In two short weeks, I will be heading to Europe for 14 days, and I have already begun mentally preparing myself for the 9 hour flight to Budapest. As I have gotten older, and started traveling and flying more frequently, I have learned what helps to keep anxiety down, while en route to your destination.
1. Facial Wipes and Baby Wipes
For most international flights, you will depart early evening and arrive to your destination in the morning. In case you’re not aware, there are no showers on the flights. I recommend packing travel size baby wipes or facial/makeup wipes, and heading to the bathroom 30 minutes before you arrival to clean your face to help take off any excess dirt your face has produced while on the flight. Once you arrive to your destination, head to the restroom and use the baby wipes to give yourself a bird bath. Hey, you do the same with babies, why can’t you do it as an adult?
2. Bring an Extra Pair a Clothes in Your Carry On.
I like to dress comfortably for long flights which normally means leggings, baggy shirt and a sweatshirt. But once I arrive to my destination (after my bird bath), I change into something more stylish.
Keeping yourself hydrated is key. Bring an empty bottle with you to the airport and fill the bottle up at a fountain while you’re heading to your gate. It’s easy to lose water weight while on your flight, so occasionally have some water to keep yourself hydrated. Drinking/swallowing frequently can also help when your ears begin to pop!
4. Sleep Essentials
Some airlines will provide you with eye masks and a pillow, but to be on the safe side, carry an eye mask, a travel size pillow, and even ear plugs to drown out any unwanted sounds. If you’re like me, I need complete darkness and silence to get a good amount of restful sleep, and I always have the best luck when it comes to sitting next to someone who needs to keep the overhead light on for the entire flight (grr, hate those people!).
I’m not into purchasing in flight Wi-Fi, because it’s nice to be disconnected for a few hours, but I definitely need something to occupy my time. International flights normally have a wide array of films and TV shows, but I get anxious and can never settle on what to watch. Instead, I plan ahead and make sure my iPhone has everything I need to keep me entertained. I create a playlist on Spotify with about 500 songs (enough tracks to skip through and not repeat any songs), and I download about 2-3 episodes of my favorite podcasts to listen to.
My favorite portion to prepare for any travel is to pick out snacks to eat on the journey. Sometimes I will purchase junk food at the local drug store the day before and pack it in my backpack, but if I slack, I will splurge and buy all the goodies at Hudson News. I also always make sure to get ginger ale just in case I get motion sickness on the flights, because my stomach never matured with my body.
If you’re like any normal millennial and glued to your mobile devices, then you already know how important chargers are. Make sure to pack your charger in your carry on and also charge up your external battery as well. You can purchase a portable charger that works with any USB port on Amazon for just a few bucks. Most international flights have outlets for you to charge your phone, but again with my luck, I have definitely sat at one where my outlet didn’t work.
It may sound weird, but if you’re sitting in one spot for 8+ hours, it’s a good idea to get up periodically to keep your blood flowing. Every few hours get up and walk the aisle, go to the back of the plane and flex your legs. Personally I like to do squats and stretch my legs. Flight attendants have probably seen way worse, so no need to be bashful, get that blood flowing!