I’ve been traveling. Nothing new there. While I was on a 14 hour flight from Dubai, I felt it appropriate to write down all the ways that any vocalist should operate at high altitudes for long periods of time. Air travel is stressful for most and will always be hard on the voice unless fully prepared. This is especially true if you’ve got a gig days after you land like I do.
It goes without saying that hydration is key. Ask for as much water as possible …and keep asking. Your bladder will fill up quite quickly and you may have to deal with several loo visits but wouldn’t you rather have easy-to-operate vocal cords than be susceptible to catching the flu. Yes! Stay away from alcohol.
2). Easy On The Hot Beverages
The tea on planes always dry me out and gives me headaches. If you must drink something warm, hot water and honey/lemon is probably a better solution. Honey is a good thing to pack just in case they run out on the plane.
Deciding on what to eat on a plane can be a little tricky. The key is to stay away from all the things you would usually stay away from when you’re on ground e.g. dairy, spicy foods, citrus etc. Plane food has gotten better over the years and most airlines have 1 or 2 choices at a minimum (in the economy cabin) but you might want to buy things like nuts, salads, fruits before you get on the plane so that you are not restricted to the options provided.
Stretching on a plane will almost always make you look weird but the people who are watching, I guarantee wish they had the guts to do some yoga stretches in full view of the rest of other passengers. Stretching on a long flight can go a long way to improve circulation and release tension in pretty much all muscles that are needed for singing.
Depending on when your next gig is, if you’re usual routine is to warm up daily, nothing stops you from doing a few lip trills and vowel exercises in the daytime portion of a long flight. The engines are so loud that your neighbor can barely hear you. If you feel conscious, do it under your blanket. I didn’t say flat out belt out some tunes, a soft vocal workout will be better than nothing at all.
Getting enough sleep is great for your entire body. If you have an economy seat, it can be a little uncomfortable but a good neck pillow and a warm blanket will usually do the trick to ensure a decent amount of shut eye. Take this one seriously.