There’s nothing like the experience of traveling, whether you’re studying abroad, visiting relatives, or finally visiting that place that’s number one on your bucket list. Traveling is often romanticized through Instagram posts, eloquently written books, and magical movies. But before you get to wherever you’re going, you’re probably going to get on an airplane, which is not that much fun. Any flight that crosses the Atlantic Ocean is going to take at least five to six hours, which means that following bad travel habits may detriment your experience traveling abroad. Use these five tips to stay healthy and stress-free on the airplane, for a more pleasant experience once you’re on the ground.
1. Keep Track of Your Meals
Eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner is an instinct that will be disturbed when you’re traveling into a new time zone. The crew on your flight might follow the same time zone as the country your leaving, your destination, or some odd combination of both. You might even sleep through one of the meal times, leaving you with a deficit of energy. On the other hand, you might suddenly realize that you’ve managed to eat two breakfasts. Essentially, shoot for three meals – and don’t feel like you need to eat every time your offered food, especially if you want to grab a fresh meal after you’ve landed.
A Super Important Note: If you have any dietary restrictions, you should try to request a special diet meal when booking your trip, or a few weeks before your flight.
2. Remember That Airplanes Are Safe
It’s hard to believe that airplanes are safe when every single crash seems to be reported by the media. But try to remember that we live in a time of sensational news, so things that are less common are more likely to be reported on. In fact, traveling in a car or a truck is 100 times more more deadly than flying in an airplane.
So… if you’re worried about flying for the first time, that’s totally normally! We don’t have a built-in instinct for sitting in metal tubes that flies more than 500 mph in the sky – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t safe. On your first flight, take some deep breathes, and try to find the most ridiculous product in SkyMall to ease your nerves.
3. Trade Coffee or Tea for Water
If you’re flying for more than a couple of hours, you’re guaranteed to feel at least slightly gross once you’ve landed. To feel as refreshed as possible, try to drink as much water as you can on the plane. Hydration is key, so always try to opt for juice or water if a flight attendant offers you a beverage. If you’re really keen on drinking a caffeinated beverage, you should drink it in addition to water so that you don’t become dehydrated.
Travel Hack: Reusable water bottles can be super handy for traveling abroad*, and can even be helpful before you leave the country! Try packing an empty reusable water bottle in your carry-on, so that you can fill it up at a water fountain after you’ve passed security.
*Please check with hotel staff, tour guides, and/or another trusted source to make sure that you can drink water from the tap before putting your water bottle to use!
4. Sleep Carefully
Napping on a flight is always a good way to spend some time and rejuvenate your body. It’s also a lot healthier than watching three movies in a row! However, you should be strategic with when you decide to sleep. If you’re going to land in the early evening, then you might want to stick to a short nap so that you can still fall asleep at night. On the other hand, if you’re going to arrive at your destination in the morning, get as much sleep as possible! Sticking to your new time zone will make your whole travel experience much more pleasant.
Can’t Fall Asleep?: Try using an eye mask or a neck pillow to get comfy. If you don’t have time to purchase one before your flight, you’ll probably be able to purchase one in the airport.
5. Travel Lightly and Comfortably
If you’re going to check a bag, try to pack as much as you’re willing to in that bag. Walking around the airport with a stuffed backpack will leave you’re shoulders sore. While there’s always that one person that looks runway ready, you shouldn’t feel like you need to prioritize fashion over comfort on the plane. You should also consider packing a thick pair of socks and a sweatshirt in your bag, in the likely event that the plane is colder than a sub-zero refrigerator.
Not Willing to Part with Your Chic Style?: If you can’t live a day without looking your best, try packing some loungewear in your backpack that you can change into once you’re on the plane.