Don’t Let Airplane Ear Ruin Your Trip – Jetlaggin
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Don’t Let Airplane Ear Ruin Your Trip

Airplane ear is nothing to shake your head at and dismiss, instead use these foolproof techniques for getting rid of this all too common issue.

 

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Traveling can really take a toll on our bodies with the poor air quality on planes, cramped seating arrangements and someone coughing up a lung behind you. What about plugged or popping ears which can cause some serious discomfort and permanent damage if it’s not taken care of. Airplane ear is nothing to shake your head at and dismiss, instead use these foolproof techniques for getting rid of this all too common issue.

 

Ear Barotrauma

Airplane ear is technically called Ear Barotrauma, which roughly translates to ear pressure trauma. When the barometric pressure falls rapidly like when traveling on an airplane our ear is affected and can cause pain and discomfort. The pressure affects our Eustachian tube, which is a connection between our nose and ear that regulates air pressure. When you fly the barometric pressure can change quickly which collapses the Eustachian tube and interferes with airflow between the nose and ear. This is when the familiar clogged feeling happens and your trip goes form great to terrible.

If you have a sinus infection or common cold, this clogged feeling can get pretty serious and eventually can cause permanent damage to hearing and the Eustachian tube. It’s not uncommon to hear stories of people taking off with a small head cold and landing with a ruptured eardrum, caused by airplane ear.

The only way to remedy this painful situation is to open up your Eustachian tubes so air can properly flow between the ear and nose.

Try these three proven solutions to this all too common problem.

Pinch nose and blow softly

Warning: this technique if done improperly can cause serious damage to your ear and hearing, so pay attention and follow these directions clearly.

To pop your ears back in to normal, working order, simply pinch your nose and softly force air into your tube by blowing.   The real key here is to tilt your head towards the affected side; this forces the air into the precise tube. Don’t blow too hard, its best practice to start super soft and work your way up incrementally.

Caution cause blowing too hard can seriously damage and rupture your cochlea, which is the part of your ear that actually hears. Blowing too hard can cause the cochlea to leak fluid, which can affect hearing, balance and ringing in your ear.

 

Decongestant

Decongestants can help but you should take them before you need them, so thinking ahead really helps. Decongestants actually shrink blood vessels and reduce interior inflammation, which allows airflow in the Eustachian tubes again. If you normally experience painful airplane ear, maybe you should invest in some decongestant and take it about 20 minutes before your flight’s departure time.

 

Mouth muscles

Chewing, yawning or swallowing can help open your Eustachian tubes naturally, which is why people always offer you gum on airplanes. Small children can’t chew gum so if you suspect your baby has airplane ear, have them drink something or use a pacifier. Just moving your mouth muscles around can also help with the clogged tubes, so try some mouth exercises.

 

Persistent clog

The clog should resolve itself a few hours after you land so if you can’t get rid of it on your flight, it should work itself out normally. If it persists and sticks around longer than 12-24 hours, you possibly have a fluid build up. You will want to see a doctor so they can get the fluid back up to drain and check to see if you have any serious damage.

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Life Lessons Learned From Living Abroad

Living abroad can be a very scary and very rewarding experience all at once. If you’re considering making the move yourself, read through these common experiences first. 

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 For some of us, the thought of living abroad is a nearly unachievable fantasy if not a completely unappealing and crazy decision. But for others, it’s the most magical and exciting choice available. Regardless of what your personal opinions are about living abroad, there are plenty of positives and negatives that come with it. Here are some that anyone who has actually done it can agree with.

RELATIONSHIPS COME AND GO

One of the greatest things that comes from living abroad is new and wonderful friendships. Meeting people from different areas of the world with different experiences than yourself can be invigorating. It can help you learn more about yourself and give you a new and powerful perspective on life.

But on the flip side, moving abroad can greatly damage your existing relationships. Is it so hard to believe? Suddenly everyone you’ve ever known and gotten close with is halfway around the world. So naturally, you’ll lose some friends. Some of those losses will be organic, some will happen because certain friends are angry you left.

This can make the experience very difficult. But if you’re considering making the move don’t let this deter you. The most important people, the relationships that really matter, will always be there. And in some cases, it will even make the bond stronger.

SAY HELLO TO YOUR NEWFOUND CONFIDENCE

Deciding to move to a different country where you have little to no comfort zone can be very scary. How are you supposed to get comfortable in this new, foreign city? How are you supposed to just build a new social circle from scratch? How on Earth will you get comfortable?!

But dealing with those questions, and eventually answering them, can be an extremely rewarding experience. It will force you to know yourself better than you ever have and achieve a level of confidence and comfort with yourself that you never thought was possible. And you can take that newfound comfort and confidence with you for the rest of your life, wherever you may go.

GET READY TO MISS VERY IMPORTANT STUFF BACK HOME

This can be one of the hardest parts for anyone living abroad. There will be some many important events: birthdays, funerals, weddings, the arrival of a new baby, etc, etc. And you will most certainly miss at least some of them. It’s just impossible to travel back home enough to be there for every important moment. So it will be very difficult to pick and choose which ones you use your vacation days on.

But while you’ll miss lots of memorable events with family and friends, hopefully you can convince plenty of them to come and visit you for always enjoyable memories abroad!

BE PATIENT, BE WILLING

Many people, when visiting or moving to a new country, will remain in their own comfort zone and make very little effort to truly immerse themselves into the local culture. This is a sure fire way to make sure you move back home much sooner than expected.

It’s important to really make an effort to take in whatever city you move to in all its glory and imperfections. And, possibly even more crucial, it’s important to be patient and give yourself time to get comfortable there. It could take a while. Longer than you think. But if you give yourself plenty of time to adapt and get comfortable in your new city, you will eventually get the full experience you set out to get in the first place.

