6 Simple Tips to Look and Feel Your Best on Long Flights

Plane wing against orange and purple sky
Photo by Vincent Versluis on Unsplash

Do you know how to recognize a world traveler? No, it’s not their general aura of worldliness, or their style inspired by fashion from all over the globe. Unfortunately, the answer is far less glamorous. Travelers often struggle with dull, dry skin and general exhaustion. However, unless you are ready to swear off vacations and business trips for the rest of your life, flying is something you have to get used to. Luckily, there are ways to minimize the adverse effects of flying. Take a look at our tried and true tips that will help you reach your destination looking and feeling fresh and healthy.

Keep active

One of the biggest health hazards of flying is deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Sitting in a fairly cramped space during a long flight can cause blood clots to develop. Don’t panic. There’s no need to do jumping jacks at the back of the plane. It’s enough to keep hydrated, get up and walk fairly often, or do some simple leg movements while you’re sitting down. Tapping your legs or contracting your calves should do it. Effective and stylish compression socks will provide you with extra security and comfort.

Be kind to your tummy

Digestive problems such as constipation, diarrhea and gas are some of the most common (and unpleasant) issues fliers face. The culprit? It’s a combination of changes in atmospheric pressure, bad airline meals, and our general reluctance to use the hygiene-challenged plane bathroom. For optimal gut health, avoid overeating. If given the option, choose a light meal, like white meat, steamed vegetables or rice. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. They might cause dehydration, exacerbate jumpy nerves, and upset your tummy. Drink plenty of water or herbal tea instead. If you are prone to motion sickness, think ahead and bring motion sickness bands. Better safe than sorry!

Stay away from germs

Planes are not known for their dazzling hygiene, and breathing recycled air for hours is likely to expose you to germs. Luckily there are plenty of things to do in order to give your immune system a boost. Ideally, start the preparations a few days before your trip. Higher doses of vitamin C and a probiotic supplement will give your body the tools to handle those nasty plane germs. Even if you are not a self-proclaimed neat freak and germophobe, the Spacepak Space Saving Travel Pouch Set will keep all of your things organized and perfectly clean. If you’re on your return flight, make sure you pack your laundry in a Clean Laundry Bag to keep all of the mess and odors contained.

Avoid dehydration

Since the humidity levels on a plane tend to hover around the unpleasantly low 25%, staying hydrated can prove to be a challenge. To further complicate matters, caffeinated drinks and sugary juices are best skipped when flying. That leaves good old H2O – and plenty of it! Start your extra hydrating regimen the day before your flight, and keep going for the entire duration. To ensure you’re drinking quality water without paying through the nose, consider bringing your own water bottle. The dry air will likely wreak havoc on your skin too, so load it up with extra moisturizer and serum. You can even put on a sheet mask during the flight.

Just breathe

We have gotten so used to flying all over the globe in precarious metal birds, that we tend to forget that everything about flying is a shock to our system. Because of the altitude, our respiratory system and heart have to work extra hard to maintain adequate levels of oxygenation. The pressure and lower concentration of oxygen in the air are the reasons why your breathing might feel labored during a long flight. Add unusually low humidity levels to the mix – and just breathing can feel like a challenge. Deep, measured breaths can help your body cope with this less than ideal situation.

Get your beauty sleep

It’s no news that jet lag can mess up your sleep pattern, leaving you with headaches, fatigue, and a foul mood. If you know you will be crossing several time zones, start your preparations a few days ahead by slowly adapting your bedtime. Try to get some shut-eye during the flight to arrive at your destination fresh and rested. An eye kit with ear plugs, a neck pillow and other small comforts will help you make the best of the less than perfect sleeping conditions.

A long flight can be challenging for sure, but a few simple precautions on your end can make it more manageable. Next time you board a flight, follow our tips for a stress-free experience, and enjoy your vacation without any of the negative effects of flying.