have complained that appointments fill up months in advance. As a result of this, try not to bank on being able to get a appointment around busy travel times, such as holidays. I scheduled my appointment 3 weeks out, and I had no problem with 90% of the time slots available to choose from on the two days I would be by the enrollment center.  You will then receive your Known Traveler Number as well as a Global Entry Card in the mail.

If your passport is about to expire, you may want to wait until you get a new one to apply for Global Entry since you will have to take the new passport by a Global Entry enrollment center to have it registered to your account.


Important things to note: 

Only certain airlines use the program.  Not every flight you take is eligible for access to the Pre-Check lane.  Airlines that participate in the program are: Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America.  If you travel on other airlines, your boarding pass will not include the TSA Pre-Check mark.

Traveling with others who are not in the program. If you’re traveling with someone who does not have Pre-Check you may want to go through security with them instead of the separate Pre-Check lane.  Unfortunately, Known Travelers cannot bring those who have not been approved for TSA Pre-Check with them through the Pre-Check lanes unless they are under the age of 12. Only those approved for Global Entry can use the Global Entry kiosks, despite age.  If you plan to travel frequently with someone who does not or cannot participate in the program, it may not be worth it to apply.

There is no guarantee you will always get TSA Pre-Check when you travel. Even after approval into the program, the TSA can choose to screen any passenger in regular security instead of allowing them through the Pre-Check lanes.  Additionally, not every airport offers Pre-check lanes.  Smaller airports may only have general security.  Likewise, Pre-Check lanes may not be open at certain times in some airports. During slower parts of the day or on certain travel days, some airports may elect not to have a separate Pre-Check lane.

I’ve had Global Entry (and thus Pre-Check) for 6 months now, and I would absolutely encourage anyone who travels more than a few times a year to get it.  Not having to take out your laptop and liquids and being able to keep your shoes on is worth it alone. Plus you get the added bonus of feeling like you’re VIP when you gain access to the ‘members only’ part of security.

 

 

The Best Hotel Booking Sites

Travelocity. Orbitz. Priceline. We’ve all heard of them, and likely booked through them, but what makes one booking site better than another? The majority of the time hotel prices vary little to none between different booking sites.  So does it matter what site you use? While the short answer may be no, tough competition between sites has resulted in perks for travelers.  If you’re not earning a bonus for booking your hotel, you’re missing out.  Below are our favorite sites to book through.

Groupon.com (Getaways).

I know what you’re thinking.  Groupon offers deals at subpar hotels to increase their traffic. While this may be partially true, there is more to the story.  Groupon recently partnered with Expedia to create a new section of Groupon Getaways where you can book a number of rooms at market price.

Why would you book through Groupon if you’re going to pay the same rate as any other travel site? Groupon offers 5% of you hotel cost back in “Groupon Bucks”. In other words, you get 5% as a Groupon gift card to use on future purchases.  So if I spend $600 on 3 nights in a hotel, I’d get $30 in Groupon Bucks.

If you don’t travel very often (or you just love instant gratification, like I do) Groupon is a great option to get a return now, instead of waiting to hit a reward through other programs like Hotels.com’s Welcome Rewards.  So scroll past all those hotels offering Groupons you wouldn’t stay in, and check out the Market Price section.

Groupon Hotels

 

Hotels.com (Welcome Rewards)

Hotels.com offers a program where when you book 10 nights at a qualifying hotel (almost all hotels are qualifying) you get a night free.  The catch, your free night is valued at the average of the cost of the 10 nights you previously booked.  In other words, you can’t book 10 nights at Days Inn then cash in your free night at the Ritz.

While this is essentially a better deal than Groupon (you are basically getting 10% of you hotel cost toward the cost of a future room), if you don’t book a room through Hotels.com within a year from your last stay, you will lose the nights you have built up.  So if you are not a regular traveler, a site with instant rewards is a much safer bet.

Hotelscom

 

Rocketmiles.com

Relatively new to the scene, RocketMiles let you earn frequent flyer miles for booking your hotel through them.  You can earn thousands of miles from booking a room through them, the earn rate varying between hotel chain, room price, and selected airline miles. For example, a 2 night stay at the $120 Holiday Inn in San Diego will earn me 2,000 Rapid Rewards points (Southwest), while staying at the Hard Rock will earn me 6,000 points.  If you like to use airline miles, it is definitely worth checking this one out.

rocketmiles

 

TheSuitest.com

If you’re in to getting a great deal, be sure to check out thesuitest.com, which will let you know what you should be paying for a given room. The site surveys the price of the room over time and tells you the fair rate, any recent changes, and how much you’d be saving on any certain day.  It will also let you know if trends suggest the price may decrease in the coming days.  A great tool for booking rooms far in advance! You may want to book through another site after checking the value of rooms at the Suitest since they don’t offer perks for booking.

The Suitest

 

Trivago.

To know you are getting the lowest price available, check Trivago.com. Trivago compares the prices of the same hotel room across almost 200 different sites and shows you where the lowest price is available.  As I stated earlier, there is typically very little different between the prices of a hotel from site to site, but there are exceptions, and often these exceptions are on obscure sites you would have never checked. While the site doesn’t offer an incentive to book through them, it’s a great place to search.

