How to Look And Feel Fresh after Long Flights

by jiatongma

Dec 08 2022

The experience of catching a flight is quite unique, no? One hardly finds themselves in the midst of similar situations in day-to-day life. You may disagree, but to me, the process of making it onto an airplane, the events that precede it, when you are airborne, and finally making it out of the airport and into a cab, each moment sparks a contrasting emotion. You find yourself riding a rollercoaster of emotions that goes on for hours; the chaos of ensuring that everything is in order when you are already twenty minutes behind schedule, the panic of not finding a crucial document on the first attempt, the hope that your luggage will make it to the other side safely, the relief of finally settling in your seat, and so much more.

While you may disagree with me on this aspect, you will definitely agree on this next one. Flights are great because they mark the beginning of a new journey; they are the portal that opens onto exotic places where a lifetime of experiences await.

But with great pros come great cons, and the incredibility of the situation can not mask the challenges of having to sit in one place for hours on end. It can take a toll on you, leaving you rumpled and fatigued, sporting a once-chic airport look that had lost most of its charm. I often find myself in a similar predicament which has led me to amass various tips, tricks, and methods to help me appear more put together in the aftermath of an extensive flight. So, if you have a trip lined up in the near future or are an avid traveler, continue reading to discover ways to keep looking fresh throughout the journey!

How to stay fresh after long-haul flights

Pack a toiletry bag

When about to board a long flight, make it a point to carry all your essentials in a small pouch that will easily fit into the bag on your person. How to decide what falls under the ‘essentials’ category? Anything that will revive your appearance and help you feel rejuvenated when the airplane lands. This can include makeup, dental floss, mouthwash, toothbrush, toothpaste, travel-sized moisturizer, face wash, deodorant, etc. An hour or so before the arrival, head to the bathroom and freshen up!

Prioritize catching some ZZZZs

What is a surefire way of making it through a challenging situation? Falling asleep! Unfortunately, sleeping on airplanes does not come easy to everyone; still, never board without a sleep mask, ear muffs, a neck pillow, and earphones to assist you in the process. The following methods may sound a little unconventional, but they get the job done, so give them a try. Tire yourself out before a scheduled flight so that your head hits the metaphorical pillow as soon as the airplane is up in the air. You can also set your watch to the timezone you will be arriving in; this will let you know when to fall asleep on the plane and help you avoid jet lag once you land.

Mindful eating

No one wants to deal with gastric discomfort when crammed on a plane for several hours, and frequent trips to the bathroom are also a big no-no for all of us. So, in order to avoid unnecessary trouble, a day or two before the departure, start incorporating organic and gut-friendly meals into your day while avoiding processed fried and fatty foods. Additionally, make sure to up your water consumption so that your body stays hydrated and, consequently, energized. Continue similar practices after boarding the plane; avoid saccharine processed drinks and opt for the most nutritious meal. More importantly, stay away from alcohol and caffeinated beverages, they may make you feel good at the moment, but the aftermath will make you regret the decision.

Don’t skip out on skincare

Flights can leave your skin feeling dry and taut; trust me, it is as unpleasant as it sounds. If you are not looking forward to breaking out in the middle of your adventure and want to avoid general discomfort, pack a few skincare products. It is terrific if you already have a regimen in place; bring along products that are easy to use and will give your skin an instant boost. However, if you are a novice in the department, consider bringing micellar water and some cotton pads as alternatives to a cleanser, moisturizer, or hyaluronic acid to keep your skin hydrated, a sunscreen you swear by, and body lotion for your hands and feet.

A fresh set of clothes

It is an obvious fact that long-haul flights, delays, and layovers can leave you smelling less and less fresh by the minute, and body sprays and perfumes can only do so much to mask the odor. To rectify the situation, have a change of clothes at the ready so that you can locate the nearest bathroom soon after landing and manage a quick – and much-needed – outfit change. This trick will be especially fruitful for those who have something planned for as soon as they land.

What are some must-have items when flying?

A book or an e-reader

If in-flight movies aren’t for you, a good book is the best alternative to help you pass the time and relax. You have a good couple of hours to catch up on missed reading or start a book that has been sitting in the to-be-read pile for too long.


Most airlines provide complimentary headphones or earphones to passengers, but it is always a good idea to carry your own pair. You can use them while waiting at the airport or if the sound quality of the airline ones is shoddy.


In this time and age, laptops, tablets, and smartphones have become an extension of ourselves; still, there is no harm in reiterating their usefulness. You can use the time to wind up pending office work, send emails, and tie up any loose ends so that nothing will interrupt your downtime. Devices are also a great way of calming children down, especially if they are flying for the first time.


I can not emphasize enough how important it is to carry a sizable bag of snacks on a flight. There is a high chance that you may end up disliking airline food or get hungry at any point; snacks will help you stay satiated and sustain a pleasant mood. After all, staying hungry never does any good. A few delicious and convenient options would be nuts, fruits, vegetables, dark chocolate, and granola bars.


This is another must-have item that will serve you in many ways. If your clumsy self eats like a five-year-old, wet wipes will help with post-meal cleanup. If you feel your body grow sticky with perspiration, a quick wipe-down will have you feeling good as new. You can even use them before changing into fresh clothes.


This goes without saying, but if you have a health condition, remember to bring your medicines on the airplane to steer clear of any emergencies.


In a nutshell, flights can be exhilarating and tiresome at the same time, and it is entirely up to us to make the best of the circumstances. This is one situation where being prepared beforehand can help you stay stress-free and your spirits lifted. So, try your best to remember these valuable hacks and put them to the test whenever you are flying next.

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