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The twins arriving in India. Photo credit Dana Zucker, Triathlon Traveling Mom.

Dana’s teens are headed home after a six-week journey that took them through Europe and India.  Here she shares her tips for making their teen air travel home much easier.

My twins begin their 27 hours of travel today from their hotel in Delhi, India, home to Omaha, Nebraska,  Teen air travel can be challenging and this is not going to be an easy journey, so I wanted to share how they’ll make it through.

Please note: They received all these reminders via the whatsapp international texting free feature.  And for my effort, all I got was a “we know mom” and a Skype call to show me they had on tridaddy’s compression socks and tights.

The twins’ day will include 16 hours from Delhi to Newark, landing the next day at 4:30 AM. That’s followed by a three-hour layover; a flight from Newark to Chicago; another 35-minute layover; before heading on to Omaha and into my arms.  We’ll go straight from the airport to Wilson and Washburn for burgers and fries and then home for a shower and their own beds. Catching up will have to come later…

10 Tips For Easier Teen Air Travel

  1. Wear compression tights or socks.  They really work.  Why?  After hours of your legs being inactive from sitting and little movement in long-haul flights, the leg muscles that assist in pushing blood back to your heart start to become inefficient. This causes all-over circulation to slow down.  The compression socks and tights help promote circulation.  We’ve learned this well through ourtriathletes.

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    The twins in their compression socks. Photo credit Dana Zucker, Triathlon Traveling Mom.

  2. Use SeatGuru to pick seats.  The twins are flying on airlines we cannot get an upgrade on, so picking seats is a priority.  I know my kids and how they rest best, so I use SeatGuru as a guide.  I look for seats that are just in a pair or have a window and middle. On long-haul flights, when you are trying to reset your body clocks, sleep is a priority. So, the window seats allow one to rest on the window and the other to rest on the twin.
  3. Purchase a seat upgrade.  It really is not crazy for two reasons.  First, the space is priceless and second it usually includes luggage fees and early boarding.  The twins did get upgraded to have an empty seat between them and better food and free baggage for $149 each.  It was well worth it given the 9 hour red-eye flight and a baggage fee alone of $60 each.

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    Happy after their upgrade. Photo credit Dana Zucker, Triathlon Traveling Mom.

  4. Get to know your flight attendants.  The nicer you are to them, the nicer they are to you. My kids are sweet in general and so cute, but also like to talk to people.  They become fast friends and often get some extras from flight attendants.  When traveling alone, they have even been upgraded after take off.
  5. Drink LOTS of water.  We always carry on water bottles.
  6. Plan your flight time based on the time zone you are traveling to.  The twins will board at 11pm India time. There’s a 10.5 hour time difference, so that’s 12:30pm Omaha time.  They will board and take an afternoon nap.  Luckily, they have been up since 6am exploring Delhi some more, so should have no trouble falling asleep. They had a very late lunch at 3pm so it will be about 2pm Omaha time when they are settled in and ready for a nap.  They will set their watches for a 3-hour nap and be up by 6pm Omaha time and ready for dinner (they will carry on just in case the airlines schedule is off). After dinner, they will work hard at staying up until at least 9pm Omaha time, then sleep the rest of the flight.
  7. Wear a lightweight scarf.  This can be used for so much, but most importantly for me, to cover your mouth and nose from others spreading germs.  A lot of coughing and sneezing occurs on planes, plus it can protect you from bad smells…just saying it happens.
  8. Get up and move and do in-seat stretches,  Most airlines will play the videos every few hours. Do them!
  9. Be grateful.  You have had the opportunity to travel the world, so appreciate the flight.  Don’t be mean or grumpy.


    Our long-haul travel kit. Photo credit Dana Zucker, Triathlon Traveling Mom.

  10. Pack a long-haul kit.  Make sure you pack a long-haul kit with all you need.  Lip balm, toothbrush, wipes, lotion, Advil and any of your must-have options.  Then use it to freshen up.

So, there you have my words of wisdom or 10 tips for making those 27 hours of teen travel easier.  Here are a few other articles that may just make your traveling a lot easier:

How To Plan, Prep, & Pack Weekly Meals To Go

5 Tips to Avoid and Diffuse Tantrums While Flying

8 Race Recovery Travel Tips