From the cramped legs, to the dehydration, to the plastic cased “food” with ingredients that look like they’re from a foreign country themselves, to needing a full 2 shoe sizes larger when you land… air travel can get a bit uncomfortable. Luckily, after some trial and error, I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve to hopefully make it a little more enjoyable.
1. Be your own flight attendant
Make your own food for the flight. I made an amazing salad with avocado, pea sprouts and grapes for the flight I was on which was not only incredibly delicious but was looked at by the flight attendant who congratulated me on bringing my own food… now that says something. Plus this allows you the freedom to eat whenever you want and not have wait, salivating while the attendant makes their way down the aisle.
2. Go easy, go light & kill two birds with one stone (so to speak)
- I pack lots of easy snacks as I get hungry waiting for the plane. This trip I took clementines, grapes, bananas and a trail mix of dried coconut, banana, gogi berries and raw cacao nibs. Packing fruit is not only easy but also very hydrating before a flight (hence the two birds with one stone). The trail mix is a good snack as well though I usually keep it for once i’ve arrived as dried fruit is high in sugar and can be dehydrating, but I love it as a little treat and even sprinkled some in my salad.
The smiley face ball? For a pulled muscle in my thigh… and a good laugh, its so darn cute.
3. Go coco for electrolytes
- This is one of my favourite tips! Perhaps because it’s the perfect excuse to load up on coconut water… as if we needed one though right? 😉 electrolytes are hugely important in maintaining hydration and may aid in reducing the foot swelling effect of the plane. I drink a large can of blue monkey (the only one I can drink on its own, and with pulp.. of course!) right before customs and keep another can or two in my luggage to drink once I’ve arrived.
4. I’ll have an organic rooibos tea please….
- I travel with my own tea bags in my carry on as you can always ask the stewardess for hot water. Peppermint is particularly good for digestion and relaxation but any herbal tea is great and… hydrating!! Other than that, I only drink water on the plane. Sugary juices, alcohol and caffeine are all very dehydrating.
- Of course you can’t take me anywhere without my supplements. In my carry on I keep it simple with digestive enzymes to help digest my food, a good multi vitamin, magnesium (for leg cramping) and melatonin in case I can’t sleep. melatonin helps to regulate sleep cycles and is great for jet leg. It doesn’t work for everyone and if you are one of those people, 5HTP is a precursor for melatonin in the body and may be a better option for you.
6. I C what you did there…
- Vitamin C is an absolute MUST for so many reasons including the fact that it boosts your immune system and… as you may have guessed… helps your cells stay hydrated among a thousand other benefits.
7. Speaking of seeing…
- ditch the contacts. I decided to do a project this year on contact lenses and eye health and as an avid contact wearer I have no idea why I did that! I still wear them but I’m a lot more conscious of them, especially when it comes to the dry conditions of an airplane. They should never be worn during this time as the extremely dry conditions can cause your contacts to become dry and can damage your eyes, especially over time. When it comes to your sight, you don’t want to mess around. I forgot when I was coming home this week and took them out of my eyes right after lift off, not the prettiest sight for the guy beside me i’m sure, but a girls gotta do what she’s gotta do.
8. Release your inner hippie
If you hadn’t already spotted me from my pink plaid luggage (you cant help but know its yours when it comes down the conveyor belt!), or my crazy printed yoga pants (comfy pants are a must), or my layers of jewelry, then you probably will when I take to doing yoga on the airport floor. Whether or not you want to go all out on this, some good, simple stretching before a long flight is crucial! Move your body and stretch your limbs, you don’t even need to stand up, just stretch in whatever way you can before and after. The flight compresses and stiffens your muscles and can restrict blood flow. If you want a more comfortable flight, get moving!
I always travel with my etheric weaver but you can take any grounding stones you’d like and some are very inexpensive. It’s important to stay grounded when you’re so high in the air and I never travel without it.
- The one other essential I am never without is a journal and a good soul read. My favourite? The power of now by Eckhart Tolle.
9. Prepare for take off
- I don’t normally advise gum chewing but this is an exception. It’s important to ease the air pressure from your middle ear. I like the brand Pur (available at health food stores) for this. Ginger is also a decent option. I like Gin-Gins which are also available at health food stores but very addictive so proceed with caution.
Perhaps it’s the high altitude, or the anticipation of wild adventures and uncharted discoveries, but air travel is a very surreal experience. Here I sit, soaring above the clouds in the company of many souls, all headed the same way and yet to different places entirely. And here, among the sleeping souls and darkness of the skies that have seen their last kiss of the sun you realize how insignificant your worries are in the vast expanse of things. It is as if you are looking down at a doll house and thinking “ill plop down there fore a little while” and you find yourself immersed in another reality. Its simply stunning. This is why my soul yearns to travel.
With much wander-lusting love,