Currently, I am sitting in a pleasant state of caffeine induced productivity in the Houston, Texas airport. It's my first time being back in the United States for nearly 5 months. Today is also my first "Ode to Fall" moment as I am riding that caffeine high with a Pumpkin Spice Coconut milk latte.
Throughout my travels, I have stepped foot in my fair share of airports. A few of those airports have made lasting impressions on me, and a majority have been a place to refuel and reboard.
For whatever reason, the Houston airport has been a pleasant layover stop on many of my journeys over the past two years. I've actually come to love this little airport with all of its familiarities. Since I actually enjoy my time here, I thought I'd let you in on a few of my survival hacks when in Houston.
Head to Terminal E, and stop in to CIBO for vegan, gluten-free, raw, paleo, or all of the above snacks. I personally love the Exo cricket protein bars or the Noka superfood blend packets. I swear they have some sort of healing power when it comes to helping a jetlagged hungry soul. The only downfall is the price; most snacks are between $2.99-$6.99. There's also have this "flight water" that I looooovvveee. It's called 1Above and it claims to balance electrolytes and ph for long flights, but I can't vouch for that...only the taste.
STARBUCKS ACROSS FROM GATE C21
If you've been living in a country where there is no Starbucks, and you're craving a coconut milk matcha latte for 3 months, this Starbuck I where you want to go. I'm sure every Starbucks store throughout the airport is more than capable of creating your drink of choice, but if Maria is working, you need to get yourself to Gate C21. You'll know it's Maria because her winged eyeliner and red lipstick will give you some serious make-up envy (this is mostly just for the ladies). Thank you for the laughs, and for the Grande upgrade girl!
TERMINAL E IS WHERE IT'S AT
Terminal E and Terminal C are where you're going to want to spend most of your time in the Houston airport. A common law of travel is that International Terminals are the cleanest, have the best food, and you can use the Duty Free fragrances to smell good. I would guess the majority of people who sit next to me on flights think that I am way fancier than I actually am, because that Chanel No.5 is applied liberally at the Duty Free. Actually, airports are the only place I even enjoy the smell of Chanel No.5; otherwise it makes me want to gag. There is no rhyme or reason to this little fun fact, and I openly acknowledge the nonsense.
FREE UNLIMITED WIFI
Oh yes. In a world where some airports (cough MIAMI cough) like to limit free wifi access to 30 minutes, the free unlimited wifi is a dream come true for long layovers. You don't even need to plug in your e-mail address or check-in through Facebook to use the wifi, you just accept and go! For this, you are truly loved dear Houston.
30 MINUTES CLEARING CUSTOMS
Yep, you read that right, 30 minutes. THIRTY! Customs was a breeze, and the security personnel were actually smiling (which is a rarity among customs workers in my experience). Granted, there were no lines and my luggage made it safely, but it was also midday on a Friday. I'm not saying that your customs will be 30 minutes or less like mine, but at least you can log into the wifi while you wait in line, am I right?
BATHROOM STALL SQUATS
This survival tip is not solely for Houston, becuase I do this impromptu workout in every airport. However, the stalls were bigger than most bathroom stalls, so it made it easiar. I'm the type of person who hates sitting around all day, and most flight days mean I have little to no chance of exercising that day. What I've started to do, is incorporate a squat challenge on days when I fly. I'm also not the type of person to do squats in front of people in an airport or public space outide the gym, so that's why I choose the bathroom (but if you are cool with squatting at the Gate, by all means more power to you).
The challenge is simple: How many body squats can you do in a day?
I will usually rep 30 each time I go to the restroom, and it gives me something fun to keep track of throughout the day. My record is 520 squats. What's yours?!
Now you know my Houston Airport (not so) secrets, and feel free to contact me with some survival tips of your own. I am always looking for advice on airports around the world.