Fasten your seatbelt

What to eat, what to wear and how to move on the plane. Survive a long journey on the plane together with me.

My first post in English. Here we go! All comments on grammar and spelling are appreciated 🙂 Just copy the text with the mistake and send me here: or comment below the text. 

Today I came back from the 10 day trip around Indonesia. One week was spent in Borneo and three days on the islands. I have many stories to tell and about 700 pictures to show: how orangutang waiving to us in the jungles, how we were hugging a giant turtle and swimming in the world of jelly fish. All this later. Now I’ll provide some good tips I learned during endless flights from Amsterdam to Borneo.

Travel tips 

  • One of my biggest problem is pain in legs during the flight. Seems like all blood from my body goes down to my feet. I guess you know the moment when you can hardly put on your shoes in the end of the flight. This is Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which occurs when a small blood clot forms in the deeper veins of the body. This can happen when you sit in one position for extended lengths of time (during a 13 hours flight for instance). You can help yourself to avoid pain by adjusting position in your seat at regular intervals; stretch your legs and walk around the cabin at least once per hour. 
  • Jet Lag. It comes when you travel across different time zones and  your sleep and food cycles are disrupted. It basically kills two extra days of the trip. You can help yourself by exercising prior to the trip (start to run in the mornings a week before travel or do gymnastics). By arriving to a new time zone your body will recover faster, if you do exercises after some sleep. When planning the travel try to break down long journeys with stopovers or transit stops. Then you can have a shower and hang out in lounge at the airport. During the flight try to have as much sleep as possible. Don’t play hero staying awake watching movies and reading. You’ll say a big “thank you” to yourself if you manage to sleep during the long flight. And of course: stretch and walk around the cabin to help your body to keep up.
  • Cabin pressure sickness. Seems like your ears are full of water and you can hardly hear the music from the headphones. This happens because of the lower level of pressure in the cabin than the one we got used to have. When you ears hurt or “pop” during take-off or landing try a chewing gum, sucking on a sweet or swallowing regularly. Ear plugs are very effective in that case. They prevent ear pain caused by change in air pressure. Ear plugs slow the flow of air in and out of the outer ear, giving the inner ear more time to adjust to changes in air pressure. Restrict consumption of alcohol in-flight as it rapidly dehydrates the body. Consume water and fresh juices at regular intervals, to avoid dehydration. 
  • Motion sickness. Yes, I’m afraid of flying. To kill the fear I even flied a plane myself in Iceland. It helped and now I’m not going crazy when the plane is shacking during the  turbulence. You don’t have to fly a plane, of course. Just follow these 3 advices. First, request a window seat, so you an see by your own eyes what is happening with the plane. It will help to your vestibular system, since the fear comes because your head doesn’t understand why your body is shacking. Reading also tends to increase the conflict between what your eyes are seeing and your body is feeling. Refrain from reading of you are suffering from motion sickness.  Second, request a seat over the wings of the airplane, where the turbulence effect is minimised. Third, take a peppermint sweets. It helps alleviate feelings of nausea, which is a common symptom of motion sickness. Dry crackers also help, few bites taken often will reduce nausea.
  • Dress comfortably. Dressing in layers helps combat changes in temperature, as you can add or remove clothing depending on the current conditions. Take a light pullover or a shawl in yiu handbag. It can come very useful in flight or on arrival at a destination with a cooler climate. On flight wear comfortable jeans or chill trousers. Take flip-flops with you, so you can easily put the, on, when you go for a walk on the plane. You will put your bag and jacket on the shelf above you and might not have chance to reach things you need on the flight. Just prepare them in advance and pack all things you need during the flight in a small bag or bag pack. My advice is to have: pullover, documents, money, phones, headphones, earplugs and snacks.

Food travel tips

  • Drink more water. Your body gets dehydrated during the flight.
  • Alcohol and coffee tend to dehydrate body, try do avoid them on the flight. Or, if you still want some of it, try to follow each glass of coffee or alcohol with a glass of water.
  • The food on the plane is always being served according to a new time zone, where you traveling to. That means, if you travel to Jakarta from Amsterdam, you will get your breakfast, when it’s morning in Indonesia (it might be still night in the Netherlands). This made to help you get used to a new time zone as fast as possible. Start to follow new sleep and food schedule on the flight together with your flight attendant.
  • Have crackers, energy bars, dry fruits and nuts. That will help in case if food on the plane is not good and during the transit.
  • When traveling to to new and exotic destinations, it can be quite comforting to carry some familiar food with you. You can take: cereal bars, oatmeal, tea bags, coffee sachets, rye bread, seeds. Take things, you used to eat for the breakfast. For example, I really love to have oatmeal with milk and muesli with yogurt for breakfast. Oatmeal and muesli I can take without any problem. You can’t image how thankful you will be in Asia for just one muesli bar or piece of rye bread. Help yourselves – take it with you.
  • When you arrived: drink only bottled water; do not ask for ice in any drinks, wash your mouth and teeth using bottled water; avoid eating salads and raw vegetables, unless washed in bottled or boiled water; peel fruit before eating. All these will help you to avoid infections, which can be in a water of the country you are came to. It might be that local people used to drink this water but you still can get infected, simply because you used to drink different type of water.

Travel yoga

Here is the picture with 5 different poses, which you can do during the flight.

1. The Seated Mountain Pose is derived from the yoga posture “Tadasana”. An inwardly focused posture, Tadasana is believed to calm the mind and make one aware of one’s breathing: it is therefore regarded as an ideal pose for meditation.

Look straight ahead with your head centered and your jaw, throat and neck oft and relaxed. Focus your awareness on your seated posture, your straight back, and your feet resting on the floor.

2. Chair Hip Stretch. Start with Seated Mountain Pose. Lift your ankle and place it across your left knee. Place your right hand on your right knee. Exhale and press your right knee downward with your right hand. Inhale and release the downward pressure on your knee. Come back to the Seated Mountain Pose. Do the same with the other ankle.

3. The Seated Knee to Chest Pose is a simple pose with great therapeutic benefits, especially for the bacl. The pose helps ease tension in the lower back region, stimulates the movement of the digestive tract and stretches the hips and thighs. Digestion is often negatively affected on long flights, due to the change of the time zone and subsequent change in meal timings, and this pose helps to counter these effects.

Interlock your fingers of both hands under your right thigh. Raise your right knee towards the chest while inhaling, keeping your neck and neck straight. Maintain this pose for 15-30 seconds. Raise your left knee towards the chest while inhaling, keeping your back and neck straight. Maintain this pose for 15-30 seconds.

4. Seated Forward Bend. Inhale raising your arms above your head and lengthen your spine. Shoulders are relaxed and palms are facing each other. Move your pelvis forward and downward to stretch your spine. Exhale, letting your head and arms reach towards the floor. Maintain the pose for 5 seconds to a minute, focusing on your breath.

5. Seated Spinal Twist. The poe soothes the upper back and neck region, while also massaging the abdominal organs.

While exhaling twist your body slightly towards the left and place the back of your right hand on the outside edge of your left knee. Place your left hand behind your back. Rotate your head to look at the back f your seat over your left shoulder. Inhale and hold your breath for 10 seconds. Repeat the same on the other side.

After travel yoga

Here is only the picture of 5 poses after the flight. They are quite simple, so I will skip the explanation.

I hope these tips will help you to survive the long flight. You can also use these advices for your road or by train trip. Spread the world! Good luck! Safe journey!

2 thoughts on “Fasten your seatbelt

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