Eclipse Chasers Travel Far and Pack Traditions: Orange Pants and Dinky Doo


For Mandie Adams, the total solar eclipse on Dec. 4 will be the 12th one she’s seen. It will also be the 12th for her teddy bear, Dinky Doo.

Seeing it won’t be easy. The eclipse will be visible only on a sliver of Earth in Antarctica, the South Orkney Islands and the surrounding ocean. Ms. Adams, a rental-property owner who lives in Southend-on-Sea, England, flew from London to Madrid to Buenos Aires to the town of Ushuaia on the southern tip of Argentina. From there, she will board a 15-day eclipse cruise, which sails through the notoriously turbulent Drake’s Passage, to see just under 2 minutes of total eclipse darkness—if there aren’t clouds.



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Laura Whitmore shares her biggest exercise tip: ‘Always pack trainers’


The presenter is a huge fan of exercises you can incorporate into your day (Picture: Dare 2b)

Laura Whitmore is a presenter, best known for hosting Love Island on ITV 2.

She began her career as a video jockey at MTV and went on to present the reality show Survival Of The Fittest on ITV 2.

Away from broadcasting Laura is an author and model.

Her first book, No One Can Change Your Life Except You, was published in March and this month she launched her own autumn/winter sportswear collection in conjunction with Dare 2b, the leading sports brand.

What are your favourite exercises?

I love yoga and exercise that I can incorporate into my day such as walking the dog and running for a train.

Normally, I always have a pair of trainers in my bag because I travel a lot, and so no matter what country I’m in I can throw them on and go for a run or walk.

I remember working in Mexico years ago, doing behind the scenes at night on a James Bond film. I didn’t have time to see the city, but I got up super-early the next day and put on my trainers for a run around it.

What are your secret vices?

Drinking rosé wine, a lot, especially during the first lockdown!

Laura’s latest fitness goal is to get back into a routine (Picture: Dare 2b)

Any unfulfilled fitness aims?

During lockdown last year, I was loving my daily walks, but as soon as lockdown was over, I stopped doing them.

My fitness aim would be to go back to basics and keep up the routines that I adopted during lockdown, just to feel good and get energy. The more active I am the more energy I have.

How did the lockdowns impact you?

They made me feel very grateful for nature and for living near a park because going for a walk or walking the dog in nature became such an integral part of my day.

How do you relax?

With a bath. I love a bath and could be in it for an hour, until I’m shrivelled like a prune!

Any mood-boosting tips?

Just getting active by going out in the fresh air for a walk or a run, can change your mood drastically. I love sticking on a pair of headphones and listening to an uplifting podcast, while running or walking.

I do that especially if I’m getting stressed at work. Just removing myself from work, revives me.

Keeping active helps Laura cope with stress (Picture: Dare 2b)

How has your working life contributed to a healthier you?

My working life has not necessarily contributed to a healthier me because when you’re freelance you can end up working 24 hours a day and so it’s good to take a break. In fact, it’s important to take a break for the sake of your health.

What sportswear do you like to exercise in?

I like practical sportswear that you can layer up and mix and match, that is comfortable, and makes you feel good. [It’s for this reason that] I love Dare 2b.

You can layer everything from the sports bras to the vests and the fleeces to the gilets. Probably one of my favourite Dare 2b pieces are the rain macs because they’re so light and the hooded little jerseys ‘cos they’re great for layering.

Sometimes I feel like wearing all black [sportswear], but other times it’s nice to have a pop of colour to brighten my mood,

Do you have a story to share?

Get in touch by emailing [email protected].


MORE : Food as fuel: How to know if you’re eating enough for your exercise regime


MORE : How to use exercise to help you sleep better


MORE : How your genes influence which type of exercise works for you



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Pack Your Patience As Holiday Travel Rush Officially Gets Underway – CBS Miami


MIAMI (CBSMiami) — If you’re traveling over the holiday weekend, airport officials have three words for you “get there early.”

According to AAA, airports across the country, including here in South Florida, will see near pre-pandemic levels of travelers.

