Hi Joyful Travelers!
I get SO excited when I’m about to fly internationally. I could be going anywhere, but I’m just so excited to get there, to see everything, to have this next great experience. Unfortunately, this next great experience usually comes after 12-16 hours of flying (I live in Colorado, so I have to cover most of our country and then the Atlantic, typically!) It’s hard to feel refreshed and look presentable after that much flying! But, over the last few international flights, I’ve come up with a few tips and tricks to help make it bearable, even a bit enjoyable! (I guess that depends on your definition of enjoyable!) Here are some of the things I’ve learned that help along the way:
• Always wear comfortable clothes! (See my article on the perfect outfit for long plane flights here!) Of course I’m not talking pajama pants and t-shirts, but there are definitely some choices out there that are more comfortable than others. Black yoga pants, (especially the ones that look like dress pants) a lightweight tee shirt, and a comfy sweater are my favorite.
• Slip on shoes are best. They come off easily for security, but are fairly nice and comfy for the flight. Also they’re pretty easy to run in, should you have to get from one side of the airport to the other in a hurry!
• Bring a pair of comfy socks (the kind with the rubber dots on the bottom) for wearing on the plane. It’s like having slippers on, so comfy! And my feet tend to swell when I’m flying, so this makes the experience so much better for me. (Just slip on your comfy shoes every two hours or so to make sure that your feet aren’t swelling to the point where you can’t get them back on! You don’t want to be running around in the airport in your socks because you can’t get your shoes on!)
• Make sure to pack a few snacks. You never know what you might get on the plane, and you don’t want to be at the mercy of the shops in the airports, which will almost certainly not have any decent food or snacks. I always bring cashews, peanut butter filled pretzels, fruit leather/fruit snacks, and granola bars. They all travel well and don’t typically get crushed, plus they don’t take up a lot of space in my carry-on. As long as you don’t have liquids, foods are usually allowed through security.
• Bring some of the comforts of home. I always bring the following in travel size: Lotion, powder, mineral water spritzer bottle, bar soap, deodorant. While it’s not the most fun trying to freshen up in the airplane bathroom, it definitely beats arriving at your location all sticky and smelly-feeling.
• Be very minimal with makeup (if you’re a lady who uses makeup!) I don’t ever want to have to worry about my eyeliner, mascara, etc. So I don’t wear it – simple! I usually put on some powder foundation with SPF, which I also bring on the plane with me, and some lip balm. That’s all, nothing else. I don’t have smeared eyes when I get there, but I still look halfway decent. Also, I can refresh the foundation on the plane after I use my mineral water spritzer and lotion.
• Organize your carry on bag really well. I always put the stuff I primarily need on top. Ipad/Kindle, earphones, cell phone, wallet. A little below that are my snacks, then my comforts of home, and then anything else I’m bringing that needs carried on (a change of underwear, comfy socks, jewelry, etc)
• Splurge on the Wifi! You’re going to be in the air a minimum of 8 hours, so make the time count! Do something you enjoy. The time will definitely go faster if you’re doing something you love.
• A small vial of roll-on perfume can be a life saver! While I have frequently felt kind of yucky after 12 hours of flight, there are others that really don’t fare even as well as me. If one of your seat mates has started to sweat, or just perhaps doesn’t smell as nice as they did when they got on the plane, a small vial of perfume is absolutely essential! You can put a drop or two under your nose. This helps immensely with unpleasant odors that you may be subjected to.
• If you have room, bring a small facecloth. So many flights have changed from warm moist towels to disposable versions, which just don’t do the trick, in my opinion. You could even ask for an extra cup of tea water and make your own hot towel in the rest room. Trust me, nothing feels better than wiping down about an hour before landing. You’ll be glad you did!
Flying overseas is full of excitement, anticipation, and fun. And, if you do some pre-planning in your carry-on packing, you can arrive at your destination refreshed and ready to see all that the world has to offer you! What do you think? What are your best tips for staying fresh on a long flight? Until next time, travel joyful, friends!