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The 12 Best Hacks For Staying Fresh On Flights

The 12 Best Hacks For Staying Fresh On Flights

Although #blessed with living in this “sunburnt country”, us Aussies are inevitably destined to catch our unfair share of long haul flights. Stepping off a flight of over six hours can often result in resembling a Home Alone prank victim.

Yet, some unicorns manage to step off their flights mysteriously glowing and un-dishevelled. As someone who has caught enough long haul flights to add up to their own holiday, I’ve cracked a few pre-departure, pre-boarding, in-flight and post-flight tricks to make me feel like I am still human.


Here are 12 hacks to staying as fresh as a daisy on your next long haul flight.

#1 Fit in a cheeky airport workout

fresh on flight airport yoga

Cutting a few walking laps of the terminal to get your blood pumping. Once at your gate, do a few lengthening stretches to target neck, calves, quads, chest, hip flexors and back. This will combat the imminent discomfort of cramped plane seats.

#2 Substitute the sugar binges and caffeine

Be strong, walk past those Giant Toblerones and value-pack Peanut M&M’s in Duty-Free, and say no to the coffee. Swap in protein balls to keep sweet cravings at bay, and herbal teas for a light but hydrating quasi-caffeine hit. Otherwise, skip it all and head straight for the beauty counters…

#3 Let your skin go on holiday

fresh on flight hacks skincare

Save the makeup for a worthwhile occasion and avoid the shrivelled-up prune look with a hydrating serum. Hot tip: shop online to earn Qantas points, and radiate like a dream with The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid + B5 (AU$12.90) and Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum (AU$100). Can’t invest? You have permission to “sample” serums in Duty Free. Your dewy glow at the other end of the flight will outshine the feeling of stinginess.

#4 Forget the free vino (or spirits)

It’s a one-way decline into dishevelled struggle street and a lesson you probably don’t want to learn the hard way. The anti-diuretic nature of alcohol, combined with the fact people naturally perspire and the dehumidifying environment of a plane, means passengers can lose around four litres of water on long haul flights. It’s simple maths, you’ll end up with a savage hangover to rival your last. Unsubscribe.

#5 Sip on water (lots of it)

fresh on flight hacks drink water

Extra water if your rubber arm couldn’t hold back from the booze. Better yet, keep a large water bottle on you and aim to drink one to two litres. Use lavatory trips as a barometer to monitor hydration, which simultaneously ensures you get up and move your body to prevent ankle swelling, blood clots and Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). Throw in an electrolyte tablet or vitamin sachet and your body will be having the hydration time of its life.

#6 Refine an in-flight skincare routine

Throughout your flight, spritz your face with rose water or cucumber mist. Pre-snooze, massage in a facial oil (not the cooking kind). Post-wake-up, cleanse and whack on a pair of glorious under-eye gel pads and more serum from Hack #3. Temporarily looking like an avant-garde slug is worth the end game.

#7 Stay positive

Staying positive helps you and everyone around you. Particularly for those who endure anxiety jitters. This is a mental hack easier said than done so…

#8 Get zen


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It’s not often you can truly disconnect from the digital world /work demands, so use your flight as an opportunity to whack on headphones and listen to guided meditation. Just 10 minutes can aid your physical, physiological, mental and emotional health.

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#9 Vote yes for sensory deprivation

Cut out the reality of mass-shared flying, tubular-shaped hotel room where everyone can annoyingly crinkle chip packets at their leisure or obliviously snore to their desire. Make use of the complimentary eye mask and earplugs. BYO nose plugs if you need to take it a step further from potential farting bandits, but you’ll end up sleeping with your mouth open and definitely drool on a shoulder that’s probably not yours.

On that note, if you’re prone to leaning on someone, bring a neck pillow and try facing it under your chin so you can let your head drop forward or to the side. Hopefully, it also catches your drool.

#10 Namastay not in your seat

We can all relate to a lack of legroom in economy. Stiff muscles are no bueno. The answer is to limber up with some basic inflight yoga. Take it to the exit aisle or back of the plane, but skip downward dog.

#11 Brush your hair. Fix Your Teeth. What you wear is all that matters.

Yes, this is lyrics from Beyonce’s “Pretty Hurts”. Yes, it is out of context. I digress. General grooming and taming your strands will take a fraction of your flight time. Use the travel size toothbrush and toothpaste after every meal if you want to flash your pearly whites without breathing a ghastly odour to rival bin juice.


For hygiene purposes, keep spare clothes, or at least underwear, in your hand luggage. Those who don’t – Murphy’s Law – end up with lost luggage, smelly and nothing to change into.

#12 BO be gone

Fingers crossed, common sense prompted deodorant usage before the point of boarding, so in addition to this, spray a little perfume/cologne once landed and off the plane. If, again, you need to be more budget than bougie, use the destination’s Duty Free perfume displays.

Now, step off that plane like the paps are waiting for you and declare (to yourself, not customs), “I’m ready for my close-up”.

(Lead image: Bridesmaids / Universal)

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