Buongiorno, everyone!! When this blog post goes live I’ll be on a plane over the middle of the Atlantic Ocean! I’m so excited to share our destination with you and more about our trip, but until then I thought it would be fun to share some tips for how to survive an overnight flight. I’ve flown on a few overnight flights and they can be really stressful because you have to be EXTRA prepared. Flying is stressful by itself, but especially if you’re expected to sleep on an airplane and wake up in a country where they don’t speak your language. Luckily there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay healthy on the flight, and signal your body that it’s time to get a good night’s sleep.
1. Choose the right carry-on handbag
Choosing the right handbag or tote for an overnight flight is essential, especially if you want to have all your necessities right at your fingertips when you need them. When I flew to LA a few weeks ago I brought this Sole Society Miller tote with me on the plane and realized it’s the nicest travel bag I’ve ever owned! For starters, it’s incredibly lightweight and has nice, padded shoulder straps that make it easy to carry through the airport (even if you have it loaded down with items). There are two large compartments on either side of the tote that are perfect for larger items like books, a laptop, etc. On my flight to LA I was able to fit four books in one of the side compartments! The best part is the middle compartment, because it can be zipped shut for security purposes. This is where I keep all my travel documents, my passport, money, etc. because it’s safe and secure. There are some additional pockets inside the middle compartment for your phone and wallet, which is really convenient.
2. Pack noise-canceling headphones
My parents got me noise-canceling headphones one year for Christmas and I use them on every single flight. These headphones are great for listening to music and watching movies on the plane, but I also use them just by themselves to drown out all the plane noises. Just put them on and flip the little switch on the side of the headphones and – voila! – all the background noise is eliminated and it’s completely silent. These headphones also make it way easier to sleep on the plane, since I have trouble falling asleep with loud noises in the background.
3. Bring your favorite tea from home
I’ve gotten into the habit of drinking a chamomile or sleepy-time tea at night to help me start winding down for bed, so I brought some of my favorite teabags from home to drink on the plane! When the flight attendants come around to get your drink order, simply order a mug of hot water, and then you can steep your own tea in the mug. This helps to trick your body into thinking that your still at home, and it’s time to wind down for bed.
4. Go through your usual night-time skincare routine
I packed a bag full of mini toiletries so that I could take out my contacts and wash my face on the plane, like I usually do at night. I knew I didn’t want to go to sleep with a face full of makeup, (it’s terrible for your skin!) and I thought using the same products that I use every night would make me feel more “normal.” I packed my typical bareMinerals face wash, a small container of moisturizer and even a travel-sized version of my retinal (you can read more about my usual skincare routine here!).
5. Pack an eye mask and ear plugs
I found this cute Red Eye Pak from Nordstrom and knew it would be perfect for an overnight flight – and it’s only $20! It comes with ear plugs, an eye mask and a dental kit that contains a travel toothbrush, tooth paste and floss. Both the eye mask and ear plugs are essential – I put on both with the noise-cancelling headphones and I might as well be at home in my quiet apartment. The eye mask is really high quality too – the flip side is solid black and silky!
6. Brush your teeth
Brushing your teeth is an essential, because you want to keep your teeth and gums healthy (and don’t want to wake up with bad breath when you land in the morning!).
7. Bring a portable phone charger
I’m bringing a lot of tech items in my carry-on tote, like a memory-card reader and powder adapter, but the most important one for the flight itself is definitely a portable charger for your phone. I ordered this one off of Amazon and it’s truly amazing – it’s smaller than a wallet yet contains enough power to restore an iPhone 6s to full charge five times. Plus it has two fast-charging USB ports built into the device so that you can charge two phones at once (this is great if you’re traveling with a friend!).
8. Reading material
I usually download a couple of books on my phone and then also bring some paperback books with me whenever I travel. Some of the best books I’ve ever read have been while I’m at the airport or on an airplane! Since reading at night helps me wind down for bed, I thought it would be nice to read on the plane until I felt sleepy enough to go to bed.
9. Move around
Although it can feel embarrassing to leave your seat and move around a lot on an airplane, it’s actually really good for your body to do this. Moving around is especially important on longer flights, to prevent your body from aching due to poor circulation. Some airlines provide guidance on in-seat exercises you can do, such as stretching your arms and ankles, otherwise, try getting up at least a couple times during the flight just to walk down the aisle a few times and back.
9. Wear comfy clothes
Last night after arriving at the airport, I changed into sweatpants and a light sweater for the overnight flight. If you’re going to spend the night on a plane, you want to wear soft, comfortable fabrics that feel as close to your pajamas as possible. For me personally, I don’t think jeans are very comfortable for long periods of time, so I opted to wear sweatpants instead! I would also recommend bringing a scarf that can also double as a blanket or neck pillow on the plane.
10. Wear compression socks
During my last flight to LA, something happened to me that had never happened before – my feet and ankles swelled up on the plane! When we finally landed and got off the plane, my feet were so swollen and the arches of my feet hurt so badly that it was hard to walk. It was probably because I was dehydrated – but I learned my lesson forevermore! I ordered these compression socks soon after that flight and put them on immediately after I boarded the plane last night. Compression socks are great because they help stimulate blood flow and reduce swelling. These socks in particular are made of quick drying, wicking fibers that stop the growth of bacteria, and they have a graduated compression that helps aching legs. I’ll never fly without them again!
One other thing that’s important during an overnight flight is making sure you wake up the right way the next morning. Upon waking, be sure to drink a lot of water and try to have a balanced breakfast at the appropriate hour in your destination’s time zone. A little bit of caffeine can help you get through the day, but don’t rely on it too heavily or you may not be able to sleep the next night!
If you guys have been on an overnight flight and have any additional tips, please let us all know in the comments! Otherwise, stay tuned to instagram to see where exactly we’re headed 🙂
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