I don't know about you, but there's nothing worse than feeling healthy going into a trip, then arriving at your destination feeling like you got sick on the plane. Who wants to spend the duration of a vacation or work trip feeling groggy and subdued?
Whether it's too cold, too hot, or you're eating crummy airplane food, stiff from sitting for hours, nothing about it does you any favors when it comes to staying healthy on flights.
I always try to maximize the time I have in a city, so I usually take red-eyes or an early flight as possible. Because of this, I have become really meticulous at taking care of myself on the flight so I can arrive feeling ready to hit the ground running and not waste any time.
Having traveled a lot this year, I have my routine down pat. I now know exactly what things to consistently pack to keep me comfortable and healthy throughout the flight.
I've already covered my tips for stress-free healthy eating while traveling, but now I want to share my 7 tips to stay healthy while actually in transit and flying to your destination!
1. Stay Hydrated
I mean, this tip is important all the time for optimal health, but staying hydrated is particularly important on while flying on a plane.
The air in a plane is really dry, so it already is hard for your body to stay properly hydrated-- this is why I usually advise against drinking on flights, because alcohol is immensely dehydrating, so if you do choose to drink, make sure you're balancing it out with the water.
Lastly, your immune system needs water to be able to be at its strongest, and fight off all those germs from sitting on a plane breathing in the same air as 100 other people.
2. Prepare Snacks
Not only will you be healthier because you aren't relegated to the usual choices of pretzels/cookies/chips, but you'll also save money by not having to buy a meal. I mean, I adore me some Biscoff cookies on a Delta flight, but they really don't make my gluten-stubborn stomach happy. Last thing I need is to land a flight and go waste a few hours lying down resting.
I like to always keep a few healthy protein bars and snacks in my carry-on backpack, but for last-minute planners, now the airports are usually filled with healthy snack options. I have consistently found things like apples, bananas, dried fruit, healthy snack bars, greek yogurt, fruit cups, etc. at concession stands or cafes.
MY CURRENT FAVORITES IN MY BAG:
Square Organics Protein Bars
(use code "livingminnaly" for 20% off!)
Okay, so I'm a little germophobic. But realistically thinking about how the plane most definitely does NOT get thoroughly cleaned after each trip, gives me the heebie jeebies.
The last thing you want to do while on a trip, whether for work or vacation, is to get sick. I carry alcohol-based sanitizer (anti-bac is now an FDA no-no!) that has no chemicals and only contains plant-based ingredients. I give the headrest and metal armrests a quick spritz and wipe down with a napkin before getting settled. I also use it to clean my hands after using the lavatory, because I'd rather touch as little as possible in those airplane bathrooms...
MY CURRENT FAVORITE IN MY BAG:
2 oz. travel-size friendly Honest Hand Sanitizer Spray
4. Remove Your Makeup + Moisturize
Okay, this is more for the ladies I suppose, but seriously, do your skin a favor and either don't wear makeup to the airport. The air is dry enough in a plane, and not to mention your face will probably feel icky after a longer flight with a full face of makeup on. I always pack some cleansing cloths in my bag just incase.
Speaking of skin, don't forget to moisturize! My hands are always so dry, especially with the colder seasons now, so I use a natural shea and aloe lotion that is paraben-free. As I said, the air in a plane is very dry, so hydrate from the outside as well. Keep that skin healthy, it's the largest organ in your body!
5. Bring Layers
This one is simple. It can get really cold on a plane, and I personally hate those blankets (they definitely don't wash those after every use) they give you. Make sure to bring a warm sweatshirt and some socks, to keep your body temperature stable. Worst case, you don't use them and you have a makeshift pillow to roll up and use.
6. Get Up and Stretch
If I'm on a flight for anywhere past 1.5 hours, I have to get up to walk around a little and stretch. Honestly, I don't care if I look like a weirdo, stretching my hips, back, and arms. I mean, don't go crazy and do pushups and lunges down a tiny aisle of a crowded plane, but do move your body.
At a high altitude with a pressure-controlled cabin, it's really helpful to keep your blood moving and get that circulation going. Not to be a negative Nancy, but blood clots do happen and this is one way of preventing them.
Afraid to bother your neighbors to keep getting up?
Save yourself the back-and-forth by tacking on a few stretches after going to the restroom. Also, as long as you are courteous about it, there is nothing wrong with taking care of your needs!
7. Unplug, for REAL
Probably the one on this list that is least often mentioned or done, but also one of the best things you can do for yourself.
You already (likely) don't have internet access, so use this opportune time to disconnect and unplug for a few hours. Remember how we talked about how important it is to manage stress and to sneak in every opportunity you can to kick that parasympathetic nervous system into gear?