READ MORE: FDA Authorizes COVID Vaccine Boosters For All Adults

AAA predicts more than 53 million Americans are expected to travel over the holiday weekend, pointing to a sharp rebound in Thanksgiving travel.

The busy holiday travel season kicks off Friday, November 19, and runs until the weekend after Thanksgiving.

At Miami International Airport, longs lines began to form as early 5:30 a.m. Friday, the first day of the expected holiday travel rush.

“This was a surprise, I think everybody is surprised for this long [line],” said Melanie Noreaga, traveling to Puerto Rico.

READ MORE: Miami-Dade Schools No Longer Mandating Masks, Parental Opt-Out Form Eliminated

Anxious passengers at MIA expressed confusion at the long lines, telling CBS4 News they were directed to go to TSA checkpoint three to check-in for all gates. At the time, two other available check-in points had not opened yet.

Travelers who arrived at least two hours early that were stuck in long lines before TSA opened additional screening areas, told CBS4 News they were nervous about getting to their flights on time despite their early arrival.

“We did, but it’s ridiculous,” said Ralph Hernandez, who was headed to Cancun. “It’s ridiculous because they have two other checkpoints that they are not using and they’re sending everybody here. It doesn’t make sense” added Hernandez.

Just before 6:30 am TSA officials at MIA opened up another checkpoint for general passengers for all gates, creating less congestion at checkpoint three.

Travelers that spoke to CBS4 News say prior to the opening of other TSA checkpoints, the lines they saw were the longest they’ve ever since while traveling.

MORE NEWS: CVS To Close 900 Stores Over The Next Three Years

“Yeah, I’ve never seen it like this before this is a first for me,” said Noreaga.



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The most important thing you can pack for holiday travel this year is patience


Let me be clear, dear reader. People are traveling again. They’re partying like it’s 2019. But while the travelers have returned, staffing levels have not. This is not a drill: Reserve your rental cars ASAP. Get to the airport early. Read all the details of COVID-19 testing requirements for restaurants, bars, amusement parks, stadiums, or any country on your itinerary, and then read them again. Read the cancellation policy for your airline. Hopefully your experience will be smoother than Nicole Kidman’s forehead, but just in case, you need to be ready.

“It may sound cliche, but one of the most important things to pack this holiday season is your patience,” said Brian Hoyt, head of global communications at Tripadvisor. “You know the Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving and the Sunday after Thanksgiving are some of the busiest air travel days of the year, that will certainly be the case again. But we’re really going through this period of a tourism reset. We’re going to have a lot more chaotic days this season.”

One sector that has been hit particularly hard by staffing levels is the airlines. American Airlines and Southwest were both recently hammered by a combination of bad weather and staffing shortages. American announced last week that it is increasing pay for flight attendants to avert more cancellations and to appease angry passengers.

“With the airlines there’s recently been a lot of issues around staffing, and there are challenges there,” said Jonathan Kletzel, transportation and logistics leader for PwC. “I think that’s an addressable problem. Can it be addressed in time for the holidays? That’s a big question mark.”

According to Michael Taylor, practice lead for travel intelligence at J.D. Power, airline staffing shortages aren’t simply a matter of hiring more people.

“It’s rehiring and retraining,” Taylor said. “If a pilot hasn’t flown an aircraft in a year, they’re not going to just hop back into a 737 and merrily go down the runway. The airline and the FAA would like to check them out again, but they don’t build that many flight simulators. So you’ve got a backlog of those. It’s not as rigorous, but it’s the same thing with airline crew.”

It’s a perfect storm of staffing shortages and increased travel demand. A survey of 1,800 travelers from OAG, a company that provides flight information, intelligence, and analytics for airports, found that passenger counts were up 81 percent from June to August compared with the same period in 2020. The company anticipates the trend will continue through the holidays. Zeta Global, a marketing technology company, found that travel in 2021 is up 94 percent over 2020. But the 1,000 people surveyed by Zeta said that driving will still be their primary means of transportation for this holiday season, and that they’d still prefer to stay close to home.

Also, remember there isn’t simply an increase in domestic travel, but now you’ll be facing off against international travelers as well.

