How to Stay Healthy When Flying Long Haul

Nothing used to excite me more than going to Tesco and buying bags and bags of sweets for a flight, even if it was only short-haul, but lately I’ve seen a few articles about how easy it is to have an unhealthy flight, which has made me reevaluate the contents of my hand luggage. Apart from the obvious passport, boarding pass, phone, headphones, book and sunglasses ― from now on ― my flight necessities have been somewhat upgraded.


Yep, that old chestnut. I am so guilty for not drinking enough water on a flight, but mainly because I don’t want to be that annoying seat neighbour who keeps getting up to the toilet. I once witnessed Darryl climb over a sleeping women, butt to face, and that’s not something I want to be caught doing. Unfortunately people are just going to have to deal with it because staying healthy is more important that a briefly disgruntled passenger if you ask me. When it comes to alcohol by all means order one celebratory beverage to kick off the holiday, but drinking wine after wine is going to dehydrate you significantly because of the altitude. And nobody likes a drunk on a plane, do they? You’ll be able to get unlimited water on the flight so aim to drink a cup every hour or two, or buy a few bottles before you board the plane.


Hydration doesn’t just affect you on the inside, it also really affects your appearance on the outside. I always see bloggers talking about their ‘in-flight skin care routine’ and whilst I won’t be taking it that far at this stage, I do now pack moisturiser and a trusty lip balm. Our flight to Mexico was around ten hours and the thought of my skin drying up mid-flight made me cringe, so I’m really glad I packed these for a little refresh. I also packed hand santiser because I’m a bit OCD about germs. If your flight is overnight then it’s also a good idea to brush your teeth and maybe cleanse your face with a wipe or something too. Basically, if you can go makeup free to let your skin breathe and have a little mid-flight pamper then you’re onto a winner.


I don’t need to be told to sleep because I’m the kind of person who panics if they don’t get a sold eight hours a night, but that said, it’s easy to underestimate how much sleep you need when you’re on a plane. Crying babies, rowdy lads, people asking you to move so they can go to the toilet (me) ― you name it ― it’s going to disturb you. I try to allocate some movie watching time, some reading time, some eating time (of course) and then whatever is left is reserved solely for sleep. It’s not remotely comfortable in economy, let’s be honest, but we can all make the best of it. The more energy you have when you arrive, the more you’re going to get from your holiday.


I have no idea what is in the food that I eat on a long flight and there’s probably no way of finding out, but I can’t imagine it’s good, put it that way. I don’t even enjoy the food so it seems like a total waste to me. That’s playing it down too, I literally used to fly with a cushion covering my face because I couldn’t bare the smell. I’m more tolerant now (sort of). If you really want to keep your diet on point then you’re best to take your own food with you, but personally I just make sure I have a few healthy snacks on hand. Little fruit pots, unprocessed bars such as the Nakd ones and little fruit, nut and seed sachets like these Whitworths ones are perfect. Have a few sweets if you want, I certainly wouldn’t refuse a Fruit Pastel or five, but filling up on healthy snacks is your best bet. Think protein and healthy fats!

Food, sleep and hydration aside ― try to keep your stress levels down, ideally by packing in advance and making it to the airport early, and remember to move as much as possible. It’s easy to sit there for the entire flight being too afraid that you’re going to irritate the people around you, but for the sake of your health, move. I didn’t move for almost fourteen hours when we flew from Dubai to Sydney and by the time I got to the hostel my legs were swollen and bruised. Not a hot look when you’re about to spend a month in a bikini, let me tell you. So, in summary, start your holiday off with a healthy flight and trust me ― you’re setting yourself up for a great trip!


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