Sometimes tight airline connections sneak up on you!

You thought you had two full hours to grab a bite to eat and wander to your next gate, but then your first flight has a mechanical delay and suddenly you have 30 minutes gate to gate.

Sometimes airline’s minimum connection times don’t take the reality of airport sizes into account, so even if your first flight is on time, you still have to channel your inner Usain Bolt to make it to your next gate.

We’ve all been there.

Flixbus Wifi limit

Munich, Germany

Here are my best tips for Tight Airline Connections

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Change Your Flight

airline connections short connections tight connections

Vaduz, Liechtenstein

If the connection time the airline is offering you during booking makes you feel rushed, call the airline before completing your reservation and ask about booking a flight with a different connection.

There is usually a small fee for completing a reservation over the phone, but it’s always hundreds less than any potential change fees down the road.

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Disembark First

airline connections short connections tight connections

Berlin, Germany

Speak to a flight attendant about mid-way through your flight about your options. If your first flight was significantly delayed, you can work with the onboard team to ensure a quick exit from the plane. I’ve been on flights before when they’ve asked us to remain seated so connecting passengers can bolt.

I’ve also seen people moved to the front of the plane during the final portion of the flight so they can hit the ground running to make one of their tight airline connections.

If your connection is on the same airline, the flight will sometimes wait for you if they know you’ve landed and are rushing over, but you have to speak up and check in with the cabin and ground crew as you go.

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Be Vocal During Security

airline connections short connections tight connections

Vienna, Austria

This is especially important when traveling internationally, as you often need to go through security again, even if you are just a transit passenger. If the lines are long and slow-moving, you can approach agents at the beginning of the line to ask about your options, as some airports have “mercy” programs in which the security team will pull passengers from the line to help them make their tight airline connections.

But if you don’t speak up, they won’t know you need help!

If the officials aren’t interested in expediting the process for you, consider asking your fellow passengers if you can cut them in line. I’ve gladly let frantic travelers ahead of me at security when they have 20 minutes to take off and I have 90.

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Pack with Checkpoints in Mind

airline connections short connections tight connections

Prague, Czech Republic

If you want to make your short connection, you need to prepare!

Don’t keep your ID in the darkest depths of your backpack. Make sure your toiletries are all under the limit and in a clear bag that’s accessible, preferably near your laptop so you can take them out at the same time. Wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off.

It drives me crazy to be stuck behind travelers in the security line who don’t seem to know what is expected of them, even though there are signs and security agents everywhere explaining the procedure.

Some quick things to remember when packing for short airline connections:

  • Liquids, gels, and aerosels must be less than 100ml (3.4 oz) that fit into a 1 quart (or smaller!) clear bag.
  • Your laptop should be taken out of your bag and placed into a bin by itself.
  • Don’t put anything in your pockets while going through security.
  • You might not need to take your shoes off; it depends on the airport. Listen for instructions.

This way, you won’t be scrambling through security. You can progress through it quickly and be on your way to your gate in no time.

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Study the Airport Map Before Hand

airline connections short connections tight connections

Vienna, Austria

This step is usually undertaken by travelers who know they have a short connection because it was assigned during booking. You can check the airport website for the campus layout and make note of which terminals their airline uses and how they are connected.

However, for surprise short connections born out of delays, you might not have this luxury. Luckily, most airlines have maps of the major airports they service in the seatback magazines. It might also be worth it to pay for in-flight wifi so you know what to expect when you land.

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Use the Facilities during Your First Flight

airline connections short connections tight connections

Rome, Italy

Stopping for a bathroom break can cost you precious minutes when trying to make a tight connection! Instead of waiting in long lines for the airport bathroom, make sure to use the facilities on the plane.

A good time to go is when the captain announces your initial descent, this way, even if you have an active bladder, you can make it to your next aircraft before you need to go again.

I spent about 10 minutes waiting in line for the toilet at Charles de Gaulle in Paris last fall, and ended up arriving at my gate at 10:10…for my 10:10 flight because the passport control line was so long. 0/10 would not recommend.