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS

The concept of “home” has a lot of different definitions for different people. For many people, it’s as simple as where they’re from – where they grew up. But for others, it’s as simple as where they live. Either way, it’s easy to move to a foreign city and find yourself missing that feeling of “home,” regardless of how many friends you have or how much you’ve immersed yourself in the culture.

This can be a very difficult emotion to live with and there’s really no perfect answer for how to deal with it. It will vary from person to person. But be sure to give it the proper amount of attention and really evaluate on your own time what “home” means to you and how important it is. Because that childhood home that you’ve barely spent any time in over the last decade may not be as important as it used to be anymore.

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“Shoulder Season” Is Officially In Effect

Here are some easy ways that you can take advantage of the sneakily travel-friendly season known as “shoulder season”.

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Look, Fall is nice and all, but I think we’re all mourning the end of Summer at least a little bit. Maybe it’s because we know Winter is right around the corner. But one thing many people ignore or at least forget about is… shoulder season! What’s shoulder season, you ask? Well, it’s that beautiful time every year where travel is cheap and the crowds are light. So basically… you have some extra shoulder room!

It’s really one of the best times of year to travel. Airlines and hotels will drop their prices to make sure they still are bringing in money. And many of the more popular tourist destinations see their lowest tourist population of the year. Here are some easy ways that you can take advantage of this sneakily travel-friendly season.

BUY THE CHEAPEST FLIGHTS YOU’LL EVER BUY

Many travel experts have studied the trends, and the commonly accepted theory is that flights are so cheap this time of year because peak travel season has just ended as kids return to school and people start going into hiding so they can financially survive the holidays. Because of this, many airlines will lower their costs, sometimes dramatically, just to ensure their planes are full until travel picks up again around Christmas.

So, for example, you could get a roundtrip flight to Portland, Oregon for $300, one to Philadelphia for $350, or one to the quickly-growing-in-popularity Medellin, Columbia for $500. You’re not going to find better deals than that! Take advantage, people.

SPECIAL OFFERS AND HOTEL PACKAGES

For the same reasons airlines drop their prices to make sure their planes are full, many hotels and resorts will offer crazy packages and special offers to make sure as many of their rooms as possible are full of travelers. Beyond just the lowest rates of the year, this can include anything from free drinks, free spa services, and even free day excursions. Free stuff?! On vacation no less?! Where do I sign?

RENTALS BY OWNER ARE NO EXCEPTION

If you love to travel but prefer renting your accommodations through Air BnB or VRBO, then you’re in luck. Because they follow suit when it comes to shoulder season and often lower their rates as well. The same logic applies: they’d rather have someone renting out their place for a low rate than no one renting out their place at all. October is definitely the best month to find the lowest rates, but September can see them as well.

PUT IN A LITTLE WORK TO MAXIMIZE YOUR SAVINGS

While all these deals are out there and you can find some of them fairly easily, it’s still worth it to do some research, get creative, and maximize your savings by finding the best possible deals on anything and everything. Because despite how many places consider the Fall their slow season, there are still places out there that don’t see much of a dip during the Fall. So don’t assume you’re getting a deal on a hotel room just because you’re booking for October. Use multiple sources, compare prices, and be patient!

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How To Avoid Tourist Traps

Falling into tourist traps is easier than you might think and people all over the globe are more than happy to take your money. 

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Traveling isn’t rocket science, but it can get pretty complicated fast, so it’s best to be prepared for everything. Falling into tourist traps is easier than you might think and people all over the globe are more than happy to take your money. 

Tourist traps are ancillary businesses usually surrounding an already busy attraction that offer no actual insight or advantage. Basically, they are ways to con tourists into spending money they do not need to spend.

Avoiding these traps will make your vacation more enjoyable and save you money in the long run. Wasting money while on vacation is a bummer, so we devised this easy plan to avoid tourist traps.

RESEARCH

What’s the best defense against anything, research? I was a boy scout and we were taught to always be prepared and this lesson has served me well so far. Search the internet for the attractions and destinations you wish to visit and find out what you should and shouldn’t pay for. Always ask locals and your hotel concierge for recommendations, so you can avoid traps and touristy situations.

WHERE ARE THE LOCALS?

First thing I do when I get to an attraction is look for locals because they don’t get scammed and rarely fall for tourist traps. You just don’t see locals in Times Square in NY or at the Acropolis in Athens, they avoid these popular destinations like the plague. If you see locals at a restaurant, chances are the place is good, that is the perfect litmus test.

STAY AWAY FROM THE TOURIST ZONES

Where you book your accommodations will weigh heavily on your vacation experience. Touristy zones tend to be more expensive, have less overall charm and generally are not realistic examples of the city. Why stay in a tourist trap when you can experience the city like a local and truly get the most out of your travel?

This is why I love using shared economy services like Airbnb and VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) because they give you a more authentic adventure.

MULTIPLE TRANSLATIONS

If you see something advertised using multiple languages (more than 2) then chances are it is a trap. These are translated multiple times so it has the widest range of people that will see it. It’s like fishing, the more bait you put out, the better your chances are of attracting a bite.

BARKING DOGS BITE

I’m not talking about literal dogs, instead, I’m talking about people outside of attractions or restaurants barking or yelling to attract customers. Think about it, when you go to your favorite restaurant at home, s there a guy out front yelling about deals? Of course not, because that is a crazy thing and an obvious sign that you are falling into a trap.

COUNTRIES THAT RELY ON TOURISM

If a country solely relies on tourist dollars the chances of you getting an authentic experience are pretty low. These countries, usually Caribbean and Asian are quickly becoming tourist traps and losing their own identity. The global tourism economy is eroding countries character and uniqueness. 

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