virtuoso communities How to Make Your Long Haul an In-Flight Spa Experience

How to Make Your Long Haul an In-Flight Spa Experience

Smooth flying ahead. 
Smooth flying ahead. 
Photo by AnnaViolet/Getty Images
Tips for staying healthy and relaxed while in transit. 

No matter how many good books, films, or binge-worthy TV shows they’ve stocked up on, travelers boarding a long-haul flight still face the prospect of sitting in a stuffy airline cabin for eight-plus hours. But with a positive mindset – and a little bit of creativity – it’s possible to elevate the marathon journey into a spa-like experience.

Beauty and Health Secrets

Dry, recirculated airplane air unfortunately leads to parched skin, so be sure to drink plenty of water and keep a carry-on-friendly moisturizer at the ready. A convenient, fuss-free sheet mask such as Farmacy’s coconut water-infused gel one provides a nourishing mid-flight boost. (And don’t worry, at least one Virtuoso Life editor believes there’s no shame in applying a mask mid-flight.) Reach for Drunk Elephant’s Lippe Balm – made with avocado, mongongo, cranberry, and marula oils – to replenish dry plane lips, and pop in Sencha Naturals Moroccan Mints for fresh breath pick-me-ups.
Warding off colds is a priority to Wendy Rothkopf, a Bedford Hills, New York-based Virtuoso advisor who specializes in wellness travel. She wipes down seat trays (a bastion of germs, she points out) with natural peppermint oil wipes. Rothkopf adds: “I always take essential oils with me on the plane – lavender and grapefruit seed are natural antibacterials. I put a few drops on the seat and under my nose.”

Trust us: Cloud Knit’s easily packable cashmere throw is a much better option than an airline-provided blanket. 
Trust us: Cloud Knit’s easily packable cashmere throw is a much better option than an airline-provided blanket. 

Nap Essentials

Sleep can be elusive on airplanes, but one way to accelerate a somnolent state is by shutting out ambient light with an eye mask. Bucky’s 40 Blinks Sleep Mask is a comfortable option, thanks to Velcro straps instead of tight and itchy elastic ones. Skip the airline-provided blanket and toss a jersey-stitched, Italian cashmere throw like this one from Cloud Knits into your carry-on. Pack a quality pair of noise-canceling headphones such as the Beats Studio3 Wireless, which have real-time audio calibration and actively block outside distractions. Final step: Sign up for a subscription to Calm, the catchy and easy-to-use app that’s filled with guided meditations, soothing nature sounds, and stretching tutorials that can be downloaded for offline listening.
They’re worth the splurge.
They’re worth the splurge.

In-Flight Fitness Tips

Staying active on the plane, albeit in tight quarters, is essential to wellbeing. Rothkopf, who teaches yoga, emphasizes the importance of “moving the spine and getting the blood flowing in the legs.” She suggests heading to the aisle to twist from side to side and complete a series of heel lifts – at least 20 to 50 of them – every couple of hours. From your seat, she recommends making ankle and wrist circles. “They won’t disturb anyone, and they’ll keep extremities from the consequences of inertia,” she explains. “And wear compression socks. No one sees them under your pants, and they can truly prevent the swelling and edema that can occur from a 12-plus hour flight.” (We like pairs from Vim&Vigr.)

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