10 Air Travel Safety Tips (Ultimate Guide For 2020)

10 Air Travel Safety Tips (Ultimate Guide For 2020)

 

10 Air Travel Safety Tips (Ultimate Guide For 2020)

 

air travel safety tips

Airline travel is one of the safest methods of transportation on earth. All airlines, including every staff and crew member, will always put safety first and it is the top priority for everyone in the aviation industry. 

I can attest to that as I have worked in the aviation industry as a pilot for over 20 years. I have never once seen safety, not a top priority. 

Air travel safety does not come without its challenges, however. Huge amounts of money and training are involved in certifying aircrew members to ensure your safety as a passenger on board a plane. Sometimes it may not seem that the aircrew has your best interest in mind, but trust me they do!

There are many things that you as a passenger can do to help the safety of yourself and others on board the plane. In this post, I will show you 10 Air Travel Safety Tips that you can use to ensure your flight is more comfortable and safe.

Is Airline Travel Safe?

This is a question that gets asked so often. Everyone who travels is always thinking about it. First-time air travelers often wonder if airline travel is safe ─ and just how safe is it?

The answer is, airline travel is the safest mode of transportation available. If you look at the numbers, flying is much safer than driving. It might feel more dangerous though because plane crashes are more catastrophic, they kill more people, and play into our fears of flying. Car crashes, on the other hand, occur daily and are constantly happening and spread the losses over more time, making their effects much less noticeable.

According to thenational.ae, globally in 2017, 4.1 billion passengers traveled by air, with a total of just 50 fatalities from accidents involving scheduled commercial flights.

 

Image credit thenational.ae

 

Also according to IATA, International Air Transport Association, in 2015 there was one commercial jet accident per 4.5 million flights.

So is airline travel safe? Yes, it is. 

Rules For Airplane Travel

There are many rules and regulations that must be followed when traveling by airplane. Not only do the legal rules need to be followed, but each airline will have its own guidelines and safety regulations as well. The policies and procedures could be different from one airline to the next.

My suggestion is to review the specific airlines’ guidelines prior to travel. Most of this information is available online, but you can always contact customer service via telephone.

I recently wrote an article explaining some pre-travel checklist items that will help you prepare. Also, more information regarding baggage limits, first-time flyers tips, and other air travel advice can be found here.

Here are 10 air travel safety tips that you should follow when traveling on all airlines.

#1. Flight Attendant Passenger Briefing – Safety Procedures

If you only end up listening to one of my tips on the list, hopefully, it’s this one. I can’t say this enough. It is so important that every passenger on board listens to the flight attendants passenger safety briefing.

I have been witness to thousands of passengers completely ignoring the safety briefings, despite the announcements that require you to do so. This briefing is something that only takes a few minutes of your time and could be critical in a life and death situation. Besides, what else are you doing anyway while sitting on the plane waiting to take off?

If you are sitting in the emergency exit row, the flight attendants will give you a special briefing on how to operate the door in the event of an emergency. They will only allow passengers who are willing and capable of accepting this responsibility to sit in this row.

Paying attention to the briefing and reading the safety card in the seat pouch just may save your life or someone else’s in the event of an emergency. As an airline pilot, I know the crew members will appreciate you paying attention. Avoid sleeping, playing games, reading the paper or talking during the briefing. Your life may depend on it!

#2. Keep Your Seat Belt Fastened At All Times

If you listen to the safety briefing, you will notice that you must keep your seat belt on at all times. Yes even when the seat belt sign is turned off, which only the pilots can do.

It is possible that the aircraft could experience turbulence unexpectedly, and serious injury could result if your belt is not fastened. Not only that, but serious injury to others is possible if you are not secure.

#3. Dress Properly

Not many people think of this but it is important to dress properly while traveling on an airplane. Being comfortable will help you move easier if needed, and also certain materials like cotton are known to protect your skin.

Also avoid high heel shoes, for obvious reasons. Not a great idea to be running from an airplane or going down an evacuation slide in high heels!

Here are 10 things you should never wear on board a plane.

#4. Be Aware Of Your Location On The Plane

As part of the safety briefing mentioned earlier, you should always know where your seat is located in relation to the aircraft doors. Most large airliners will have emergency exits at the front, middle and back of the plane. Have a look to see which exit is closest to you in the event of an evacuation.

Also, know that the aircraft floor has illuminated lighting directions to point you in the direction of an exit if the visibility is reduced.

