There are a thousand things I love about the summer, and high on my list is the vacation time. But when long flights are involved, I naturally worry about staying healthy, comfortable, and avoiding jet lag.
It's unfortunately common to arrive feeling puffy and bloated from the flight - a huge bummer especially if you're going to the beach!
The air-pressure in planes is low and the air extremely dry, so you naturally get dehydrated, and their food is terribly high in sodium, making it even worse. Then you're stuck in a seat for hours, not moving much - terrible for your circulation. And with the change in settings, your body gets disoriented, causing your digestive system to slow down.
I travel quite a bit, so I have made it my mission to improve my flying experience. I am proud to say that I have now gone from suffering through yucky plane food and terrible jet lag, to feeling in control and pretty great when I travel.
So here are 10 THINGS I DO WHEN I FLY to limit any negatives, like the lack of sleep, dehydration, bloating, stiffness, jet lag and stress:
- I reserve my aisle seat as soon as I book my flight. And 24 hours before my flight, I check-in online. This is crucial if you’re flying coach. I select an aisle seat so I can get up to use the restroom (and stretch) without bothering anyone. If you're drinking as much water as you should be to avoid getting dehydrated, you will need to get up a few times. Also, ask the agent if there are empty rows in the plane; if so, I always snatch one of those when I get on the flight so I can lie down and properly sleep! Getting as much sleep as possible should be your primary goal.
- I travel comfortable. On long flights, I always wear my favorite black lululemon’s (game-changer from the uncomfortable skinny jeans I used to wear!), a soft, long shirt – I love these flattering, wrinkle-free, easy to wash shirts; and some comfortable shoes. In my handbag I have a pair of comfty socks to change into as soon as I’m on the plane, a scarf and a sweater - you never know how cold it can get! For the men, I recommend your softest pair of jeans, a soft tee and comfortable moccasins or sneakers. The goal (as I see it) is to maintain some fashion and elegance, while focusing on comfort!
- I carry basic self-care necessities to stay fresh and avoid skin dehydration, including:
- Make-up remover pads (if you can, avoid wearing makeup, but if you must, take it off as soon as you get into the airplane to avoid dry, puffy skin and clogged pores!)
- A face moisturizer – I make my own face oil (using a blend of essential oils that are great for acne-prone skin), or opt for an organic aloe-vera-based cream
- A rose water & aloe spray to spritz on my face for extra moisturize
- A hand lotion (always paraben-free!)
- I stretch. About every two hours, I get up and stretch (except while I’m sleeping of course). This is important to keep circulation flowing, avoid stiffness, and is even good for digestion!
- I hydrate. I always have an empty glass water-bottle with me, and ask the flight attendant to fill it as soon as I get on the plane. And if it’s available, I also stock up on water bottles in the lounge. That way I don’t have to get up anytime I need water, and I make it a point to drink as much as possible throughout the flight.
- I avoid caffeine and alcohol on the plane. Both will dehydrate you and make any prospect of sleep that much worse. Plus, it’s bad quality coffee and wine, so SKIP IT! Instead, take some caffeine-free tea bags and just request hot water for your tea.
- I pack my own food. I always carry an apple, some raw (unsalted!) nuts/seeds, some organic dark chocolate and even some veggies in a disposable Tupperware. Read more HERE. This allows me to avoid the terrible, high fat, sodium-filled airplane food. Plus, filling up on high-fiber food (in combination with a ton of water) is KEY to stay regular, which helps prevent bloating.
- I read. I personally love reading but hardly have time in my day-to-day. So I take advantage when traveling, make a goal to read at least one book per trip. Reading is so good for your mental well-being, helps you de-stress, and often helps you fall asleep!
- I supplement. Staying regular while traveling is always a challenge, so I take magnesium (also helps me relax and sleep better!), travel packs of flax seeds and shelf-stable probiotics. I take these on the plane before (attempting) to sleep. Then I take more as soon as I arrive to my destination! They are life changers!
- I sleep and exercise upon arriving. This is the most important thing I do to avoid jet lag and stay healthy. As soon as I get to my destination, I drink a big glass of water, take some melatonin, and I sleep for at least 2-3 hours. Then I wake up and try to go for a jog and/or do 15 minutes of yoga. Then I set my watch to the local time, shower and eat!! And if it’s night time where I am, I go back to sleep; it’s key to adjust to the local time/eating schedule as quickly as possible.
What are your best flying tips? Please comment! And if you know anyone that might find this useful, please share!
Love and Long Flights,