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© since 2015 by Pauline la Petite. created with Wix.com

Tips on how to survive long flights

originally published February 10, 2019




It is not a secret to most of you that I LOVE traveling.

I grew up with parents that love to travel and sat on my first flight by myself when I was only six years old.


During the past three years, I have visited several different continents, and all in all, have stepped foot into 21 countries. 

Due to that many hours of my life were spent on different airplanes and airports.

To be honest, all these hours on crowded airports and air-conditioned airplanes,

fighting with dehydration and lack of sleep aren't my favorite part of traveling

I find them quite stressful, but they are part of it anyways, and I am happy to pay the price. 


Over the years I have gained experiences and many different tricks to make the whole process more enjoyable and also have less after effects once you arrive at your destination. 

I am a quiet low budget traveler as most young people have to be.


So, finding relatively cheap flights is a crucial essential to making all of it happen.

For saving money, I pay the price of long hours on airplanes and several layovers. 

I was lucky sometimes, but I also had journeys of over 40 hours with 12 hours in the air at a time.


It sounds horrible when you put it like that, and indeed it isn't the sweetest thing in the world. But when using all these Tips, it definitely isn't as bad as it sounds. 

The following Tips and Tricks

are for all these people out there who want to go on a long distance journey

and are fearing long hours on flights, but also all of those who are interested in making the whole process a bit more enjoyable and fun. 


My TOP TIPS on HOW TO SURVIVE LONG FLIGHTS :


Bring essential oils: 

If anybody now thinks:

 But I am not allowed to have liquids on the plane - I got ya girl.

Essential oils are in such small bottles that they usually never overreach the volume of 100ml.


If you are concerned about it anyways: Take a cotton pad and put a good amount of essential Oil on it, then you put it into a small sip bag, and you are good to go. 

My favorite essential Oils to take are Lavender (or Camomille) and Lemon. 

Lavender is known to reduce stress, calms the mind and helps with relaxing and falling asleep. 


When I am sitting on the plane and feel any stress or anxiety,

I put some of it onto my temples and sole of the feed.

I feel like the smell of it soothes my mind and helps me fall asleep.


Besides that, it just smells nice, and you don't need to smell of the people's breaths and farts and what not... 


My lemon essential oil is my holy grail! 

It is suitable for so many things!! 

I mostly use if shortly before landing and it is daytime outside.


Also when I want to work on the plane and concentrate, I put it on my ears. I use it as a perfume when I want to feel fresh (and again don't want to smell the people around me) 

Because of all the bacteria that is cruising around the air on airplanes, my skin tends to break out.


So, when I notice my skin going crazy, I instantly put some lemon essential oil on the spot, and it instantly kills off all bacteria and helps to dry out any inflammation. 


I luckily do not suffer from flying anxiety.  

But If you do !

I have heard from friends that when you feel uneasy stepping into the big metal bird, that taking 8-10 drops of CBD oil helps to reduce their stress levels and makes the whole trip more enjoyable. 

It can also be used directly on the skin for tensed shoulders or necks. 


Bring a non-plastic water bottle: 

The air-conditioning in flights it sucking out the water from your skin.

It is so easy to get dehydrated on flights. 

But dehydration is a big NO-NO if you don't want to damage your skin, suffer from constipation, feel energized and have clear skin! 

It is great to bring your own non-plastic bottle anywhere anyways (just to do something good for the planet and reduce plastic consumption). 

Especially on airplanes and airports, it turned out to be one of the best things you can bring! 


I am guilty.

I am the person on flights that continually annoys the flight attended to bring them more water..and more water...and more water.

Instead of using and asking for 300 plastic cups filled with one sip of water, I ask them to fill up my bottle. 


For some reason, they aren't allowed to give you one of their water bottles, but in my experience they usually have no problem with filling up your own water bottle with water. 

When you land and have a layover, it is brilliant to have a water bottle.

Most airports have water dispenser where you can fill them up instead of paying a ridiculous price for a plastic container. 


What I also found out to be amazing is bringing a little bit of Minerals onto a flight

(I highly recommend Schindele Mineralien https://www.mineralien.co.at ) and just put them in water.

Helps with replenishing all minerals you lose on the flight. 


Bring sleep mask and earplugs: (and a pillow if you feel like) 

(sometimes these things are provided by the airline, not always though) 

I don't know about you, but I am sensitive to light and noise when sleeping.

So these are an essential for me.

Close out the light and sound and going to sleep is much easier

( you can even put some essential oil on your sleeping mask - just don't get it into your eyes) 


Bring face masks and lip balm: 

I talked about dehydration before.

Using a face mask or under eye mask keeps your skin hydrated and smooth.

Also... You are sitting in there for so many hours. 

When is a better time to pamper yourself than now? 

Yes - You do look like an idiot but..... Who Cares?!  Nobody


Pro Tip: Use Sheet masks

They are less messy and super convenient to put on and take off

Bring (hand) sanitizer:

The obvious reason - hygiene.

Everything you are touching hundreds of people have touched before.


