The miracle of flight is a beautiful thing. But for those of us for whom first class is a far off dream, a long international flight can sometimes be a grueling experience. The human body wasn't made to fly, but over the last hundred years we've been able to stock up some tips and tricks to make air travel a little more bearable for our fragile frames.
Here are three travel essentials to help you survive your next long haul flight:
Bring A Refillable Water Bottle
The pressurized cabins of an airplane are notorious for their extremely dry conditions. Sometimes it feels like every little drop of moisture in your body is being sucked up through the air filters. This isn't such a big deal on a quick two hour flight, but a 24-hour overseas trip can have some serious repercussions for your health and well-being. So drink up! 8 oz per hour of flight is the recommended dosage. It's even a good idea to start hydrating a few days before takeoff.
Pro tip: When the stewardess walks by for drinks, make sure to have a thermos or water bottle ready, and have her fill that up instead of one of those dinky little cups. They may give you a weird look at first, but believe me they'll respect your devotion to hydration sooner or later (right?).
Pro-pro tip: As tempting as it is to drink yourself into a stupor until you awake on the other side of your 24 hour flight, alcohol and caffeine dehydrate the system and should be avoided at all costs; unless you want to touch down with a mighty hangover.
Wear Compression Socks and Get Moving
You may now roam about the cabin.
And by all means, you should! While there will be times throughout the flight where you are restricted to your seat, there will also be plenty of time to get up and move around. Do some stretches; go for a little walk; I would probably recommend you refrain from jumping around though. The pressure of the cabin can lead to pooling of blood in your extremities which can lead to swelling, soreness, and even blood clots in certain individuals. Increasing blood flow is always a good thing.
Pro tip: Wear compression socks. They increase blood flow and decrease the negative effects of remaining seated for a few hours while thousands of feet in the air.
Buy an Eye Mask and Stay Rested
Invest in a good eye mask and take a nap, or four. While it is a good thing to keep moving and stretch to get your blood flowing, it's also important that you not be completely exhausted by the time you get to your destination. A good eye mask will ensure that you can get at least a little bit of shut eye. There's a lot of choices out there, just remember to buy one with contours for your eyes.
Just relax and remember that this flight may last a few hours, but the memories from travel last a lifetime.