This section will provide you with my list of essentials and must-carry items for every trip as well as some of the most important guidelines while being up in the air…
Rule No. 1: ALWAYS HYDRATE!
I cannot stress this point enough, as it is really important to understand that your body will need lots of extra fluids due to the extremely high risk of dehydration. Therefor, always carry your own big bottles of water and ask the flight attendants for a refill whenever necessary- they will be more than happy to do so! The same also applies to your skin, as the airplane environment can really dry out you out easily. If you can try and avoid make up and use a hydrating face cream instead. Your skin will thank you later 🙂
Rule No. 2: AVOID ALCOHOL!
As tempting and comforting as it might sound on a long-haul flight, staying hydrated does not include any form of alcoholic beverages. Drinking alcohol inflight can actually lead to severe dehydration and make you feel much more intoxicated due to the pressurized environment. Even little amounts might have an intense effect on your body and with motion sickness being increased, you’re much better off by staying away from the booze!
Rule No. 3: EAT HEALTHY!
I know it’s hard to avoid snacking while watching your favorite movies or indulging on free meals onboard, but you gotta remember one thing: Flight attendants usually gain weight during their first few months of flying as a result of unhealthy food at irregular timings combined with increased lack of sleep and work-outs. Especially if you are a frequent traveller try and bring your own pre-packed food options including light snacks and fruits. Some of the items I always carry with me for example include the following:
(apples, bananas, coconut)
(You can ask the Flight Attendants for hot water to prepare)
Veggie wraps or Salads
Avoid any kind of sugary drinks and carbohydrates, as they will only leave you feeling bloated and stay away from smelly food (eggs, meats, cheese) as a courtesy to your fellow travelers!
Rule No. 4: STAY ACTIVE!
Knowing that there is only limited space and resources available onboard, it is essential to schedule work-outs before and after your trips, as it will leave you feeling much better and also helps with the jet lag. Inflight, you can do little in-seat-exercises like seated press-ups or other small movements to keep the blood flowing. Once the seat belt signs are off, feel free to get up for a little stretch. It is very important to avoid sitting down for an extended period of time without moving, as this may increase the risk of blood clots.
Rule No. 5: PACK LIGHTLY!
This rule applies mainly for your carry-on bag as there is only limited amount of space in the cabin. Also keep in mind that you are the one who has to carry all your stuff through busy airports halls, security screening as well as to lift up the bag into the overhead compartments onboard (No, it is not the Flight Attendants job!). Keeping your things organized and to a minimum will make your journey a lot easier and comfortable. Here are some of my personal must-carry items for every trip:
For better sleeping and to avoid suffering from a stiff neck post flight/nap
On some airlines you will actually have to pay for headphones!
Kindle with pre-downloaded e-books
Keep in mind that not all airlines offer inflight entertainment..
The temperature is regulated and usually kept around 21degrees Celsius, which is definitely too cold for me!
Ginger Chews and/or Chewing Gum
(to avoid ear pain or motion sickness)
Lip Balm and Hand Cream
(to hydrate dry skin)
Short turn around timings with minimum time for cleaning and many people carrying diseases sharing a confined space at high altitude allow the spread of germs all over the airplane-no matter which cabin you are in!
DON’T EVER WALK BAREFOOT AROUND THE CABIN OR IN THE BATHROOMS!
(see Rule No. 3)
Rule No. 6: DRESSCODE!
Yes there is actually something called a dress code aka flying etiquette. Being barefoot on an airplane for example is simply unacceptable (see point above). As a matter of respect to your fellow travelers, you should also apply the fundamental concept of body hygiene, which should not require any further explanation. Also remember, that despite the fact that you might embark the airplane from a tropical destination, where flip flops and shorts are acceptable, your island vibes will fade once you are stuck in a pressurized tube at 40,000 ft above the ground going back to your home country. Be sure to carry something warm and consider something comfy that you can change into. Some airlines actually have an official dress code for certain cabins, so be sure to familiarize yourself with those guidelines ahead of time. Always remember: You can never be overdressed, just underdressed.
Rule No. 7: BE NICE!
It sounds like a very simple rule everyone should always follow in general, but believe me for some people this concept does not seem to apply at altitude (altitude –> attitude!?). First of all, please understand that Flight Attendants are there mainly for your safety inflight. Part of our job is to ensure your compliance with the rules. Being rude or yelling won’t get you anywhere, especially not upgraded. Flying etiquette includes being polite, as we all share a confined space over an extended period of time with the same goal: to safely get from Point A to Point B. Always remember to treat others the way you want to be treated yourself 🙂