You have a few options in the event your flight is canceled — such as sitting in a corner at the airport and crying — but experts recommend taking a more productive approach.

“I’ve actually given this advice to my friends and colleagues,” Kletzel said. “First of all, download and familiarize yourself with the digital apps and the airline websites. Because if something does go wrong, the odds of being able to get in-person assistance is going to be fairly limited, so digital is going to be key.”

After getting to know your airline digitally, he said to start looking at the cancellation and change policies of airlines, hotels, and car rentals. He also recommends, if possible, buying status with an airline.

“I know it’s an additional cost,” Kletzel said. “But if you’re generally concerned about this, having status with an airline then puts you at the front of the line when there is a cancellation for the booking accommodation.”

Alaska Airlines planes are shown with Mount Rainier in the background at sunrise at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport earlier this year. One way to sidestep cancellations is to book the first flight of the day.
Alaska Airlines planes are shown with Mount Rainier in the background at sunrise at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport earlier this year. One way to sidestep cancellations is to book the first flight of the day. Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

Another important way to sidestep cancellations is to book the first flight of the day. Bad weather often creates a domino effect, and cancellations build throughout the day. Other simple steps can help save your sanity, such as making sure all of your devices are charged before you get to the airport, given the scarcity of power outlets in some terminals.

No matter how perfectly everything is planned, it doesn’t hurt to have a back-up plan. Kletzel even suggests a driving back-up plan. If your destination can be reached in 6, 8, or 10 hours by car, sometimes it’s more efficient to drive than fly if flight cancellations are stretched over days.

But (and this is where I’ll again cry wolf again, and mean it), remember that rental cars are not as plentiful as they were pre-pandemic. The advice from experts is to reserve your rental car even before you book the hotel. Don’t put it off until the last minute. Another tip — and rental car companies will not like this — but book from more than one company just to make sure. There’s no penalty for bailing on a rental.

In May, there was a long line to rent cars at Miami International Airport. The advice from experts is to reserve your rental car even before you book the hotel. Don’t put it off.
In May, there was a long line to rent cars at Miami International Airport. The advice from experts is to reserve your rental car even before you book the hotel. Don’t put it off.Marta Lavandier/Associated Press

“The shortage is acute in destination markets,” Taylor said. “There’s a shortage of cars, as we all know. Companies sold a lot of their fleets during the height of the pandemic because they wanted to conserve cash. But then demand came back faster than anybody expected. It’s not really anybody’s fault.”

Because you’ll potentially be facing large crowds out there, and COVID-19 loves large crowds, is it worth traveling at all?

“I think people need to travel,” said Dr. Teresa Bartlett, senior medical officer of Sedgwick. She advises companies and institutions on medical strategies and best practices. “They need it for their mental health. They need to see their family and their friends and have vacations and experience life.”

It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: Get vaccinated, get boosted, wear a mask over your mouth and nose, wash your hands, use hand sanitizer.

But first and foremost, just be nice to people. Don’t start punching fellow passengers or flight attendants. Don’t push, don’t yell, and smile a lot.

“Be nice to the employees,” Kletzel said. “People are just trying to do a job. In general, the nicer you are to the staff at the hotels and the employees at the airport, the better your chances of coming through the experience feeling good about the holidays.”


Christopher Muther can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @Chris_Muther.





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Travel experts warn to pack patience this holiday season | Coronavirus


After the COVID-19 pandemic kept many from vacationing or visiting family last holiday season, travel experts are expecting big numbers this year.

Chad Cotter, the general manager at TotallyTrips in St. Joseph, said several factors have caused travel demand to increase recently. In fact, he said, the travel industry has seen record sales.

“We are having better sales than we did in 2019, and it’s kind of that perfect storm of all those things coming together,” Cotter said.

He said not being able to travel last year has many people tired of being cooped up and ready to get back out. On top of this, people who planned to travel in 2020 received credits from canceled trips that need to be used before the end of 2021. Some people also have stimulus money to spend.

Nick Chabarria, AAA spokesperson at the St. Louis regional headquarters, said the demand for travel is back and that will be especially true through the holidays.

