How to Survive Air Travel

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Air travel, especially when travelling long haul or multiple trips within a short space of time, can soon become incredibly draining and tiresome. But there are a few simple tips to help you survive air travel and enjoy the journey just as much as the destination. Here’s how…


Manage Your Flights

When making your booking, look for a red-eye overnight flight if you are travelling long haul so you can arrive rested on the other side. If your flight is five hours or under you know you won’t get any sleep, so instead look for a day flight when taking shorter routes. If you don’t sleep on planes you might consider a sleeping aid – just be sure not to take any sleeping aid until the plane has left the ground! If you end up stuck on the ground and have to disembark the aircraft for any reason, the last thing you want to do is be falling asleep standing up!

Manage Your Jet Lag

Sometimes despite our bet efforts, an onset of severe jetlag is inevitable. This is especially true for travellers departing or arriving in Australia, as it is around a 30-hour flight journey over to Europe or a straight 13 hour flight direct to Los Angeles! There are however ways to combat jetlag once it does hit your body. Be sure to adjust your sleeping pattern to that of your destination as soon as possible – this is without a doubt the best way to combat jetlag head on. There are some great apps on the market to assist with this, including Jetlag Rooster (FREE) and Jetlag Genie ($2.99).

Look After your Skin

The condition of your skin is a direct reflection of how you treat your body. Be sure to follow your regular skincare routine, including removing all make-up before going to sleep on the flight. Try to avoid using the water in the lavatories, however, as this is incredibly unclean. Make-up wipes are a saviour in this instance! Be sure to lightly moisturise your face and hands as well, especially given the dehydrating effects of the air-conditioning once on board. You might like to invest in a traveller’s favourite, the Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream, which will be your best tool to keeping your skin hydrated and fresh.

Products that will love you as much as you love them:

Drink plenty of water

Sounds simple, but it will certainly do the trick. Drink plenty of water before, during and after your journey to keep your body hydrated from the inside out. If you can, try to avoid caffeine on the day of flying and skip the alcoholic beverages on board.

Over to you! Do you have any additional tips that help you combat jetlag or ease the effects of flying on your body? Please do leave a comment and join the conversation!

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    January 5, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    I brought a small oil on board with me and slathered it on me before I go to sleep on a long haul flight. Makes such a good difference!

    March 9, 2015 at 11:19 pm

    Drinking water is obviously THE most important thing that helps you survive a long flight. Somehow you’re just way less tired.
    What also helps, of course, is wearing the most comfy shoes you ever have – you have no idea how tired legs can affect your general physical state! There are also special knee-length socks that help circulation (you can put them on on a plane) – quite helpful if you’re making one of those crazy long flights and have to remain in a sitting position for 1o+ hours!

    March 4, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    I never thought about adjusting my sleeping pattern beforehand so thanks for that tip! The largest time difference I experienced was 3.5 hours, and even though its not much, it still impacted me.
    Will keep the sleeping pattern thing in mind when I decide to go to the US!

    March 2, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    My first time at air travel was surprising. I was like a kid fiddling with all the free stuff in the airplane and I was looking out the window to see all the small houses and cars. It was amazing.

    Judi Abbott
    March 1, 2015 at 8:26 am

    I buy a carry on size of hydrating spray (Evian makes one) and spritz my face often when on a long flight. A good moisture base such as the EA 8 hour cream does help too.

    Claire and Laura
    March 1, 2015 at 3:57 am

    Oh, we wrote about this too! One valuable lesson we learned is to eat accordingly on your flight to the time zone you’re heading towards. i.e. eating a chicken curry two hours before you land in a country who are just waking up for breakfast just confuses your tummy. We always avoid alcohol on flights because we’ve seen far too many people land pretty hungover on long haul flights. And lastly, always change your watch to the new time zone as soon as you get on your flight to help mentally adjust!

    February 28, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    Great tips Brooke! Definitely a good idea to stay hydrated. I’m that person who is asking for water on planes. I wish they provided you with a bottle of water instead of those teeny tiny cups!
    I always like bringing my noise cancelling headphones, and an airplane jack (so I can actually use them). Another one is a bulky scarf to use for added comfort!

    Chalsie | The Workshop Co. x

    February 28, 2015 at 10:06 am

    Hydration is really the key to feeling good on a flight!

    February 28, 2015 at 3:31 am

    I like to download podcasts and movies to listen/watch while taking off, taxing, or landing when the entertainment sets aren’t up yet. Also for domestic flights without individual sets. I also bring a book or download an ebook to read so I have choices depending on my mood. As for beauty, I also always bring along a moisture face pack to use for an hour. This really helps me to feel dewy & fresh the whole time! Obviously I also take a journal to write down thoughts or letters or sketch. Best time to do it is when you’re stuck on a long flight!

    Characters & Carry-ons

    February 28, 2015 at 2:40 am

    I think to drink a ton of liquids on my flights- yes, I have to keep going to the bathroom often, but it allows me to stretch my legs, and keeps me hydrated.

    February 28, 2015 at 2:33 am

    Thank you for these really helpful tips Brooke.

