‘Tis The Season For Sitting On A Tarmac

Posted By Debbie on July 12, 2013

I’ve had a few friends Facebooking wildly while stuck in multi-hour delays on planes sitting at the gate. I guess it’s time once again for Deb’s Travel Tips: Airports and Flying Edition!

Bring Water

It’s important to stay hydrated when flying. Security has you thinking you can’t bring beverages, and bottled water once you get past security is more expensive than a night out in NYC.

You CAN bring empty bottles/water containers through. TSA doesn’t have a problem with containers. They have a problem with liquids. So I bring a one-litre platypus (reusable bottle) or sometimes my one-gallon Camelbak hydration bladder thing. I fill it up from a water fountain (free and usually good-tasting) once I’m past security.

Bring Bars

Make sure you have at least 2 nutrition bars in your bag. These could be granola bars. I wouldn’t do more than 1 candy bar unless it’s Snickers. Candy is just not filling. I bring Luna bars or the new Zone Simple bars that are gluten free. At least two bars per person. They weigh just about nothing. Bring them. Sometimes I end up eating mine on the car rental lines. 🙁

Bring A Meal or Have JUST Eaten a Meal

Don’t board hungry assuming you’ll be there in 90 minutes. Anything can happen. Either have just eaten a good meal or bring one. I normally bring one. Both directions.

When flying from home, I normally get some good takeout (like beef and broccoli) and put it in my special reusable Rubbermaid thing that flattens when you’re done. Don’t go running to the store. They don’t make them anymore.

Beef and broccoli is a good choice since without dairy and with everything well cooked, it’ll stay good for a long time.

Sandwiches seem like they’re easy to take and store, but they have some strikes against them.

  1. Sometimes they have dairy on them, and that can start to go bleh or soggy. Mayo’s not dairy, but have you ever seen mayo after a few hours? Bleh.
  2. Lunch meat is typically salty and full of chemicals. That’s not good for you any day.
  3. Bread will typically mess with your blood sugar and make you feel hungry again sooner. It’s a real pile of empty calories.
  4. Unless you got your sandwich at a Jewish-style deli, chances are it had 3 pieces of meat. See above about bread, and this thing is just not going to be that filling that long.

On your way back, find decent food (even if you have to Yelp for it or drive the rental car a bit out of the way on the way to the airport). It’s worth it. In Anaheim, I Yelp’ed a great local taqueria that got great ratings. I brought the spicy sauce home for my boyfriend. He said it was the best he ever had. Guess where I’ll be stopping on my way back from my next Anaheim trip.

I was recently in Vegas. I went to Beijing 9 Noodle Company (or whatever it’s called) in Caesars. Got a sirloin beef and string bean to go, no rice. Wasn’t cheap. But man it was one of the best Chinese dishes I’ve ever had. Great quality. Ate it in the airport while waiting to board my delayed flight.

All better choices than the fast food and crap in the airport. Period.

Bring a Battery Pack

I have two 20,000 mAh battery packs that are rechargeable. That’s about 10 cell phone batteries for those keeping score. One of them can power a laptop or a USB device. The other can power 2 USB devices at the same time. You don’t want to run out of battery, especially if you’re sitting for hours on a plane before it even goes anywhere. Stay charged up with battery packs!

I get them on eBay from China. They’re like $25. They’re a little bigger than a deck of playing cards and not too heavy at all. Can’t go wrong having that for your many devices. The one that can power a laptop is the size of a small hardcover book and weighs one pound. It’s a bit more to carry but not by that much.

And those are some of my travel tips! Good luck!