Growing up, my mom had my sister and I dress up whenever we flew. Usually, I'd don a polo and khakis. As I aged and took more flights the culture of air travel and travel, at large, shifted. It’s more casual now, more routine. How we travel goes well beyond how we dress, but also how we prepare, endure and recover from air travel as more and more research comes out about the biological havoc flying does to our body. As I’ve come into my own as a person and have begun settling into my ways, my air routine is no doubt pretty much down pat.
What’s your routine? Let’s fly.
On my person
- Compression sleeves – I tend to wear them as well when I sleep, but given the effects on our circulation, I like to introduce some compression to help blood flow. Especially on longer flights.
- Comfortable socks – cushy, gym socks bonus points for some compression
- Glasses / Blue-light Glasses – recycled and at times, extremely stagnant air are disaster scenario for contacts. Anyone that needs optometric correction knows glasses are a whole lot more pleasant. I'll bring a pair of blue-light glasses if I'm working on my computer or planning on staring at my phone. If I’m just resting, I’ll usually remove any form of correction and give my eyes a break.
- Hat - I like keeping my head clean. It also helps to minimize the “junk light” from the overhead and aisles.
- Neck pillow – on shorter flights, a no. Longer? Yes, but with some trepidation. Their inconvenience has begun to outweigh their benefit recently as airlines are more accommodating. #OneLessThingToWorryAbout.
- Lightweight slip-on shoes – usually boat shoes pending extreme weather. Slip on, slip off is preferred.
- Layers – in my experience, plans tend to be colder than is usually comfortable. Also again less skin exposed to the light.
In my bag
- Charged devices – probably nothing worse in the world than a dead iPhone. It’s truly tragic.
- Proper headphones — for personal and flight devices — Apple forgot to notify the airlines when they decided to change the headphones jack on all their phones. Honest mistake.
- External battery with multi-purpose input -- self-explanatory, see above.
- Pen & Notebook -- I prefer pen and paper to their digital equivalents at times. I also like to give my eyes a break from screens.
Laptop, fully charged* – unless the night before – or the week – was one of quasi-responsible partying, I’m usually working. So having a FULLY charged laptop is key. Plus it can be a private movie theatre if necessary. Just remember to download them before to be safe.
- **Especially for international flights when wi-fi is likely unavailable**
- Extra Contacts
- Hand / Baby Wipes – :)
- Book – even if I’m not actively reading something (I usually am), I’ll bring a book.
- Aisle seat – I did say I hydrate a lot! So there’s that, and I also hate to excuse me’ing other fliers an abnormal amount. Generally, leg and arm room are a bit better too.
- Minimal carry-on – I’m not a fan of baggage claim, but sometimes it’s necessary. When it’s not, I try to be as compact and efficient as possible. Because if you’re not, there’s always a chance one of those bags ends up at your feet.
- Get up & move around – more than anyone else on the plane to stretch my legs
- Hydrate constantly – aqua. I drink more (~100oz) water than usual (~gallon) on flight days and on the flight.
- Fast – flights and the pressure changes, etc., are no bueno for metabolism and digestion. I try to fast once a week, so doing so on flight days are somewhat ideal. I give my system the day off since it’s all out of whack anyway because of the flight. Plus, you're usually not missing out on anything special.
On the Ground
- Shower – air quality overall and the whole environment is unhealthy – whole ‘nother post coming just on that! I personally don’t wear a mask, but it’s not a bad idea. Shower upon destination entrance though? You know it! Nothing like a post-flight cleanse.
- No shoes, barefoot on the natural ground, if possible. Ideally, there’s some natural ground available, and if not like is usually the case, I walk barefoot in whatever apartment, home or hotel I end up at.
- Sensory Deprivation Tank – If I’m feeling extra worn out, I’ll do 60 minutes in a float tank. Pricier for sure so I limit their use, but in times when I’m really sapped, I splurge to get back to neutral.