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Skincare for self-care

MANDI MAKES

Natural Living Made Simple

MANDI MAKES

SELF-CARE & TRAVEL


Self-care and travel

For those of you who have done long-haul flights in the past, I'm sure you can agree that they are far from pleasant, especially if you're like me and struggle to sleep. They leave you feeling just plain gross! I am getting ready to head overseas and have a 15-hour flight to reach my destination, which is the longest single flight I've ever had. My previous longest flight was 12 hours, but that was preceded by a 9-hour flight with only a quick stop to refuel and restock the plane. I do not have fond memories of that ridiculously long trip! So, I guess 15 hours should seem a breeze compared to that right?!


I have been planning to do what I can to make this flight as pleasant as possible by incorporating some self-care to try and reduce the gross feeling during and after the flight. Here is my plan and tips I have come across from experience and research. Not all of these tips may feel like obvious self-care ones, but all of them contribute to our overall comfort levels and well-being while travelling. Some of these tips will highly likely come across as being super fanatic and over-the-top, and you will probably think I'm a little crazy! But, I plan on feeling as good as possible during and after my flight so I can enjoy every moment of my holiday from the moment I land.


This blog post includes:

  1. Getting Comfy

  2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

  3. Personal care tips - skin & hair

  4. Let's sleep

  5. Energy boosters

  6. Carry-on clothes

 

GETTING COMFY

Comfort and long-haul flight is quite the oxymoron I know, but there are some steps you can take to improve the comfort level of your flight.


1. Firstly, a good travel pillow. For years I have used the traditional bead-filled U-shape pillow, but have never really found them particularly comfortable. Since I began booking my trip, my socials have been filled with all things travel related. I have seen the TRTL neck pillows pop up so many times, but couldn't really bring myself to splash out the money for them. Instead, being the frugal person I am, I turned to good ol' Temu and found a dupe for around $10. I was a bit dubious about how comfortable it would be, but it's amazing! My cousin's husband also has a long-haul flight coming up next month and I gave it to him to try out, and he was sold on it too. So, definitely recommend this style of travel pillow.

Travel neck pillow

2. Compression socks are a must! I am not a person that likes to sit still. I am used to moving around a lot, and love to exercise. Because my body is so used to moving all the time, compression socks are a must for me to keep circulation going in the absence of movement. I plan on keeping moving as much as possible on the flight and incorporating some seat exercises, more details on that below. They help to prevent fluid build-up and leg fatigue. I grabbed a pair on sale from painreliefaustralia.com.au

Compression travel socks

3. Choose your travel outfit wisely. Go for leggings or track pants and loose-fitting tops to allow yourself ease of movement. Being in an airplane seat is restrictive enough, the last thing we want is for our clothes to also restrict our movement and ability to get comfortable. I also plan on wearing all black also just to avoid any potential marks from food or anything else, so I don't end up feeling scruffy and like I want to change my clothes.


 

HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE

This is probably the word you are going to hear me repeat a bit from here on in the blog as it is key to your overall feelings of wellness when travelling. Dehydration is one of the main contributors to the feelings that come with jet lag. There are three main tips that can help you stay hydrated:


  1. Electrolyte powder - taking some individual packets of electrolyte powder in your carry-on takes up little to no space and weight, so is a great option to have with you.

  2. My favourite is coconut water. Whilst, I can't take my own through customs, I always buy some on the other side to take with me on the plane. Yes, it costs more to buy it at the airport and I don't usually find the brand I really like. But, coconut water is packed full of electrolytes to help you stay hydrated. It is always my preference to powders, as powders often come with fillers and extra things that I don't really want to consume. But, they are a great option if you are not a fan of coconut water and would prefer not to have to carry it onto the plane.

  3. Avoid coffee & black tea (caffeine) - this is a hard one as it is generally my go-to option when I feel like a little pick-me-up. However, caffeine and travel don't really go well together as it can dehydrate the body. If you are a hot drink fan though and can't go without one, take some herbal teas or perhaps Chai powder with you and just ask for hot water.

Coconut water

 

LET'S SLEEP

This is the biggest issue I have with travel, trying to sleep. I dream of getting a free upgrade at check-in to a seat where I can fully recline to sleep, haha! There are a few things I am going to be doing to try and improve my ability to fall asleep and get some rest.

  1. Adjust sleep prior to travel - about a week before my trip, I plan on trying to move my sleeping schedule to try and adapt to that of my destination. My flight leaves from Sydney in the morning, so I will be flying during the day and arriving early morning at my destination. So, the plan is that adjusting my sleep will help to align with a good time to sleep on the plane so I can adapt to my destination's time zone straight away. I am going to do this by moving my bedtime and wake-up time by 30-minute increments each day in the week leading up to the flight. I have downloaded a free app called 'Timeshifter' to help me do this! This is probably the most OTT thing on this blog post, but I don't do well with a lack of sleep. I get headaches, a tight neck and am more likely to get sick. That's the last thing I want when I'm about to start a holiday.

