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Self Care Checklist for Travelers

Self Care Checklist for Travelers

Long flights and traveling can be draining, and can really take a toll on your body and mind. If you are on an airplane, you will have some time to kill, so you might as well take some time to pamper yourself! This self care checklist will leave you feeling refreshed and energized! 

Developing a good self care routine, even on an airplane, will make the long flight feel less draining. Check out our other guide of how to survive long flights

Self care is important for your body, mind, and well-being. It will be important for you to indulge in some of these things to help reduce stress and calm your mind!

If you practice self-care on the airplane to your destination, you will arrive feeling rejuvenated and ready to conquer whatever is thrown your way! Continue reading for our guide to self care on an airplane!

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

A guide to self care on an airplane

How to be comfortable on an airplane

Person Covered with a Blanket

The first tip on our self care checklist is to get as comfortable as possible! If there was ever a time to break out those fuzzy pants, sweatshirts, and socks, this is it! If you aren’t comfortable on the flight, you won’t be able to relax and feel at ease.

Getting comfy will also help you fall asleep on the airplane, which is always a plus! Here are some of my favorite things to help get comfortable on the airplane:

  • Massaging Neck Pillow: I mean come on!! Doesn’t get better than this! A pillow and massager all in one!
  • Noise Cancelling Headphones: Because that crying baby isn’t going to help you relax! Plus, airplanes are generally loud, so this will help block out some unnecessary noise.
  • Compression Socks: To keep your legs and feet circulated and feeling good!
  • Airplane Foot Rest: You’ll thank me! You will have somewhere to put your feet other than the floor, which can give you new positions to sleep in!

If you have a long flight coming up, buy all the things you think might help you. It’s better to have your seat blinged-out then feeling uncomfortable for 8+ hours! 

Make sure you have these essential top carry on items as well, to maximize your comfort!

Bedtime routine on an airplane

Woman Washing Her Face With Water

Following your nightly routine is one of the most important items on our self care checklist. If you are flying red-eye, following your nighttime routine (as much as possible) is very important, especially if you are trying to fall asleep on the plane

Following your typical routine will signal to your body that it is time for sleep. Plus, you will feel more like yourself if you stick to your routines. You can even do this at the airport before boarding if you have time.

If you have time at the airport, try to brush your teeth in between flights. You won’t want to do this on the plane, as airplane bathroom water is dirtier than you think

Here are some of my favorite travel nighttime routine products: 

  • Disposable toothbrushes: They come with toothpaste already on them, and no water is required. This makes it easy if you don’t have time to brush at the airport!
  • High-quality face wipes: Don’t wash your face with the airplane bathroom water. Use these wipes to clean and refresh your skin! Just put a little water on the wipes from your water bottle, and wipe away
  • Overnight mask: Apply like lotion, and wake up with glowing skin!

Take your medicine, change your clothes, do whatever you need to do to feel comfortable, and ready to catch some zzz’s. If you can’t get comfortable, that’s ok! Take your time, and understand that it is very difficult to be fully content on an airplane. 

Things to do on an airplane

Person Writing on Red Notebook

Maybe you aren’t ready for sleep yet, or you are actually trying to stay awake! Flights can be boring, but there are many ways to pass time on an airplane! If you are looking for some relaxing activities to try, here are some of my favorites!

  • Listen to an audio book: Amazon has an Audible subscription, where you can get the first month free! Why not spend some time listening to a good story?
  • Sheet face mask: A face mask is always a nice way to kick back and relax, while staying moisturized! Your skin gets extra dry on airplanes, so your skin will thank you! Keep a couple in your carry on bag. 
  • Travel Journal: Get a cute travel journal, and document your trip! Write down your favorite memories, funny things that happened, or what you learned. Or, plan some more details of your vacation, and write down your feelings about the trip!
  • Write a letter to a friend, draw a picture, catch up on some work, read a new book, do an adult coloring book, or whatever activity you find calming! 

Food & Drink on an Airplane

Almonds, cashews pistachio and pine nuts in glass bowls

The key to most people’s hearts is food and drink, which is why we needed to include it in our self care checklist!

You know the drill, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Yes, this means avoid coffee and alcohol, or drink them in moderation. However, hydrating doesn’t have to be just boring water!

  • Bring your favorite tea bags, and ask for a cup of hot water at the airport food court or on the plane.
  • Buy an infuser water bottle and fill it with fruit beforehand, to add some flavor to your water.
  • Ask for a cup of ice on board (if you are an ice eater!)
  • Snacking on grapes can help with hydration.

When it comes to food, try to bring healthy snacks. However, bring 1-2 snacks that are simply for indulging. It is ok to satisfy your cravings! Here are some great ideas for healthy airplane snacking. Be sure to pack them in this stackable and portable snack container!

  • Grapes, as mentioned above, along with peeled clementines and berries, or any fruits, really!
  • Trail mix, Veggie Straws, Popcorn, Pretzels
  • Dried fruit chips
  • Protein Bars
  • Pita chips
  • Fruit from the hotel buffet
  • Baby carrots

Read more about how to stay healthy on vacation for more snack ideas!

Airplane stretches and exercises

Person Raising Her Hands

Another important item on our self care checklist is to ensure you keep your body moving, in order to prevent blood clots

Once every hour (unless you’re sleeping), try to get up or move around. Walk to the bathroom, stretch your legs, and just move! This will also help your muscles from becoming restless, which will make it difficult to get to sleep.

There are a ton of simple exercises for long flights, so pick a handful of them to remember, and get at it!

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Thursday 25th of January 2024

Some really great ideas. Thanks for investing the time to put them here for us.

Wednesday 6th of May 2020

This guide would mean a lot for you to start taking care of yourself even inside an airplane. This would be a huge help. Thanks for sharing this one out.

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