#5. Avoid Alcohol

It is very easy to become dehydrated on an aircraft. The longer the flight, the worse it can be. Make sure to drink lots of liquids. Water is hands down the best choice. If you can, try to avoid coffee, tea and fruit juices.

Alcoholic drinks are a poor choice when flying for many reasons. They don’t help combat dehydration. They also have a stronger effect in the thinner air of an aircraft at altitude. I have seen it far too many times, someone will have a few drinks in the air and it leads to a bad situation.

Alcohol also makes it tougher when trying to avoid jet lag.

#6. Have Respect For The Crew Members

I honestly can’t believe how many times I have seen aircrew members being treated poorly by passengers. Some people just have no respect for the people in charge of looking after them and saving their life when called upon.

Being rude, incompliant with rules, offensive, or harmful has no place on board an airplane. The airlines have strict policies in place to deal with passengers who behave badly. Most times it ends up in an arrest from police. This type of behavior is not acceptable; it has huge safety implications and won’t be tolerated in any way.

#7. Keep Heavy Objects Out Of The Overhead Bins

This is something to be aware of in the event of turbulence, that the overhead bins may accidentally open. This could cause injury to you or others around you. The overhead bins are for storing carry on items, not large heavy items. Larger items should be placed in the aircraft as checked luggage.

#8. Wear Air Compression Socks

If you are traveling on a long flight, you can periodically get up and move around to stretch. This is good for your health. It’s normal for your body to struggle with good blood circulation on longer flights. Walk up and down the aisles. Walk to the bathroom and back. You can even just stand in the aisle next to your row for a period of time. Even just doing some stretching or twisting movements in your seat will help. All these will reduce discomfort from swollen legs and feet and help prevents poor circulation problems and deep vein thrombosis.

Additionally, to help to prevent this, I highly recommend a pair of air travel compression socks. These will help prevent swelling and blood clotting on a long flight. They will help keep your circulation going. Perfect for swollen calves and ankles. Taking a little extra time to walk around the airport on your layovers or between flights just to get some extra exercise even if you don’t feel a need to do it can pay off towards the end of a really long journey.

#9. Oxygen Masks

Properly knowing how to use your oxygen mask is crucial. Every seat on board the plane should have an oxygen mask available above your head. This mask will automatically fall down in the event of an unequal pressure inside the aircraft cabin.

The first step is to always secure your own mask first before helping other people around you. This is very important due to the fact that you will not be able to help anyone if you are incapacitated. This will be demonstrated during the safety briefing as well.

#10 Emergency Evacuations

In the unlikely event of an emergency evacuation, it is very important to follow the procedures that are outlined by the crew members. This includes leaving behind your personal belongings like luggage.

Trying to get your carry-on baggage from under the seat or the overhead bin delays the evacuation. This puts yourself and others at risk.

Summary

As you can see, there are many things that you can do in order to stay safe on board the airplane. Following some basic rules will go along way in keeping yourself and others safe. I recommend following these 10 air travel safety tips for all flights you might travel on. The rules apply to everyone.

Hopefully, you enjoyed this guide and found it helpful. As always, feel free to leave a comment below and let everyone know your thoughts.

Thanks for reading!

 

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13 Tips For Solo Female Travel In Europe 2020

13 Tips For Solo Female Travel In Europe 2020

 

13 Tips For Solo Female Travel In Europe 2020

 

solo female travel tips

You have decided to make adventure your priority and finally scratch some of those legendary places in Europe off your list. You probably can’t wait to visit the iconic historical sites as well as marvel at the natural wonders the continent has to offer.

Whether you are taking a gap year after college or just taking off after some years of working and saving, this is the time you will spend learning and growing on your own terms.

More and more women decide to travel alone which has brought up many questions on how we can be safe and where the dangers are. As far as traveling to Europe goes, there has been a lot of bad press regarding the current and even past situations from terrorism to immigration politics. We all know that the media will deliver on bad news far more quickly than good news.

Unfortunately, this has painted a rather sinister picture of Europe which is largely underserved. Not to say bad things don’t happen, but they don’t necessarily do more than elsewhere.

I have recently traveled through some places in Latin America and Asia on my own but am originally from Belgium. I haven’t only grown up in Europe, but have also visited quite a lot of it. I can honestly say that I have never felt unsafe while traveling on my own through Europe and have never met a woman who did either. That isn’t to say that precautions shouldn’t be taken!

