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I used to travel quite a bit, and there’s some lessons that carry over and stay with you after you do the cab-security-plane routine a few dozen times. Here’s my top bits of advice:

Airport Security:

shoes

  • Wear easy-to-remove flats with boat socks (that way it’s still stylish, but also hygenic).
  • Avoid belts. Small jewelry and watches are usually ok to leave on though.
  • Personally, I also avoid going through any of the security scanners. I’ve heard the large gray, cylindrical body scanners are alright (use radio waves), but the big blue ones that you stand between use X-rays. Even if TSA claims they’re safe, you need to protect yourself and do what feels comfortable for you. I always opt-out for the pat-down (it is generally more time-consuming, but at least less radiation). Or, be on the lookout for a line with the metal detector instead of the scanner.

On-board the Plane:

Prepare for the two truths of any plane ride – 1) it’ll be freezing COLD at some point, and 2) it’ll be DRY as a desert for pretty much the entire time.

To mitigate these, I do the following:

  • Wear a coat / scarf onboard. Seriously, unless you’re somehow immune to sitting still in a T-shirt in 60-degrees, be prepared. Blankets are too bulky to carry imo and generally less warmth-generating than a good old peacoat and a thick scarf.
  • Carry a thick lotion and chapstick in your carry-on bag and make sure to keep it on you. I slather it on during takeoff. My creams of choice:

Shiseido - White Lucent Brightening Protective Cream SPF 15

Shiseido White Lucent SPF 15 day cream – good for daytime travels. This stuff feels too greasy for me normally, but it’s PERFECT for dry flights. Trust me.

Click for enlarged view

The Body Shop Vitamin E Intense Moisture cream – I use this for evening flights

  • Order hot water and set it on your seat – not that helpful, but a little steam is better than nothing. I’ve heard of portable humidifiers, but haven’t tried any out yet.

  • Get a coconut water – maybe personal preference, but I think it’s more hydrating than plain water. I usually pick up a bottle at the airport. Another good option is rooibos tea, which you can get from any Starbucks.
  • Bring something productive to do – even though the ride makes me tired, I’m still generally much more focused on work while on a plane, since there’s nothing else to do but sit there. I would recommend you take something that you’ve been putting off for a while. Better too if it’s non-electronic so you don’t need to turn it off during takeoff and landings.

Cabbing

For those new to the art of cabs, I know they can be intimidating at first, and usually still annoying after you get used to them. Here’s my tips:

  • Use cash. It’s safer (you never know which driver will try to rip your number off, especially if they have those rub-on credit card readers), it’s faster, and drivers definitely prefer it.
  • Find out what car services have better rates in your area. For Seattle, I’m pretty sure Eastside is the best ($25 flat from airport to Downtown; a regular yellow cab will cost you almost $50).
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