Note: this article was originally published on OPEN Forum.travelling for business can be especially exhausting, since you might have to fly internationally for just a couple of days or go straight to work when you arrive.
Still, there are helpful things you can do before, during, and after your flight to make the travel and the transition much easier.
If you're going to be stuck on a cramped plane for hours, it's a good idea to wear loose, comfortable clothing that won't restrict your movements. Cotton is a safe choice, and a simple outfit will guarantee you will still look chic. Also don't forget to bring socks and a pashmina or thin blanket, since new airline cutbacks mean these items might not be provided.
Avoid foods high in sugar or salt as they make you tired and dehydrated. Plane food can be hit or miss at best, so it's always a good idea to bring some healthy snacks such as energy bars.
It's an obvious tip, but many people forget to drink enough water while in the air. Make sure to get a refill every hour you're awake, and stay away from alcohol. Also, because cabin air wrecks havoc on the skin, it's a good idea to use a rich face cream and body moisturizer.
Your safest bet is to charge all your electronics before you fly, though an increasing number of airports now offer 'charge stations' where you can plug in. Whenever you can, try to consolidate your electronics, and take as few as possible in your carry-on bag to cut your time going through security.
Try to sleep on the plane in you can. If you have a hard time falling asleep, natural products with Valerian root or Melatonin, and sleeping pills, can help you arrive rested. Earplugs, neck pillows, and eyemasks can all help as well. A good tip is to bring your own chamomile tea bags and get hot water from the stewardess.
Also make sure to do some basic exercises while onboard. Walk around the cabin and stretch.
Aisle or window is a personal choice, but when you check in and get your seat assignment, it's always a good plan to make sure you're not sitting in the last rows of the plane. Those seats are close to both the engine and the bathrooms, which translates to noisy and smelly.
Don't bother taking heavy books on the plane, and go instead with a paperback or magazines. The Kindle or iPad is also a lightweight, compact choice and means easy transitioning between work and pleasure reading.
Do yourself and everyone else behind you in the security line a favour, and take only one carry-on bag. While most airlines will allow you to take a bag and a personal item, the extra magazine, water bottle, and duty free purchase will leave you with too many things in your hands. You'll be less stressed and exhausted if you have one bag with enough free space for last minute additions.
Some good tips for fighting jet lag:
1. Take good care of yourself before you fly. Sleep well, exercise, and don't drink before you get on the plane. It's a really bad idea to fly with a hangover.
2. If you can, adjust your sleeping habits before you leave to make the transition easier. Get up or go to bed earlier based on which time zone you're heading to.
3. When you arrive at your destination do your best to stay awake until it's night time in the new location. It's a huge help for fighting jet lag.
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