  2. Melatonin - I am so set on moving my sleep schedule and getting sleep on the plane that I have got myself two different melatonin options, haha. Yep, crazy I know. I have some 2mg capsules and have come across dissolvable 'Nustrips' that are supposedly more effective. I am going to alternate using the capsules and strips the week before my trip to see if they work for me and how they make me feel so I know what will hopefully help the most on the plane. Perhaps a little extra, I know!

  3. Eye mask - there are so many options for sleep masks. I have opted for a mulberry silk mask. I looked at many types but settled on the mulberry silk as I wanted something that would truly help me to feel relaxed and even provide a feeling of luxury.



 

PERSONAL CARE TIPS - SKIN & HAIR

I'm sure you are aware of how dry the air can be on planes. It sucks the moisture from our skin and can leave it looking and feeling dull and lifeless. We may feel those things, but there are ways to at least help prevent us from looking like we feel!

  • General hydration - yes, I'm mentioning hydration again because it can affect how your skin looks and feels. So, keep up with the water and electrolytes for your skin too.

  • Avoid makeup - if you can, try to travel without makeup as it can clog pores if you're travelling for a long time and won't be washing your face. Or, opt for something like a BB cream.

  • Moisturising mask - if you are happy to travel without makeup, look into using a leave-on clear gel-like face mask to help lock in moisture. You can always wash it off partway through your flight, or apply it once you are on the plane and leave for the duration of the flight. I love this one by Aesop that my sister-in-law gave me for Christmas one year. It is amazing!

Face mask
  • Multi-purpose moisturiser - travelling light and having multi-use products is always what I aim for. So, having a moisturiser that I can use on my face, hands and body is a must. I'll be taking our 50mL sample-sized whipped body butter in my carry-on. It's super nourishing and helps to lock in moisture.

Body butter
  • Facial hydration mist - keep your skin feeling fresh with a botanical hydration mist, which also doubles as a boost for the senses to lift your mood. See blog post here for more info and a simple DIY recipe.

Hydrating face mist
  • Face cleansing wipes - most of these are super bad for the environment and can actually dry out your skin.See blog post here for more info and a simple DIY recipe.

Face cleanser wipes
  • Dry shampoo - since you cant take aerosols onto the plane, look for a powdered version. It is really easy to make yourself and helps to keep your hair looking and feeling fresh. See blog post here for more info and a simple DIY recipe.

Dry shampoo

 

ENERGY BOOSTERS

On the plane, I want to relax and sleep as much as possible, but when I get to the other side I want to feel energised and ready to stay awake and adjust to the new timezone. The above tips will obviously all contribute to the energy levels I have once the flight is over, but I also plan on doing a couple of things to further help with this.

Black strap molasses with iron

1. Iron supplement - I have always struggled with low iron levels, as I know many women do. This is one of the leading contributors to a lack of energy and fatigue. Over the past year, I have been using an iron tonic from Tonic Mumma, a small business that unfortunately had to close its doors earlier this year. I still have some bottles from my previous order, but don't want to be travelling with glass bottles. One of the key ingredients in this tonic that is amazing for boosting iron levels is blackstrap molasses. I found a capsule with black strap molasses from Swanson in the USA. Postage was quick and it is super cheap. I will be taking these with me and using them throughout the trip!


2. Hydration - dehydration is also a big part of lacking in energy. So, using my hydrate tips above will also help with energy levels.


3. Movement - this can be super hard on a plane, but after hopefully getting some sleep, I plan on doing a lot of walking around the plane and some seat exercises to get the blood and oxygen flowing. Here are some great exercise ideas I plan on trying...


Airplane stretches

 

CARRY-ON CLOTHES

This tip isn't so much about having clothes to change into towards the end of your journey, but you most definitely can do that depending on what your plans are as soon as you arrive at your destination. (My plan is to go straight to my friend's house and have a shower!) This is more of a tip just in case your luggage gets lost or delayed! A family I recently talked to had just come back from the USA and none of their luggage made it back with them. I am a little paranoid about losing my luggage, so I plan on having a fresh change of clothes just in case! At least take a change of underwear with you :) I have also bought a dupe Apple Air Tag from Temu.


Packing a bag

 

I hope these tips help you on your next long-haul flight, and I am praying that they are effective in helping me get through mine! Follow along on social media to see how it all goes.



If you have any great travel tips, please let me know!!



Happy travels,

Mandi x



NB: All of the links provided are for products and companies I have no affiliation with.


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Hi, I'm Mandi. A former primary teacher, Lifestyle Medicine graduate and current Diploma in Natural Skincare student with a passion for natural living.

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