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I’m a married 31 year-old who has been diagnosed with fibromylagia for 12 years. I am on a quest to raise awareness and help others by sharing information and staying positive. Read more
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Tips & Tools for Traveling via Airplane – Part II

In the last month I have taken five flights. With these flights fresh on my mind, I thought I’d write another post on tips for flying. Please read my first post, Tips & Tools for Traveling via Airplane – Part I for more tips on items I find helpful.

24 hours before my flight I check-in to my flight online. This gives me a chance to re-check my seat assignments, print my boarding passes, and depending on the airline, pay for my checked baggage. The less things I have to do at the airport, the better! I always aim to get to the airport 2 hours before my domestic flight departure time. I do this because I like to have plenty of time to check my baggage, go through security, buy water and any snacks, go to the bathroom and get a seat at my gate. With airlines, like Southwest, who don’t assign seats, this gives me time to make sure I get a special pass to board earlier and get an aisle seat. Once I arrived at the airport with much less time and the frantic rush of getting around the airport cased my entire body to be tense, which exacerbated my fibromyalgia symptoms. I like to sit while waiting at my gate, but before boarding starts I stand and walk around for awhile. This gives my body a break and stretches it out some.

When I board my flight I get situated, putting items I know I will want access to in my seat pocket. Getting in and out of my carry-ons can be difficult and uncomfortable. I have strained my neck muscles trying to maneuver items out from under my seat more than once. It is hard for me to concentrate on reading while I’m in public spaces, due to over stimulation from background noise. Because of this I rarely bring books on the plane. Instead I opt for magazines, they often require less concentration and I can easily take breaks between reading articles. Sometimes I also bring a sudoku book along. Noise Cancelling Ear Plugs can also be very useful for blocking out all those crying babies and people talking. Another option for blocking out noise, but also just for easy entertainment is listening to music. Most smart (cell) phones these days have the ability to play mp3s, so this activity doesn’t even require bringing another item along. The reason I always bring earphones is in case there is an in flight movie, but they also plug right into my HTC Hero phone.

airplane interior

Ready for take off!

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