Here are 2 confessions (we’ll get to the non-zombie tips after I confess).
Confession #1: I have no idea what it feels like to be a flesh eating zombie, but I would guess that ravenous and exhausted fit the description. At least, that’s how flesh eating zombies look to me.
Confession #2: I wasn’t born with flight genes (whatever they are). If I do not take certain precautions, after a long travel day I end up looking – and feeling- scary ravenous and completely drained.
How can this zombie-like state be avoided?
After all, the worst thing you want to do is arrive in a foreign country looking anything like the living dead:
Hydrate ahead of time
Prepare your body ahead of time. Don’t wait till the actual flight. You just don’t know what will pop off at the airport or in flight. You may not have fast access to the bathroom. When you drink a lot of water, you are going to want to use the bathroom. If you can, definitely drink during flight, but if you don’t or can’t, your body will thank you if you started the journey already well hydrated.
Avoid processed sugar
I try to avoid eating processed sugar even on non flight days, but I am especially vigilant during travel to avoid it. I find processed sugar lowers my immune system and the hassle, drain, close quarters etc of flying are prime opps for a weakened immune system to come under attack. It’s so tempting. The airport is loaded with all manner of sweets, chocolates, sodas & fruit drinks. Even in flight, the meals are so carb laden and we’re not talking fruit and veggie carbs. Just look at the breakfast meal I was served.
BYOG – Bring Your Own Goodies
A few of the goodies I bring along: Gluten-free oats (in a zip lock), shake powder, nuts, ginger tea, etc. I am not suggesting you take these same foods, these are just foods I find easy to carry and that satiate me (the oats just need hot water, the shake needs cold water and voila! 2 healthy meals).
Get an upset tummy when you fly? Calm that sucker down
I feel all kinds of bloated and uncomfortable when flying. I think it’s the cabin pressure changes. A few things that help me: Ginger tea, staying hydrated (already mentioned), eating healthier foods (usually the foods I bring along), and staying away from alcohol in the airport and on the plane (saying no to free wine on a plane is a bit of a bummer, sigh).
Got allergies? A food intolerance? Be prepared
I do (womp womp :(). I am gluten intolerant (thus the gluten free oats mentioned above). If you have an allergy or intolerance, it is especially important for you to be prepared with your own food/snacks or at least call ahead to your airline carrier to order a special meal.
Be like a kid again and drag your blanky -or other comforts – everywhere
I travel with one of those corny looking neck pillows. It adds cushioning + warmth. Planes get freezing cold -to me. I DEFINITELY cannot sleep if I am cold. Know your sleep temperature preferences and dress/pack accordingly. I make sure to dress warm and have at least a warm scarf, sweater, and thick socks in my carry-on.
photo by: Sean Connors