Trivago

 

Bonus Rewards.

Hotel Points.  Unless you frequently stay at the same hotel chain, hotel points can be fairly useless. However, many airlines have partnered with some hotel chains such as Hilton, Starwood, and Hyatt to allow guests to earn frequent flyer miles in place of hotel points.  Create an account to earn points at your hotel of choice, then switch the earning style to your favorite airline in your profile.

Additional Points.  Many airlines also offer shopping portals where users can register their frequent flyer numbers and gain miles while purchasing goods online.  Groupon is commonly offered on these sites, so you can gain a fairly significant amount of miles when you book your hotel through them.  I earn 3 miles per dollar spent through the Southwest portal and MILES through American Airlines. Here are some of the more common airlines:

-www.aadvantageeshopping.com/

-rapidrewardsshopping.southwest.com/

-www.mileageplusshopping.com/

Likewise, many credit cards (especially travel cards) have shopping portals where you can earn extra points per dollar at Travelocity and other major travel booking sites. 

How to Choose the Perfect Hotel Room

So you’ve decided to take a trip and you need to book a hotel room.  Choosing a hotel room can be incredibly overwhelming, especially with hundreds of hotels to choose from and thousands sites you can research and book through.

To me, there are three main important things to keep in mind when booking a room: location, rating, and price.  These may seem obvious, but finding a room to fit the criteria can be quite the task.  Below are some steps and resources to help you find and book a room without wanting to pull your hair out.

The location of your hotel can make or break a trip. In an ideal world, I would plan out all of the things I wanted to do and see in a destination and look for a hotel close to as many of those as possible. However, if you’re a procrastinator like me, you’ll need to book your hotel before you’ve even thought about your activities.

 

Look at a map of hotels to find prime locations.

Typically, from looking at a map of hotels in a city you can judge good locations from noticing where there are groups of hotels. This will give you a good idea on the areas to look into. If a hotel is not near many other hotels, it is likely it is not in a good spot to access attractions.

Map of hotels from Hotels.com

Map of hotels from Hotels.com

While booking a room on the outskirts of town may save you quite a bit, add the cost of coming in and out of town and the amount of time that takes and I think you will likely find most of those savings have disappeared.

 

Check out the neighborhoods in your destination.

Often there are multiple groups of hotels, grouped in different neighborhoods.  Certain neighborhoods may be quieter at night and thus better suited for families, whereas other parts of town may have a lot of nightlife.  It is helpful to look into the different neighborhoods of your destination to determine if the spot you chose fits what you are looking for.  You can view descriptions of each neighborhood on sites like travel.usnews.com/ (also my favorite site to check for the best time to visit a destination).

Check travel.usnews.com Neighborhood descriptions.

Check travel.usnews.com Neighborhood descriptions.

Zooming into your selected neighborhood and filtering the options with a price range or star rating should narrow your choices down to a manageable level of hotels to research.

 

Read the Negative Reviews:

There are a number of sites to read reviews of hotels from including the well known TripAdvisor and Hotels.com. Wherever you choose to read reviews, you are likely to find similar positive reviews on most hotels.  The negative reviews (and the date which they were written) often have more insight of the flaws of the hotel.  The negative reviews may be concerns that members of the staff were not helpful, which may not be of much concern.  On the other hand, negative stories can contain stories of uncleanliness, the rooms being misrepresented, or recent construction issues.

Reviews of recent constructions issues may be cause for concern.

Reviews of recent constructions issues may be cause for concern.

 

Check out the User Photos.

Most hotels can look high quality in professional pictures.  Sites like TripAdvisor offer photos from users, or “traveler photos” to see what the rooms look like when they aren’t photographed by professionals.  Great place to get an idea of what your expectations should really be.

traveler photos

 

After reviewing user photos and ratings of the hotels in the area you would like to stay in, you should be ready to book yourself a room! Look for our article about the best sites to book hotel rooms tomorrow.

 

Have any other great resources fellow travelers should know about? Let us know!

 

 

Adapters vs. Converters: Which do you need?

If you are planning a trip to a country that uses different plugs than your own, you must be sure to pack an adapter or converter if you want to use your own appliances or chargers.  The task of choosing which one is necessary is a little more complicated.

-Adapters are plug extensions that literally only change the shape of the prongs that go into the outlet.  In other words, adaptors do not change anything about the way your device functions, but just change the plug of your device to fit another outlet. For the adaptor pictured below, you plug a U.S. device into the plug adaptor effectively making it fit into European plugs.

Image 

– Converters: Converters are also almost always adaptors, but instead of just changing the type of prongs on your plug, they adjust the amount of electricity that goes through your device. If your device is not a dual voltage appliance (see below for more details about this), then you will need a converter.

Image 

How to determine if your device is dual voltage: Most devices will have a sticker on the plug specifying the details of that appliance (see photo below).  Look under the “input” section on this sticker, if your device states a range of voltage (such as 100-240v in the photo below) then your appliance is dual voltage.  If there is only one numberstated here you will need a converter; if there is a range then you will only need anadaptor.

