14 HOURS TO DUBLIN, OR WAS IT 20?

In my experience, some great trips come with a bit of a rocky start. Almost like a right of passage. Well, trip to Dublin, you were right on cue.

With an emergency 4 hour medical stop in Bangor, Maine, followed by the ole' switch-er-oo of luggage (which we found out at the hotel upon opening Jeff’s bag finding an abundance of stuffed animals as opposed to men’s wear in his orange suit case), we were in for a test in travel patience right from the start. What were the odds that someone else heading to Dublin had the same ginger suitcase?!

Travel snafus aside, as I was contemplating writing this little intro, I became aware of the travel strategies that I always employ on overseas treks and they go a little something like this.

1. HYDRATION

If you have ever carried a water bottle on the plane and watched the pressure do it’s work on the bottle, you will get a sense of what may happen inside our bodies as we go through various altitudes. Check out this article for a full low down of flight hydration information. The biggest effect of dehydration actually occurs in the brain, something to consider if you are flying for an important business meeting.

My protocol is to hydrate with a liter of water before getting on the plane. Purchasing another liter for the flight, and repeating on all connecting flights where possible. I also carry a reusable shaker bottle where I fill up at any water station that I can find. This shaker bottle comes in handy for protein shakes as well.


2. FOOD

This is my area of specialty. Navigating food has become a game that I love to play. Starting at the airport of departure, in this case it was SFO, I go through the paces of ordering for pre-flight and on flight food sources. First stop is breakfast. In terminal 2 at SFO, they have done a fantastic job with outfitting great restaurant and flight food options. My first pick was fish tacos from Andale. I left the tortillas out of the mix and just had the fish, cabbage, beans, rice and salsa.

Second chain of action was to bring “on flight” goodies. The Plant Cafe has great whole food options. However, all salads these days have an abundance of fat included so I like to sort that out by separating the “wants”. In this case I chose getting my additional calories from jellybeans. Hey, it’s vacation.

The above photo is something to note. The items on the left are fat based. These items alone come close to 500 calories and around 55g of fat. That is more than most people need in one day! So, I place these items on the side and go to town on the items on the right which equate to about 300 calories with approximately 30g of protein and 30g of carbs. Plane meal accomplished.

Where do the jellybeans come in? Well, I have a sweet tooth AND, I like to nibble. I would rather treat myself to jellybeans throughout the trip than blow 500 calories on added fats. I stocked up on my treat bag at terminal 2. We will see how long these last...hopefully a couple of weeks, but like I said, it’s vacation.

3.MOVEMENT

Sitting on a plane for hours at a time drives me a little nuts. So when having options to take the stairs or walking anywhere in the airports, I quickly choose that. Additionally, as we were stuck on a flight from Philadelphia to Dublin, with an additional 4 hours of wait time, I was stir crazy and my butt had officially gone to sleep. As I was taking trips to the loo with all the hydration involved, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the bathroom had double the space of domestic flights sooooo, I took bathroom breaks as a moment to do 20 body weight squats and closed the lid of the toilet to perform some hamstrings stretches. As I shared this with Jeff, it was clear this wasn’t a “normal” thing. So I opted to share with the readers here on a way to keep that body somewhat awake.


4. SLEEP

Sleeping on a plane is a drag unless you are in first class. I watched Jeff, who is 6’4, try to get some shut eye. He finds the most ridiculous positions to sleep, resting his head on the seat in front of him, my lap, my tray table, head cocked to the side, head cocked to the other side. Poor guy, he is a travel trooper. Sleeping aids come in handy here. However, dose is a huge area of attention. We found an all natural sleep aid beverage and split it. Pairing sleep aids with jet lag can be a rough way to start a trip. However pairing sleep aids with getting on the local schedule is a dream. The day we arrived we went to bed at 10:00pm local time with a little help from NyQuil and found ourselves incredibly well rested and awake at 9:00am. Thanks NyQuil!!


All said and done for travel day 1, Dublin has been a wonderful welcome and Guinness was well deserved.