Of course, sleeping on a plane is sometimes easier said than done, but there are ways to put the odds in your favor. “I love Spacemasks for when you need something uplifting to help you get some sleep as they’re eye masks with aromatherapy scents,” says Sah.
Meditation apps like Headspace or MyNoise are also useful for playing relaxing music or nature sounds that can help you fall asleep.
Prepare entertainment in advance
“I create an itinerary so that I spend the flight time being creative and productive,” says Christopher Paul Jones, who runs a phobia clinic. “Reframe how you see the flight. See it as some uninterrupted you-time, or self care time. “
Plan to download and catch up on your favorite TV series, movies, or podcasts; finally tackle that task you’ve been putting off; or dive into a good book.
Although airlines often offer a flimsy set of headphones to use with the in-seat TVs, noise-canceling headphones — like this popular pair from Bose — can also double as earplugs for sleeping. If you prefer something smaller, be sure to pack this tiny transmitter that connects the in-seat TV to your AirPods or any other Bluetooth-enabled earbuds.
The low humidity levels inside an airplane cabin make dehydration a common problem for passengers, so “bring your own water bottle and make it a large one,” says Henley Vazquez, co-founder of tech-forward travel agency Fora. “You don’t want to rely on flight attendants to bring you water, and you want to stay hydrated.” Some frequent fliers abstain from drinking alcohol and caffeine leading up to a flight to avoid extra dehydration, too.
For Suzanne Aston, lead singer of the Aston Band, it’s especially important to hop off the plane feeling hydrated and ready to head to her next gig, so she goes the extra mile by wearing a HumidiFlyer mask. “It traps exhaled moisture from your breath and allows you to breathe in your own recycled humidity and not the dried, shared air of the plane,” she says, explaining that this mask prevents her throat from drying out and leaves her feeling more refreshed. (To note, the HumidiFlyer is not an anti-viral mask.)
Practice self care
The importance of hydration applies to your skin as well. “The dry air in the cabin is particularly harsh on your skin, stripping the moisture barrier of its oils,” says Giacomo Piva, travel industry analyst and cofounder of luggage storage network Radical Storage. “Carry and apply moisturizer at regular intervals throughout the flight, especially for your hands …[and] you’ll reach your destination with plump skin and less irritation. “
Piva even encourages travelers to treat the flight like their own personal spa, using a thick face mask for extra moisture, along with their favorite beauty products.
Refresh before getting off the plane
With lost luggage becoming an increasingly common issue, it’s always a good idea to pack a few outfits in your carry-on just in case. But this advice also serves another purpose.
“It makes a big difference when you land to be able to change into something fresh and put yourself together,” says Vazquez. Packing a small toiletry bag with some basics — like a toothbrush, toothpaste, moisturizer, perfume, and eye drops — goes a long way toward starting your trip on the right foot.