In this article, I will be providing you with an overview of some tips on how to travel safely and travel fun, as well as some beautiful locations to visit. Perhaps some of these were never even on your list!

1. Be Open-Minded

This is the first piece of advice I would offer anyone traveling to a new place. It is, of course, wise to be aware and careful wherever you go, but you should never let it stray into paranoia. Be open and allow the environment as well as the people to leave their mark and change you. You are, in part, traveling to learn and to grow after all.

2. Inform Yourself

One of the first things I research before visiting a new place is not only what gems are hiding further removed from the more touristy paths, but also whether there are unusual or unique traditions a country possesses. Europe has several of these and if you time your trip right, you will be able to experience some of them first hand.

When recalling some of the things we enjoyed doing as a kid, one of them is certainly creating a mess — especially one we never had to clean up ourselves! It just so happens that Spain can help you relive these moments.

Every last Wednesday of August, the town of Buñol organizes the world’s biggest tomato fight, aptly named The Tomatina Festival. Tradition tells the story of a parade gone wrong near a market with vegetable stands in the summer of 1945, ending with a bunch of people pelting each other with tomatoes.

Some boys are said to have reenacted this event the following year and so an odd tradition was born. The number of tourists increases annually due to this festival but make sure to also stop by to visit the enchanting town itself. 

Informing yourself also means reading up on what is safe and what is not. Different countries will report on different locations best avoided by travelers and locals both. Make sure you are aware of these. Most people wandering into a bad situation, do so because they do not possess this information

3. Simplicity in Dress and Gear

This I have found to be a key aspect of all of my travels. It is easier for yourself to travel light and simple and it also provides you with a feeling of safety when you choose your clothes in the same way. Dress simply and modestly, not with the intention to stand out but with the intention to make your travels safe and comfortable. In a lot of ways, safety also means not to stand out too much.

4. Common Sense is Your Friend.. and a Fake Wallet!

It is, of course, possible to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when something happens, but most problems can be avoided by just using common sense. When traveling, don’t do what you wouldn’t do in some places back home either. Simple things like not wandering around the cities alone when intoxicated or walking home with strangers.

In other ways, it is nice to have a few tips on how to overcome a bad situation when it does happen to you. Take mugging, for instance. When you put yourself in the position of a mugger, you will realize some things. For one, they are afraid of staying in one place too long for fear of being caught. They will want the whole process to pass quickly.

During my travels, I always keep a “fake wallet” on me. This is a simple canvas Quicksilver wallet and it is actually empty of valuables, sometimes thickened with some paper or even a couple of dollars. But I keep it close to me so that should this situation arise, I can quickly give them this wallet and they would run off with it.

Read my tips on keeping your wallet safe when traveling here.

Another good tip can be to not keep all your valuables in one place and if you do, keep them in a money belt you wear under your clothes.

Here is a great money belt. But when you don’t have to, simply don’t carry certain items with you. I would, for instance, rarely take my actual passport and keep it safely inside a safe or locker at my hostel and instead carry a photocopy with me.

Common sense is your friend! Make sure you always keep this travel partner close to you. 

SOME HIGHLIGHTED LOCATIONS

5. English-Speaking Countries

Almost everywhere in Europe, you will find people can speak English, but the threshold might feel a little lower for you when you start your travels in the countries with English as a native language. In this, I would highly recommend Ireland and Scotland. Friendly, beautiful and definitely safe. The rolling hills and ancient castles will charm you as well as the local spirits and people themselves.

Even though you can also visit England, offering stunning countryside and history of its own, Ireland and Scotland are far cheaper to visit and even the larger cities will be less overrun by tourists by comparison.

6. Iceland and Scandinavia

Hypermodernity, otherworldly charm, fantastical creatures, and repulsive culinary traditions. These are the things that immediately come to mind when I think about Iceland and Scandinavia. I simply can’t get away from my sheer fascination for these places.

Known to be some of the safest countries in the world and blissfully void of any terror alerts, these countries can top the list for anyone wanting to combine safety with a fascinating history and unparalleled natural beauty.

When I was a child, these places spoke to me because in their legends they were home to creatures like trolls and elves. Now, admittedly, they still speak to me for that reason, but with the added thrill of knowledge and adventure.

They are a bit more expensive than your average European country but if you can budget for them, visit them. You will not be disappointed.

