We’re going to say something that might sound crazy to some…but we love long flights. It hasn’t always been this way. But, over time, we’ve developed a travel routine that prioritizes self-care and thoughtful use of this flight time that’s changed long transits into an enjoyable one that we look forward to. And, given the fact you probably have a long flight or two ahead of you in your lives, we wanted to share our self-care travel tips with you, so you can (hopefully!) experience that change, too. Here’s what we do:
This concept might sound basic, but we’re not talking about general planning here. Think about the number of hours in transit you’re supposed to have in front of you…and add a few to that number. Then, literally map out how you can fill those hours. Even if you’re more of a spontaneous person, knowing you have enough packed in your carry-on to occupy you will bring you peace of mind. This looks different for everyone, so we don’t want to tell you what your best plan might be. What’s important is that you spend some time thinking about what you want your experience to look like.
To that end, one of the best ways you can take care of yourself while in transit is to set intentions in advance for what you want the experience to look like. Do you want it to be a productive experience? Make sure you’re set up to do the kind of work that will allow you to accomplish those goals. Do you want to use the time to disconnect from work? Load up some podcasts or movies, grab a book or two (or get your kindle ready), bring your knitting (or whatever your hobby is, if you’re able to travel with it!), grab a notebook to journal or doodle…you get the picture.
Once you have a plan for how you’ll spend your time in transit, you can start packing your carry-on. But, no matter what your plan looks like, there are certain items we recommend every traveler bringing on board to take care of themselves on the journey. In our book, these are some of the essentials:
Your favorite travel pillow: There are so many options these days—you don’t have to lug around a classic neck pillow if you don’t want to!
A toothbrush and toothpaste: This can be a game changer during a long flight—for you and your travel companions
An extra pair of socks: Bring these at a bare minimum, but we even recommend an extra set of clothes, just in case…
A sweater: As many of us know all too well, flights can get chilly!
An eye mask: In case you want to pass a few of the hours by catching up on sleep.
Moisturizer: Flights can definitely be dehydrating, but this will help you avoid feeling the effects on your skin (especially if you’re headed to the beach!).
Water: Again here, you’ll want to be sure you stay hydrated. Bring an empty bottle with you and refill it once you get through security.
If you forget something, you can definitely ask the airline if they can hook you up, but, if you can help it, we recommend not relying on this.
One of the best pieces of travel advice we’ve ever received is to make sure we don’t spend our entire time in transit sitting still. In the past, we’d gotten off of long flights with sore joints, swollen ankles, and a general body ache that can really start your trip off on the wrong foot. Luckily, simply getting up once or twice an hour and walking up and down the aisle, along with some light in-seat stretching, can make a world of a difference. Here are some great exercises you can try from the comfort of your seat. If you end up with swollen ankles on the other side somehow, here’s how you can get rid of them as quickly as possible.
Do you have self-care tips for long travel experiences that could make a big difference for your fellow travelers? Tell us about them on Facebook, Twitter, or tag us on Instagram (@insureyonder) and we’ll spread the word!