    February 28, 2015 at 1:29 am

    A toothbrush is great, but difficult if you’re in the window seat. I love Wisps. They allow you to brush your teeth without water!
    My checklist for flights from US to Singapore. Eye mask, ear plugs, blanket, sleep aid, good book, face wipes, Wisps, moisterizer, Melatonin. I try to take a night flight and stay up on the first leg even though it’s my night. I will then take a melatonin and a sleep aid and sleep on the second half of the journey so when I land in Singapore it’s morning and I’ve just woken up. It doesn’t eliminate jet lag, but it helps.

    February 28, 2015 at 1:25 am

    I think this discussion is highly important :), especially after flying long distance a bunch of times. All you guys have offered wonderful tips and tricks! I wanted to add a few for the person who gets motion sickness on a plane (like myself) so they can learn to work with it.

    So, for all you people who get plane-sick, here are 5 ways to combat it:

    1. Ginger is your best friend! Try finding ginger lollies/chews/ or capsules. I used to get so sick before I found these. Take them as regularly as the box allows.
    2. Try getting a window seat – being able to see the horizon stops your brain from freaking out and thinking you are moving/not moving, which causes all kinds of motion sickness. If you look at the small TVs you may begin to feel more sick, so be careful.
    3. When there is turbulence, pop in a ginger lozenge, and try and ride the turbulence like you are riding a horse. Move with it. Sounds crazy, yes, but it works well for me.
    4. Do NOT under any circumstances eat cheese on the flight. Or anything dairy. If your tummy feels full, I guarantee you will be more likely to throw up.
    5. And finally, try to have a nap, it can help speed up the time you are dealing with this flight.

    All the best to you all 🙂
    Zoe xx

    February 28, 2015 at 1:08 am

    I have a bunch to add!
    I’m a pharmacist so my “travel essentials” bag is a little hefty!
    A really important one no one has mentioned is moisturing eye drops – the air on the plane is super drying not only to your skin but also your eyes and nose.
    I also use fess frequent flier nasal spray to keep the nose and sinuses unblocked and moisturized, it’s just saline with some essential oils, so totally natural. I also use a natural hydrating rose water spritz.
    And my secret weapon to battle jet lag: melatonin tablets – you need a prescription in Australia, but they aim to mimic your natural circadian rhythm, which is what is disturbed when traveling causing the jet lag. I can vouch that they are awesome. I used them flying from Brisbane to Milan via Bankok and Zurich – approx 35 hours travel and I can say I didn’t need a single day time nap.

    Michelle | Lights Camera Travel
    February 27, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    Definitely face wipes, moisturiser and drinking so much water you annoy the person you keep having to climb over! A toothbrush/toothpaste also helps. My method for dealing with jet lag is drastic but quite effective – just force myself to stay awake by doing stimulating activities until it is an acceptable time to sleep in the destination!

    February 27, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Also it is very important to move your legs frequently during long distance flights. It allows blood to flow and prevents from the deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Some airlines suggest pulling each knee up toward the chest and holding it there with your hands on your lower leg for 15 seconds, and repeat up to 10 times.
    So do practice during your next flight!
    Bartek from Gdansk, Poland

    February 27, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Good tips!! I thought plane travel was bad…. I’ve just experienced a whole new level of bad travelling, overnight buses in Vietnam! The devil!

    21 year old backpacker currently in Vietnam

    • Brooke Saward
      February 27, 2015 at 11:27 pm

      Oh my goodness – tell me more!? how was it!!!

    Susan the farm quilter
    February 27, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    My favorite way to fly long hauls is by sitting in business class – love the chair that lays down flat, full-sized down pillow and full-sized down comforter! Of course, the cost is insane, but if I can swing it, I’d rather save for a bit longer and fly up front!! Of course, if you are lucky enough to volunteer to get bumped and moved up a class for a later flight, that works too!

    February 27, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    Great tips. I would just add a few things:

    1. Bring earbuds, a music player, and your favorite tunes. Sometimes the in-flight entertainment doesn’t have what you are looking for.

    2. Bring a good book or movie or something you are REALLY looking forward to enjoying while on the plane ride.

    3. Bring a toothbrush and toothpaste so you can get all cleaned out when you start to feel yucky.

    • Brooke Saward
      February 27, 2015 at 11:29 pm

      Totally hearing you on the book you REALLY wanna read! nothing worse than getting on board and nothing on the entertainment system takes your fancy… or they don’t have them!!!!! I always take my laptop and write for the journey 🙂

    February 27, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Great tips. I’ve only been on an overseas flight 6 times but I can never sleep on them. I come prepared with an eye mask, neck pillow and ear plugs but it’s so hard to sleep. Maybe taking a sleep aid will help so thanks for the tip! 🙂

    Jennifer Stevens
    February 27, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    Great post. I had no idea about the apps; although most of the time I have issues with jet lag it’s because there’s a 13-hour difference. What can you do about that other than be tired and cranky for a week? I actually wrote a similar post this week after surviving two back-to-back 14-hour flights:

    • Brooke Saward
      February 27, 2015 at 11:31 pm

      Great blog, Jennifer! Thanks for bringing my (and other readers’) attention to it!! 🙂

    Petra @ The Global Couple
    February 27, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    These are some great tips, thanks! I always forget to look after my skin on a flight. I actually wrote a similar post but with some different tips to yours – check it out!