I prefer washing my hands but sometimes there is no possibility. 

Therefore I carry a sanitizing spray with me.

That way I can sanitize the bathroom but also my hands anytime I feel the need to. 

Bring moisturizer:

for your face and hands 

Same story.


When you have spent 10 hours or more on an airplane you will know how it feels when your skin is literally EATING up your moisturizer. 


Bring toothbrush: 

I like trying to keep the rituals that I have at home when going to bed and waking up whilst being on a flight to send signals to my body and help to trick it into a new time zone. 

I brush my teeth several times on a really long time, the same as washing my hands and face.

It gives you the chance to get up and move your legs but also feel fresh

There is nothing worse than feeling gross after a long flight. 


Bring face cleanser: (and a small towel) 

For the same reason I clean my teeth I wash my face and try to keep myself as fresh and clean as possible. 


Don't forget the towel - much nicer than using paper towels.


Bring your food and snacks: 

I ALWAYS bring my food on flights.

Sometimes I even have a separate bag only with food. ( Yes!)  

You would think people look weirdly at you or you get in trouble when going through security control having a ton of food in your carry on;

but:

No worries, as long as your food isn't too liquify its all fine. 


You are always allowed to take your food ON the plane. 

Taking it off the plane sometimes isn't allowed, but they will tell you. 

Plane food is mostly over seasoned ( too much salt -> enhancing dehydration) and besides that looks disgusting and is unhealthy.


Once, they forgot my vegan meal on a 10 hours flight and all I ate then was white bread and dates - not enjoyable. 

Because of that, I always bring my food and snacks.

It might be more work, but it is so worth it.


Also, then you have some lunch boxes with you while traveling, and they always turn out to be convenient. 

Depending on how long and what time of the day I am flying, as well as what food and kitchen I have access to,


I usually have some kind of oatmeal with me (- breakfast) and something for dinner/lunch: rice with vegetables, sandwiches or similar.  

Besides that, I try to bring fruit and veggies with high water density: Cucumber, grapes, apples, berries etc. 

Nuts and dried fruit are amazing to keep you going if you don't have any food left or anything goes wrong, and there are no healthy options around you anywhere. 

Sometimes I also bring a lemon, or a sip of apple cider vinegar.

( Only if there is enough space in my carry on and I already feel sick-ish, have bad digestion or similar)  and put that into hot water when I wake up.

It helps activate your metabolism when you are sitting for so long and also helps to keep your body alkaline, and detox.  


If possible,

Bring clothes to change:

I like having some options in case I sweat, or it is freezing on the plane or airport.

But what I always bring on a really long flight is cozy socks, a big scarf that can act as a blanket and a second pair of underwear. 



Pro Tip: 

Wear thrombosis stockings (or keep your legs up) 

For those of you that have problems with water retention or have a history of thrombosis, I recommend using thrombosis stockings.

I personally never used them, but so many times I wished I had them. 

I am flexible. 

Therefore my motto always was:  Keep your legs at least on hip level for as long as possible to prevent swollen and hurting ankles.

My butt often fell asleep, but it helps.

Having these socks makes it easier though. 

Try to adapt your sleep cycle to the time zone you are flying to right away: 

Before I get on the plane, I take my iPhone and add the time zone of the place I am going to. 

From the second I step on the plane I try to trick myself and pretend that I am in that time zone already.

I either force myself to stay up as long as possible, or to rest as much as possible.

When I arrive at my destination I try to stay awake, so Jetlag can't kick in too hard. 


Pro Tip against Jetlag: 

As soon as I get off the plane,

(or best out of the airport where you can stand on grass or proper ground)

I try to walk on the ground barefoot;

stand there, be for a while and connect to the earth.

Maybe sounds hippy to many, but it is proven to help.

Besides that, I can really recall feeling ungrounded and discontented to the earth and just a bit anxious after a long flight. 

This can be due to literally being disconnected to the earth element for a long time.

If you feel like that as well, 

I also recommend downloading "muladara" music and vibration and listening to them whilst being in the air, eating comforting or fried food and touching the earth.

( All these things activate your lowest chakra (Muladara Chakra) and ground you)  

Download podcasts and or audio books, bring a book, bring your laptop:  

You can watch movies on planes, but listening to new podcasts or audiobooks is my favorite thing. 

Having a good book that you usually never find time to read is excellent as well -

You have enough time now! 

I also like to bring my laptop and write or work on whatever I feel like needs or wants to get done. 


Last by not least: 

Bring a travel Yoga matt

I always have mine with me anyways.

But instead of putting it into my suitcase, I fold it tightly and keep it in my bag pack.

Whenever I have a layover in between long flights I am getting on my matt: 

Stretching out my neck and legs, doing headstands to help my blood circulation, and practicing pranayama in case of any travel anxiety. 

( If you want I can upload my favorite poses to do after long flights - let me know) 


That's it for today. 

I hope any of these tips were helpful to you, and maybe next time when it is time to climb the big bird you can look through my list and make your trip as enjoyable as possible. 

Take care 

xx 

Pauline