In a wanderlusting soul like mine, you’ll find a place reserved for travel that aches for new adventures and sights to see. But even with Instagrammable views, a cushy neck pillow, and the mystery of an unfamiliar destination, traveling on an airplane can be a far cry from comfortable. Turns out, spending hours on end in the “upright seated position” with limited access to food and the restroom is universally despised, especially by traveling yogis.
Insert some simple, on-the-go, self-care items to keep your mind and body in balance while up in the air.
The plane provides some free handouts and has little, prewrapped packages for sale, but they typically lack in nutritional value. Instead, 15 minutes of planning ahead can provide you with hours of tasty, yet nutritional, on-board snacks to curb your hunger.
Some of my favorites? Apples, grapes, Macro bars, raw nuts, individual almond butter packets (paired with apple slices for perfection), goji berries, and cacao nibs. Bring your own heat-safe container, like a reusable mug, and a plastic spoon; and you can even make instant oatmeal.
2. Yoga tune-up balls
The design of airplane seating presupposes poor posture. Almost every airplane seat I have ever occupied leaves me hunching over in a slouched position like a crescent moon. To counteract this tendency and to protect the natural curvature of the spine, use two little yoga tune-up balls, or racquetballs. Place them on either side of your spine and lean back into your seat. Alternate between locations from right beneath the tips of the scapula to the start of the lumbar spine.
3. Noise-cancelling headphones
Download a few Spotify playlists on your phone, and quiet out the ambiance with some chill music. If you are trying to get some rest after your early morning wake-up, simply turn your noise-cancelling headphones on and sleep, sans music! Either way, you will drown out some of the noise pollution.
4. Large scarf or wrap
Make sure to bring a large scarf or shawl in your carry-on. In addition to a great fashion piece, it doubles as a blanket in case you get cold on the flight.
5. A good book
Rarely are we without Wi-Fi, the internet, our phones, or connection to the outside world for consecutive hours these days. Unless it’s offered complimentary by the airline, I never pay for Wi-Fi. Instead, take this opportunity to switch “off” and tune in to a good book that you typically wouldn’t make the time for back at home.
6. Large mason jar with lid
Pack a large, empty water container, like a mason jar with a lid. This means free water refills—without having to ask the steward(less) for seven consecutive cups of water at a time.
Bonus: Drinking all that water is the perfect reminder for you to get up, go to the bathroom, and stretch it out with some yoga poses.
7. Notebook and pen, or laptop
You never know when creative inspiration might hit. And you might want to get some of those thoughts down to remember or share—just like I’m writing this post in flight now! Bring paper and a pen, or a laptop, and let the words flow.