Posted by Judy Moon
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I took a magical vacation to Maui with my husband Joe to celebrate our 20th Wedding Anniversary and 25 years since our first date.
Whenever I would mention that I was taking the trip, people’s reactions always went from – “Oh that’s wonderful” to “Ugh that’s a long flight”. Kind of a “Yay” to a “Boooo”.
I never poo poo long flights anymore.
I traveled to Bali three years ago to celebrate my dear friend Erin’s 40th birthday. It was the longest trip I had ever taken and I was a little apprehensive about the long flight. She gave me the best advice – “Your vacation starts as soon as you get to the airport. The time on the plane is the BEST relaxation time – no one can bother you or get to you”.
It’s so true. 19 hours to Hong Kong for the first leg of the trip – I slept like I hadn’t slept in a long time, I read what I have been dying to read, I watched 2 movies that I missed when they were in the theater. I did a guided meditation I had on my phone. Next thing I knew we were landing!
If you are traveling this summer, here are a few travel ritual tips for when I fly that turn the time on the plane in to quality me time:
*I swear by Airborne. I start taking it a day or so before I leave, an hour or two before I hit the airport and again on the flight if it’s a long one. Giving your immune system a little extra boost can’t hurt.
*My #1 rule – bring an empty refillable water bottle with you. This was also a tip from Erin. Once you’re through security you can fill it with bottled or tap water, but more importantly, you can ask the flight attendants to fill it during the flight. If you ask for water on a plane, you get the equivalent of a shot glass full of water. Staying really hydrated is key for feeling better when you land. Especially if you are having a glass or two of wine on the plane – wink, wink!
*AS SOON as I get to my seat, I whip out an antibacterial wipe and wipe down my tray and seat belt and ANYTHING I am going to have to touch. You would be shocked at how dirty the cloth is sometimes when I am finished.Whole Foods sells some really nice lavender scented ones. They are also handy to have in you bag while traveling – sometimes bathrooms when you are away are not like at home. What started this ritual was the time I pulled down my tray and there was a big dried coffee spill there. Hhhhmmm, when was the last time this plane was cleaned?
*Ocean or some other brand of nasal saline spray is a must! That recycled air is very drying and germs and viruses LOVE a dry environment. I spray every 2 hours or so, more if I feel that I need it.
*Hand sanitizer – no brainer, again, Whole Foods has some lovely scented ones. This is my favorite for the fragrance and the size
*BYOF – bring your own food for sure! Nuts, KIND bars, PBJ, apples, tea bags, quinoa salad, whatever is going to make you smile when you reach in your bag. For my husband Joe, that’s an Italian hoagie – just pray you’re not sitting next to him on a flight while he is eating a big, drippy, stinky sandwich!
*Inflatable neck pillow – I purchased mine from Travel Smith, but this one has an eye mask, ear plugs and a case for it all – nighty night!
Even if you’re not planning on snoozing, it just feels good to have your neck supported while you read or watch a movie and the inflatable ones are great because you can adjust the firmness and then deflate and pop it in your bag. One less thing to carry!
*Pashmina or sweater – it can get chilly on a flight or at the airport so it’s handy to have something to throw on. The pashmina makes a nice blankie on the plane and then you can take the God only knows who washes and how frequently blanket they give you and roll it up and use it for lumbar support on the low back- genius, right? Neck support AND low back support. The pashmina also rolls nice to fit back it to your bag, or wear it like a scarf if you’re stylin.
*Gum in case your ears start popping, Breath spray or mints in case your mouth gets dry. Love this one again for flavor and size.
*Optional, but a must for me – aromatherapy, I like to bring my favorite essential oils, I like DoTerra brand and I usually bring an immune blend called On Guard, Lavender, Balance Blend, and Digest Zen and what ever else calls me at the time I am packing.
Of course there are obvious things like your reading materials, earphones, tablets/ipads and whatever else you might need to have a pleasant flight.
I do whatever I can to turn that time on the plane, even if it’s a short trip, in to a mini spa retreat and truly embrace that time as the start of my vacation.