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Make a Note of your New Terminal and Gate

airline connections short connections tight connections

Bratislava, Slovakia

Take a picture of it on the screen, text it to yourself, write it on your hand, whatever you have to do. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been running through an airport chanting “2A” to myself and have suddenly been like “Wait…what’s my gate?” Having to find the monitors, stop, and check again costs precious time.

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Literally just Run

airline connections short connections tight connections

Bratislava, Slovakia

Sometimes you just gotta book it. I connected through Paris Charles de Gaulle both to and from my Grand Tour of Europe last fall and due to an apparent lack of staff, it was packed both ways.

On the way in, I was late getting off my flight from Houston because the jetty had an issue attaching to our plane, but luckily there was a man on my flight who was also going to Berlin. He was going there to run the marathon, so he sprinted ahead and let the ground grew know I was on my way.

On my way back, it was all up to me, so as I ran through the airport in flip flops and superman pajamas pants, I tried to concentrate on just not throwing up. I made my flight, coughing up a lung and probably with shin splints, but I made it.

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Know Your Rights

airline connections short connections tight connections

Budapest, Hungary

Airlines usually have a minimum connection time, so if you miss a tight connection due to no fault of your own (like long lines at passport control, or delayed first flight for mechanical issues), you can work with gate agents to rebook your flight at no charge.

If the next flight to your destination isn’t until the next day, the airline should provide lodging and food vouchers, but you usually need to bargain for them.

Remember to be polite! In many places (including the USA!) there are no laws around passenger rights, so kindness will get you a long way.

If you miss one of your tight airline connections due to weather, airline employees are usually not willing to book you into a hotel, but they will work with you to rebook your flight.

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Looking to discover more diverse travel blogs for women? You’re in the right place!

There’s definitly a ubiquity of identity in the travel blogging community. Every time I click on my Discover Page on Instagram, it’s filled with white, able-bodied, straight women. And more power to them! I’m proud of their success and wish them more of it. But there is room for more voices in the conversation.

My Favorite Diverse Travel Blogs for Women

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I recognize that I also check some of these boxes and carry a lot of privilege with me on my travels. I’m a straight, white, able-bodied girl from Texas. The way I view the world, the way I experience travel, and how I am perceived by others is going to be very different from those with different identities.

For example, I have never been bullied online (or in person!) because of my race as many bloggers of color often are. My sexuality is not illegal in any country. I don’t have to think about the accessibility of tourist attractions or even managing a chronic illness on the road.

Because of this, it’s important for me to open myself up to the captivating, intelligent, and uplifting voices of people who experience this crazy life in very different ways than me.

Sometimes the voice my readers need to hear isn’t my own, so here’s a list of my favorite diverse travel blogs for women. I hope you all enjoy following their adventures as much as I do.

(I’m also always looking for new blogs to read — so let me know your favorites!)

Gloria Atanmo / The Blog Abroad

What might take you two seconds to consume, could take me an hour to produce. But visual/digital expression is what I live for. These snapshots and moments I share with you guys is my way of packaging the joy and sentiments I feel about a place. I deliberately place myself in each photo because I want YOU to see yourself in my shoes. Not just a beautiful scene. But someone you know, in said scene and living their best life. As you can too. Being in your travel photos is the cheapest souvenir you could ever gift yourself. 10 years from now you get to see the joy and peace you wore so vibrantly while on that special trip. This walkway at The Amala leading to my villa is Japanese-inspired, and should have a sign encouraging all guests to do it #ForTheGram, because duh. 💁🏾 The Amala is a heady mix of life and leisure, with both an intimate and luxurious vibe to it. Malls, cafes, beaches, and the nightlife are all within walking distance of this resort and it's another gorgeous property to add to your list. Full tour of my villa on IG stories as well as #BTS scenes to get this shot! @lifestyleretreats || #TheAmala || #AffordableLuxury || #BeautifulHotels || #sponsored || #BambooBlonde

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Glo is hilarious. Her Instagram stories always leave me snorting with laughter. I feel like I’m right there with her trying to escape the women enforcing the “no-tripod zone” in Hong Kong, chortling over the housekeepers in Bali pointing her camera directly at her bed, or dancing while enjoying a night out in Sydney. When her little bubble pops up on top of my Instafeed, I know I’m in for an adventure.

