I can’t wait to fly to Moscow today to attend an opening. I hit my snooze button at 5:00 am and managed to leave myself just enough time to skip the shower and run to the airport—hair in braid, hot latte in hand. Air travel is always a rush and a strain on the system but Millana and I both know that it is important to arrive to business meetings, shoots and events looking and feeling our best.
TIP 1: WEEK BEFORE TRAVELING: BE HEALTHY!
Eat well and drink a lot of water and try to do something active more days than you don’t. Take vitamins. This will set you up to feel better at the start of your trip, keep your immune system up for being in contact with so many people and generally make you feel more radiant. As a plus it will also help you to keep the side effects of flying at bay.
TIP 2: WEEK BEFORE TRAVELING: ALTER YOUR SLEEP SCHEDULE
If you are traveling to somewhere in a different time zone, it can be good to start to alter your sleep schedule slightly to be more like the place you are headed to. Headed west? Start to stay up a little later and wake up a little later if possible. Even a 1 or 2 hour difference several days before can make a difference when you reach your destination. And, it will help you to fall asleep and stay asleep. Sleep makes you beautiful!
TIP 3: DAY OF: PRACTICE YOGA, STRETCH OR RUN
On the day of your trip, get up a little early (if it is an early flight, do it the night before) and spend 30 minutes either doing yoga, stretching, running or doing something else very active. The lower pressure in the cabin of the airplane combined with sitting for hours makes the blood pool in your legs. Being active before you get on the plane can help with this.
TIP 4: MORNING OF: EAT BREAKFAST/LUNCH BEFORE THE AIRPORT, AND BRING SNACKS
Many of my friends starve themselves when they fly and when they vacation to eliminate feeling puffy..but don’t to this! First of all, it isn’t good for you to do this to your metabolism. But the more important thing is this: if you are hungry you are going to eat all the terrible things the airport and airplane throw at you. Airplane food is not the greatest in the first place but it also contains lots of salt. Much better to bring a bag of carrots and cucumbers with pretzel chips and hummus or a hard boiled egg and a piece of cheese. Or dried fruit. Or unsalted nuts! You will feel really smug when you pull out your Trader Joe’s care package and the people next to you are eating salty peanuts.
TIP 5: ON THE PLANE: DRINK LOTS OF WATER ON THE AIRPLANE…NOT ALCOHOLIC DRINKS!
For my friends in first class: they are secretly trying to ruin your trip with that free champagne! Some people drink on airplanes to cope, to make a good time out of something uncomfortable or even to fall asleep. Just don’t do that. Alcohol will make you dehydrate even faster in the dry recirculated air of the airplane. You will feel more jet lagged, more drained. Water is key. The nature of the air in planes literally sucks the water out of you. It is the primary reason (in addition to the sustained lower air pressure) that you feel down after the plane lands.
TIP 6: ON THE PLANE: STRETCH AND WALK AROUND
I sleep on planes really easily, but in the times when I am awake I really try to get up and walk around, stretch my legs under the seat in front of me (not on top of, that is just obnoxious). If you get up during a quiet time when the stewards are sitting down and people are sleeping you can use a spot in either the bulkhead or the attendant area to do some really simple yoga stretches. I recommend pulling your knees to your chest one at a time, forward bends, arm stretches and anything that makes you point your toes.
TIP 7: ON THE PLANE: MOISTURIZE, NO CONTACT LENSES
Again, the terrible dry air in the plane will make your skin freak out and turn to paper. I recommend traveling sans makeup with a calming moisturizer. I am currently using Neal’s Yard Remedies Frankinsense Intense. Re-apply half way through a long flight. Also, don’t wear contact lenses on the plane! Your eyes will be red and feel dry by the end.
I hope these airplane travel tips help you to feel a little bit more at ease during your next flight and help you to arrive feeling your best. It is amazing to see the world but can be exhausting if you don’t take care of yourself along the way. Now the trick will be to follow my own advice!
Love, Tegan Bukowski
Tegan is a vinyasa yoga teacher, architect and product designer, insatiable traveler, and co-founder of SERENE.