For the 50+ Traveler

If you've got a long flight to your vacation destination, there's a risk you'll arrive groggy and cranky. Good news! We've got some tips to help you beat the air travel blues and start your adventure off on the right foot.

1. Get Some Sleep(aids) The Night Before

We all know it can be challenging to feel energized after a long flight, but catching some extra sleep the night before can give you an advantage. Slow-release melatonin is the best bet to help you get a truly restorative sleep, and three-milligram dose should be all you need. You can also time it so that you take one 30 minutes before your flight is scheduled to take off if you want to grab some extra sleep during the flight.

An added benefit to using melatonin is that immune boosting properties have been attributed to it, so it might help you resist any nasty bugs spread by fellow passengers on your flight too.

2. Napping Gear Is A Must

Make it easier for yourself to sleep on the plane with some appropriate napping gear! Planes can be noisy, bright, and uncomfortable, so here's what we suggest to address those problems: a high-grade sleeping mask that fits your face properly and can block out the light, noise-canceling ear plugs (some music headphones might even do the trick), and an ergonomic neck pillow to reduce discomfort while you snooze.

You can really get carried away with airplane kits that take care of all your needs, but consider how long your flight is and base your shopping on that. If it's only a 3-hour flight, you might not need the full sleeping kit. For a longer flight, it's a must!

It's a small investment to make to be comfortable during your flight and feel ready to go when you land.

woman looks out window on plane

3. Forget About Airplane Food

Airplane food can be downright disgusting, so don't rely on it for your nutritional needs, especially on a lengthy flight. Not only are the meals served in-flight often high-calorie and sodium dense, they can just taste horrible.

We recommend bringing your own supply of superfoods to keep you full and frisky. High protein foods will do the trick best. Nuts, dried prunes, or even a dry protein mix that you can add liquid to after the security checkpoint.

The less junk food you consume in-flight, the better you'll feel when you finally reach your destination.

airplane food

4. Say Goodbye To Anxiety

Anxiety is a real issue for many travelers, especially those with fear of heights, claustrophobia, etc. In my case, I'm always anxious until I get where I'm going because I'm a planner.

But instead of popping medication, it might be worthwhile to try some mellower, yet still effective, herbal supplements.

Many travelers rely on supplements like passionflower, valerian, hops, Chinese skullcap, and lemon balm to ease their anxiety. Some pre-mixed supplement cocktails exist on the market, but you can mix your own with many recipes you'll find online.

These anxiety remedies will help you to rest easier on the flight and arrive calmer.

5. Meditation

Meditation is easier than ever these days, and with scientifically-backed benefits, it's a no-brainer to include it in your pre-flight, mid-flight, or post-flight routine. With a set of headphones and some soothing ocean sounds, you can ease your nerves, relax your breathing, and center yourself.

Not only will it have you feeling a million times better, it will also help you to get in sync quicker with your new location, especially if there's a significant time change. Getting your brain back into a calm "alpha" rhythm will help you sleep well the first night at your destination.

Meditating woman

6. Get That Heart Rate Up

You might have heard an old piece of advice: take your shoes and socks off when you arrive at your hotel and grip the carpet beneath your toes to ground yourself in your new surrounding. That might help, but even more effective is getting your heart rate up a bit.

When you arrive at the hotel, do some brief exercises to resync your internal clock, get your circulation going, and get rid of any mental fog. Whether your choice of exercise is some intense interval training, yoga, or a walk, you're sure to make the transition easier by getting your heart pumping.

With a walk or jog outdoors, you'll also get a free preview of where you're staying.

7. Less Coffee, More Tea And Water

With coffee in the airport and coffee on the flight, it's easy to suffer a caffeine overdose. While the caffeine might keep you sharp for a period of time, it can also cause dehydration and reduced sleep on your flight.

The best choice is to stay hydrated with water, but if you crave a little caffeine boost, try green tea for a softer lift. It also has immune-boosting antioxidants to keep you healthy and happy all flight long.

Save the coffee for a cafe at your destination and you'll fly much easier.

With these tips, lengthly air travel is a less stressful, and you won't need to spend your first day of vacation recuperating from your flight. Give them a try.