I’ve been asked a few times to share some of my tips for surviving long haul (10+ hour airline flights). To be honest, at this point I don’t really mind long flights so much. I get to watch all the bad movies that I want, I catch up with my Kindle, and I get to eat in a reclining position. What’s so bad? But I do have a few routines that I do on all of my long flights, to make them more tolerable, besides the obvious “bring your own entertainment,” “bring your own snacks” pieces of advice. So here are some that I’d like to share with you today..and I’d love to hear your survival tips as well in the comments!
1. Lots and lots and lots of water. I am obsessed with drinking water on planes. I have a procedure down pat – right before boarding and after security, I go and buy the biggest bottle (usually around a liter) of water that I can find in a gift shop, along with a smaller bottle of sparkling.
Then on the plane, I always ask for both sparkling and still water at any opportunity before and during the meal service. And drink it all. I don’t open my own bottles until bedtime, when there’s less service. Also, in business/first I always ask for the individual bottle of water if it isn’t already placed during turndown.
That equals two smaller and one large bottle of water…not to mention all of the water I ask for during meal/snack service. And yes, I drink every last drop. It helps keep my skin hydrated, and I’m convinced it helps me adapt jet lag wise. Do it! There’s virtually no downside, except for the cost of the water and the many bathroom breaks.
PS: You’re supposed to drink even more water when you’re pregnant by the way, and in the past quarter I’ve taken three transcontinental flights along with a bunch of domestic ones. I have found myself feeling more dehydrated in the past….so fellow preggos, you especially need to drink up on flights.
2. Changing into pajamas, immediately. My routine immediately upon boarding a plane – take off my coat and hand it over to be hung in a closet (I always wear my heaviest outerwear so that I don’t have to pack it), ask for water by my seat, stow luggage, and grab a little netted bag where I’ve folded my pajamas and dash straight into the plane bathroom. In there, I change into my pajamas, put my hair up, fold my regular clothes and stow in the bag, and I’m super comfortable for the rest of the flight. Seriously, once you go pajamas on a long haul flight…you don’t go back.
3. No makeup at all, and a fresh application of skincare products immediately after takeoff. After I change clothes, I always wash my face clean of any makeup. Please note: I never, ever use the water in the faucet in plane bathrooms (and neither should you) for anything (amended to say – I do use it to wash my hands, but will usually follow up with sanitizer after. I am paranoid). That water is very, very dirty! I usually end up just doing a swipe with my current favorite Lancome cleansing water instead – super neat, no rinsing necessary, no need to towel dry.
After I rinse, I put on fresh serum and moisturizer. I usually keep a small bottom of my favorite current facial oil on hand during the flight as well, to make sure my skin doesn’t dry out.
4. Socks and slippers. I’ve stopped taking home toiletries at hotels. My stash was getting out of hand, and I have enough tiny bottles of Aesop and L’Occitane for a lifetime anyway. What I do continue to grab however, are hotel slippers when they’re refreshed each night. I save these in my luggage, and use them the next time I travel. A lot of the times when I’m on a plane, I’ve worn boots on board since they take up so much room when packed otherwise. I don’t like wearing boots on long flights however – they’re obviously not as comfortable, and hard to take on and off when going to the the bathroom or walking around the plane. So, instead I usually take off my boots or shoes after I’ve settled in my seat, and put on some disposable slippers instead (which I obviously leave behind on the plane).
Some business/first class amenity kits do include slippers – however I can never remember which airlines always have it (Japanese ones are a good bet though), so I always have a pair in my luggage. All airline long haul amenity kits I’ve received have included socks – but I like to wear my own socks, and then slip on the airline’s over them. Double protection against germs. Yup.
5. Gigantic shawl. I’ve said it before many times – a huge, soft comfortable shawl is absolutely necessary for a long plane ride. It can double as a small blanket, a layer to keep you warm, folded up it can be a little pillow. A warm, big shawl is my security blanket on any flight and I never travel without one.
So there we have it….some of my favorite ways to survive long haul flights. What are yours?