Glo is also realistic. She gives actionable advice about how to travel on a budget, g(l)o with the flow, and what it’s like to be a woman of color traveling in certain countries and existing within the travel blogging community. She’s got expensive dreams with an affordable hustle.

Oneika Raymond / Oneika the Traveller

I'm not "sassy". I just speak my mind. I'm not "mean". I'm just firm in my beliefs. And I'm not "angry" when I express dissent or call you out on your BS. My voice has always been direct, unwavering, and imbued with bass, you see. To all my ladies out there who have been called "bitchy", "headstrong" or worse: I hear, see, and feel you. I occupy that space daily. To all the women who have been labelled as "difficult" because they speak up and out, we're fluent in the same tongue. Continue to use your voice with confidence and without fear. I saw a quote from author Chimimanda Adichie that resonated with me strongly. In a recent interview, she told women “It’s not your job to be likable. It’s your job to be yourself". Wise words. My own advice is similar. Stay convicted and bold. Challenge the status quo. Own your unpopularity and use it to make an impact. Be the one who stands up when others can't or won't. And above all, always remember to honour yourself. ***** I wrote these words last year and they are just as true today as they were back then. At @womenstravelfest last weekend we discussed sexism in the travel industry and it made me reflect on my experiences over the years both as a travel journalist and in my past life as a teacher. I've been vilified, dismissed, discredited, and gaslighted by male colleagues because of my gender (as well as skin colour, penchant for being outspoken, age, appearance) and you know what? Time's up! Keep on being unapologetically you, ladies, fearlessly fierce, timelessly graceful and gorgeous. I support you. We support each other. We push forward. #womenshistorymonth . . . . . . 📸 @iamjamesanthony . . . . #sheisnotlost #wearetravelgirls #femmetravel #ladiesgoneglobal #meettheworld #girlaroundtheworld #loveantiguabarbuda #blackgirlmagic #iamtb #dametraveler #traveloffpath #sidewalkerdaily #travelnoire  #blackgirlstraveltoo #wegotoo #blacktravelfeed #girlsborntotravel #essencetravels #caribbeans #blackslayingit #dametraveler #worldnomads #beforeidie #soulsociety

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I like reading what Oneika has to say because she doesn’t mince words. She is bold, authentically herself, and addresses important topics with insight and grace. Her series “Traveling while Black” examines things like her experiences with prejudice and racism in specific locations and the best places for African American travelers to visit, as well as hair care tips for black women on the go and support for other influencers and causes within the travel community.

Oneika is also the expert on packing lightly and effectively. She even has a series for with the Travel Channel “One Bag and You’re Out.”

Lilo / Deafinitely without Barriers 

Lilo’s A+ pun game is reason enough for you to follow her.  I had to pause for a good two minutes to let the cleverness of her blog’s name wash over me. If you are interested in learning about traveling while Deaf, traveling as a part of the LGBT community, as a bi-racial woman, and more, then you have a friend in Lilo.

She was also formerly a part of Deafinitely Wanderlust, another great site for Deaf, LGBT, and women of color travelers. I can’t wait to follow her adventures!

Meg and Lindsay / Dopes on the Road 

Meg and Lindsay are up for cutest couple of the century. Their blog is a “space dedicated to inspiring and equipping LGBT travelers to live a life of adventures.” They’ve put together dozens of resources for LGBT travelers ranging from honeymoon planning advice, safety tips, destination guides, and more!

I like reading Dopes on the Road because each post is so throughly researched and presented with great wit and commentary. If you have questions about life as an LGBT traveler, Dopes in a great place to start.

