Sleep Like A Baby on an Overseas Flight

I’ve spent a night or two sleeping on the floor of an international airport (Oh and it was New Years Eve too! Fun story!) Getting stranded away from home during the holidays or any time of year if you find yourself

International travel to Italy in 2022? High-five vacation cat!

sleeping on an airplane or at an airport life can be uncomfortable and stressful. Sometimes shit happens, flights get canceled, shit hits the fan and you find yourself stranded in an airport for eight hours. It’s not worth leaving the airport, you might as well get comfortable on that airport floor. So how can you stay healthy on a plane or in an airport with little to no stress involved?

Now that this deadly pandemic is finally behind us international plane travel and trips to visit friends and family that are globally distant can once again be a reality. So are you ready to sleep on a plane again? It’s a daunting thought when you are a germ-a-phobic like me so how can stay healthy on a plane in 2022?

How to stay healthy on a plane in 2022

Hopefully, this holiday season finds your holiday travels full of fun and not too much sleeping in airports but you really never know at busy holiday airports. How can you keep your sanity and get just a little zen while sleeping at an airport, on a plane or just traveling worldwide? Put down the Xanax and let me prescribe something a bit more natural, like lavender oil and Kava tea. There are a few ways, believe it or not to stay healthy on a plane!

Relaxing in a bar in India with a vacation cat, pre-pandemic.

There is nothing like reaching your holiday destination whether it’s Bangalore, India or Caines, Australia half a world away from your home and falling out of an airport into nearly eighty percent humidity.  And you might also be ridiculously jet-lagged. Jet lag can steal precious minutes and even days out of your long-planned holiday across the globe. No worldwide adventurer wants that. This holiday season, let me recommend a few easy tips to hopefully have you sleeping like a baby on a flight or in between flights.

One of my biggest tips for worldwide travel is to sleep as much as you can on flights. Sometimes that is easier said than done when you have a screaming child inches behind your head in the economy section. Oh, and they are also kicking the back of your seat for eight hours straight. This is when I like to snort, I mean sniff my vile of travel lavender oil. I rub lavender oil on my wrist pulse points and try to pretend I’m at my favorite day spa. And not surrounded by Covid germs on a sold-out flight. (This might also be when I break out the Emergen-ce.) When traveling I try my best to stay healthy on a plane.

stay healthy on a plane
Burj Khalifa after a sleepless airport night in 2019.

On our recent trip out of the states to Dubai and then India we were stuck in a tiny little very old 747 after all the A300’s airbusses were grounded in the great flight fiasco of 2019. As we complained about being squished into tiny cramped seating little did we know what was just two months in our future! The Boeing we ended up traveling half a world away in was absolutely tiny. My boyfriend and I are not huge people and we wondered how friends of ours who are not petite could possibly deal with being wedged into these tiny seats for eight hours. Our nine-hour flight, from LAX to London has to be one of the most uncomfortable flights of my life. My legs ached all the way into my butt cheeks wedged into that tiny plane. It didn’t help either that the turbulence was terrible and hard to sleep through. I had not actually flown anywhere in four years and just assumed the flight would provide earplugs. Nope. Not in 2019 and not on American Airlines. My top airline travel tip is to pack earplugs, a sleep mask, melatonin and a comfortable neck pillow. Because God knows what will actually be provided by the airline here and now.

One of my biggest grievances with flying internationally is that when I do sleep on a plane I always wake up with a stiff neck. In the past few years those fluffy neck pillows you see travelers carrying through airports have come a long way. Added plus; You can also beat your boyfriend with it in the seat next to you when he starts snoring and you are still awake! I love to spray my neck pillow before I leave with Bath and Body Works Lavender and Cedarwood sleep spray. I always spray my neck pillow at home, because no one wants to smell someone else cologne, hand lotion or sleep spray on a crowded airplane.

There are a few very important things I always pack in my carry-on bag for a long flight.

  • Emergency
  • Lavender hand sanitizer
  • Sleep mask
  • Ear plugs
  • Melatonin
  • Kava Tea
  • Lavender oil
  • Smooth Move Tea
  • Ear plugs
  • Organic free trade instant coffee
  • Refreshing tea tree face wash
  • Mouthwash

Hiding from air germs

Let’s face it, aside from crying babies, airplanes are also kind of full of germs. If I’m traveling on a plane then I’m more than likely on holiday. I’m probably going somewhere fun and I do not want to get sick when I get there. Emergence, Echinacea tea and lavender hand sanitizer from Whole Foods are my trilogies of secrets.

stay healthy on a plane
An Indian jungle. Yes, I could poo here.

I’m in my late thirties now and have a lot of friends who are older than I and one thing ladies love to talk about is how backed up they get when they travel. Not me. Show me a hole in a jungle village in India and I’m all over it.

I will do anything not to bust a gasket. I’m a camper and scary bathrooms or no bathrooms at all are not a make or break for a great vacation to me. After a month of holiday in India or Italy or anywhere else with heavy, fatty carb-loaded cuisine I highly recommend scheduling a colonic after your holiday. You will feel worlds better, trust me. But if you are not as regular as I am, I highly recommend packing Smooth Move Tea (You can buy it at Target or Sprout’s) Changing continents and time zones can be very confusing to your body when it comes to bowel movements. No one wants to be that family member who is full of shit.

stay healthy on a plane
Catching the worst stomach bug ever at Borough Market, UK

Drinking the night before may sound tempting and free wine is always fun but I’ll stick with relaxing kava tea. I have a lot of friends who take Benadryl on flights but I have found it makes me very groggy the next day. I’ll stick to more natural melatonin, magnesium or kava tea. The number one thing you should not do when trying to fall asleep on a plane is staring at your phone or read on your phone. Reading a book is a natural way to fall asleep and can relax your body.

Good morning from the skies

When you wake up at thirty thousand feet on a cramped plane, I don’t know about you but I need some real coffee. Good luck finding a cappuccino or anything Starbucks etc on any airplane. That’s why I make sure my carry-on is stocked with my own fancy organic instant coffee. Waking up on a plane is not usually very comfortable. You are cramped, need to pee, probably did not sleep well and just want to get off the plane and put on some clean yoga pants. Well, I can’t help you with departing the aircraft but having refreshing tea tree face wash in your carry-on can at least brighten up your skin in that cramped airplane loo before you land.

The best snacks to take on your flightMt Whitney Trail

The food on most flights is chock full of sodium and so many preservatives. Clogging your healthy body with crap airline food is a great way to start your vacation feeling like poo. I love to chug a Green Kitchen Sink Smoothie right before going through security. Bonus, it helps clean all those fruits and veggies out of your fridge before you leave the country on holiday! Obviously, you can’t bring a liquid smoothie through security with you. Faced with a few hours between getting on the plane and so many hours in the sky, what is a healthy eater to do? Aside from the crap food served on most flights, most airport food is not great either. I mean unless you are traveling through the San Francisco Airport which features a Joe and the Juice. Joe and the Juice has to be one of my favorite airport eateries of all time. There used to be one at The Bangalore International Airport and I would always grab a Tuna sandwich on their protein crackers right before my flight and ignore airplane food.

Packing for a long flight and need a few snacks to throw in your carry-on luggage? Try my delicious keto and gluten-free Cheese Crackers. Or pack some Chili Mango Trail Mix to snack on between flights.

Before you pack for your flight, make sure you grab some good quality beef jerky or some Trader Joe’s delicious kale chips. These are all great healthy choices for an overseas flight!