“People are wanting to travel more,” Chabarria said. “In fact, just October bookings for AAA travel are up about 30% from 2019 numbers at that time. So that means travel is back to where it was prior to the pandemic, and even then some.”

Both Cotter and Chabarria said travelers can expect large crowds at airports. Cotter said extra health regulations and travel restrictions will contribute to longer lines.

“The airlines are having to check those and police that basically before people get on the flights,” Cotter said. “You do need to allow more time at the airports because it is going slower because of the extra stuff the airlines are having to check.”

Chabarria also said airports will be more crowded than what had been seen this summer due to the U.S. opening travel back up to foreign guests.

“The biggest thing that we could tell folks is pack your patience when you’re at the airport or if you’re on the roads,” Chabarria said.

Along with an increase in travelers, prices also are expected to go up. People are booking holiday trips earlier than ever before, leaving fewer open seats on airplanes, rooms in hotels or keys to rental cars. Chabarria said when demand goes up, the prices will follow.

One of Chabarria’s tips to avoid headaches is to book early. AAA even recommends booking rental cars before airline tickets due to shortages. Booking early like this gives travelers the best options and more time to prepare when a flight cancellation occurs.

Another tip is to know the cancellation procedures. Both Cotter and Chabarria advise purchasing travel insurance that allows cancellations for any reason. This ensures that if someone gets sick or COVID-19 numbers begin to rise, a trip can be canceled easily.

Another tip is to speak with a trusted travel advisor who knows the travel restrictions. Cotter said TotallyTrips has seen a large increase in clients this year because people don’t want to have to figure out the COVID-19 restrictions on their own.

“There’s so many things that if you don’t do what’s required of you, the airline can keep you from flying,” Cotter said. “So, it’s very important to book with a travel agent who knows those restrictions and can guide you and tell you what to do, not only going to the destination but also for coming back, too.”

Cotter said most U.S. states only require a general health screening, except for Hawaii. It and most other countries will require a negative COVID-19 test or a health questionnaire to be filled out. Anyone who leaves the country will also have to perform these acts before coming back to the United States.

He said the popular spot this year seems to be Florida, as a lot of travelers are choosing to stay domestic. But for those who do want to go international, Cotter said Mexico and the Dominican Republic have the lightest restrictions right now.

Chabarria said driving still seems to be the preferred method of travel this year, and the busiest travel dates are still right around Thanksgiving and Christmas.





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How to pack light for your next hiking trip, according to expert hiker


Lighter equals faster equals staying ahead of the crowdsLighter equals faster equals staying ahead of the crowds — Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

The outdoors is in and everyone you know is taking to the trails this summer. This might lead to a bit more crowding than you’re used to, maybe even leaving your favorite trails as crowded as the local shopping mall, so just how do you zip ahead of the crowd and avoid the masses?

First on your list ought to be your gear and how you pack, as while you’ve been sitting indoors all this time, the innovative lightweight gear movement has continued to grow by leaps and bounds. Here are a few tips for ensuring that everything can fit in your pack, as well as making sure it isn’t pulling you back down the hill when you are trying to go up.

It’s all about base weight

The art of packingThe art of packing — Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

While the old adage when it came to backpacking (or just about any travel) was to fill your pack and then take out half of what was there, the new norm gives a bit more concrete advice. The idea is to focus on getting your base weight, meaning your pack loaded with everything except food and water, down to at least 15 pounds or less.

In order to do this, the most efficient route to take in shedding pounds is to focus not on cutting your toothbrush in half or snipping out the labels in your underwear, but rather to take a look at your “Big Three,” meaning those items that normally make up the bulk of your pack weight. Usually, this means your pack itself, your tent and your sleeping bag.

Ten years ago, my friends and I all were hauling lots of gear in big backpacks that weighed up to 7 pounds, and while these beasts did offer plenty of back or hip support, they also ironically caused plenty of back and hip damage just due to the sheer amount of torture we were inflicting on ourselves when loaded up.

Today, a wave of lightweight outfitters such as Gossamer Gear, ULA,and Hyperlite Mountain Gear are making packs that weigh around 2 pounds or less, getting rid of heavy top attachments, straps, padding and other bells and whistles. As long as you keep your pack weight under 30 pounds, these new packs all carry loads with plenty of comfort.