Alysia Kezerian / Wheelies around the World

Some of my favorite role models, @chelsiehill and the @rollettes_la , started a movement to educate the world on just how independent, self-sufficient and BOUNDLESS wheelchair users actually are. Many media outlets have referred to myself, these women, and many others who live their lives in wheelchairs as “wheelchair-bound” when that is actually anything but the truth. 1- Ya girl is definitely not bound to this chair. 2- Ya girl is DEFINITLEY not limited by this chair by any means. Thank you so much to these women for educating the world on proper/updated terminology and for showing people of all abilities just how active and independent we truly are. So now I’m calling on all of YOU to help them take this movement worldwide! I know there are wheelie friends on here from countries all over the world so it would be SO cool to see each and every one of you posting a pic of yourself doing whatever it is you like to do and 1- use the hashtag #BeBoundless18 2- tag @rollettes_la 3- tell/show everyone how very capable you are 💁🏻‍♀️ And definitely check out the link in bio to learn more about the @rollettes_LA and all of the dope stuff they're doing. #wheeliesaroundtheworld

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Alysia started Wheelies around the World to document her own travels as a person who uses a wheelchair and share tips on how others could do the same, but it quickly grew into a community of thousands of people sharing their experiences and chasing their dreams.

You can also follow Alysia on her personal Instagram here.

Kiona / How To Not Travel Like a Basic Bitch 

TEXAS • In the past couple days, I’ve been getting, “Why do you live in Texas? All I think of are White people with guns, I’m scared.” • MIRA. First of all, Selena. • 2. Beyoncé. • 3. Texas USED TO BE Mexico before these White settlers drew an arbitrary line and was like we are our own country now. Like @chamillionaire said “IM FROM TEXAS…everything I do has included a Mexican in every aspect.” • 4. Speaking of Chamillionare, all your favorite rappers like @champagnepapi, @asaprocky, etc were influenced by TEXAS TRAP: Bun B, Slim Thug, Play N Skillz, Lil Keke, Z-Ro. • 5. Texas is a top 4 state in presence of Asian-Americans. • 6. No state tax. I like to keep my coins. The recession never even touched Texas, jobs are endless. • 7. Most beautiful National Park I’ve ever been to: @bigbendnps • 8. Texas doesn’t vote red. The state turns red during elections, but when you break it down, all the major cities: Houston, Dallas, Austin, were all blue in the last election. • So idk man. You don’t have to visit, but don’t erase our very BROWN PRESENCE with some country White people who I don’t even know cause I don’t hang out with them.

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I feel a special kinship with Kiona because she’s my fellow Texan and also shares my love for Selenas. She also calls out basicness in all its forms and leaves me in stitches with tears in my eyes with her quippy writing style.

Her blog is also one of my favorites to read because of her “Perspectives” series in which she offers a platform to “share in experiences by walking in someone else’s shoes to create understanding and connect the world through empathy.” Topics have included “Traveling while Black,” “Long Distance Love Stories,” “Traveling while Queer*” and more.

It’s my go-to place to find new diverse travel blogs for women to follow!

Naomi / Probe around the Globe

Naomi is a blogger from the Netherlands (where my brother-in-law is from, so she’s already scored major points with me!). She’s extremely well-traveled and her blog is full of comprehensive travel guides for countries all over the globe.

She writes about traveling solo, traveling as a couple, and traveling with a chronic illness, from both her perspective, and through the insights of others via a series of guest posts. If you are looking for resources on this, she’s a great place to get started.

Sally / Passport and Plates 

Happy International Women's Day! Today, we celebrate women. All women. Hi, my name is Sally and I'm a bossy bitch (although my friends call it being "sassy" and "Sassy Sally" has such a fun ring to it). These are words I'm proud to associate myself with, because they represent the type of woman I want to be: one who is powerful, who chases dreams, who doesn't take no for an answer. But growing up, these were not words I would have wanted to be associated with. And this is precisely why I think empowering women is SO important. So many little girls look up to the supermodels and reality TV stars of the world, rather than the STEM scientists and the artists. They're told that they can't do certain things because of their gender. Growing up, I never would have imagined that I'd one day be able to travel solo because there are so many cultural rules about living life unless you're married. Many of these cultural ideologies are changing, slowly but surely. But they are only changing because there are women out there breaking barriers, shattering stereotypes, and fighting for equality. So today and everyday, let's ALL work together to empower women to become the best, badass version of themselves 💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽 #PressForProgress #IWD2018 #internationalwomensday

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Sally’s tagline, “Travel and dine sans spirits and swine” gets me every time I read it. I’m a sucker for rhymes and it’s just so dang clever. One quick warning about reading Passport and Plates: it’ll make you so hungry!

