Travel is one of life's greatest gifts, but the actual process of getting from one place to another can be exhausting.
Flying, in particular, can be challenging and strenuous for the body. I travel fairly regularly, and I've found the key to feeling fresh when flying is to be prepared. Here are 10 simple tips to help you do just that.
1. Invest in noise-cancelling headphones.
Where have you been all my life?! I actually said this out loud as I plugged the latest noise-canceling headphones in. These babies are not cheap, but make a huge difference. They cancel out that dreadful airplane noise and most of the talking around you. They work with the on-board entertainment system or your own device. If you're planning on purchasing a pair, just be aware that there's a big difference between the noise-canceling and noise-blocking headphones.
2. Wear compression socks.
I know it sounds very grandma-like, but trust me, many people wear them because they encourage proper blood circulation when sitting for an extended period of time. They're sold predominantly in pharmacies, and it's best if you ask for assistance when shopping for them.
3. Move regularly.
In addition to the compression socks, regular movement, stretching and exercise can help keep your blood pumping. There's always a bit of room around the exit row areas, near the toilets, where you could do some squats, stretching or other exercise. I usually do about 20 minutes every two hours, but more is usually better than less.
4. Create a travel profile.
If you're part of a frequent flier program, you can easily create a travel profile with a seating preference. Mine is the aisle seat, which also gets offered to me when I check in online 24 hours before my flight departure. I encourage everyone to check in online and secure a good seat.
5. Pack your own food and snacks.
When I told my friend I packed my own food for my flight, she was surprised. The reality is that airline food isn't good for you. The meals are packed with preservatives, and who knows how long they've been sitting in those aluminum packs. Food can be brought onto a plane and will pass the screening as soon as there are no jam or liquid-like substances in either of your containers.
Spending countless hours on the plane dehydrates your body and skin. My tip is to take a stainless steel water bottle with you that you're able to fill up either just before boarding or on the plane by asking the flight attendant. Most airports have water fountains near the boarding gates. Just make sure that your bottle is empty when you go through the screening points.
7. Pack essential oils.
I absolutely adore essential oils, and one of my favorites is lavender, mostly because of its calming properties. A few drops onto your wrists, forehead and neck can assist with better sleep on a plane. It calms the nervous system and helps you relax. Eucalyptus oil on the other hand could be used to invigorate you after landing for that extra spring in your step.
8. Moisturize your skin.
Pack a hydrating face moisturizer and hand cream (remember, no larger than 100ml each) and place them into a zip-lock bag. Apply as frequently as you deem fit, but at least once every five hours. As a rule of thumb, never wear makeup on a long flight — your skin wants to breathe.
9. Layer your clothing.
The air conditioning on airplanes can often feel a bit over the top! I always end up bundled up like I'm going out into a snow blizzard. On a long flight this can become an extremely uncomfortable situation, and you can easily end up with a cold even before you arrive at your destination. Always consider wearing comfortable clothes and shoes, layer your outfit and also take some thick socks, perhaps a scarf, and a warm cardigan in case you get cold like I do.
10. Avoid alcohol.
Alcohol will accelerate the dehydration process, so it's best to steer away from it. Ask for herbal teas or water instead; even better, if you have a favorite herbal tea, take a few sachets with you and ask the staff for hot water.
I hope the tips will be useful for your next long-distance flight. What are some of your favorite tips for traveling?