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Thriving on long flights! UGH!

I remember what it was like to fly to NZ and Australia in the 70’s. The length of flight was approximately 24 hours but the service was wonderful: Real silver ware, and china for instance. Hot hand towels served before meals to make sure one’s hands were clean. All this on Economy class. I can only imagine what It was like in first class.

What they did not have was however the capability for movie and TV shows to entertain the mind and spirit.

The flight to NZ is approximately 14 hours depending upon your departure city. By the time you reach your destination you are ready to scream or to run off the plane dazed and crazed. All those crying children, and stuffy noses and coughing patrons. You have been awake all day or all night and now you are expected to relax on your way to your holiday.

If you are like me you do not want to miss a day of your carefully planned vacation. Arriving in less than fully rested condition can take the joy and fun out of any travel plans you may have made. Nor does anyone wish to end up in the local hospital with an injury or blood clot.

So here are some tips that I have helpful for remaining sane and well.

1) Don’t forget to drink a lot of water on the flight. When you order your free drinks skip the fruit juice and ask for water. Lots of it! Dehydration is a concern and most of us want to look like a fresh peach rather than a dried -up prune when we meet our guide or our family. Drinking water will lessen jet lag. Boosting your immune system as you are breathing in every one else’s germs from the airline is vital for your well-being.

2) Headphones: block out the noise and bring on the music or the film. If you have never binge watched this can be added to your bucket list. Just make sure you have comfortable head phones. Don’t Forget: download a relaxing sleep playlist and use an app like Spotify Premium (This helpful hint I received from another colleague and it is a life saver!)

3) Snacks: Avoid salty snack foods and sugary Quick Fix non-/ foods. Take high protein bars that are low in sugar and without saccharin or aspartame. Pack cheese or PB crackers and fruits.

4) Gum: while I dislike the sugar content in gum and worse yet the sweeteners in low sugar gum, gum can take away bad breath and relieve ear pressure while taking off or landing.

5) To keep your skin moisturized pack a moisturizing lotion. For hygiene take a dry shampoo spray bottle, a disposable toothbrush, natural deodorant, and hand sanitizer. Remember to clean off your table tray with a disposable hand cloth. Clean the handles as well on your seat arms. Drink plenty of water on the flight.

6) Don’t Forget: Medicine—keep your prescriptions in your carry-on, plus a few pain relievers. Eye drops are a must and do not pack your contact lens solution in your luggage. Do not forget the anti -nausea medications, cold medicines, headache relief tablets! And most importantly do not forget your contact lens case. If your flight is delayed your eyes will not thank you.

7) Compression Gear: Compression clothing will provide good circulation and prevent blood clots. Get a pair of knee high compression stockings at least 20-30 mm.

8) A large scarf can work as a blanket. In this way the airplane blanket grossness can be avoided.

9) Dress comfortable. It’s a long haul!

10) Bring a tablet, book or internet device. If the inflight entertainment goes off a magazine or book will be a lifesaver. Don’t Forget: Pre-download any shows or movies on any subscription services you have that allow this feature, like Amazon Prime or iTunes

11) Charge all your devices before you leave your home. But to ensure that you have all the power you will need for your device, pack a compact size portable charger.

12)Eye Mask and ear plugs: Eye masks help create a more relaxing environment for sleep. They are also a good jet-lag remedy, as sleeping in darkness makes you better rested. Make sure to pick a pair that doesn’t apply pressure around your head, like Dream Shields Sleeping Eye Mask Kit. Bring an extra pair of ear plugs as well. You may lose one and end up having nightmares over the screaming baby 2 rows over.

13) Take a pillow.

14) Travel with that perfect-sized under-seat bag for your computer, necessities, a pen and paper,

someplace to put all your essentials that doesn’t hog your leg room, fits a laptop, and still allows for easy access.

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