You can count on Sally for the inside scoop on food tours, cooking classes, and just overall good times the world over. She also has an important series called “Traveling while Muslim” which offers great tips for women looking for advice on how to travel while fasting or staying sober on the road.

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The Berlin to Amsterdam Flixbus is one of the many overnight bus options available throughout Europe. If you are backpacking Europe on a shoestring budget or just trying to save some time by combining transportation and accommodation, an overnight bus could be a good fit for you.

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Benefits of Taking Overnight Buses in Europe

Overnight Buses in Europe: the Berlin to Amsterdam Flixbus

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, Germany

The Berlin to Amsterdam Flixbus (and other similar routes) essentially functions as a long haul flight. You go to sleep in one location and wake up in another.

Here are the good parts:

  • Saving on accommodation

The best possible reason for wanting to take an overnight Flixbus (or the like) would be to save money by combining your transportation and accommodation for one evening. Depending on your level of accommodation (hostel or Airbnb) and your location in Europe (Northern, Eastern, etc.) this could be anywhere from $20 to over $100 saved.

Overnight Buses in Europe: the Berlin to Amsterdam Flixbus

The Heineken Experience in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

  • No “wasting” daylight

Assuming your time in abroad is limited, it can be frustrating to waste an entire day on a bus or a train waiting to arrive in a new destination when you would rather be out exploring it. When you take an overnight bus in Europe, you can avoid this by zipping between locales when everything cool is closed anyway.

Overnight Buses in Europe: the Berlin to Amsterdam Flixbus

Berlin Cathedral in Berlin, Germany

  • No trekking to the airport 

Most Flixbus stops are in central locations throughout the city, so you don’t have to worry about the added expense and time of getting all the way out to the airport from the city center. You just show up 15 minutes early, hop on your bus, and then you’re off.

  • Inexpensive tickets

Taking an overnight bus in Europe is always cheaper than flying (especially when you add in the expenses of getting out to the airport) and usually cheaper than a train. When I took the Berlin to Amsterdam Flixbus, I paid 37 Euro for my approximately 11-hour journey.

Overnight Buses in Europe: the Berlin to Amsterdam Flixbus

Cute houses in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

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Drawbacks of Taking an Overnight Bus in Europe

  • Potential for limited sleep

Just like an long haul flight, you might not get too much sleep on an overnight Flixbus — it just depends on how creative (and tired!) you are. The Flixbus seats are comfortable and do recline more than seats on a airplane, so if you can sleep at a 45 degree angle, you’ll be fine.

There is lots of leg of room on a Flixbus, too, so if you need to stretch out your legs to sleep, you will be accommodated. I am 5’6″ (about 1.68 meters) tall and had plenty of space. If you’re taller, just sit on the aisle seat to stretch your legs.

If your bus is empty side, the best spot to sleep is on the second level in the back row, stretched out across all the seats.

Overnight Buses in Europe: the Berlin to Amsterdam Flixbus

Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany

  • You could sleep through your stop

When I took the Berlin to Amsterdam Flixbus, I got on at the first stop and off at the last, but we made many stops in between, like in Hamburg, Germany and Groningen, Netherlands. If you’ve booked to one of these smaller “on the way ” stops, you should set an alarm for about 30 minutes before the arrival time on your ticket. This way, even if the bus is running ahead of schedule, you won’t sleep through your stop.

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My Experience on the Berlin to Amsterdam Flixbus

I thought that getting from Berlin to Amsterdam was going to one of the tricker parts of planning my trip in Europe, but it was actually one of the easiest thanks to Flixbus. I was scheduled to leave from the Berlin Alexanderplatz Flixbus stop, but due to the Berlin Marathon, the bus stop was relocated for the day. The Flixbus team let me know about these changes well in advance and sent me the address of the new stop multiple times, even including the exact coordinates — just in case. It was easy to find and left on time.

