Living in Australia and going on an International trip means that you will endure an incredibly long-haul flight. To give you some context, having travelled to Europe a few times, the total flight time can take anywhere between 21 to 26 hours. This week, I will be headed to New York City with a light 21 hour flight awaiting us. For an antsy, impatient person this is a very challenging feat having to sit in one spot for such a long period of time so I wanted to share some things that I do to make the time more bearable. I’ve also compiled a few tips on how to stay looking & feeling fresh during the flight so when you disembark the plane, you can still feel like somewhat of a human.
On keeping yourself busy…
Take a good book that you have already started and know that you are into. I have taken new, unopened and untested books with me before on a trip and realised that they weren’t keeping my attention and I just couldn’t commit to reading them. I recommend to start a book, make sure it’s captivating enough to help you pass the time and then take that book with you traveling. Make sure it isn’t a heavy, bulky item that is difficult to travel with. Going digital with a Kindle, Kobo or tablet is an awesome way to carry around a catalogue of reading materials that is also lightweight to carry.
If you aren’t interested in the on-board entertainment and own a tablet/iPad, load it up with episodes of a new TV series, documentaries and/or films. This way you can spend your time watching the shows that engross you the most! Or how about downloading a bunch of TED talks from YouTube and use this time to enhance your knowledge. After all, why waste your time watching shows/movies that you find boring if you can spend the time watching something interesting, right?
BYO headphones — the ones provided by the airlines are the cheapest, worst headphones ever! There I said it! The sound quality is absolute s***. On top of the fact that the sound quality is woeful, those headphones are reused on so many flights and I am not sure that they clean the plastic band in between uses. Sure, they give you new foam pads, but this is not enough for my neurotic little self (sorry!). Pretty much any headphones you bring will be better than the airline-provided ones. I recommend on or over-ear headphones for prolonged use. You will also need a headphone airline adapter so you can plug them into the armrest. The adaptor will set you back about $5 and is totally worth it in my opinion.
Work/write – Even though I am not an advocate of working on planes as this is actually one of the few times that you can be offline and uncontactable to the modern world so you should try to switch off and enjoy it. However, if you prefer to be productive during this time, you may as well work/ write/ do whatever it is that you do, especially if you have so many hours to kill.
Why not Meditate? Download apps/ sounds/ music on your iPod/phone and melt away the anxieties of life. A few great ones are listed in this article.
Exercise – so call me crazy, but I looked up some exercises to do on a plane. I don’t want to be the crazy woman walking up and down the aisles of a plane doing lunges and stretches as I am far too self-conscious for that. So luckily, Qantas have come up with an in-flight exercise program (seriously!) that you can do from your seat that will keep your muscles moving so you don’t get tight and sore from sitting in one place for too long. Believe it or not, I think you can actually do this routine without looking like a total weirdo. Let me be clear though, this is not a regime to get your heart rate up or anything, it is just so you get some movement after sitting for a long period of time.
On feeling good…
Snacks – Pack some healthy snacks to take with you on the flight. I love packing raw almonds and dried fruit to snack on. This is especially important if you are intolerant to certain foods that they offer on the plane to make sure you don’t end up with stomach cramps mid-air. I used to pack some dried seaweed snacks too, but I find these make me thirsty so I stopped that. *Chuckles* “These pretzels are makin’ me thirsty”… if this is lost on you, then let me remind you by clicking here.
Water!! Buy a big bottle of water from the non-restricted area of the airport before you get on a plane to keep yourself sufficiently hydrated during the flight. I find that I constantly have to get up and ask for more water. Since when is a 250ml bottle of water enough for a 14-hour journey? It is not my friends. (With that, make sure you are in an aisle seat so you can get up to use the bathroom when needed.)
If you are a nervous flyer, suffer from motion sickness and/or are subject to jet lag, I would suggest to take something like JetEase/ Travelcalm. I always suffer from the worst jet lag which seems to stick for a few days before I get into the swing of things and I find these help a little. I also recommend bringing crystallised ginger lollies to help with ear blocking.
On freshening up…
Airplanes need to have a pressurised cabin that controls the air pressure based on the altitude for a number of reasons, but mainly safety and comfort. The ventilation on the plane basically recycles and circulates the air that everyone is breathing in and out. Apart from being pretty gross and praying that no one is sick on the plane, it is incredibly drying on the skin and eyes. To mitigate looking like a zombie when I get off the plane, I also have a few tips, products and things that I use and do in between and during the flight, so here they are:
Eye drops — no one talks about how dry and tired your eyes get in an airplane. For me, this is an absolute must as my eyes get tired and sore. I am not sure whether it is the pressure in the cabin, the fact that the lights are partially dimmed for the majority of the flight or that you are watching movies on the small screen in front of you for long periods. Either way, I highly suggest to use eye drops to rehydrate your eyes and your eyes will thank you for it.
Hand Sanitiser – read comment above about the plane being a dirty environment, need I say more? Suggest to use hand sanitizer before eating, before applying any skincare to face, etc to protect and prevent disease and breakouts.
Bring a small vial of facial oil to hydrate your skin. I could go on a spiel of skincare routines on a plane, but let’s be real — no one sees you, no one is looking at you and frankly, no one cares so you do not need to wear a full face of makeup nor bring your entire skincare routine on the flight. Although this may surprise a few people, I certainly don’t. I take a small bottle of either Organic Rosehip Oil or Organic Argan Oil to use on my face, neck and hands during the flight. This works a treat to hydrate and protect the skin during the flight. I vote for Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil – (insert 1,000 heart emoji’s here). I also snuck in a separate hand cream, Josie Maran Whipped Intensive Hand Cream, which is one of my favourites.
If you have a stop over, have a shower at the airport — seems ridiculous, inconvenient, silly? Yes, all those things but it is not what it seems, I promise! Last time we flew to Europe, we flew 9 hours for the first leg, followed by 13 hours on the second leg. My other half persuaded me that we should go and have a shower after our initial 9 hours of flying and let me tell you…. I felt like a brand new person. I was no more a bleary–eyed, dehydrated and greasy gal. If you have a stopover half way (we usually stop in Singapore en-route to Europe for a few hours), this is really great as it gives you an opportunity to stretch your legs and move around and refresh.
Freshen up with Mints – Freshen that breath, that is all.
Deodorant – Freshen up those pits during the flight, that is all.
I also bring a few makeup items so I don’t scare the public once the flight is over. I bring a concealer, the Hourglass Hidden Corrective Concealer is a fantastic option which you can quickly smear under your eyes to conceal any darkness and on any spots (I use the shade ‘Vanilla’). I also take a cream blush that I can dab onto my cheeks and doubles as a lip colour. One of my faves is the STILA Convertible Colour in ‘Petunia’.
In addition to the above, the on-flight essential packing list should contain items including but not limited to — passport, tickets, sunglasses, Lip balm, a pen for filling out those customs forms, travel pillow, toothbrush and toothpaste. A few optionals include a face mist and a mini fragrance, sleep mask, ear plugs and wet wipes.
Let me know down below your in-flight essentials?