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Travel Tricks from the Pro

** Written by Paula Newby-Fraser, the "Queen of Kona."

I am looking at my travel schedule for the next 5 weeks - SFO, ORD and Japan.  That's a lot of flying.  I was giving a little thought to the things that will make it all manageable:
My Preflight Plan

  • Reserve an aisle seat: It's easier to stretch my legs; especially on the long-haul flights.
  • Ease up on the workouts 48 hours prior to traveling:  There's no sense in stressing the immune system and making myself vulnerable before boarding an aircraft. I always plan my travel around the workout schedule. 
  • Strategic packing:  Sometimes I'll pack a really soft pillowcase, so if the hotel's linens are rough, I've got something more comfortable.  I also will make sure I have ample water, bars, trail mix, string cheese and other food so I can avoid the likely unappealing airline food.
  • Wear loose clothing.  Layers are key for quick adjustments to shifts in cabin temperature. 
  • Stock up on drugs.  I always carry Airbourne and Esbiritox--echinacea/ herbal products--as a preventative measure. I take some the day before and the day of travel. This helps to boost the immune system and reduces the risk of colds and infections. I also pack melatonin in case I need sleep help.  Friends prefer Emergen-C...same idea.
  • Avoid stress:  I consciously stay cool and calm in line and try to maintain a positive attitude whilst waiting in ticket or baggage lines. I take a few deep breaths and remind myself that getting agitated will not help anything along.

In Flight:

  • Stay hydrated: It may be obvious, but if I don't make the effort I suffer.  Aircraft humidity is kept very low, so I constantly sip on water to keep myself hydrated and to prevent my skin and mucous membranes from drying out; which would make me more susceptible to catching something.  I also try not to over drink because then it is an endless up and down to the bathroom; another good reason for that aisle seat.
  • Move it:  I walk down the aisle and make a point of moving about the cabin especially on longer flights ; like the 10-hour one to Osaka. Taking a stroll keeps the blood circulating and helps minimize any swelling in my ankles and feet. Compression tights are a new addition to these long flights to assist with the swelling.
  • Sleep:  Depending upon the expected time change, I will attempt to get some zzzs to make the adjustment easier. I also avoid the airline pillows and blankets.  They are potential germ carriers.

At My Destination:

  • Reset my body clock: After crossing numerous time zones, I try to adjust immediately to the local meal times to help get my body into normal sleep patterns. If I have a real problem sleeping, I will use melatonin for a day or two to help.
  • Work out:  On arrival, provided it is not the middle of the night, the first order of business is a light workout in the gym or better yet, a quick outdoor jog; something to get my body and brain re-oxygenated and moving.  Nothing works better.

Wordpress category: 



Couple of other ones maybe be

Couple of other ones maybe be obvious - I travel 95% of the year so learned these the hard way ...


Rooms away from Ice machines, elevators and service elevators.


Check out for a list by airline, by plane type what the best / worst seats are! Look at the airlines web-sites after you have ticketed... many offer the option to move your seat around and get the best seat available.

Ask at the airport if there are upgrades to first to purchase. Often if there is capacity and the flight is oversold they may be willing to sell you the seat for not much more.

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