I love traveling. Venturing to a new part of the world, getting lost in a different culture, being able to explore places foreign to me? Heck yes. But the actual traveling part of travel can be brutal.
As someone who flies a lot (and someone who researches even more) I have come up with my own ritual that makes flying significantly more enjoyable. Here are my fail-proof steps:
Only travel with a carry-on
As long as your trip is under 6-7 days, you can almost always get away with fitting everything into a carry-on. Not only will this save you the hassle of standing around at baggage claim when you’d rather be starting your vacation, you’ll also avoid paying any baggage fees!
Bring your own water bottle
…and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
The main reason you feel (and look) like garbage after a flight is because of how dehydrated you are. Between the cabin pressure and low humidity on planes, your body is most likely having a more difficult time breathing, possibly experiencing altitude sickness, and definitely experiencing water retention.
The best thing you can do to avoid this is to drink as much water as possible leading up to your flight and during. I always bring my own (empty) water bottle so I can refill it for free before my flight!
Choose a neck pillow you actually like
Neck Pillows: they are not all created equal.
For the longest time I couldn’t understand why the typical u-shaped neck pillows that everyone has wouldn’t work for me. And then I finally realized they weren’t my jam ergonomically speaking (yes I have an ergonomical jam).
Personally, I prefer a neck pillow that has support on either side of my head but is flat in the back. Airplane seats are already pretty forward leaning, in some cases even when reclined, so the extra padding directly behind my head in the classic u-shape pillow made it feel like my head was being pushed forward. The pillow that works best for me is Skysiesta Travel Pillow with foam head supports.
Here are some other suggestions that may work for you:
If you sometimes try to lean over onto your tray table to sleep but find it damn near impossible, you might like this lean over pillow that people rave about.
Compression Socks = Game Changer
Compression socks are used to increase circulation and decrease swelling/water retention, which are two of my biggest complaints after flying. Have you ever been on a flight and noticed how your knees or ankles are sore for no reason, and you spend half the flight trying to find a position that relieve the pressure or make the tingling stop? Or have you ever gotten off a plane to find that your feet/ankles are slightly swollen? Yeah, compression socks fix this.
I recommend this pair, they have a 5 star rating on Amazon and supposedly change lives.
If you’re bold enough, use a face mask when landing
I only started doing this last year but it has completely changed the flying game. I pack a sheet mask with me in my purse and when they announce the plane is preparing for landing, I open it up and put that baby on. I let it sit for 15-20 minutes while we descend and then right as we’re landing I take it off, put it back into it’s little packaging, rub the remaining serum in, and exit the plane glowy AF and fresh.
Do I get weird looks? Yup. Does my skin look significantly better than everyone else’s once I get off the plane? Yup.
My all time favorite masks are the Too Cool For School Egg Cream Hydration Masks.
Rehydrate After the Flight
Finally, if you’ve taken all the above steps and still feel “bleh” after your flight, you might want to check out rehydration sachets.
These babies work wonders for helping you rehydrate after a flight and can temporarily help with the puffiness you experience from water retention.
I used these after a flight to London where my feet were so swollen I could barely put on my shoes (I blame the in-flight Proseccos), and within 30 minutes of taking it I was back to normal. They should only be used as needed and never in excess, as they can cause you to retain even more water once you stop using them if you go overboard.
What are your tricks for making flying suck less?