Ever stepped off the plane after a brilliant holiday and felt so exhausted you could go straight on another one? Without the right preparation, long-distance flights can be tedious and exhausting. However, there are a few things you can do to minimize the toll that sitting on a plane for hours will take on your body and soul.

1) Keep yourself hydrated

Yes, airplane and airport bathrooms may not be the most pleasant places on earth (unless we’re talking mile-high club, that is). But that doesn’t mean you should skimp on the fluid intake. Technically speaking, having to go to the bathroom frequently while you’re on the plane is actually good for your blood flow. Try to drink as much still water as possible and avoid fizzy or caffeinated drinks. You can prevent getting charged a ridiculous amount of money on bottled water by taking an empty plastic bottle through security and filling it up afterwards.

2) Stock up on cosmetic testers before departure

Unfortunately, restrictions for bringing liquids on board include most cosmetic creams, lotions and make-up. To prevent losing your favourite foundation at the security check, pay a visit to the drugstore pre-departure and bag as many cosmetic testers and freebies as you can! They’re light to carry and usually proportioned to last you at least two uses – perfect if you want to freshen up mid-flight and before landing. Alternatively, you could also buy travel-sized empty containers and simply fill some of your beauty products in there. They’re available from most department stores as well as online.

3) Sleep, sleep, sleep

If you’re fortunate to have no problems falling asleep sat in a modestly-sized economy seat, good for you. Everyone else can enhance their chances of dozing off by investing in a neck pillow. The ones made from memory foam are usually a bit more expensive and take up more room than inflatable neck pillows, but they are definitely more comfortable. A variety of companies, including Squidgy and Bud, sell neck pillows with amazing designs, so don’t worry about looking like your grandma with one of these! My favourite is the ‘Around the world’ Squidgy pillow, priced at $19.00. Eye masks and ear plugs are also absolutely indispensable if you’re attempting to sleep on a long-distance flight.

4) Vaseline

We all know that vaseline is as versatile as it gets, but its not always the first thing we think about when packing for a flight. However, you can use it to substitute lip balm, make-up remover, hand lotion and face cream- reason enough to take a small jar on board!

5) Set yourself a timer

If you do manage to fall asleep, you don’t want to be rudely awakened by everyone around you rummaging around and packing up their things. Allow yourself 15 minutes before landing to go to the bathroom, perhaps touch up on your make up and pack your hand luggage.

6) Hand sanitizer

I’m sure you’d wash your hands after a trip to the bathroom… But did you know that’s not even where the most bacterias reside? Hand rests, head rests, door knobs, any kind of handles and the airplane magazines/safety instructions are much worse. By using anti-bacterial hand sanitizer, you can properly clean your hands before you eat or apply any kind of product to your face. Unfortunately, hand sanitizer isn’t the best thing for your skin, so make sure you moisturize your hands after applying it.

7) Entertainment

In case you can’t sleep, be prepared with enough material to keep you entertained. Magazines are lighter to carry than books and you can leave them on the plane when you’ve finished. Lorna has previously written about the advantages of traveling with a kindle, read her post here. Its also a good idea to have a couple of audiobooks and podcasts on your mp3 player as these will keep you entertained for a long period of time and, let’s face it, there’s only so many times you can listen to the new Red Hot Chili Peppers album before getting bored of it. By keeping yourself entertained, you’ll be less stressed out by the length of the flight and arrive fully revived and calm at your destination.

8 ) Wear comfortable clothing

Yes, we like to travel in style. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be comfortable at the same time. By wearing layers, you can avoid feeling too hot at the airport and too cold on the plane – or vice versa. Leggings or jeggings are super comfortable and they also have a slimming effect on your figure. If you wear ballerinas or flats, you can easily slip off your shoes without anyone noticing. Apart from adding a nice touch to your outfit, colourful scarves can also come in handy in many situations. You can use them as a blanket, turban, pillow… the possibilities are endless.

9) Avoid checking the time

It may be hard, but you’ve got to keep yourself from doing it. Checking your watch every five minutes will only make time pass by even slower and slowly cause you to feel restless and tense.

10) Don’t fall for the airline meal

Nobody says no to free food, but airline meals aren’t exactly the best thing for your well-being. They usually contain a lot of carbohydrates and few proteins, leaving you feeling stuffed immediately after eating, but hungry anew an hour or two later. I’m not saying skip the meal altogether, but its a good idea to bring along some digestive biscuits, muesli bars, crackers or fruit that you can munch on as well.  That way, you can have small snacks spread out over a longer period of time, rather than one or two big meals that may cause you to feel queasy. Having little servings of nibbles throughout the flight also gives you something to do- less chance of getting bored!

Carbs, carbs, carbs!

What’s your advice on looking and feeling good on long-distance flights? Please share with us by leaving a comment below.