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How to Stay Refreshed after a Long Flight

You know the feeling. You step on the plane excited for the adventure that awaits you at your destination. You are almost looking forward to the flight, to relaxing and devouring the book you just bought at the airport.  But by the end of it you feel nothing but gross, as if you haven’t showered in days and with a sick feeling in your stomach.  All you want is a shower and a nap. Here’s how to ensure that you step off the plane bright-eyed and ready for adventure:

Before the Flight:

Ditch the Sweats: Yes, it may be early and the flight may be long. However, once 7AM hits or you step off the flight, sweatpants are no longer socially acceptable.  Dress for comfort, but not for bed. Try jeans with additional stretch or pants that won’t wrinkle.

Layer Up: Plane temperatures can range from stifling to artic. Wear layers to maintain comfort and pack something warm just in case.

Slip ‘Em On: Wear shoes that are easily taken on and off. Take your shoes off for a little while at your seat and rotate your ankles. You will relieve a surprising amount of tension.

Seat Selection: Choose your seat wisely. If you frequent the restroom, choose the aisle. If you slip into catatonic sleep, choose the window.

Grease Monkey: Avoid ‘travel belly’ by dodging greasy foods the night before and the morning of your flight.

During the Flight:

Ginger Ale:  I rarely drink soda but always drink ginger ale when flying. Somewhere between the carbonation and sugar, I find it extremely refreshing.

Hydrate:  One of the main culprits of the gross-after-flight feeling is dehydration. Breathing recirculating dry air for hours will do that.  Ask for a cup of water along with your ginger ale or bring a bottle with you.  Hydrate as much as possible.

The Nose Knows: Long flights also dry out your nose. Bring saline spray and use it intermittently throughout the flight. Trust me, the awesome after use feeling trumps the awkward during use feeling.

Balmy: Your lips will also dry out! Pack lip balm and use it often.

Snack Right: Avoid ‘travel belly’ by skipping snacks high in sugar or salt.

Move and Stretch: Avoid feeling stiff and cramped by walking around at least every two hours. Don’t wait to use the restroom.

Flight from Belize City to Caye Caulker

After the Flight:

Switch-A-Roo:  Pack an extra shirt and pair of socks in your carry-on. Switch into them after the flight for a refreshed and pseudo-clean feeling.

D.O. for Your B.O.: Use deodorant as necessary.

Chew:  Remove the layer of grime in your mouth by chewing mint gum or brushing your teeth.  Admittedly, I’ve never brought myself to brushing my teeth in an airport though.

Tums: Couldn’t dodge ‘travel belly’? Snag a few tums from your carry-on.

Small Amount Caffeine: Drink something with a little sugar or caffeine, but limit the quantity.  You want something to perk you up but cause you to crash after a sugar spike.

What do you do to stay refreshed after flights? Comment below!


2 responses

  1. JobPatrol

    No sweatpants? Really??? Anyway, great tips! In terms of finding a good seat, the one website that I use to pick a seat is They have detailed maps of airplanes by airline and categorize seats as good, standard, or poor.

    March 15, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    • Thanks for reading and for the suggestion of, Roger! It looks like a cool site! And if you insist on sweatpants, at least change out of them later. I say this for your sake. 😉

      March 15, 2012 at 1:05 PM

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