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Sure, hopping a plane to the Caribbean is an easy escape when temps dip…if only you didn’t have to deal with the stress of navigating the airport, a new city or--oh, dear God--an unexpected case of food poisoning. Here, eight tricks for making the whole thing go off without a hitch.

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IF YOU’RE WORRIED ABOUT MISSING YOUR FLIGHT, APPLY FOR TSA PRE-CHECK

Security lines at the airport are long. TSA Pre-Check is an expedited screening program for passengers that are considered low-risk. To apply, fill out an online form and arrange an interview (there’s also an $85 fee). Once approved, you’ll zip through lines without shoe removal for a full five years.

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IF PLANES MAKE YOU CLAUSTROPHOBIC, SPRING FOR EXTRA LEG ROOM

It will usually run you an extra $25 to $35 per ticket, but for a cross-country flight, those extra five inches are worth every cent.

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IF YOU’RE SCARED OF CRASHING, READ “COCKPIT CONFIDENTIAL”

Pilot Patrick Smith will majorly calm your fears with his detailed analysis of how a million-pound 747 airliner actually gets off the ground and what actually happens if you leave your iPhone on during takeoff (hint: nothing).

RELATED: 5 Myths About Flying That Are Complete Phooey

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IF YOU’RE WORRIED ABOUT JET LAG, CONSIDER ESSENTIAL OILS

Water (not coffee) is a major jet lag cure. Still, if you have to hit the ground running the minute you land, carry lemongrass oil, a scent with a stimulating and uplifting effect that will help fight fatigue.

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IF YOU ALWAYS GET LOST, DOWNLOAD GOOGLE MAPS

No GPS? No problem. Just download maps of your destination in advance, and then you can pull up walking directions to, say, that cute little bistro, any time you want.

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IF YOU’RE PANICKED ABOUT GETTING SICK FROM WEIRD FOOD, PACK CIPRO

If you’re going to a country where water or food contamination is a concern, most doctors will write you a script for antibiotics in advance. Pack those suckers in your carry-on and pray that you don’t need to use them.

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IF YOU’RE WORRIED YOU NEED TO BE ON EMAIL, RENT PORTABLE WI-FI

MiFi and HipPocket are just a few services that offer mobile hot spots you can keep in your pocket for anytime use (even internationally). Rent them at the airport for as little as $5 a day.

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IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE LANGUAGE, DOWNLOAD GOOGLE TRANSLATE

Worst case scenario, you can point at the screen.

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