At last, the final episode! The plane has landed. It’s time to disembark, claim the bags, and hit the hotel. Hoorah! But the stress of this final push can bring on a pain spike if I don’t do it right. Here’s how I manage that last bit of the trip to create the right start (or finish) for my vacation:
* When the plane lands, chill out.
It is absolutely unnecessary to launch myself out of my seat as though propelled by a rocket. I let everyone else push and shove and be first out of the plane. As the aisle empties, I amble on out and find my wheelchair.
* Let someone else heave the luggage around.
As much as possible, I let the wheelchair attendant or my travel companion deal with the heavier checked bags. The attendants usually do this as part of their chair service. My long-suffering boyfriend and various friends do it too. I’ve learned to let them. The bag is invariably lighter, easier to roll, and less freak-out inducing than I am when curled up on the ground moaning in agony.
Because the next step is to sleep for a long while, the first order of business on the ground must be to feed myself. I try to get something reasonably healthy. Protein is key. If I get a salad, it must have boiled egg or grilled chicken or something on it.
* Drop bags, dim lights, insert self into bed, sleep until done.
I don’t unpack. I don’t explore. I don’t go on a quick excursion. I go to BED. Flying is a hard thing to put my body through–altitude changes, dry recycled air, crushingly bad physical positioning, time changes, stress at every turn… Even when I do everything right before and during the flight, my body demands rest immediately afterward and I’ve learned to give in to that demand. I might lose as much as 24 hours at the beginning of my trip to sleeping. But when I wake up from my post-flight mini-hibernation, I’m generally time-adjusted, rested, and ready to get on with the fun!