Airplane Tips for Honeymoon Travelers
. . . making your flight more pleasant

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Airplane air is recycled and tends to be very dry. Drink lots of water to re-hydrate and replenish the moisture you are losing. Some studies show an added benefit, in that water seems to reduce the effects of jet lag. While we're on the subject of fluids, you'll need to keep in mind that alcoholic beverages consumed while you are airborne are much more potent than when they are consumed on the ground. If you have a low alcohol tolerance, it's best when in the air, to stick to water.

Anyone who has flown with a cold or sinus infection knows how painful takeoff and landing can be. The use of a nasal spray or a decongestant can reduce the pain significantly. Check with your physician. There are several earplugs now on the market which also help to reduce ear pressure. Ask your pharmacist about them. The old chewing gum "trick" still works ease the pain that comes with popping ears.

There are several simple things you can do when you fly to keep your body comfortable in rather uncomfortable quarters. The way in which you dress can seriously influence your comfort level while flying. Loose, cotton clothes are best. Layering your clothing allows you to adjust your comfort level as the temperature around you climbs or falls.

Before you sit down in your seat, take a moment in the waiting are to stretch. To reduce your body stress, take a few deep breaths and stretch your back, neck and shoulders. Before you sit down, put the back of your hand against the base of your back. Locate the curve (lumbar region). Pad your lumbar area, using a rolled up sweater, pillow or blanket. That will help to support your back. If you can, do the same for the gap between your neck and the head rest. Changing the thickness and position of those support items during flight will help keep your body relaxed. Once the "fasten your seatbelt" sign is turned off, get out of your seat every so often so that you can stretch your legs, neck and shoulders and increase your circulation.

A good isometric exercise for arms and upper chest is to press down hard on the armrest of your seat. Hold for a count of five. Then grab under the arm rest and pull up for a count of five. Repeat this exercise five times.

Most airplane travelers experience some swelling (especially in their legs) because of the changes in cabin pressure. Try to shift your position often during the flight, paying special attention to moving your legs around. If possible, raise your feet off the cabin floor by resting them on a piece of luggage or a book, placed under the seat in front of you. Do some leg flexing and extensions to increase your circulation and/or massage your legs and calves in order to increase blood flow.

Leg and foot stretches may help too. Raise your seat back, remove your shoes and place a cushion at your lower back. Place your hands on your knees and press down firmly. Flex your feet so that your heels are touching the floor and your toes are raised as high as possible. The shift your position so that your toes are on the floors. Now, quickly shift from heel to toe for a count of eight. Remember to breathe deeply while doing this and all other exercisers.

Try some deep breathing exercises as a method of increasing your air intake. Breathing exercises will stimulate circulation and reduce flight fatigue. When you feel relaxed and comfortable, tilt your head back and take several more deep breaths.

Make certain that when you adjust the overhead air vent/fan, you don't set it so that it blows directly on you. The draft can increase tension in your neck and shoulder muscles. The best setting is one where the air is blowing just past you.

Luggage issues can be a real hassle, but there are some tricks which can help. Pack all essential items in the bag which carry on to the plane. Include an extra set of clothing in the event that you and your luggage don't arrive at your destination at the same time. If you are checking into a hotel with a check-in time later than you'll be arriving, consider taking swim wear, so you can enjoy the pool or beach. Most hotels have locker rooms where you can change and store your belongings.

There are new FAA security measures which now limit customers on all flights to one carry-on bag plus one personal item. Use this information as a guideline, but because rules are being changed every day, check with your carrier before you fly. In general the following rules apply, but it is wise to check with your particular carrier before you begin packing. All carry-on pieces, including laptops, must fit either underneath the seat in front of you or in an overhead bin. The one carry-on bag must fit in an overhead compartment or under the seat. It should not exceed 45 linear inches (length + width + height) or weigh more than 40 pounds. Personal items include the following: purse, briefcase, laptop, small book-bag style backpack and other similar items that do not exceed 36 linear inches (length + width + height) will be allowed such as a small tote bag or shoulder bag. Items that will be allowed above and beyond the restrictions listed above include: Outer garments such as coats/wraps/hats, approved safety seat for lap or ticketed child, umbrella stroller for lap or ticketed child, diaper bag for lap or ticketed child, book or newspaper, bistro-sized or smaller bag of food that is consumable, devices such as wheelchairs, walkers, etc.

Make sure you can easily identify your bags. A colorful ribbon or bungee cord works well. Distinctive tags are good identifiers as well. Under no circumstances should you write your home address on the outside of your bag. That makes you an easy mark for burglars in search of an easy, accessible location, where no one will be at home.

When you do go to store your carry-on bags in the narrow space above your seat, be careful to do the storage motion in two moves (up and in), so you don't inadvertently twist and injure yourself. If you can, it's an even better solution to put luggage under the seat.

These simple tips can make your trip much more comfortable . . . a good beginning and ending for your perfect honeymoon. Have a great flight!

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