Michigan State University
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Center for Language Teaching Advancement (CeLTA)
Travel Tips


Travel Tips

General Advice

  • Overseas travel can be very overwhelming and exhausting - be patient, flexible, and look on it as an adventure and it will be much better.

  • Check the website of the airline(s) you will be flying. Double check the rules about what you can bring on the plane, weight limits, size requirements, etc.

  • Check your flight schedule about a week before you fly. Sometimes airlines shift their departure time.

  • Educate yourself about what is allowable in your checked and carry-on luggage by checking guidelines with the TSA (Transportation Security Administration). For example, there are strict rules about bringing liquids through security.

  • Dress in layers - planes can be very hot and stuffy on the ground before take-off, but very cold while flying.

  • Slip-on shoes are easier when going through the various security checkpoints.

  • Delays are common - bring some packaged snacks, something to read, a journal to write in, etc. to pass the time.

  • Bring healthy packaged snacks - sometimes the timing of travel means you are hungry hours before you can get the next meal. 

  • At times, checked luggage can be lost. Find an airline representative at the airport to immediately report it and fill out the appropriate forms. Lost luggage is usually found and delivered in a day or two. Be sure to pack essentials (such as medicine, glasses, toothbrush, 1 change of clothes) in your carry-on bag.

  • Read the signs in the airports, but also don't be afraid to ask for help.

  • Remember the MSU directors or staff will meet you at the airport in Lansing. If you are late, we can adjust, but if you arrive early, we won't know. Make sure you have the contact numbers that we will send you before you leave so you can call us with schedule changes. In addition, please carry the hotel information with you.

  • Documents: You will need your passport with your visa, DS2019, and I94.

Tips to Reduce Jet Lag

Jet lag happens when we cross more than one time zone quickly - our bodies don’t have time to adjust to the new schedule. While it’s only 2 pm in Michigan, and there are many more hours of work, your body thinks it’s 10pm and bedtime. Jet lag does happen - we can’t completely avoid it, but here are some tips to (hopefully) reduce the effects.

Pre-Departure

  • Wear two watches for two days to a week before you leave so you can start to mentally prepare. Set one watch to your time and one watch to Michigan time.

  • Be well rested before you get on the plane - don’t try to exhaust yourself and then “catch up” on the plane.

In-Flight

  • Drink lots and lots of water! (WATER - not tea, juice, coffee, soda, or alcohol).

  • Your feet tend to swell on long flights, so don’t wear tight shoes or high heels - and take off your shoes and lift up your feet if possible.

  • Wear loose-fitting clothing that breathes.

  • Try to sleep as much as possible on the plane - especially if it is nighttime at your destination. Use earplugs, a blindfold, blanket, neck rest - whatever it takes.

  • Don't use sleeping pills. These can cause more problems!

  • Get up to stretch, wash your face, brush your teeth, walk the aisles, or just stand for several minutes.

Arrival

  • If possible, as soon as you arrive, spend at least an hour in the sunlight before going to sleep.

  • Try as much as possible to follow the new time zone schedule. This should help you adjust quicker.

  • If you need to stay awake to help you get on local time, eat peanuts, eggs, meats, and other high-protein or fatty foods. If you need to fall asleep, eat carbs like pasta or bread.