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Dear Splash Readers,

This month we thought we would share our top tips for surviving long flights.

1. Request a special meal when you book your flight.

This is one of the simplest ways of making an international flight tolerable. And they’re free on most airlines. The Asian vegetarian for vegan, halal or gluten free preferences is a good option. Special meals have proved superior to what is generally offered. Most standard airline meals are very heavy on the simple carbs which lack the fiber to keep your digestive system moving. Be sure to pack healthy snacks for the journey—fiber-rich foods like raw almonds and fresh fruit are our favorites.

2. When you board set your watch to your destination time (or use the World Clock function on your smartphone).

Do your best to sleep when it’s nighttime at your destination and stay awake when it’s daytime there. Strangely, flight crews adjust the lights and feed you on a schedule that is often not at all conducive to adjusting to a new time zone so you have to exercise some self-discipline.

3. Drink tons of water.

I know, that means getting up to use the plane bathroom a lot. (Try an aisle seat.) However, airplanes are notoriously dehydrating and staying hydrated is a huge part of braving any flight. You should be chugging water the day before, the day of, during and after your flight. If you’re awake you should be drinking water.

4. Stretch

When you have to be seated for long periods remember to occasionally twist your torso and look behind each shoulder. Just rolling your head back and forth a few times will help alleviate a stiff neck. And when the seatbelt sign is off take walks to the bathroom area to stretch your legs and hips.

5. Avoid alcohol and caffeine

Sorry to be a bummer. A stiff drink or a hot cup of coffee come as a comfort to many but both alcohol and caffeine disrupt your ability to sleep. Booze also dehydrates you and wrecks your skin.

6. Pack a plane survival kit in your carry-on that’s easy to access. Suggestions: eye mask, ear plugs, lotion with SPF (aircraft windows do not block UV rays), face cream, hand sanitizer and toothbrush, toothpaste, floss.

7. Entertainment

Load up your electronic devices with things to watch, read or play to help you stay awake. A White Noise app or noise cancelling headphones can be a blessing. Remember a portable charger and cables just in case your seat doesn’t come with a USB jack. For the non-tech person, magazines or paperbacks that are light weight and can be donated after use.

If you have a travel question or problem you would like to submit please contact Tammy Sikorski, Cheri Sigurdson or Bety Dar at El Sol Travel located at 10325 E. Riggs Road, Suite 105, Sun Lakes, Arizona 85248. Call 480-895-9362 or email [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]. View our website at: