Why Travel Makes You Awesome

It’s no surprise that traveling is good for the soul, but did you know that it’s also good for your character? People with wanderlust all agree that canvassing the world has changed them for the better. There’s no greater way to become a more well-rounded, compassionate, cultured person than to travel the world. If you don’t believe that traveling can change your life, read on to learn how sightseeing in some new countries can transform you into a better version of yourself.

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1. You become more gregarious

Even the most introverted of travelers learn to tap into their social side when they’re across the globe. When you’re in a new country around new people, you learn that you almost have to talk to strangers. You’ll need directions sometimes, or want a local’s recommendation and you have two choices: be tight lipped and waste time and money or start talking to the locals to get their help and guidance. You’ll find that you have more in common with people than you would have previously imagined and you may be surprised at how friendly other country’s citizens are! Some of the best friendships have come from striking up conversations in the oddest of places.

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2. More adaptable to changing plans

Travelers know better than anyone that they should always expect the unexpected. Flights get canceled, tours run late, you get lost, etc. The first few times these things happen, you may panic and stress yourself out. You can’t plan every detail, as much as you may try. But, seasoned explorers soon learn to roll with the punches and enjoy the experience sans the extra stress. Frequent travelers know that sometimes getting lost leads to a more beautiful path or that those dreaded delays can create new friendships. And that stress-free, laid back attitude can translate to a better perspective and more success in other areas of life, too.

Travel Services Worth Paying For

If you’re a frequent traveler, you know that there are countless programs and services that you can drop money on that claim to make your life easier when globetrotting. You could easily shell out thousands of dollars on travel services that you don’t really need or will never truly use enough to justify the cost. To help you decide which services are worth your hard-earned cash, we’ve compiled a list of the top 4 services that we think can’t be beaten!

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1. Global Entry

If you often fly internationally, there is no better service than Global Entry. This program allows you to breeze through some of the more aggravating aspects of flying internationally and it’s a must-have if you are impatient and dread waiting in lines. Nothing is worse than getting off a long flight only to fill out the annoying customs paperwork and then stand in the long customs line for 2 hours afterward. Believe us, the cost of global entry is worth every penny just for being able to skip to the front of that tedious line! There’s also no waiting for customs to open if you took a red-eye flight. If you have Global Entry, you can go through the automated kiosks while everyone else waits until opening time. You also get to breeze through security bottlenecks since global entry members get routed through TSA pre-check; so if you’re paying for that already, you might as well upgrade to global entry. And despite global entry being a U.S. based program, they partner with many airports that offer expedited arrival for pass-holders so there’s minimal wait time once you arrive at your destination. The Global Entry applications are valid for 5 years so there are no yearly annoyances that come with this program, and you can even get reimbursed for the application fee if you are an American Express customer or have the CitiPrestige card. 

What happens when there’s an in-flight medical emergency

Flying can be a scary prospect for some people, even when they’re perfectly healthy. There’s always that “what if” voice in the back of your mind wondering what would happen if you, or a fellow passenger, were stricken with a medical emergency during the few hours you’re stuck mid-flight.

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The good news is that you aren’t alone, and airlines take medical emergencies quite seriously. There are a number of precautions in place that can help to save lives during possible emergencies while in the air. If this is a fear of yours, read on to get the facts to ease your mind on your next flight.

 

1. Who (or what) Can Help

Airlines freely acknowledge that it isn’t an ideal situation for someone to get ill onboard a flight, so they have many procedures in place should the unthinkable occur. If someone passes out or becomes unresponsive, flight attendants are universally trained to administer basic first aid. There’s a standard medical kit on board, as well as a defibrillator for heart problems, and together those things can handle most medical issues. If there is a doctor or a registered nurse on board, they don’t legally have to volunteer to help during an emergency, but most do as an ethical obligation.

Things Your Pilot Wants You to Know

Do you ever wish that you could ask your pilot a hundred questions, like what if the plane is struck by lightning or what happens if you lose an engine? Considering that it’s mighty impractical to sit with your pilot for a heart to heart before takeoff, we’ve come to your rescue. We’ve compiled a list of 7 important things your pilot wants you to know that will help calm your nerves and answer those burning questions everyone has before a flight.

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1.) Auto-pilot isn’t what you think it is

Many passengers think that when a plane is on auto-pilot that pilots can slack off because the plane is basically flying itself through the sky, but that isn’t the case. Pilots still have to input all of the parameters to keep everything flying smoothly. The only thing it allows pilots to “slack off” with is that they need not have their hands on the wheel (or yoke) of the plane for the entire duration of the flight. But, believe us, they’re still very much engaged with flying the plane even when it’s on auto-pilot.

 

2.) Being on time is important

The Department of Transportation places more emphasis on flights arriving in a timely manner than they do on customer satisfaction. This means that if you don’t arrive at your gate on time, you’re not making it on to your flight. Pilots are no longer allowed to delay flights for tardy passengers, so get to the terminal at least an hour before your boarding time for a domestic flight and at least 90 minutes before an international flight.

 

3.) You shouldn’t worry about turbulence

Turbulence (or “sky potholes” as some pilots call them) can not cause a plane to crash. Turbulence is merely a shift in air currents and, thankfully, won’t ever cause a plane to drop out of the sky. But if the idea of a bumpy ride still sends your blood pressure sky-rocketing, try to book a seat in the middle of the plane where it naturally moves less. Also, try to book a flight in the morning when the ground isn’t heated to cause rough flying conditions. Keeping your seatbelt buckled at all times is always recommended by pilots, as well.

How to Get Over Your Fear of Flying

If you have a fear of flying, you’re not alone. More than a 5th of the population suffers from this same phobia. Despite the fact that you’re about 100 times more likely to die in a car accident than a plane crash, millions of people still start to hyperventilate at the thought of flying. Whether it’s because you’re afraid of heights or that you don’t like relinquishing control, a fear of flying can be debilitating if you’re a business person or have family across the country. But fear not! We’re here to give you time-tested tips on how to change your mindset and beat your fear of flying once and for all!

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Tip #1: Don’t let turbulence alarm you

Turbulence, although unnerving, is rarely a cause for alarm – yet most people end up soaked in sweat at the mere thought of a bumpy flight. But rest assured that turbulence is a very common occurrence and no plane has or will ever fall out of the sky from a gust of wind. Next time you’re on a flight and it starts to get a little rough, remember that birds and planes use air currents in the same manner; and how often have you seen birds just fall out of the sky from an air pocket?