ImageElectricity sticker specifying voltage information

 

Some devices, including most hairdryers, will have some form of knob or switch which you must change from the lower voltage setting (typically 100 or 120v) to the higher voltage setting (usually 240v).

Imagethe black circle at the bottom of the dryer changes the voltage input

 

If your device is not dual voltage and you do not use a converter, one of two things is likely to happen.  First, your device may just heat up more than usual but may still work.  This is common with straighteners (even dual voltage ones).  Since the voltage is higher, the device gets hotter than usual.  Be very cautious when using a device with a different voltage, multiple girls I know have singed their hair using their curling irons and straighteners because they did not move them quickly enough through their hair with the excess heat.  The second thing that may happen, is the extra voltage will fry your device and it will cease to work completely.  Even if you use a converter this may happen since they are not the most reliable devices, despite the cost and quality of the converter.

It is best to buy dual voltage devices before you leave, or just pick up a cheaper version of your hair dryer or iron once you get to your destination country.  Avoid taking expensive appliances as the change in voltage can cause them to break very easily.

Here is a list of each country’s plug type and standard voltage:  http://www.starkelectronic.com/fzfv.htm

How to Survive Long Flights: 12 Tips to Help You Keep Your Sanity on Long Hauls

There are many great destinations around the world to see, but some require a long flight in order to get there.  Here are a few ways to help you to not go crazy on that long flight.

1)   Pack a spare comfy outfit.  While wearing comfortable clothes on a flight is a given, even your most comfortable outfit may become uncomfortable after an extended period of time.  Pack an extra outfit in your suitcase that you can change into should the clothing you wore onto the plane become uncomfortable.  Even if you don’t need it for the flight, you can change into it upon landing to help you feel fresh or have a backup in case your checked luggage gets lost.  Also, be sure to wear comfortable shoes that can be easily removed.

2)   Bring good headphones (and two pairs).  Many pairs of headphones will start to hurt your ears after extended wear.  Bring a set of a different kind to relieve your aching ears.  Invest in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones for extra peace and quiet.

3)   Choose your seat cautiously.  If you typically choose aisle or window seats, think very carefully about where you should sit on a long flight.  Sit in the aisle and you may have to deal with people getting up and down often and may struggle to sleep in an upright position.  However, choose to sit by the window and you may get trapped in your seat by those sitting next to you.  Check if there are exit row seats available as they allow a little extra leg room.

SeatGuru shows you the optimal seat on your flight

Check out www.seatguru.com to find the best seat on every flight. It will show you the layout of your plane with each seat ranging from red (bad) to green (good seat). It will also show you the amenities available on the plane.

4)   Bring a pillow and blanket.  Nothing makes your cozier than your own pillow and blanket.  Check out the Lug Nap Sac I wrote about in “Travel Accessories We Can’t Go Without.”

Lug Nap Sac Travel Blanket & Pillow

5)   Leave the extra carry-on bag behind.  While it may be tempting to pack two carry-on bags, you will regret it when you want to stretch out your feet.  Try to keep your luggage to what will fit in the overhead.

6)   Bring food and water.  There is nothing worse than being on a long flight when all the meal options are terrible.  Prepare like the airline will not serve you any food instead of banking on eating what they serve or waiting for a flight attendant to bring you a drink.

Check www.airlinemeals.net for what you can expect to eat on your flight.

7)   Continue your daily routine.  If you wash your face, brush your teeth, etc. every morning and evening, bring the items you need to continue this regime.  Not only will it give you something to do for 5 minutes and a reason to get up; but it will help your body register the end of the day/start of a new one.  It may sound strange, but changing into sweat pants, and preparing like I am going to bed helps me relax and actually get some sleep on a long flight.

8)    Prepare for the dry air.  Recycled cabin air gets very dry.  Make sure to drink lots of water to keep your body hydrated to avoid extreme jet lag.  Make sure to pack eye drops, lotion, and chapstick to protect your skin from being in dry conditions for an extended period of time.

9)   Walk around regularly.  Get up at least every few hours and walk around just to get your blood flowing.  If you sit for an extended period it can cause cramps and other health risks.  Some travelers like to wear compression socks on long flights to increase the blood circulation in their legs.

10)   Bring back support.  If you often experience back pain (or even if you don’t) bring some form of back support to keep your body from aching upon your arrival.  Bring a lumbar support pillow to allow extra support for your back.

Adjust-Air Portable Lumbar Support

11)   Prepare entertainment for 1 ½  times longer than the flight.  If you have a 12 hour flight, don’t bring only a book that will take you 13 hours to read.  You are bound to either get bored with it or finish it faster than you expect.  When you are bored and in a contained space, it is hard to keep yourself focused.  Bring options to choose from to keep you entertained (movies, games, magazines, books, work, etc.).

12)   Take airborne before you go and/or while you are in the air.  A long flight can do a lot of damage to your body and immune system. Take airborne and other vitamin and mineral packed supplements to make up for this damage.  There is nothing worse than getting sick right when you arrive at your destination.