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Looking to go away for the summer with friends or family? Or have that daunting long-hauled flight booked to Australia to cuddle with the world’s most huggable animal, koala bears whilst hopping around with kangaroos? Holidays are an auspicious time for a lot of people. As much satisfaction as it gives to highlight the dates in your diaries, travelling can be a mixed pot of pleasure and pain before the plane rises above home turf, disappearing into the clouds propelled towards its final destination.

Restricted in an enclosed and narrow aircraft for what feels like moons and light years, hovering thousands of feet above sea level, altitude causes air pressure and dehydration due to the thinning air. No wonder, pre-flight anxieties naturally ensue when realisation dawns that there is 15 hours standing in between home and holiday. If you are flying Economy class for the next holiday, jetlag, aching limbs, feeling bloated in the lower abdomen, being puffy are a few of the handful of impacts from flying which is why below, we have gathered a number of tips and tricks to tackle inflight distresses, allowing you to remain focused, in control and most importantly, excited for your impending holiday.

Pick your seat in advance

Unless on this occasion, you have decided to go ahead and treat yourself by upgrading your ticket to business class or even first class or you made an attempt to upgrade but it did not work out, another option to guarantee in-flight comfort is booking a comfortable seat prior flying. Depending on the airline you will be flying with, certain airlines offer the option to choose your seat when completing your booking while for others, the option is enabled up to 72, 48 or 24 hours before flight departure.

A seat by choice of popularity for long-haul flights are the aisle seats as these provide additional leg room and easier access in and out of your seat without having to disturb or aggravate a morose passenger when you need to shuffle out of the row to head to the bathroom. Mentioned earlier, flying leads to dehydration and as you continue to rehydrate the body with fluids, which hopefully you should be doing consistently throughout the journey, you will find yourself needing the bathroom a number of times.

Another tip is if you have boarded your flight and notice the passengers on board tonight is less than usual and there is an empty row beside you, ask the steward to be relocated to that row so you can raise the armrests to lie down and catch some shut-eye, a serendipitous luxury without having to break the bank.

Order a special meal or pack your own!

Plane food, the much dreaded and resentful plate of disaster that is displeasing in taste yet saturated in salt and on the whole, unappetising. Medical papers published by Medical24 and NHS suggest diets consisting of excessive salt content raise red flags and can contribute to detrimental health conditions such as high blood pressure, increase the rate of a stroke and heart failure. Now, because of low humidity levels aboard a plane, high salt content in plane-prepared-foods will further dehydrate the body says qualified nutritionist and physiologist, Veronika Larisova.

As the meals are so dissatisfying to our poor taste buds and desiccate our already dehydrated bodies, one top tip to make the journey more manageable without having to endure hunger up until landing is to order a special meal. For an example Gluten-free or Vegetarian, which is an available option when checking in online. Do note, however, the quality of these ‘special meals’ may still taste like tinned soup and stale bread rather than the Michelin standard you had in mind.

If these options are still hard on the stomach, pack your own meal to keep you going. As Mariana from Balancewithmariana advises, packing an apple, some unsalted nuts and seeds and sliced vegetables can guarantee a healthy and balanced journey to avoid feeling bloated all the while holding a peace of mind with the intake of food entering our system.

Stand and stretch

If you begin to feel uneasy or experience cramps and stiffness from being confined into the tight and tiny seat, stand up and do some stretches to promote blood circulation. As stated by the National Centre of Biotechnology Information, blood cells are our body’s courier agents delivering vital elements such as oxygen, food and nutrients to our organs to fuel bodily functions. When we experience a disruption to the circuit of blood flow, we may begin to feel queasy, unsteady and aches says Claire Sissons from MedicalNewsToday.

Your skin suffers too!

In a recent report by the World Health Organisation, the higher the altitude, the thinner the air. The report indicates that low humidity levels on top of recycled circulation of cabin airflow can cause dry nasal passages, eyes and skin. Besides avoiding alcoholic and caffeine-based drinks, Celia Walden at The Telegraph suggests applying a water-based moisturiser in regular intervals throughout your flight to maintain fresh-faced and radiant upon arrival. Another essential item Celia notes to deliver instant moisture to the skin is an essence sheet face-mask, packed with ultra-goodness to also reduce puffiness and conciliate irritated skin.

Entertain yourself

With a lengthy flight journey ahead of you, disconnected from the world below, (please remember to comply with the steward’s request of switching your smartphone device to airplane mode to avoid interference with the onboard systems), life is now very simple. Ever tell yourself: “When I get a moment I must do this or I must watch that and try this”? Now is the time to take chance as your distractions are rooted thousands of feet below. Watch the movie, which has been sitting on the watch-list for a year, make a friend, finish reading the final sequel to the romance thriller you have been chasing for four months or sit back, rest and catch some sleep enjoying the pleasure of simplicity.

The post was inspired by Balance with Mariana’s blog, original author Mariana Stabile