There are few things more frustrating than the feeling I have had while disembarking from an international flight. My mind is so excited and ready to begin my trip, but my body feels sluggish, achy and ready for a three day nap. Since I travel frequently, I decided to figure out some ways to make the flight more bearable for both body and mind. By following these guidelines, I have had much better results when I travel internationally. I hope you find them helpful as well.
Before you leave
- Consider trying to set your internal clock to your destination’s time zone by adjusting your sleeping and eating patterns.
- Boost your immune system with Vitamin C or Echinacea.
In the airport and in-flight
- Be sure to drink a lot of fluids ( water is the best) before, during, and even after your flight. Avoid drinking too much coffee, tea or alcohol, since all of these can dehydrate you. Staying hydrated will help you avoid jet lag later on.
- Bring hand cream (under 3 oz. so that you can get through security) and lip balm to stay moisturized while you are in the air.
- If you typically wear contacts, opt for your glasses when traveling by plane. My contacts typically dry out and irritate my eyes.
- Bring a toothbrush and under 3 oz. of toothpaste. Nothing feels more refreshing than brushing your teeth shortly before you land.
- If your ears become plugged, swallow hard or chew gum to relieve the pressure.
- Walk around as much as you can during the flight. This will help you to avoid swollen feet and ankles, muscle cramps and soreness. While in your seat, be sure to stretch your neck, shoulders, arms and legs (if possible).
- Wear slippers or socks while you are on the plane. This will allow your feet to remain more comfortable as they swell and will also increase circulation.
- If you have a long layover, try to get out of the airport for a while and get some fresh air. If you stay inside the airport, avoid smoking lounges and smoky bars.
- As much as possible, try to adjust your sleeping and eating patterns to the new time zone while in-flight.
After you arrive
- Take a hot shower as soon as you can after you land. This will help clear your head and relax sore muscles.
- Remember to keep drinking water throughout the day to rehydrate.
- If you arrive at your destination during the day, take a walk near your hotel. The exercise will refresh you and help make it possible to stay awake throughout the day. Resist the temptation to take a nap.