Light gear makes for content campersLight gear makes for content campers — Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

Old school tents were also heavy, originally made out of thick canvas, and even when made with waterproof or more breathable material, they still tipped the scales with separate rain flys, metal stakes and other attachments. The new ultralight tents today are being made from Dyneema Composite Fabric, also known as cuben fiber, a high-strength and low-weight fabric found in sails, which is not only light, but also totally waterproof.

A batch of small companies such as Tarptent, Six Moon Designs and Zpacks have been garnering attention for their simple strong tents that often use only a trekking pole to set up, eliminate heavy zippers, use titanium or other ultralight stakes, and come in at under 2 pounds. Many trekkers are even deciding to ditch the full tent and opt instead for just a basic tarp shelter, enough to stay dry under during a rainstorm and cut one’s gear weight even further.

The third item where you can save some weight is your sleeping bag. Down sleeping bags, while pricier and much slower to dry when wet, are far more compactable, lighter and warmer than synthetic ones.

Taking things even a step further, the lightweight gear revolution has now moved away from sleeping bags and towards quilts, where parts like hoods or zippers have been eliminated, and the bag is designed to cover the areas of your body that get the coldest. Check out Enlightened Equipment for some ideas.

Embrace multiple uses

A stove that fits in your pocketA stove that fits in your pocket — Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

There are plenty of items in your pack that can serve more than one purpose. For example, ditch that extra air pillow and use one of your stuff sacks instead. Opt for a pair of zippered cargo pants that convert from long to short instead of bringing a pair of shorts and a pair of trousers.

Rather than bringing along the proverbial kitchen sink, use your cook pot as a bowl as well, or even better, get a titanium cup that you can boil water in if you are opting for dehydrated meals that just require hot water.

Some ultralight hikers have taken to cold soaking, meaning putting food like instant potatoes, oatmeal or couscous into a container with cold water and leaving it to sit for awhile. It might not work for everyone, but it does eliminate the need for a stove and cookware.

But even going hot, these days you can find stoves like the MSR PocketRocket, a 2.6-ounce canister stove that will boil your water in less than 4 minutes and take up virtually zero space in your pack.

Merino is your best friend

The word cotton is verboten in the outdoor industry these days. Cotton is heavier than synthetic fabric and doesn’t dry as fast nor insulate when wet. But at the top of the clothing chain these days is merino wool, a natural fiber grown by merino sheep, which is lighter and thinner than traditional wool, as well as comfortable next to the skin.

Not only does it insulate and breathe, but it also doesn’t absorb bacteria-causing odor. Thus, you can wear merino socks, shirts and, yes, even underwear these days, without having to stuff your pack with multiple changes of clothing.

Scales and spreadsheets

Scales and spreadsheets are your friendsScales and spreadsheets are your friends — Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

Once you have your main items, it’s easy to fall in love with throwing in all sorts of last-minute things that will overload your pack. Do you really need your Aeropress for a weekend trip? Tip: Starbucks VIA packets will make you rethink instant coffee.

Leave “War and Peace” at home, or if you just have to read it, make sure it’s on a Kindle. The best way to help minimize excess weight is to get a small food scale and actually weigh every item you are putting in your pack and then mark it on a spreadsheet.

There’s even a website that will do all of this for you, LighterPack, where you can see exactly what items weigh, which part of your gear is the heaviest and set yourself on a course to actually enjoy your hike.

These days, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort to shave weight, and backpacking no longer has to be an endeavor in suffering. And with all that weight savings, you might even have room for a celebratory beer!



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Travel Experts Urge Travelers to Book Early and ‘Pack Patience’ This Holiday Season – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth




Travel Experts Urge Travelers to Book Early and ‘Pack Patience’ This Holiday Season – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



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Mourners pack Gabby Petito’s funeral as parents give emotional eulogies


A large crowd of mourners packed a public funeral service for Gabby Petito, the slain 22-year-old travel blogger, on Sunday afternoon in Long Island, near where Petito grew up in Blue Point, New York.