7. History and Nature in Typical, Tucked-Away Places

Yes. Europe is the right place for any history buff. With a history full of war and violence but also enlightenment and stunning works of art, you can pick and choose to visit whatever interests you or look to make an exciting combination of everything.

For me, Florence will always have a special place in my heart. I will never forget the first time I arrived in this city. It was late, it was raining, and the magnificent Renaissance buildings were all lit up, turning my mood from tired and grumpy to utterly captivated.

Florence is, of course, part of those rather typical Europe destinations anyone has on their list. But if you feel confident to try something new, don’t hesitate to visit the still largely ignored Central and Southeast Europe. From Transylvanian castles in idyllic landscapes to the tragic histories from recent memory in countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina, a similar diversity can be found here. Suitable for those on a much smaller budget, rich history and beautiful nature can be found in abundance.

Be sure to visit the Czech Republic, home to some eerily beautiful national parks and the inspiring city of Prague. Expand your travels further towards the east and south, if you wish it. Pass through the countries of Austria, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, and definitely make a stop in Croatia as well. Visit the distinctive Old Town in Dubrovnik, the coastal city known Split, draped over 4th-century Roman ruins and terraced lakes joined together by waterfalls, …

The best way to discover these countries, known for their rather expansive natural beauty and towns and castles tucked far away, would definitely be by car. You will be able to reach those more remote places you would otherwise find no access to and get the most out of your trip.

HOW TO TRAVEL

8. Couchsurf!

If you are looking for a great way to combine safety with an authentic experience, consider couchsurfing. You will be received by people who are passionate about their country or city and willing to show you their culture through a local’s eyes. This will be extremely valuable for obtaining some cultural wisdom a well as giving your wallet a bit of a break.

9. Hostels

If you are looking to forge your own little community while traveling, stay at hostels. Here you are far more likely to find like-minded people who also stay there just to find fellow travelers to share some moments with. This can also add greatly to your own safety and perhaps you can decide to visit more remote places with a group of new friends you met while staying here. 

10. What to Pack

I pointed out briefly before that embracing simplicity is the best way to go for any traveler. I have always been a light traveler and only take what I need for some basic comfort. Remember that as long as you have the necessities, you are perfectly fine as anything else you feel you are missing can always be picked up during your travels.

If you are a wise shopper, you can even do this in a way to help local communities instead of contributing further to mass production.

A budget traveler in heart and soul, I would cheap out on many things but never when it comes to hiking equipment or backpacks. I have had trips where everything broke but my hiking boots and backpack because they are the only two things of high quality that I own. They will be expensive, but they are investments worth making.

For those of you looking for tips in this, my backpack is a Deuter Aircontact (it is so comfortable, it literally feels like it is part of your body!) and my hiking boots are a waterproof Timberland ankle boot for women. Click the links to check them out!

11. Study Abroad

Many students take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad for a semester or a year. If you can, don’t hesitate. If you are studying Spanish, study in Spain for a while. From here you can visit some other countries in your time off as well and experience the pleasure of making new friends on the other side of the world.

Studying abroad will contribute hugely to your education as well as personal development. You will have been exposed to diversity and an international environment at a young age, which will only benefit you in the future.

12. Work Programs

If you definitely want to travel but want to immerse yourself in the local culture as well, look into work programs available in Europe. Many women opt for the job of Au Pair. A wonderful job and the children will certainly teach you a lot, but perhaps rather restricted if you are looking to be introduced to different classes and different types of people.

If would like to work in your own field or even pursue a passion, you should definitely try to find something in that. When I was younger, I was obsessed with horses. This obsession was passed on to me by my aunt. I remember her telling me stories about her travels and these around Europe were funded by her working on different farms and stables across the continent. I always found this very inspiring and have pursued some projects around the world based on my passion as well. 

If you find this sort of thing a little risky and would like something a bit more organized, look into internship options or maybe even seasonal work in tourism or fruit picking. Think about what you would most like to do and explore your options from there.

13. Just Have Fun

The most important part? Just enjoy yourself. Take the required precautions and always stay aware, but don’t let it keep you from getting the full experience you desire. Whether it is history, wilderness, a cultural immersion or all of the above, this is your trip and you should definitely make the most of it!

Thanks for reading!

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Can You Bring A Razor On A Plane? (Updated for 2020)

Can You Bring A Razor On A Plane? (Updated for 2020)

Can You Bring A Razor On A Plane?

