You probably already have some travel rituals. Some are simple pleasures, like allowing yourself to buy a full-price magazine to pass the time. Others are, well, guilty pleasures, like treating yourself to a pre-flight cocktail.
It’s rare to be up in the air improving your health. You’re lucky if you break even.
Let’s get serious. Flying is extremely taxing on our bodies. Airplane air, which is partially recycled and low in humidity, wreaks havoc on our skin, hair, lungs, eyes, and nose (anyone else have the “Head and Shoulders” song in their heads?).
After we land, our dreams of strutting off the plane looking like a celebrity are quickly dashed. It’s more common to see people disembark with red eyes, dry skin, and a runny nose.
The secret is not having super-human genes (although that probably helps). It lies in hydration.
Boy Scout leaders recently were asked for great hydration slogans. One was: “Don’t be a drip! Take a sip!”
If that isn’t working for you, perhaps these 5 tips will.
1. Bring a Reusable BPA-Free Water Bottle
Empty of course, to prevent a kerfuffle at security! In-flight beverage service only occurs several times a flight and miniature-sized glasses are not big enough to keep anyone refreshed.
There are so many reasons why this is a good idea. First, it’s economical. Airport water is expensive (a small bottle can go for $4!). Many airports also have purified drinking fountains you can use to fill your bottle pre-flight.
Second, it’s better for the environment. On an average flight, over 300 plastic cups are used and this will make for one less.
Third, you can maximize your intake of water. Flight attendants are generally amicable to filling it up for you in flight. Just sit in an aisle seat to allow yourself time to address the balance between water in and water out. You know what we mean.
2. Keep Your Nose Wet
The dry air in flight tends to parch our eyes, and especially our nose. Research says if the inside of your nose is dry, you’re more likely to get sick. One theory is that dogs keep their noses wet by licking them a lot. Assuming your tongue isn’t that long, pack a small saline nose spray in your carry-on and spritz it a few times during your travels.
It’s a natural alternative to keep your mucous membranes in your nose hydrated and ideally, germ-free. What, did you just think you were going to wet your whistle?
3. Moisturize that Naked Skin
This can be a relaxing pre-flight ritual, especially if you have an overnight flight to contend with.
Wash your face pre-flight and apply a rich moisturizer. We know not everyone will be happy with this advice, but we do suggest that you skip the makeup. Makeup and flying do not mix. The dry air will cause your mascara to flake, and your foundation will undoubtedly crease. Probably not the effect you were going for, ladies.
Bring some travel-sized bottles of the following: organic Argan Oil (great moisturizer for hands, face, and taming frizzy hair), a coconut oil-based lip balm and a hydrating facial mist.
Before landing, visit the bathroom and use a couple of facial wipes to perk up your complexion, and layer on your favourite moisturizer with SPF.
You: as dewy as a spring morning.
4. Skip the Alcohol, Coffee & Tea
We know we aren’t being very much fun. But it’s for your own good.
Although it’s tempting to imbibe, alcohol is the quickest way to get dehydrated in flight. The effects of even mild dehydration can result in the traveler’s worst enemy: jet lag.
If you must have a celebratory beverage, making it a spritzer is a good way to balance hydration with fun. Then guzzle that water, sista.
The same goes for coffee and tea. If you cannot live without a café latte in flight, be sure to offset it with an extra glass or two of water. You already have the bottle. You may as well use it.
5. Sleep or Meditate
Catching even an hour of shut-eye on the plane is an essential ingredient for a well-rested look. Sleep also helps your body and cells regenerate. Luckily, meditation does much the same so you can fake it until you make it.
Don an eye mask, a comfy pair of plain socks, noise-canceling headphones, and recline your seat, respectably of course (meaning look before you recline). Set your alarm so that you don’t oversleep, and let the flight attendants know they can wake you for meals.
Become very good friends with anything related to keeping you hydrated and moisturized and you could land ready for those paparazzi cameras.
Step two: get paparazzi…