Staff Poll: How to Survive (& Thrive) After an Overnight Flight

by  Christina Garofalo | Apr 15, 2016

Ah, the dreaded overnight flight: killer of restfulness, causer of leg cramps, and root of all irrational anger toward your neighbor. (We know, his phlegm-y breathing is basically salt in the wound). Sure, flying overnight gives you more time to enjoy your destination; but between your seatmate’s pulsing earphones and the crying baby onboard, there are a whole lot of variables after takeoff that can determine how you’ll feel once you land.

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to make your trip a little less painful and a little more restful. We asked our staff of seasoned globetrotters how they ensure they’re in their best shape once they touch the ground.

flickr / Adarsh Thakuri

No Coffee (Maybe All Day) & Stay Hydrated

“Avoid caffeinated beverages to maximize your ZZZ’s.” — Josee Lindner, digital sales manager

“Most people don't realize a major cause of tiredness after an overnight flight is dehydration. Keep a large water bottle on you for the flight, and feel free to get up and go to the flight attendant station between food-and-beverage service to fill up.” — Christina Garofalo, managing editor 

Optimize Your Beauty Routine

“I like to bring green tea extract face wipes, Evian facial spray (it feels so good on my face the next morning!), and Origins GinZing energizing moisturizer.” — Briana Zagami, promotions and special projects coordinator

"I always bring along a tube of bright lipstick. No matter how tired you are upon arrival, it makes you look a little more alive. " -- Laura Motta, director of publishing

“An overnight face mask, like this brightening one from Amarte Skincare skin (Apply it before you sleep; it does not need to be rinsed off), and face wipes for the morning. It’s basically an overnight facial with TSA-approved products, and it almost feels luxurious — even in coach.” — Anne Roderique-Jones, contributing editor

“Before landing, I pop into the bathroom and use dry shampoo, which makes my hair bouncy again — like I’ve just showered and blow dried my hair.” — Christina Garofalo, managing editor

flickr / Brando.n

 Pick the Right Seat & Go Incognito

“Work really hard to get upgraded to Business Class.” — David Steward, CEO and president

“I make sure I get a window seat, and pack a hat in case my hair is messed up from sleeping against the window. Also, sunglasses for when I land.” — Jaymie DeGaetano, deals production manager


“I like to bring my own blanket, mainly because I know it is clean! But I also know it won’t make me itchy, and if you have a long layover, it’s nice to curl up with in the airport lounge. I often travel with my kids, so it helps a lot for them to have something from home with a familiar smell but that is still functional.” — Gloria Collett, western sales representative


flickr / Dennis Brekke

Take a Decongestant

"Even if you aren't prone to allergies, the recycled air, freezing AC, germs, and cabin pressure are primed to make you stuffy when you land. Take a decongestant before you fall asleep and you'll dodge the stuffy nose when you land.” — Christina Garofalo, managing editor

Keep It Comfy

“I feel more comfortable when I drape a sweater over myself instead of wearing it because it can be a bit of a hassle to take off a sweater or hoodie if you're wearing it the normal way.” — Christine Dayao, contributing editor

“I like to wear very comfortable clothes whenever I have to travel. Basically, no jeans. Looser fitting clothing is ideal. — Tammy Lau, associate email producer

“A warm oversized hoodie can double as a pillow and a blanket, because the hood can be used as a neck pillow when you're not wearing it.” — Sonia Bramwell, product director

“Wear sandals on the plane, and pack a pair of socks to put on during the flight. It’s great way to keep warm and have footwear flexibility… though, not a great way to get upgraded” — Laura Motta, director of publishing

“A neck pillow and noise-cancelling headphones to help you sleep.” — Scot Gale, account executive and strategist


flickr / Kerinin

Time Your Meals & Pack (the Right) Snacks

“Eat in the terminal, and take a sleeping pill right after you board. Skipping the meal service lets you maximize your sleeping time.” — David Steward, CEO and president

“Snack bars, cereal bars, crackers, nuts or even cookies… Bring any dry foods you can easily pack away in your purse.” — Tammy Lau, associate email producer

“I like packing fresh fruit as a snack, because it hydrates you in addition to filling you up.” — Christina Garofalo, managing editor

Caffeinate Upon Arrival

"If I’m flying to another country overnight, I try to have a little bit of the foreign currency on me before I arrive — so I can buy coffee at the airport." -- Laura Motta, director of publishing 

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