The service was livestreamed online and showed the full length of a wall in a chapel at Moloney’s Holbrook Funeral Home, decorated with photos of Petito. An altar at the front of the chapel was covered in flowers and memorial candles.

Petito’s parents and relatives sat in the front row of the chapel accepting condolences from friends, family and strangers.

A prayer card handed out to mourners contained a poem title “Let it be,” a phrase Petito had tattooed on her arm.

“Do not grieve for me for I am free. I am traveling a path the Lord has taken me,” the poem reads. “Be not burdened with times of sorrow. I wish for you the sunshine of tomorrow. Perhaps my time seemed too brief. Do not lengthen it with undue grief. Lift up your hearts and share with me the memories that will always be.”

During the service, Petito’s father, Joseph, and her stepfather, Jim Schmidt, former chief of the Blue Point Fire Department, spoke.

Joseph Petito described his daughter as having “ridiculously blue eyes” and told mourners that “her nature was always to smile and treat everybody kind.”

“I want you to take a look at these pictures, and I want you to be inspired by Gabby,” Petito said. “If there’s a trip you guys want to take, take it now. Do it now while you have the time. If there is a relationship that you’re in that might not be the best thing for you, leave it now.”

Jim Schmidt added that throughout his career as a firefighter he has had to arrange funerals and give eulogies but added, “not one of them has prepared me for this moment.”

He pointed out a photo behind him of Petito as a little girl and said, “I still see Gabby as this.”

“Parents aren’t supposed to bury their children. This is not how life is supposed to work,” Schmidt said.

He added, “Gabby, at 22 years old, helped teach me that you can always make money but you can’t make up for lost time. Gabby loved life and lived her life every single day. She is an example for all of us to live by, to enjoy every moment in this beautiful world as she did. To love and give love to all like she did.”

Petito’s mother spoke out the night before the funeral with a heartfelt message to supporters.

Nicole Schmidt posted a message on Facebook late Saturday night following a 12-day silence.

“As I scroll through all the posts, my heart is full of love,” Schmidt wrote. “I wish I could reach out and hug each and every one of you!!! Your support has been so overwhelming, and we are so filled with gratitude.”

Schmidt also posted a series of family photos of her daughter as well as images of Petito traveling, telling supporters, “Please know what you are all doing for us does not go unnoticed, and with all of you by our side, we will get #justiceforgabby.”

Petito’s body was discovered a week ago Sunday in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming after her family reported her missing on Sept. 11. She vanished while on a cross-country road trip with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, who authorities are still searching for and have named a “person of interest” in her death, which has been ruled a homicide.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Laundrie stemming from his alleged unauthorized use of a debit card to withdraw $1,000 during the period in which Petito was missing, according to the Associated Press. The FBI has not disclosed whose card Laundrie allegedly used.

Joseph Petito announced Saturday the creation of The Gabby Petito Foundation, which he said will provide resources and guidance to families of missing children.

“No one should have to find their child on their own,” he wrote on Twitter, “we are looking to help people in similar situations as Gabby.”

A vigil was held Saturday night in Florida for Petito.

People who were touched by her story gathered in North Port, Florida, outside the Laundrie home, attempting to convey a message to the family that they want justice for Petito.

Residents of Blue Point honored Petito on Friday night by lining streets in the city with thousands of memorial candles.



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Flight Attendants Reveal 13 Things You Should Always Pack In Your Carry-On


If you’ve flown recently and everything went smoothly from gate to gate, consider yourself lucky. Delayed and canceled flights seem to be more of the norm than the exception and challenges all airlines are experiencing. It’s draining for travelers, and especially the crews, so a passionate group of flight attendants with decades of experience shared their advice on what everyone should bring with them to the airport the next time you fly.

Blue water bottle on yellow background
(Maria Francesca Moccia / Shutterstock.com)

1. Water Bottle

Drink refills are no longer guaranteed on flights, according to our flight attendant experts. If you want more than one serving, be sure to bring your own water bottle and fill it in the concourse before you board.