 

can you bring a razor on a plane

 

This is a common question that gets asked all the time. It can be confusing to figure out what you can and can not bring on board a plane in your carry on luggage bag. Luckily for us, the TSA makes it easy for us to research and find out. Keep in mind that many rules can be different for each airline, so it’s important to always check with your carrier prior to travel to confirm if your items are allowed on board. 

 

Can you bring a razor on a plane in your carry on?

 

The answer is yes! You can bring a razor on board a plane. But not every type of razor is allowed. For example, a disposable razor is allowed, but a razor-type blade such as a box cutter and razor blades not in a cartridge are prohibited. 

You can also bring a safety type razor on board without the blade attached. The device will generally be allowed as long as the razor blade is not installed. Box cutters are a good example.

Keep in mind that the final decision on whether or not an item is allowed on board rests with the TSA security agents. Always make sure your carry on items are packed properly and made available for inspection as you go through the security checkpoints. They have the right to confiscate any item they feel necessary. 

Here is a great example of a razor that is allowed on board. The Gillette Fusion Pro Glide. This is the exact razor I use and pack in my carry on every time I travel. Don’t forget the blades, the razor will come with some, but you may want extras. Blades here

 

Can you bring disposable razors on a plane?

 

Yes, you can bring disposable razors on a plane. Remember to pack them safely. You can also pack them in your checked luggage bag. According to the TSA website, any sharp objects in checked bags should be sheathed or securely wrapped to prevent injury to baggage handlers and inspectors.

 

 

Can you bring a straight razor on a plane?

 

Nope. Nada. Not gonna happen. Straight razors are strictly prohibited on board a plane in your carry on bag. Although you can pack them in your checked luggage bag, providing they are properly packed and wrapped to prevent harm to baggage handlers and TSA agents. 

 

Is shaving cream allowed on a plane?

 

Chances are if you are bringing a razor on board a plane, you might want to bring shaving cream. Yes, shaving cream is allowed providing you stick to the carry on liquids rules. 

Shaving cream is considered a liquid, therefore must follow the liquids rules. So no more than 3.4oz or 100ml in size and must be packed in a clear zipper tight bag. 

You can pack larger quantities of shaving cream in your checked luggage but it still must be packed properly to avoid a huge mess if it leaks.

 

Can you bring a beard trimmer on a plane?

 

carry on board beard trimmers

 

Yes, you sure can! There are many types of electric beard trimmers you can carry on board. I recommend the Phillips Norelco One blade Pro. I use this exact trimmer and am very happy with it. It works amazing for me, and it is easy to travel with. Very convenient and affordable. 

I recently wrote an article about the best beard trimmers you can carry on board a plane. Feel free to read that as well. 

 

Using an electric razor overseas

 

If you are traveling internationally or overseas, it’s important to know that not all countries use the same power outlets. Plug styles and voltage are not the same everywhere you go. 

I always recommend using a universal power adapter that will allow you to use your current device, whether its a razor, cellphone, trimmer, etc.. There are many types of adapters to choose from, but this is a good one. 

You should also consider a dual voltage shaver or electric razor if traveling overseas. For safety purposes, it is a smart idea. The Phillips Norelco Electric Shaver is a great choice.

So if planning an international trip, consider a universal plug adapter and a dual voltage shaver. This will prevent any issues with plugin types and voltage issues in different countries. 

 

So, hopefully, that answered your questions regarding bringing a razor on a plane. Feel free to leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts and experiences with this. 

Thanks for reading!

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Do you need a star on your driver’s license to fly?

Do you need a star on your driver’s license to fly?

Do you need a star on your driver’s license to fly?

Copy of Texas Driver's License with a gold star on it

 

From October 2020, federal agencies will no longer accept identification cards and driver licenses issued at the state level without stars on them.

 

Not everyone owns a passport, which is a federally issued document, especially if they are not international travelers. For domestic flights, a state-issued document like a driver’s license is all you need.

 

However, according to a law called the REAL ID Act, air travelers in the United States require a driver’s license that complies with the Real ID requirements when traveling within the United States of America.

Other documents that people will be able to use are passports or the U.S. Military card. Most people use a driver’s license to get through security though. This law means that your driver’s license MUST comply with TSA’s requirements for you to fly domestically. A complying license will have a star on it. Does yours?  

 

The U.S. Congress introduced this law in 2005 after the 9/11 event. It was one of the security measures set forth in the wake of one of the most significant attacks against the United States of America on its own land. It is meant to set minimum standards of security for identification documents issued at the source. These documents include identification cards and driver’s licenses. 

