8 Tips on How to Recover from a Long Flight

February 17, 2017

How to Recover from a Long Flight

If you’re a seasoned traveler, then you are all too familiar with the pain that results from enduring a long haul flight, like the one I took to Seoul, South Korea, which was over twelve hours straight. I mean the flight itself drags on and on and you can feel your body slowly disintegrating from lack of use. Not to mention the fact that you have to hurdle over five people every time you need to use the bathroom, and I love LOTS of diet coke so I am the person you do NOT want to sit next to during the flight. LoL.

After all this, you emerge from the plane exhausted, achey, and smelling/looking like the thing from the black lagoon. On top of all that, your joints are super achey and you literally feel like an eighty year old woman who needs her hover round scooter just to get out of the airport.

I have been there. I have felt the pains that we endure for the sake of travel!!! But never fear, there are many among us who are WAY smarter than me and who have imparted me with some tips that will help make your long haul flight a lot more enjoyable, both during the flight and after the fact. So without further ado, (I know, not the sexiest topic ever but hopefully it helps someone out there in the internet cosmos) 8 Tips on How to Recover from a Long Flight!

  1. Kick your feet up and relax awhile!! – So when you’re sitting for a long period of time, all the
    Kick your feet up! One of the best tips on how to recover from a long flight.

    fluid rushes to your feet and they tend to swell and ache. To remedy this issue, kick your feet up against a wall for ten minutes right when you land. This action ensures that all the liquid drains from you extremities. I know it looks like some weird, voo doc, yoga pose but who cares if it helps you feel better. I have also found that getting up and walking around during the flight helps, as well as compression socks. This socks are tight fitting and designed to enhance the blood flow throughout your legs and reduce the build up of lactic acid over time (I actually got my compression socks to “encourage” me to run. Still waiting for the encouragement to kick in. I have since used my socks for travel and they work quite well). Doing yoga during or after the flight is also a really good option for all those aspiring yogis out there.

  2. Adjust your sleep pattern to your arrival destination – Everyone is different so bare that in mind, but I am a pretty awful sleeper in general. So, when it comes to adjusting to the sleep pattern of a new time zone, I have to be pretty careful. The first thing I do, is look at the arrival time of my flight, and adjust my sleep habit accordingly. Therefore, if I arrive at night, I will
    Watch your sleep patterns, another tip on how to recover from a long flight.

    stay awake on the plane so that I will sleep when I arrive. And if I arrive in the morning, I will sleep on the plane so that I arrive at my destination refreshed and ready to go (Melatonin is the best sleep aide for me. And a bonus is that it’s natural so I don’t feel groggy when I wake up).

  3. Don’t Sleep In When You Arrive – To be perfectly honest, i don’t think I have ever slept 18 hours straight in my life, even when I had a kidney infection. But if you tend to do this after being up for a while, such a habit will undo any efforts you made to adjust your sleep schedule before your arrival. Therefore, just make sure that you set an alarm on your first night and don’t have the most epically, long sleep session EVER.
  4. Carbs are Your Friend! – This one makes the chubby girl within me super happy!! I love carbs so much, but generally try and avoid them because I don’t want to look and feel like fudgey the whale. However, carbs are a lifesaver for long flights since they create high levels of insulin that help your body adjust from your regular feeding-and-resting schedule to a new one. Moral of the story, load up on all your starchy favorites before you board your flight (Hello pizza and goodbye
    Carbs are the best thing ever and a great tip on how to recover from a long flight.

    icky protein bars. You will NOT be missed.).

  5. Flush your Nose with Saline Solution – Ok, so I am sure we have all heard the urban legend that basically, you will drop dead as a result of the recycled air on a plane. Ok, maybe death is an exaggeration but you get the idea. Many times, I have taken like 5 airborne tablets just to kick up my vitamin C defenses before the flight. However, flight attendants say this trick isn’t really that effective (You actually just pee out the extra vitamin C). Instead, enhance your immune system with a total flush out of your nasal cavities with, a saline solution (just not while you’re on the plane because that’s gross and messy). The saline solution will remove a lot of the dust and germ-carrying particles that make you sick, meaning that you won’t have to  look like a diseased zombie when you leave the plane.
  6. Exercise in the Fresh Air – Okay, I don’t really do exercise in the “gym” sense of the word, but I do love to walk. Therefore, I usually try to get outside and explore my arrival destination for at least thirty minutes before I crash (This usually isn’t that hard for me to do since I am
    How to recover from a long flight? Drink lots of water! 

    excited to get off the plane and discover a new place). I do this because exercise helps move the blood away from your swollen feet and into your other extremities. Getting some fresh air also helps because the airplane cabin contains recycled air that is very dehydrated and low in oxygen, leaving you feeling very lethargic. Fresh air will help wake up your brain and get the oxygen circulating throughout your body.

  7. Book a Massage!! – This one is my absolute favorite!! I love massages. They leave me feeling like the happiest piece of jello ever. SOO good. But like has been said before, they enhance circulation and help reduce the build up of lactic acid during the flight. So if medical science is telling you to get a massage, you should really just do it (yes, it’s mandatory!! Just kidding).

  8. Water
    Stay hydrated during the flight by drinking lots of water, since the air is much dryer at such high altitudes. And if you’re a drinker (I am not), limit yourself to one alcoholic beverage so that you do’t get too dehydrated.


Nanny by day and travel blogger any other time.

I love writing and traveling and bearing my soul on the page.
I want to inspire others to face their fears and join me on an adventure.



  • Pete 7 months ago

    OK. I’ll bite. How do you flush out your nose?
    I’ve just come back from Iran and that involves a fair amount of longhaul. The dry air in Iran and in the planes made my nose unhappy, and I’m keen to avoid that in future.

    • girlwiththepassport 7 months ago

      My best guess is a Netty Pot. They help flush out your sinuses and that might do the trick. I also use Afrin here in the US. Feel better!!

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