Avoid Salt and Stay Hydrated. One of the most important things to do when flying (especially long distances), is to avoid salt and stay hydrated. This is especially true as I have gotten older. If I don’t drink enough water and consume too much sodium, my fingers and ankles tend to swell and it takes DAYS for them to get back to normal.
Wear Compression Socks on the Flight. Swollen ankles are common on long flights, and compression socks help keep the swelling to a minimum. There are all kinds of cute compression socks on the market now. These are available from Walgreens.
Eat Light on Travel Day. Eating a heavy meal before flying, weighs you down, and can contribute to swelling and dehydration, especially if eating at an airport restaurant. Food prepared in restaurant settings are often loaded with added sodium, especially fast food restaurants.
Bring Your Own Low Sodium Snacks/Meals. I bring snacks like raisins, humus and carrot sticks, or pre-packed salad that I make at home with grilled chicken. I try to eat a good light meal before flying.
Good Food Choices At the Airport. Airports have caught onto the demand for healthy dining options when traveling, and many of the food kiosks offer salads and sandwiches. If I purchase airport food to take on the plane, I stick to prepackaged salads with packaged salad dressing, fruit, granola bars, unsalted almonds, and a huge bottle of water that I purchase after I go through security.
Once on the plane, I like a few comforts, especially on a flight longer than three hours:
Blow up Pillow for my neck, and a blow up pillow for my feet to keep them elevated.
Noise blocking headphones. They block out extraneous noises from passengers and the plane, and can be used when trying to nap as well as when watching a movie. The ones I have are mid-range priced at about $100, and work very well.
Clorox Wipes to wipe down the tray table, the light and air nozzles, and the armrest. (this is mandatory for any flight of any length).
A sweater or sweatshirt (even in summer, it can get cold on the plane), or a lightweight blanket if on an overnight flight.
My medications and a mini kit with soap, toothbrush and toothpaste (all sizes under 2 oz. to carry on) in order to freshen up before landing.
That’s my list of “must haves” when I fly, and it took me awhile to figure out what I needed to make me comfortable.