 

From October 2020, federal agencies will no longer accept identification cards and driver licenses issued at the state level without a star on them. It is important to remember that airports are federal facilities. As such, your domestic travels in the USA will be limited to your compliance with the Act.  

 

Does Your Driver’s License Have a Star On It?


To check whether your license has a star on it, check near the top right corner of the card. The star will either be gold or black. 

 

Some states already have enhanced driver’s licenses that comply with the Real ID requirements. Such enhanced licenses do not have a star, but they have the United States of America flag on them. Some of the states that issue both the enhanced driver’s licenses and the Real ID include New York, Minnesota, Vermont, and Michigan. Washington, DC, only issue an enhanced driver’s license, which is also acceptable. 

  

There are other states that already have driver’s licenses that do not have a star but comply with the other requirements from TSA and Homeland Security Agency. These states include Hawaii, Utah, Ohio, and Tennessee. If you are from these states, it is highly recommended that you confirm with your state whether you will need a replacement or not. 

 

You can also tell if your identification card or driver’s license meets the requirements of the Act by checking if it has any of the two phrases below:

  • Federal Limits Apply
  • Not for Federal Identification


What does a star on your driver’s license mean?

The star on your driver’s license certifies that you have met the Real ID Act requirements. This means that the citizenship of the holder has been verified by a state department like the DMV that issued the ID. 

 

How do you get the star on your driver’s license?

The star is given during the application of the state-issued documents. You will need to present more identification documents during your application for your citizenship to be verified. These documents can include your birth certificate, proof of your residential address, and your social security card.

 

If you have a driver’s license without a star, you will need to visit the DMV in your state to replace it with one that has a star.

Additional information can be found on the Department of Homeland Security’s site here: state compliance and state implementation

If you have additional questions, the Department of Homeland Security has a great FAQ here. and this video below.

 

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Why do my Ankles and Feet Swell When I Fly on a Plane?

Why do my Ankles and Feet Swell When I Fly on a Plane?

Why do my Ankles and Feet Swell When I Fly on a Plane?

 

 

woman holding feet that hurt from a flight on an airplane

 

Many people experience feet or ankles swelling when they fly because sitting for an extended period with your feet on the floor like you do on a plane, makes it hard for blood to flow freely in your legs, which then leads to pooling of the blood in the veins of your legs.

In addition to this, this position also increases the pressure in the veins of your legs. When this happens, blood and other fluids move into the surrounding soft tissues, which in turn causes the swelling some people experience in their feet and/or ankles why they fly. This condition is referred to as gravitational edema and is typically harmless and usually only lasts for a short time once you land.

A few things you can do to take care of your feet and ankles

Don’t worry, there are a few things you can do to help remedy your swollen feet and swollen ankles before, during and after you fly. They are pretty simple and just take a little planning ahead. 

Before Your Flight

  • Wear loose clothes like dresses or sweat pants when you fly.
  • Try to be active in your daily life. Travelers who exercise more in their life are less likely to experience this phenomenon compared to those without an active life.   
  • Seek medical attention before flying if you are at risk of getting blood clots. 
  • Get yourself a pair of compression socks. Compression socks are used to improve the flow of blood, reduce pain and swelling, and to lower the chances of contracting deep vein thrombosis.  
  • Put on comfortable shoes like a pair of flats, sandals or tennis shoes that have plenty of room for your feet. 
  • Drink plenty of water the day of your flight.

During Your Flight

  • Do not sit for more than an hour during your flight. Try to walk up and down the aisle every hour or so to relieve the pressure on your legs. 
  • Do not cross your legs for long periods of time. This restricts the flow of blood throughout your legs. 
  • Shift and change your sitting position as much as possible. 
  • When seated, try to extend and flex your knees, calf muscles, and ankles frequently. 
  • Dehydration will also lead to swelling, so try to stay hydrated throughout the flight. 
  • While drinking fluids during the flight is highly recommended, avoid alcoholic drinks or taking any sedatives. They will make you unsteady and even sleepy, making it difficult for you to move around the aisle.

After Your Flight

If you have a layover, try not to sit down again once you have deplaned. Walk around the terminal to exercise your legs and relieve the pressure. If you need to sit down, find an elevated place for you to put your feet up or a place to keep your legs stretched.

If you were in laced shoes, loosen your shoelaces and try to massage your feet by pressing the soles.

