Airplane Survival Guide
As much as I love airports and airplanes, sitting in a skinny, unpadded economy seat for more than 5 hours is rough. Sadly, a necessary evil though to explore the world. My airplane survival guide includes my personal flight practices, that I try my hardest to stick to. Hopefully this airplane survival guide will make your next flight(s) more tolerable.
is not your friend. Alcohol may seem like a good idea, when you are celebrating at the airport with your friends, or when you want to or need to fall asleep, but really drinking alcohol on a plane impacts your body in 2 ways. 1) Alcohol is a diurectic, making you have to pee more often, nobody likes having to maneuver the isles of a plane. Because alcohol is a diuretic, it is therefore also dehydrating. Between the dry air and peeing all the time, you are going to be dry when you get off the plane. 2) Alcohol impairs the REM cycle of sleep, meaning that you are not going to receive the most restful part of sleep, which is a double whammy cause no one gets super comfy in the airplane seats.
is your friend. The air in the airplane is dry. I take a refillable water bottle with me and fill it up before boarding the plane. I also ask the flight attendants to fill it when they come around offering drinks. Staying hydrated will make you feel so much better when you land. Plus it saves you having to buy lots of water to replenish your loses, as many countries in the world have advisories against drinking the tap water as a traveler.
3. Comfortable clothes
I usually wear leggings, a tank, sweater and my jean jacket. My scarf can be a scarf, a pillow or blanket. I also bring an extra pair of socks, because I always freeze at the highest altitude. My flights are always on economy tickets, so my attire is irrelevant; however, if you are flying business or first class, check the airlines’ attire policies prior to leaving for the airport, usually they want you to look well put together. Choose an outfit you are comfortable wearing for many hours, sleeping in and you can adjust to different temperatures.
A similar purpose to the water, to keep hydrated. Once I’ve had dinner and are starting to settle to sleep, I head to the bathroom, wash my face, brush my teeth and apply moisturizer to my face, hands and feet, then put my socks on. Lip chap is also important to apply frequently.
5. Cleanliness & Health
Airplanes are dirty places; circulating air, people coughing and sneezing. I keep a hand sanitizer in my carry on, and use it frequently. Take some supplements, like vitamin c and echinacea tablets everyday for a few days prior to leaving. Both of these are known to boost the immune system. I also bring multi-vitamins on the trip.
When it comes time to sleep, there are a few important things: an eye mask, ear plugs, neck pillow, chamomile tea, melatonin and if it is a very long flight either benadryl and preferably a window seat. My newest favourite must haves for sleep are: 1) a 8 hour heating pad for my neck & shoulders, by Thermacare, my neck wasn’t that sore even after sleeping at weird angles on the plane. 2) Essential oil roll on sticks in peppermint scent from Sage. These are meant to relieve headaches when applied to the temples of the forehead, but I found it very soothing when settling to sleep.
I try to have a healthy meal before boarding the plane, i.e. salad with chicken, which will keep me full longer and then I tend to pre-order the vegetarian meal (or not eat the plane food at all). The last thing I want is a full belly and not burning the calories, while sitting still for 8 hours. If I can, I will bring fruits to snack on.
I keep all of my necessities (i.e. gum, books, iphone, headphones and items mentioned above) in my handbag that I store under the seat; this way I do not need to go into the overhead bins during the flight.
Hope this helps you successfully survive your next flight!