Travelers also need to be prepared to spend more time than usual in the concourse due to delays. $5 for a bottle of water adds up, so bring a bottle you can continue to refill once you’re through security.

2. Snacks

There are a few reasons for this tip. Not all food service locations are open at airports, and the ones that are may have long lines. Once on your flight, some airlines aren’t allowing passengers to purchase food; others only have enough snacks for one per passenger. If you’re someone who’s looking for extra pretzels or you want to buy a sandwich once on board, it’s important to know those options may not be available and to bring your own.

3. Tennis Ball

Sitting for an extended period of time isn’t good for anyone. This handy piece of sports equipment can be transformed into an aid for achy joints and muscles if you’re spending longer than anticipated on your plane or in the airport. Prevention magazine has a few tips on how to best use a tennis ball to get a little pain relief. 

They still come in cans of three. Bring the entire can, and you’ll have the most relaxed row on your flight.

4. Pillow And/Or Arm Floaties

I must admit, using a pillow that a stranger likely drooled all over the flight prior always felt gross to me, but to each their own. However, the days of using airline pillows are over. Airlines aren’t supplying them thanks to the pandemic. Not only will a pillow keep you comfortable on the plane, our flight attendants say if you’re booked on the last flight out for the day, there’s a chance you end up spending the night at the airport. If you don’t want to travel with a pillow, our flight attendants suggest bringing a child’s blow-up arm floaty to help with lower back support.

5. Light Blanket

I’d add to this a light sweater or cover-up, but the reason for this is the same as above: Airlines simply aren’t supplying blankets to flyers any more. If you get chilly when you fly, be sure to put something you know will keep you warm in your carry-on, or just wear it onto the plane. 

Blue fan on pink background
(artstore / Shutterstock.com)

6. Fan

Keeping your cool during flight delays and cancelations can be tough, but a fan can help in the literal sense. You can go old school with a paper version or bring a portable one to use. You never know when you might be stuck on the tarmac without power — or if the vent above your seat will give you enough relief. 

7. Games And Toys

Keeping yourself, and those you’re traveling with, occupied during cancelations and delays is the key to keeping your sanity on the right side of that thin line. Grab UNO, Phase 10, or even just a deck of cards and put them in your carry-on. Budding artists may like a coloring book and crayons. Our flight attendants recommend hitting the dollar store before your trip to grab a few new toys you can surprise kids with during delays, just in case the other options aren’t satisfying at the moment.

8. Extra Movies And Books

This one doesn’t need much explanation. Load your device with whatever you use to keep yourself busy while flying and then add a few more to account for any possible delays or cancelations.

9. Headphones With A Cord

Wireless headphones and earbuds can last for hours, but bring a set of earpods that don’t need to be charged and can plug into your device just in case of the aforementioned delays and cancelations. 

Portable charger on purple background
(New Africa / Shutterstock.com)

10. Portable Charger

Avoid that sinking feeling you get when your laptop, kindle, or tablet battery starts telling you it’s running low on a flight by investing in a portable charger. I’ve not only used it on airplanes, but also at theme parks and other locations where a plug-in charger just isn’t an option.

11. Pen And Paper

Any woman with an affection for handbags likely has a few pens hanging out at the bottom of her purse. However, if you’re someone who doesn’t travel with a pen, add it to your list. Paperwork may be part of your flight experience if everything doesn’t go as smoothly as you hoped. You may also need to write down information announced over the intercom. Have a pen handy since the airline’s writing instruments could be in high demand.

12. Kindness And Patience

Tensions and delay times usually rise at about the same rate. Being kind to security folks, gate agents, the crew, and your fellow passengers is free, exerts less energy, and is just the right thing to do. Sermon over. 

13. Medicine, Keys, Important Documents

These items should always be in your carry-on in case your checked luggage gets lost, but our flight attendants say it’s even more critical to remember now, with the additional delays and cancelations happening. You don’t know if your luggage will end up where you do or how long you’ll be without it. 

Final Thoughts

Two more reminders: Arrive at the airport at least 1.5 hours before your flight (and even more depending on the airport), and all passengers are required to wear a mask, so don’t forget yours.

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