Another solution to relieve the swelling is by soaking your feet in lukewarm water with Epsom salts for 15-20 minutes. After that, try massaging your feet lightly and keep them in an elevated position when you are seated or lying down.

 

If you experience leg pain when flying

If you already know you will experience pain in your legs when flying, you can start by upgrading to a seat with sufficient room when checking in. If none are available, request for a seat next to an exit row. This will give you more room to stretch your legs during the flight. 

Additionally, keep flexing and rotating your feet and ankles, and walk around the cabin every 30-minutes or so. Combine these things with the suggestions above and it should help. I really like using compression socks and have loved these ones.

 

When to get medical help

After landing and resuming your regular activities, your feet and ankles should be back to normal within a few hours. If this does not happen, especially if you are experiencing pain of any kind, then seek medical advice. This could be a sign of more severe issues like deep vein thrombosis, which occurs when there are blood clots in your legs. 

 

Seek medical attention if

 

  • Swollen legs don’t return to their normal size within a few hours
  • If only one leg or ankle swells
  • You experience shortness of breath or chest pains in addition to pain or swelling

 

Hopefully, you have found this article helpful. There are things you can do to help your feet and ankles when you fly from becoming swollen. They might seem like a bother, but they will help. If you try them and are still having issues, definitely see a medical professional for personalized advice.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

 

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Why Do My Ears Hurt When I Fly?

Why Do My Ears Hurt When I Fly?

Why Do My Ears Hurt When I Fly?

 

little girl ears hurting and plugged up on flight with earache

 

Many people are in the dark when it comes to understanding why their ears hurt when they fly. In this article, we break down why your ears hurt when you fly and what you can do about it.

If you have ever flown before then you likely know that when a plane is taking off or landing you are susceptible to an earache. But why is this the case? Sometimes when a person travels in one direction either up or down in a short time period, they feel a slight earache.


Why Do My Ears Hurt When I Fly?

When a person moves either closer to or further from Earth’s center of gravity, as is the case during the takeoff and landing of a plane, there is a shift or change in air pressure. Since the eardrum is located between two air-pockets, namely the ear canal and the middle ear, changes in air pressure can affect the position of the eardrum.

During takeoff, the change in pressure causes the eardrum to be slightly pushed outward, and during landing, the opposite occurs. This push or pull that your eardrum experiences is the root cause of any pain or discomfort felt in the ears when flying.

 

How Do I Stop My Ears From Hurting On A Plane?

To stop ears from hurting on a plane, try to equalize the air pressure felt in your ears. This can be done in several ways. Blowing gently through your nose, while pinching your nostrils together and preventing the air from passing through your nose or mouth is one way. 

There are some other very easy measures a person can take to stop their ears from hurting on a plane. 


For Adults

  • Swallowing consistently during take-off and landing, having a drink handy helps
  • Chew on a piece of gum
  • Suck on hard candies
  • Use the Valsalva Maneuver
  • Open your mouth wide and attempt to yawn

 

The above techniques can help tremendously to stop your ears from hurting on a plane. The last technique is a variation of the first one mentioned, the Valsalva maneuver, is one that does not require any additional products. Instead, simply close your eyes, take a deep breath in, pinch your nose, and then try to force air out of your nose until you feel your ears pop. That works for a majority of people to stop any ear discomfort. If you’re more of a visual learner, check out the video below. 

 

 

 

For Children

  • Drink a juice box during takeoff and landing
  • Suck on a hard candy if the child is over 3 years old
  • Suck on a pacifier (or “dummy” in the UK)
  • Try to yawn
  • Use the Valsalva Maneuver

 

Or check out the video below for an additional idea.

 

 

How Do I Unblock My Ears After A Flight?

Sometimes, even when you try to stop your ears from hurting on a plane, you may feel that your ears are still blocked after a flight. Here are some tips to unblock your ears after a flight or help with ear discomfort or ear pain after you fly:

 

  • The Valsalva Maneuver
  • Apply a warm compress
  • Try steaming (placing your ear over a pot of steaming water)
  • Use olive oil or hydrogen peroxide ear drops

 

When To See A Doctor?

Sometimes, flying can be quite harmful to your ears. In serious cases, you may need to see a doctor if you have experienced extreme pain in your ears during or after a flight. If you feel serious pain, experience bleeding or fluids draining from our ears, muffled hearing or some hearing loss, see a doctor within a few days of flying.

 

 

 

Thanks for reading.

 

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