Flixbus Wifi limit

Gardens in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

My bus was completely full as we left Berlin, but when a quarter of the bus got off in Hamburg, I finally got to spread out and get some sleep. I remember waking up right outside Amsterdam and actually said to the girl next to me, “Wow, that actually wasn’t as bad as I thought.”  The 11 hours flew by!

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Overnight Buses in Europe: the Berlin to Amsterdam Flixbus

I didn’t partner with Flixbus for this review and received no compensation. All opinions, as always, are my own. 

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Oh, Flixbus wifi. You lure us in with promises of Netflix and iMessages, only to leave us high and dry after we blow through our allotted 150MB of data after checking Instagram for like, five minutes. But, with a little planning, you never have to run out of Flixbus wifi again.

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How to Outsmart the Flixbus Wifi Limit

Flixbus Wifi limit

Berlin – a Flixbus Destination

I took an 11 hour overnight Flixbus from Berlin to Amsterdam and didn’t run out until 30 minutes before arrival. You can do this, too! Here’s how:

Download Netflix + Amazon Movies Ahead of Time

Flixbus Wifi limit

Munich – a Flixbus Destination

Both Netflix and Amazon allow you to download movies and tv shows onto your phone or tablet so you can watch later. If you’d like to binge Stranger Things on your way to Berlin, it only takes about two minutes of planning.

Just use the wifi at the airport, cafe, or hostel and download any and all of the content you’d like to see on your trip. Just don’t use the Flixbus wifi to download or stream any video files, as you’ll run out of data pretty much instantly.

Put your Phone on Airplane Mode

Flixbus Wifi limit

Prague – a Flixbus Destination

Even though I downloaded Netflix content ahead of time, my phone (a brand new iPhone 7+) kept trying to stream the shows I had downloaded instead of relying on the downloaded files.

Pretty frustrating, but there’s an easy fix. Just pop your phone over to Airplane Mode. This way there’s no confusion and you stop having to run interference between your app and the Flixbus Wifi.

Another bonus of Airplane Mode is that you are not accidentally eating up any of the Flixbus Wifi limit with background app refresh, etc. If you need to send a text or look up the address of your next hostel, you can briefly turn it off, but it’s best to pop it right back on after.

This is one of the main ways I stretched my 150MB limit from Berlin all the way to Amsterdam.

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Sign up For Audible

Flixbus Wifi limit

Bratislava – a Flixbus Destination

Audiobooks are a great way to pass the time on overnight buses in Europe if your travel style is more look out the window and relax. If you sign up for Audible, you get at least one free audiobook when you sign up for the 1-month free trial, after which you can cancel at anytime (and keep your audiobook!) or continue on to receive one Audible credit a month.

I’ll admit, I signed up for the free trial so I could have book to listen to on my 11 hour Berlin to Amsterdam Flixbus ride, but ended up keeping my subscription because let’s be real… who doesn’t love a good story without the effort of actually reading it? Just, as always, download your book ahead of time — even if it’s using the wifi at the bus station as you’re waiting to board.

Sign up for Audible here.

Stream Music Offline

Flixbus Wifi limit

Amsterdam – a Flixbus Destination

The paid version of streaming apps like Amazon Music and Spotify have options for listening offline, as long as you download your playlists ahead of time (this seems to be a theme), but there are still a few treaming apps that are completely free.

Like Umusio where you pay .99 one time then have access to millions of songs offline.

The app Deezer costs $9.99 a month, but the first 30 days are free. So sign up, but remember to cancel on time!

Just Take a Freaking Nap

Flixbus Wifi limit

Rome – a Flixbus Destination

The lull of the Flixbus engine. The blurred European landscape whisking past you as you barrel down the highway. Oh, so so relaxing, right? If you reach the Flixbus Wifi limit, forgot to download movies to watch or music to listen to, and are traveling alone with no one to chat to, just lean your head back and take a nap. You’ll get to where you’re going soon enough.

