Flying across the Pacific to Asia is no easy feat. From the United States you cross the International Date Line, multiple time zones, and the world’s largest ocean, enough to throw off your body clock–and head as well. But with a few simple measures you’ll be able to diminish the effects of traveling halfway round the world to arrive rested, refreshed, and raring to go from the moment you step off your next Singapore Airlines flight.
- Hydrate. This is critical. A plane’s interior usually has humidity levels that top out at about 20 percent (whereas in most homes the number averages 50 percent), which means less moisture in your airways and greater susceptibility to airborne bacteria and viruses, like a cold. Keeping hydrated will ensure moist, germ-trapping airways, and less chance of getting sick onboard.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks. Remember the advice about hydration? Drinking alcohol and caffeinated drinks don’t apply since these typically dehydrate you. Instead of a coffee or carafe of red, stick to juices, water, and caffeine-free soda. If you want to try one of the choices from Singapore Airlines’ wine list, drink in moderation and alternate with non-alcoholic options.
- Bring moisturizer and eye drops. Skin and eyes (the latter especially for contact lens wearers) can quickly get dry and scratchy in the air, but cream and eye drops will quickly remedy the situation.
- Stretch throughout the flight. Deep vein thrombosis, usually referred to as DVT, can affect people taking long-haul flights. Reduce your chances of getting a clot by wearing compression socks below the knee (they help blood flow) and stay active throughout the flight. Lifehacker has an excellent list of seven suggested stretches and exercises here.
- Adjust your body clock. This sounds devilishly easy to do but is not. Ideally you should get onboard, reset your watch to the time of your destination and behave as you would based on the time at your final stop. So if it’s night where you’re going, sleep. If it’s day, keep yourself occupied: Use the power outlet that comes with each seat aboard your Singapore Airlines flight to juice up the laptop or iPad, or pick something to watch from the wide selection of on-demand films, TV shows, and even language learning apps on KrisWorld. Resetting your internal clock while in the air takes discipline, but it’s a key component to lessening the effects of jetlag and effortlessly easing in to the local time at your destination.
- Eat light meals. The pressurized cabin of a plane affects the digestive tract and can cause digestion problems for some, interrupting sleep. Light meals may minimize the discomfort. “I order the Indian vegetarian meal even though I’m not vegetarian,” says emerging music artist Malian, who flies to Singapore at least three times a year. “It’s consistently delicious, filling, and healthy and it’s often lighter than the standard meals.” (Singapore Airlines has a long list of special meals in every class of service that can be ordered in advance.)
- Relax. Malian has another suggestion for transpacific fliers: “I also like to do guided meditations. It is the perfect setting for learning how to quiet your mind with a long flight, seven miles above the biggest ocean in the world.” Your destination may end up being not simply Singapore, but a new sense of serenity.