10 Tips for Long Distance Flying
This article originally appeared on Yoganonymous.com.
You might love long-distance travel—but do you love the way you look and feel after 14 hours stuck inside of a plane?
Chances are, your feet are bloated and barely fit in your shoes, your skin looks tired, your stomach feels wonky, and although you can’t wait to explore your destination, you may feel like you need a nap.
Why would you need a nap after 14 hours in a plane? Why would you feel wonky? Why wouldn’t you walk off feeling refreshed and ready to go?
Whether it’s a six-hour flight or a 17-hour flight, there’s an art to flying right. It took me years to nail this down, but after my wanderlust started to get the best me, and I was spending five days in a country half-way around the world—I realized, there are no moments to waste. You have to take advantage of every hour of your trip so that you can have the best possible experience. I mean, who really wants to get to Shanghai and spend the day sleeping? Not me, and I’m guessing, not you.
I’ve created the ultimate travel guide to help you replenish your body during and after your long-distance flight, beat jet lag, and reset your energetic body so that you are up for a full dose of adventure.
10 Tips for Long Distance Flying
1. Dress like you are going to the spa
Think comfy, loose clothing made from soft materials. Do not worry about being the most stylish person on the plane—just focus on comfort. If you’re meeting a loved one at the airport and want to look great when you see them, pack an outfit in your carry on, and change in the bathroom after you land.
I recommend heading to the bathroom when you deplane anyway, to straighten up, brush your hair, brush your teeth, and splash your face with water in a regular sized sink (rather than a tiny plane bathroom sink).
4. Drink a hydrating water blend
When you are traveling, it’s easy to overwhelm your adrenal system and become stressed and dehydrated. The best way to combat this is to make your own water blend.
After you pass through security, head to a cafe and pick up a bottle of water. Drink a little bit out of the top, and then squeeze a packet of honey into the water bottle. Add a pinch or two of sea salt, and drop in a piece of fruit (think cucumber, watermelon, pineapple).
You can buy a fruit cup and get the fruit that way, or pack the fruit beforehand in a plastic container. Make sure you use sea salt, and not table salt (you may have to pack sea salt in your carry on—trust me, this is well worth it! TSA will not throw a fit, I promise).
This water blend will help keep you hydrated, will replenish your adrenal levels, and put your body into a state of glowing bliss. Feel free to drink this throughout the first few days of your trip to avoid fatigue, dehydration, and feelings of jet lag.
2. Pack essential oils in your carry on
You may notice flight attendants walking by spraying something into the air before take off. What they are spraying is some form of disinfectant to kill airborne bacteria. Help yourself stay sick-free without adding extra chemicals by bringing essential oils on the plane. I recommend bringing peppermint, cinnamon, lemon, or tea tree essential oils—these, and many others, are great at killing germs and bacteria. (Make sure your skin is comfortable with the oil you choose. Test it out before your plane ride—so that you don’t break out in hives!)
Take a few drops, and rub the oil on your wrist’s pulse points, the sides of your neck, your chest (if exposed), and right at the base of your nose. This will give your system a boost, and will kill off airborne germs before they even enter your body.
3. Treat your feet right
After you’ve spent an hour or so on the plane, and you are ready to relax, take your essential oil and rub it on the soles of your feet. Yes, someone might look at you and think, what are you doing? But the thing is, they will be looking at you with curiosity and envy!
The soles of your feet have some of the largest pores in your body, making it easy for your system to quickly absorb the benefits of the essential oil. After rubbing a few drops of oil on each food, grab a pair of tight socks and slide your feet in.
No one wants to wear uncomfortable shoes for the entire plane ride, but no one wants to see you bare feet either—I like to pair the thick, tight socks with slippers during the plane ride (or even comfy sandals). Doing this will leave you feeling very relaxed, and will stop your ankles from becoming cankles during the long journey.
5. Rehydrate your skin
When you’re ready to take a nap or fall into a deep slumber during your flight, don’t miss the opportunity to rehydrate your skin. Traveling has the tendency to dehydrate your body, leaving your skin looking tired and dull.
Combat this by packing your favorite eye cream and an eye mask (to block out light) in your carry on. Right before you’re ready to doze off, pull out the eye cream, apply liberal amounts to the area around your eyes, and then cover your eyes with your eye mask.
While you sleep, your body can absorb lotions and creams much better than when you are awake. So use this time to keep your eyes looking fresh, and use the eye mask to help yourself get a deeper sleep. Add in some ear plugs if you really want to snooze, and you’ll be waking up feeling refreshed and revived.
6. Bring your own snacks
Let’s be honest—plane food is disgusting. Seriously, what is that stuff? As a raw nutritionist, I won’t touch it—and you shouldn’t either.
I recommend packing goji berries, cacao beans, coconut chips, raisins, dried fruit, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, apples, veggies, and/or fruits in your carry on. These foods are light, nutrient rich, and packed with good fats to keep your blood sugar balanced throughout the plane ride.
7. Reset your energetic body
Once you land, you need to reset your energetic body. Planes are filled with electromagnetic radiation, and can leave you feeling spacey, frazzled, or wired (especially if you are energetically sensitive). Beat the punch by resetting your energetic body by grounding yourself before and after the flight.
You can do this by activating your pressure points to reset your energy, and taking deep breaths to bring more oxygen into your cells.
8. Get into legs up the wall pose
When you fly for hours on end, all of the blood flows away from your head and straight to your feet. The result? Puffy, fat feet that look like they belong to a troll.
Combat this by getting into legs up the wall pose and staying there for 15-20 minutes when you get to your hotel or home. This will reverse your blood flow, allowing more blood to get into the upper half of your body—bringing blood back into the brain, settling stomach imbalances, and relaxing your entire system. Think of it as a "welcome to vacation" meditation practice.
9. Two minutes of Breath of Fire
Now that you’ve endured the flight, kept yourself hydrated, have successfully reset your energy, and reversed your blood flow—it’s time to strengthen your energy field so that you are up for your adventurous trip.
Traveling to new environments can be interesting, but also overwhelming—so I recommend strengthening your energetic body with the kundalini practice of breath of fire. I recommend beginning each day of your trip with breath of fire for at least two minutes—it will keep you going throughout the day, and will even help you overcome bouts of jet lag.
Not sure how to do it? Check out this video.
10. Give yourself 12 hours in your destination before eating heavy food
This 12-hour window after you land is the perfect time to set your body up for a successful trip, so don’t waste it! After flying, your stomach may not be able to handle heavy and dense food. Give yourself a few hours before diving into a plate of grub. Remember, hydration is key, so down as much water as you comfortably can.
If you are staying with a host family, or family friend, make sure they know that you would like to keep the first day’s food light and airy (think leafy greens, veggies, fruits, salads)—you don't want them slaving away in the kitchen for you, if you won't be willing to eat the fruits of their labor.