6 Tricks to Survive a Long Flight

7:30:00 AM

We've been traveling an extra lot this year, which has included a few long-haul flights. The biggest drag I can think of is stepping off the plane in your exciting travel destination only to feel groggy, sore and grumpy. Here are a few tips I've come up with that help me combat those feelings by staying fresh and passing the time.

This is likely the most obvious advice there is for air travel, but let me throw this fact at you: the average humidity level in an airplane cabin is around 12%, which is drier than many deserts. I shoot to consume a liter to a liter and a half of water during flights 4 hours or more. Also important to note that coffee and alcohol are diuretics, so minimizing consumption will aid your efforts to remain hydrated.

In an effort to remain fresh-faced, the last thing I do before I leave the house is slather on a layer of this super aqua creme.  I also keep a slim pouch in my carry on that I pull out and keep at my seat with me which contains my in-flight essentials including these products: lip treatment, lightweight hand lotion, and moisturizing hand sanitizer.

For those us who aren't always great at passing the time on a plane by sleeping:

My hands down, #1 favorite in-flight activity is to get really lost in my kindle. These days I feel like I have a continual reading list of about 4 books. But before flying, I make a point to have one book at the ready (usually whatever I'm currently in the middle of) and at least one other book as back-up in case I finish or am in the mood to switch it up. I also love crosswords. Ian and I have relied on this collection to keep us busy on flights of all distances.

Other options, of course, are work, movies, tv shows, and music. Always a good idea to pre-load media onto tablets or laptops to avoid the frustration of slow in-flight and airport WiFi.

Many of the planes used on longer flights have outlets or USB plug-ins at each seat, but I always make sure all my devices are fully charged when I leave home and I bring one of these in the event that I find myself separated from a power source.

Does one of your must-have electronics require batteries? My noise canceling headphones certainly do. And I have lived through the mid-flight battery failure that resulted in no more noise canceling for me. Don't be like me, bring a spare or two.

Let's be real, snacks food on planes is mediocre at best. Bring something healthy that you like to munch on. I literally ration snacks as a way to make it through long periods of time. Some good snack ideas include: cheese and crackers, cured meat and nuts, turkey or beef jerky, clementines. Make sure to keep snacking light and to monitor sodium intake to avoid bloating.

Take advantage of the moment when the others in your row get up to use the lavatory; step into the aisle or stand in your empty row and stretch it out real quick. The graphic below shows my favorite simple plane stretches (that won't make you look like a crazy person). I try to do this sequence once every couple hours.

{Stretching graphic via darebee, top photo by Vito Mirr}

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