The bottom line of outsmarting the Flixbus Wifi limit is just not to use the wifi because you follow the steps I’ve listed above you won’t even need it anyway.

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Flixbus Wifi limit

**This post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase an item via these links (or in the same session) I get some cash money, at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

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Whole30 travel is a special kind of monster. While our fearless leader Melissa Hartwig advises against taking the cruise of a lifetime or an anniversary trip to Paris during your Whole30, sometimes things come up.

What if you’re on Whole30 Day 9 and your friends invite you to the lake house for the weekend? What if you’re crushing Whole30 Day 17 and your boss needs to fly you out to make a killer presentation?

Do you say no? Or abandon your Whole30?

No way! Whole30 travel is completely doable and I’m here to show you how.

Whole30 Travel: the Basics

Whole30 Travel Whole30 While Traveling

The Dining Room at the Grand Opera House in Vienna. The fanciest place to eat a Whole30 meal is all of Austria.

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The only way to succeed while traveling on the Whole30 is through mindfulness and careful planning. While vacation is normally a time to zone out and relax, if you want to stay compliant, you’ve got to create a game plan.

I traveled frequently throughout my first Whole30 and was able to stay on track! I have a girls trip planned during my upcoming second one and am not sweating it at all.

Here’s how I do it:

Pack Whole30 Approved Snacks

Whole30 Travel Whole30 While Traveling

The Houses of Parliament in London. They should make a law…Whole30 snacks must be sold EVERYWHERE.

You are likely to encounter more “emergency moments” while traveling on the Whole30 then you would at home. You might be trapped in a car full of friends munching on candy and beef jerky or stuck in meetings all day without a chance to sit down at eat. You can survive both of these if you plan ahead.

Make sure you have an accessible purse, carry on, or cooler with the follow things packed:

  • 2 Lara, RX, or Epic bars for each day you’ll be away (or a combo of the three).*
  • a few packs of almond butter.
  • a small bag of sliced apples
  • 1 banana
  • a small bag of celery
  • a small bag of carrots

The point is to have plenty of Whole30 compliant snacks with you, so if you are faced with long periods on time without access to compliant food (i.e. gas station stops on road trips, mixers on buisness trips, etc.) you don’t have to go without any food which can make you desperately hungry and in need of a quick fix — which usually isn’t compliant.

You can bring plenty of non-perishable emergency items with you (like the Lara and Epic bars) and replenish things like carrots, apples, etc. by popping to the local grocery store or the hotel’s breakfast bar.

I went on multiple road trips during my first Whole30 and while it was kind of weird not loading up on traditional “road trip snacks” along the way, I actually felt powerful when I went into a gas station, just got a bottle of water, and popped back out to my car to continue munching on my apple slices.

*Small reminder that not ALL Lara and RX Bars are compliant. Check the ingredients!

Flying on the Whole30

Whole30 Travel Whole30 While Traveling

When I arrived in Switzerland, I soon found out eating Whole30 and cooking at my Airbnb would be WAY cheaper than trying to eat out. It’s so expensive there.

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Shorter domestic flights on the Whole30 should be no big deal. Just get water, hot tea, or black coffee to drink, and pull a Lara or Epic Bar out of your bag to munch on instead of the peanuts or crackers.

Long haul flights are where it gets tricker. If you’ve got a flight where they are going to feed you, chances are substantial portions of the meal are going to be non-compliant. Have no fear! With a little preparation (and perhaps a small fee!) it looks like you can get a meal that is mostly compliant.

Start by searching “name of airline special meal” which will take you to the list of alternative meal options. For example, here’s a special meal menu from United and American Airlines. Be sure to look over the meal options more than 24 hours in advance of your flight so your airline of choice has time to accommodate your request.  Most major carriers have vegan and gluten-free options, which could be workable.

It’s worth it to call your airline to assess if you can build a custom meal for a small fee – or pick the vegetarian option and avoid the grain and dairy components, filling the holes with the Whole30 snacks you brought with you.

