While flying from Cincinnati to Dublin, Ireland, recently, I found myself somewhat unprepared for the discomforts of air travel. The universe spoke to me, however, and solutions popped up in unexpected places, I made note, implemented them on the journey home, and am here to tell you what I found.
I was already prepared for leg cramps by wearing compression socks and taking potassium tablets before take off, and that worked. No cramps this time. I took an allergy pill to help with ear pain or clogged ears, and had a travel pillow and blanket. The allergy pill wasn’t enough, however, as we experienced intense ear pain during the final descent, and had clogged ears for a few hours after landing. I used the pillow, and was very glad I had it since the airline pillows are small and flat.
As chance would have it, soon after landing, I saw an ad about special earplugs to use while flying that helped with the ear pain, and are sold in airport stores. So on our way out of Dublin, we stopped in the airport store and bought two pairs of EarPlanes. We followed the instructions, and they actually worked. We just had minor ear pain on descent this time, and our ears unplugged sooner.
Another problem that may arrive while traveling is waiting in hot lines or getting over-heated waiting for take-off, which can cause stress, and even panic in some. I found a great way to feel cool, comfy, and in control is to wear a portable fan around my neck. I have the O2 Cool model, which can be ordered, is 5″ x 2.5″ x 1″, lightweight, battery operated, and sends s cool breeze upward toward your face when wearing it. There’s something about having a breeze on your face that is calming, so I used it often to stay cool and relaxed.
So we’ve covered some gadgets, now how about the magic? I have found having a positive attitude, and expecting things to go smoothly sets the tone for an enjoyable travel experience. The imagination can work for you or against you, and why not be kind to yourself and use it to imagine the best. If you have a fear of flying, imagine you are flying with Luke Skywalker as he easily navigates the galaxy. Experts say to stay hydrated while flying because cabin pressure causes a fast lose of moisture in the air, so it’s best to pass on the cocktails, and drink plenty of water in order to feel your best. No alcohol it ease your nerves? Again, kick in those imagination and relaxation techniques.
Keep calming techniques in mind and handy during all parts of your travels. For example, if you find yourself sitting on a tour bus and having to use the restroom, try doing some yoga breathing to calm yourself until they stop for a restroom break. Yoga breathing is taking a breath in through your nose, and then out through your mouth for a while. Another way to calm oneself is simply to hum a pleasant tune, read anything available, or do some story-telling with your companion, or just tell yourself that everything will be OK instead imagining the worst things that could happen, and worrying if you find yourself in uncomfortable situations.
On my trip to Dublin, I found myself trying all of the comfort techniques above, and they worked. I even had my little fan going one night in bed when the temperature of the room was warm, and the hotel did not have air conditioning. Traveling to new places, seeing new things, talking to new people enriches your life and feeds your soul. A trip can be a delicious, intense, amazing little slice of life, and having a handle on the stresses of travel can be just the ticket to living your dreams.