While the prospect of a holiday in a far-flung destination is sure to incite excitement in the majority of us, the fact that we have to board a long-haul flight in order to get there dampens this considerably.
For even frequent fliers can struggle with being cramped in a noisy, cold cabin for hours on end.
But there are ways and mistakes to avoid in order to ensure your flying experience is stress-free and enjoyable.
Here, with the help of the experts, FEMAIL reveals the mistakes to avoid, both before boarding and once you’re up in the air.
Both before you board, and once you get on the plane, you should limit salty foods and bread rolls, instead opting for protein-rich options like crackers and cheese (stock image)
1. Loading up on salty foods
Best nutritional choices to make on a plane
* Stick to the grilled protein (chicken/fish/beef) option with the veggies/rice.
* Avoid the pasta/potato dishes.
* Enjoy the side salad – but avoid the dressing – ask for olive oil and lemon juice instead.
* Avoid the bread roll and dessert on the plate – instead have some dark chocolate and enjoy the crackers with cheese for protein.
* Avoid the juices/sodas/cordials and enjoy sparkling water with lemon/herbal tea.
* Avoid alcohol on the plane – my biggest rule! It can really make you feel awful when you land!
Once you are on board, nutritionist and best-selling food author, Jessica Sepel, says you should limit salty foods and the bread rolls that come with each and every meal:
‘Plane food is okay in small amounts… but it’s best to stay away from options with cream and sauces, as these are high in sodium and preservatives,’ she wrote on her blog.
‘Stick to the savoury dishes, and avoid the desserts and ice creams. If your meal comes with a bread roll, you’re better to have the cheese (protein) and crackers, as this will keep you satiated.’
Jessica added that she also likes to enjoy herbal tea on the plane, especially when trying to wind down and go to sleep. You can bring your own peppermint and chamomile tea bags and just ask the cabin crew to add hot water.
Whether you’re heading to the Caribbean or Iceland, it’s important to bring light, but warm layers with you on the airplane to counteract cool cabin temperatures (stock image)
2. Not packing layers
Whether you’re heading to the Caribbean or Iceland, it’s important to bring light, but warm layers with you on the airplane to counteract cool cabin temperatures.
‘In-flight temperatures are unpredictable, and there is nothing worse than being too hot or too cold for hours over the ocean,’ Amie O’Shaughnessy, founder and CEO of Ciao Bambino, told Popsugar.
‘Wear and/or bring light layers that can be put on together for warmth or stripped off to adjust to the real-time conditions rather than clothing with no flexibility.’
Experts recommend getting your blood pumping before boarding, whether that’s through a swim, walk, yoga or cycle as this will impact how you feel (stock image)
3. Not exercising beforehand
You might think that what you do before you fly has little impact on how you feel on-board.
But in the same way your pre-flight diet impacts on your overall health, so too does the exercise – or lack thereof – that you do beforehand.
Experts recommend getting your blood pumping before boarding, whether that’s through a swim, walk, yoga or cycle.
Then, once you’re on the plane, Jessica Sepel advised you to make sure you ‘walk up and down the aisles every couple of hours’.
4. Neglecting any pain
When it comes to muscular pain, generally sitting in the same cramped position for hours on end will only exacerbate any tightness or stiffness.
Dr. Chris Tomshack, CEO and founder of HealthSource Chiropractic, said that visiting a chiropractor before your flight can help to iron out any issues.
‘Visit a chiropractor or massage therapist to help relax tight and painful muscles, improve range of motion in the joints, and enhance circulation,’ he told Popsugar.
‘Doing this before a long flight also promotes meditation and mindfulness, allowing yourself to become centered before the hustle and bustle of travel takes over.’
Dr. Chris Tomshack, CEO and founder of HealthSource Chiropractic, said that visiting a chiropractor before your flight can help to iron out any issues (stock image)
5. Avoiding sleep
Sometimes when we fly, we can get into bad sleeping patterns, or none at all.
But Jessica Sepel said you need to try and get some shut-eye in.
‘I take some sleepy herbs and melatonin (your nutritionist or health store can advise) to fall asleep.
‘I also drink chamomile tea and magnesium powder – both are so good if you’re struggling to sleep.’
Pack some natural supplements, a neck pillow and teas to help to promote a feeling of sleepiness.
6. Not hydrating correctly
Last but not least, while we all know alcohol isn’t exactly the best thing when flying, the temptation to have a glass of fizz before you take off is often huge.
But having a drink both before you fly and on-board can limit sleep and make jet-lag even worse.
‘Avoid alcohol on the plane – my biggest rule! It can really make you feel awful when you land!,’ Jessica wrote.
Instead, make sure you sip on plenty of water and herbal teas throughout.