However, there are a few things I’ve come to utilize when I’m traveling, especially with kids. Since I do travel quite often, I’ve build an arsenal of tricks that make the whole process easier on the body, mind and spirit.
Here are my suggestions:
1. Shower - Exfoliate - Moisturize
Before heading out to the airport take a lukewarm shower and use a bath glove & a scrub to exfoliate dead skin cells. Then generously apply rich moisturizer throughout your body. Use a product that fits best your skin type; for dry and sensitive skin, you really need a very luscious body oil. I prefer to use shea, cocoa or coconut butter, or vegetable oil based moisturizers such as Weleda Body Oil series.
2. Reusable Water Bottle
Have a refillable water bottle with you, you’ll help the environment and you’ll keep yourself hydrated. I’d suggest to first fill it up at home. Then you can refill your bottle after the security check, at a water fountain or nearby cafeteria. On the plane ask a flight attendant to refill it for you, too. It is highly important to stay hydrated. One cup is not enough. Please avoid consuming alcohol as it will dehydrate you faster and even more than on land.
3. Mini Mist Spray (bottles up to 3.4 oz are allowed by security)
I always carry a mini mist bottle of Rose water (I use Heritage Products brand) with me to keep my face and hands moisturized during the flight. The pleasant smell also soothes the nervous system and makes your spot on the plane a little cozier, especially for children. Adding a few drops of Lavender essential oil to your mist may do the trick to having a smooth flight and help you take a nap. It is helpful to have a small jar of eye cream and lip balm handy as areas around eyes and mouth are most sensitive to dry air and tend to dry out quicker.
4. Eye Mask * Neck Rest * Earplugs
For a "red-eye" or longer flights such as to Europe, these items are a MUST! I prefer to use therapeutic eye masks made from natural materials such as cotton or silk and filled with dried lavender flowers and/or herbs. Not only do they help falling asleep easier but also reduce eye swelling, dark circles and relieve headache. It is not always possible to use all of the above items when flying with young children, but there’s still a chance that you might, so don’t dismiss them just yet! I always carry them with me.
I’d say that taking a favorite blanket with you is a must when travelling with children.
Personally, I’m fine with blankets provided by the airline, just because I don’t want to carry one more thing in my luggage, but for some people it may be a game-changer. Especially if you plan to take a nap during the flight. If you don’t bring a personal blanket, wear pants and long-sleeved shirt as provided blankets are usually quite miniature and will not cover the full length of your body. Wearing a hoodie is a good idea, too. Which leads us to the next point.
6. Always wear comfortable, loose clothing and shoes!
It is important to keep good circulation going while in the air. Wearing jeans and other tight clothing while sitting jammed in a passenger seat for hours will restrict your blood flow, as well as lymphatic and spinal fluids drainage. I also always take my shoes off and have a spare pair of thick socks that I put on the plane to help my feet from swelling.
Take breaks: walk up and down the aisle, lift your knees up and down, stretch your arms, squat, do a standing forward bend and touch your toes with your fingers, do some neck rolls, too. Before the flight look up some simple yoga poses and reflexology points on your feet, which you can massage during the flight. Don’t get embarrassed, explain why you are doing these exercises and spread the good!
8. Jet Lag prevention
I am a big fan of homeopathy and I’ve been using No-Jet-Lag tablets since 2007. They don’t have any side effects, contain no drugs, are suitable for children and are quite effective. I highly recommend it, but there are other brands available on the market.
9. Skip the scan
If you’re travelling with connections, especially outside of the US, you’ll have to go through a security full body scanner more than once. Opt for a pat down instead. It’s easy and there’s no radiation involved. Given the fact that there is radiation present on the plane throughout the flight, it is wiser not to add up.
Also, keep in mind that any natural medicine, including homeopathy, cannot be scanned, so please ask a TSA officer to check it by hand.
10. Saline nasal drops
I also use saline nasal drops to keep my nasal passages irrigated during the flight as dry sinus is more susceptible to cold, flu and bacteria. If you’re having trouble finding those for adults, baby nasal drops will work just fine.
With our smartphones it has never been easier to take your favorite meditation or soothing music playlist along on a plane. Meditation helps alleviate stress, fears, anxiety and promotes relaxation in your body and mind.
Although media entertainment is usually provided by an airline, I’d suggest reading a book instead as it will not agitate your nervous system as much as watching movies or reading a Kindle. Kids can be entertained by books, puzzles, mini-chess, coloring, cards, origami, string games like cat’s cradle... The choices are limitless depending only on your imagination and their ages.