Staying at Hotels on the Whole30

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At the Cat Cafe in Bratislava, Slovakia. No Whole30 food…but they did have cute kitties so it’s still worth it 🙂

Hotels on the Whole30 are easy enough — especially if you can book a room with a kitchenette. If a full kitchenette isn’t available, call the hotel to request a room with at least a mini-fridge to store Whole30 grab and go foods like fruits, vegetables, and nuts — which you can easily pop out and grab from a local grocery store.

You can even make baked potatoes in the microwave, which is a Whole30 on the go option if your hotel room has one available.

Staying with Friends and Family on the Whole30

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Anything for Selenas! Except breaking my Whole30.

This can be the hardest part of Whole30 Travel.

If you are on the Whole30 and staying at loved one’s home, staying compliant will be technically easier, as you will have access to a full kitchen in which to cook the meals of your choice, but the emotional work to be done has the potential to be exhausting.

We have been socialized to see refusing food as a rejection of the giver’s love and hospitality, which can only be amplified while you are a guest in their home. To help avoid this, offer to cook Whole30 meals for your host as a sign of gratefulness for their hospitality.

You should also give them a head’s up about your dietary restrictions before you arrive. Make sure to focus on what you can have, so they don’t feel restricted or confused when shopping (e.g. I love sunny side up eggs! Eating roasted veggies with olive oil is my favorite! Grilled chicken and green beans is delicious to me!)

Eating Whole30 at Restaurants

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My “almost Whole30” meal in Prague. A great example of getting as close as you can while dining out, then just leaving the non compliant items on the plate.

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If you do some Whole30 travel, you will likely find yourself at a restaurant — but don’t panic! Eating Whole30 at restaurants is possible. My mom and I were both on our first Whole30 when we went away for a girls weekend in the Texas Hill Country. We were able to eat at one of the region’s most famous steakhouses and stay 100% compliant.

Steakhouses and the like are your best best for Whole30 compliant restaurants. So if you are on a buisness trip, family getaway, or girls weekend and would like to stay compliant, speak up and request one.

Study the menu online before you head to the restaurant. I’ve found this helps me as I’ve had more time to look things over and begin to formulate the questions I want to ask the waiter.

Grilled meats (the staple menu items at steakhouses) typically don’t have any contraband in them, so by ordering a steak (with no butter pat!), pork chop, or salmon with a side of grilled veggies and a “dry” baked potato, you should be good, but make sure to double check about unlisted sauces or cooking oils. If you want to spice up your potato, I usually flavor mine with salt, pepper, vinegar, and oil.

If you want to go meatless, many salads are okay — just make sure to stick with vinegar and oil as dressing (or if you want to go hardcore, you can pull some Whole30 approved salad dressing out of your purse).

And, if push comes to shove, you can technically eat at Chipotle.

Get a salad with carnitas (the only meat cooked in sunflower oil instead of rice bran), plus any salsa you want (except the corn!) and some guac.

Be Prepared to Break Tradition with Whole30 Travel

Fighting on vacation Fighting during vacation Arguing during vacation Arguing on vacation

At Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas. My sister Kerry (in the middle) was on her 1st Whole30 at the time and had a great time even though she skipped eating at Silo Baking Company.

Sometimes eating Whole30 hurts. Let it! Relish in it! Think of it as pain leaving the body!

Is there a diner you eat at every time you road trip? Skip it in favor of a place where it’s easier to be compliant. Or if your traveling mates insist, be a good sport and eat there, but make sure to stick with eggs and fruit.

It might be a little sad not having your special diner pancakes, but if you eat there every single time you visit, that’s just it! Those special pancakes (or whatever meal you have) will still be there next time, when you’re not on Whole30. Who knows, you might not even want them then.

Sometimes when traveling, you might feel rushed and opt for a quick drive through meal or something from an airport kiosk. Challenge yourself to do better. You made a commitment to yourself to eat Whole30 and you’re not going to let a little change in your schedule and daily rhythm stop you.

If you can’t find something Whole30 compliant while traveling, relax. Take a step back. Pull out your emergency Lara Bar that you brought with you for such a time as this and make a plan.

You’ve got this.

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