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Tips for Senior Travelers: What to Do Before and After a Long Flight

Traveling can be an exciting experience for seniors, providing opportunities to explore new places, meet new people, and create lasting memories.

However, long flights can be physically and mentally challenging, requiring proper preparation and care.

In this blog post, we will discuss essential tips for senior travelers to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable journey.

We will focus on what to do before and after a long flight, including advice on hydration, nutrition, and relaxation techniques.

Before the Flight

Drink plenty of fresh water before a long flight

  1. Food & Drink

    1. Stay Hydrated: Hydration is crucial for seniors, especially during long flights.
    2. Drink plenty of water before and during the flight to avoid dehydration.
    3. It is advisable to avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol intake, as they can contribute to dehydration.
    4. Pack Nutritious Snacks: Bringing your own snacks allows you to have healthy options readily available. Opt for nutrient-rich snacks like fruits, nuts, granola bars, or sandwiches. Avoid sugary and processed foods that may lead to energy crashes or digestive discomfort.
    5. Plan Your Meals: If your flight includes in-flight meals, consider contacting the airline in advance to inquire about special dietary options.
      Many airlines offer low-sodium, gluten-free, or vegetarian meals.
      Eating a balanced meal before your flight can also help you stay satiated during the journey.
    6. Balanced Meal: Prior to your flight, opt for a balanced meal that includes lean proteins (such as grilled chicken or fish), whole grains (like brown rice or quinoa), and plenty of vegetables.
      This combination provides sustained energy and essential nutrients.
    7. Hydrating Fruits: Include hydrating fruits like watermelon, oranges, or berries in your pre-flight snacks.
      These fruits are refreshing and help keep you hydrated.
  2. Clothes

    1. Choose loose-fitting clothing that allows freedom of movement and prevents constriction.
    2. Opt for breathable fabrics like cotton, linen, or bamboo to regulate body temperature.
    3. Layer your clothing to adjust to temperature changes throughout the journey.
    4. Consider wearing compression socks to improve blood circulation and reduce swelling.
  3. Exercise

    1. Engage in light exercise or stretching to prepare your body for the journey.
      Consult with your healthcare provider for suitable exercises.

stewardesses in long flight

During the Flight

  1. Food & Drink

    1. Hydrate Continuously: Drink water or non-caffeinated beverages regularly to stay hydrated.
      Cabin air can be dry, contributing to dehydration. Consider carrying a reusable water bottle to fill up during the flight.
    2. Mindful Eating: Pay attention to your body’s hunger and satiety cues.
      Avoid overeating or consuming heavy meals that may lead to discomfort.
      Opt for lighter options and avoid excessive salt intake, which can contribute to water retention.
    3. Avoid Excessive Alcohol and Caffeine:
      While it may be tempting to enjoy a glass of wine or a cup of coffee during the flight, excessive alcohol and caffeine intake can dehydrate your body and disrupt your sleep patterns.
      It’s best to consume them in moderation or avoid them altogether.
    4. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
      Bring a refillable water bottle for convenience.
    5. Pack nutrient-dense snacks like fresh fruits, cut vegetables, trail mix, granola bars, or whole-grain crackers.
    6. Avoid greasy or heavy foods and opt for lighter options to prevent discomfort and aid digestion.
  2. Excercise

    1. Stay Active: Regular movement during the flight is essential to prevent stiffness and promote circulation.
      Stretch your legs, walk around the cabin, or perform simple exercises in your seat, such as ankle rotations or shoulder rolls.
      Consult with your healthcare provider before attempting any new exercises.
    2. Regularly perform in-seat exercises such as ankle rotations, shoulder rolls, or gentle stretches.
    3. Take short walks around the cabin to improve circulation and prevent stiffness.
    4. Practice deep breathing exercises to promote relaxation and reduce stress.

Senior Woman resting in the hotel after a long flight

After the Flight

  1. Food and Drink

    1. Rehydrate: Upon arrival, continue to hydrate by drinking water or electrolyte-rich beverages.
      This will help replenish lost fluids and combat jet lag.
    2. Balanced Nutrition: Choose nutritious meals and snacks to provide your body with essential nutrients.
      Fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can help you recover from the journey and regain your energy.
  2. Excercise

    1. Rest and Adjust: Allow yourself time to rest and adjust to the new time zone.
      If possible, take short naps to combat fatigue but avoid sleeping for extended periods during the day to help your body adjust to the local time.
    2. Light Exercise: Engage in light physical activities such as walking or stretching to promote blood circulation and reduce muscle stiffness.
      This will help combat jet lag and enhance your overall well-being.
    3. Incorporate light exercises like walking or gentle stretching to combat jet lag and enhance blood circulation.
    4. Rest and allow your body to adjust to the new time zone, taking short naps if needed.


Long flights can be tiring, but with proper planning and self-care, senior travelers can make the journey more comfortable and enjoyable. Remember to stay hydrated, pack nutritious snacks, and dress comfortably before the flight. During the flight, prioritize movement, hydration, and mindful eating. After the flight, focus on rehydration, rest, light exercise, and balanced nutrition. By following these tips, seniors can arrive at their destination feeling refreshed and ready to embark on their travel adventures. Always consult with your healthcare provider before making any significant changes to your routine, and enjoy your journey to the fullest!

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