Tips On Surviving Red Eye Flights

Hey jet setters, listen up! We have all the tips and tricks  for your next red eye flight.

Just thinking about a red eye flight is dreadful. I’m cringing as I remember my last flight to the east coast: a 9:45pm takeoff out of San Francisco, landing at JFK in New York at 6:06am. In theory, the red eye is a grand idea. You take off in your city, sleep on the plane as the world below sleeps with you, and you rise with the local community at your destination, never missing a moment. However, in reality, the red eye flight is a hard thing to handle, physically and emotionally.

That’s where we’re stepping in. With the holidays just around the corner and travel amping up, we put together a list of our favorite tips on how to best deal with a red eye flight, before, during and after. Have a look below.


Pack your toothbrush and face wash in your carry-on. Prepare for the flight by brushing your teeth and washing your face in the airport before you take off.  Trust me when I say that when doing so in an actual bathroom instead of the airplane bathroom is a much better choice. Apply a heavy duty moisturizer after washing your face to keep your skin hydrated.

Pack healthy snacks like almonds and bananas that won’t spike your blood sugar and can be eaten at any time of the day/night/morning. Salty snacks tend to increase dehydration (and don’t taste so wonderful at 5am).

Carry on any travel accessories you may desire. Some things to consider: a neck pillow, ear plugs or ear phones and an eye mask. Also, a scarf works well to use as a blanket or as a pillow if need be.

Drink water. And more water. And more water. Dehydration is one of the most common problems associated with flying, due to lowered humidity levels on the plane. Try to avoid alcohol and coffee drinks, or compensate with enough water.

Wear comfy slip on shoes with socks (or pack socks in your carry on). Feet tend to swell on planes so remember to loosen up your shoes by untying them for more comfort. Along that same note, wear comfortable and soft clothing that your body can breathe in.

Stretch your body a few different times. Since you’ll be seated for long periods of time, it’s good to get up and get your blood flowing. Long flights can bring about leg clots or deep vein thrombosis (DVT) because of increased immobility, prolonged sitting and cramped leg room. Try these simple moves next time you’re on the plane: standing forward bend, neck rolls, thigh stretches, and pushing up on your tip toes.

When you arrive to your destination, brush your teeth and wash your face again.  Don’t forget to reapply a heavy moisturizer. Pack Visine, too, if you are prone to red eyes.

Good luck and happy traveling!


+Hey redeye travelers out there, what else can we add to this list?

Follow Joanna on Instagram.

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7 years ago

I’m lucky enough to be really good at flying. What I mean is that the moment the plane takes off, I fall asleep. And if we are passing through turbulence, even better! The movement just rocks me like a baby into the deepest of sleeps haha.
Great tips! Drinking water is certainly vital.
Victoria Chronicles of a Mermaid

7 years ago

“the red eye flight is one of the hardest things to handle, physically and emotionally.”

Well… I would put things like deadly diseases, the loss of a loved one, traumatic accidents and breakups into that category. Not flying.

It’s a luxury, especially if you compare it to other means of travel.

7 years ago

Great tips. Definitely using these for my next flight home.

7 years ago

Definitely using these tips on my next flight home.

7 years ago

The best thing to do when you arrive at your hotel or families house is to take a hot bath it helps level out your body and equilibrium especially if your prone to jet lag I always bring essential oils with me when traveling they help relax the stress flying causes on your body after all humans were never meant to fly if we were we would have wings!

7 years ago

Also remember to bring a good book or two for if you can’t fall asleep!