Jingle Hells: Six Holiday Travel Faux Pas and How to Prevent ThemPosted by Maggie Milstein
As George Bernard Shaw wrote, “A perpetual holiday is a good working definition of Hell.” Modern travels come with their share of perpetual and inescapable misfortunes; screaming babies, airplane bathrooms, and flight delays can turn a relaxing trip into an existential journey. Holiday travels come with their own set of lower demons, which seem as predestined as fruitcake, coal, and re-gifted Brookstone products. However, there are effective ways to avoid these sinful six holiday travel faux pas without tempting the fates.
1) People Who Bring the Flu on a Plane
I know you might be thinking: But you cant avoid bringing the flu on a plane! Sick passengers arent to blame! Wrong. Take it from Matt Damon: contagion could be your biggest failure of 2011. Of course, there is an asymptomatic stage of the flu, called the incubation period, that can spread the disease. However, this stage lasts only about a day before the onset of symptoms. The majority of transmission occurs five to seven days after a person becomes sick, meaning that about 87% of people who spread the flu know that they have it. Over 200,000 people are hospitalized every year due to flu complications, and many patients (mostly young children, pregnant women, and the elderly) pass away. Poorly ventilated tight spaces, like planes, trains, and Michelle Bachmans vagina, magnify the spread of disease by concentrating germ particles for extended periods of time. Basically: if you know you have the flu and decide to board a plane, you may be committing manslaughter. Seriously.
For more information on how keep the flu out of your travel plans, please see: Get These Motherfucking Aches of this Motherfucking Plane: How to Prevent the Spread of Flu During Holiday Travels
2) Flying Under the Influence
Have you ever planned a romantic vacation with your significant other, only to be placed next to an un-seasoned alcoholic on a three hour, poorly ventilated flight across the Midwest? Do you know how many airsick bags a single drunk can fill while not giving the slightest damn about his surroundings? Do you know what upchucked pretzels smell like at 10,000 feet? Because I do.
High altitudes drastically increase the effects of alcohol on the body and can turn an unsuspecting oenophile into a mile-high lush. As altitude increases, cabin pressure drops, resulting in a mild decrease in blood oxygen. Cabin humidity is usually kept around 20% (its normally 40-70%), which can cause significant dehydration. These unusual conditions, paired with travelers fatigue, amplify the effects of alcohol, often resulting in obnoxious behavior, poor coordination, and, of course, projectile vomiting.
How to Prevent a Vom Scare:
Try not to drink at all before or during a flight. A moderate BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) will feel much different in the air than it does on the ground, which may result in some unexpected consequences. If you absolutely must drink before or during a flight, don’t let your BAC rise above .03 (the threshold before impairment begins). Keep in mind that a single drink equals:
• One 12 oz. beer
• One shot of 80 Proof liquor or
• One 4-5 oz glass of wine.
A BAC tracking application like DrinkTracker (iPhone) or Blood Alcohol Calculator (Android) will help you keep your BAC at a minimum so you can enjoy your flight without going down in the douchebag hall-of-fame.
3) People Who Heavy Scents on a Plane
Marshmallow Fireside. Vanilla Bean Noel. Pink Sugarplum. Gucci Guilty. These scents might transport you to a winter wonderland, but in a cramped, dry, poorly ventilated airplane cabin, they can make you smell like bad Santa.
Stop the Smell in Your Noel
Instead of masking your traveler’s scent with a candied odor, take the opposite approach and stop your stank before it ever begins. Don’t leave home without these gender-neutral products that will help you fly completely undetected:
1. Gillette Odor Shield All Day Clean Body Wash
2. Neutrogena Clean Shampoo and Conditioner
3. Gillette All Day Fresh Clinical Strength Advanced Anti-Perspirant Deodorant
4. Salon Grafix Invisible Dry Shampoo
5. New Balance Shoe Deodorizer
6. Wet Ones Antibacterial Hand Wipes
7. Oral-B Brush Ups
8. Listerine Pocket Pak Oral Care Strips
4) The Security-Check Challenged
I believe the great battle between good and evil will occur at a TSA security checkpoint. This airline equivalent of the final hour separates the weak from the strong in a giant flesh pit best rendered in Michelangelos The Last Judgment
Before prostrating ourselves in front of the great body scanner of truth, we try to rid ourselves of all our sinful metallic and liquid delights. Yet, there are some who waiver in their faith, holding onto that last Vitamin Water until they are caught, holding up the line and postponing any possibility of riding that great winged beast into the sky.
Get It In, Get It Out, Get It On: Tips On Getting Through Security Check Without Having Everyone Hate You
Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) from Up in the Air taught me everything I know about getting through post-9/11 security checks. If you havent already seen it, add it to your NetFlix queue and thank me later. Until then, here are some extremely helpful--albeit ridiculousvideos for you to consider.
5) People Who Hog Electrical Outlets
If you have ever walked into a coffee shop filled with hipsters with Macs, then you understand the unbridled rage that results from the lack of available electrical outlets. Multiply this indignity by a thousand, and you have a holiday at the airport. And there’s always that person who uses separate plugs to charge his computer, iPhone, iPod, Game Boy, Blue Tooth PS3, and other electrical accouterment, leaving you with two bars and a prayer. A redneck who leaves his Christmas lights on until July has nothing on the airport hipster, who is responsible for the majority of rolling airport blackout (and smackouts).
How to Not Be “That” Guy
Invest in an external USB hub, like the Belkin Hi-Speed USB 2.0 Pocke Hub. You can plug all of your devices into and then attach it (like a USB stick) to your laptop. That way, when you charge your computer, you are also charging all of your other gadgets without taking up another electrical outlet. This really isn’t rocket science.
6) People Who Spill Over Their Seats
This is an issue that heated every high school debate team tournament: if someone takes up two seats, should they have to pay for two seats? Should preventable conditions, like morbid obesity, be fully (and freely) accommodated? Should a dialysis machine and a butt cheek receive equal treatment? Most airlines do not allow people who take up two seats to get their second seat free, unless the person’s condition is not preventable and/or involves life-saving machinery. If an airline put a person in the situation where they had to choose between paying for a seat and their dialysis machine, that would be in direct violation of a person’s right to stay alive on an airplane. People who require two seats to rest their girth often attempt to squeeze into one, impeding on their neighbors’ ability to enjoy (OK, tolerate) a flight. It also leads to a lot of unwelcome physical contact, which often infringes on both passengers’ right to privacy.
Mile Thigh Club: How to Prevent A Spill
If you are too overweight to fit into one seat, purchase two. The person sitting next to you on the flight deserves to be treated equally and not have their personal space significantly violated. And yes, you also deserve to be treated equally, even though it may seem that buying a second seat is unfair. When you purchase an airline ticket, you are paying for an experience that is equal to that of every other passenger on the plane. If the price doesn’t match the experience, it has to be raised. As an American, you can be as overweight as you want to be, but you don’t have the right to molest your neighbor.