How to stay healthy while traveling
My husband and I are big travellers- and we love jetting off on a new adventure at least 2-3 times per year. Usually one of our trips will be a two-week all-inclusive getaway, where the other will be a three or four week long exploration trip. Last year, we had the opportunity to explore Costa Rica- just the two of us and a car rental for three weeks, where we explored almost the entire country. And I’m not biased or anything… but that beautiful country tops my list of everywhere I have ever been.
With our next adventure to Thailand just a few days away, it got me thinking about how I pack my suitcase and carryon, and more specifically, all of the steps I take to maintain the health of my husband and I during our flights. Travelling to another country can seem daunting at first- especially if you are new to the game- but rest assured, you can easily stay healthy and prepared with the travel tips I have shared below.
For me, the most important part of my packing involves food- shocker, right? It’s probably no surprise that I am known as the queen of snacks, since always having healthy options on hand is kind of my jam… See what I did there? Ha!
But seriously. I love me some snacks- especially when flying, and ESPECIALLY with all of my food restrictions. Because let’s be honest- the likelihood of airlines having abundant gluten-free, dairy-free, plant-based and healthy options for food is what I like to call “slim pickings”. So in order to ensure that I stay well-nourished and comfortable, I always come prepared! So with that said, let’s dive in to my top tips for staying healthy, lean, and confident during long flights or layovers.
What to come prepared with in your carryon:
#1. SNACK ATTACK- Yep, as mentioned above, a big focus of mine for staying healthy during travelling is being prepared with endless snack/meal options. Our upcoming trip for instance requires THREE different flights (one with a duration of 13 hours), and a total trip time of 25 hours to get there…. Bummer, am I right? And when you have serious food restrictions as I do, you can’t rely on the airlines or airports to keep you from starving or to have healthy options on hand. So the solution? Pack your own!
I absolutely love to bring healthy homemade muffins/cookies, healthy bars like Lara or KIND, unsalted nuts, unsweetened dried fruit or homemade trail mix, roasted and seasoned lentils, apples, chopped carrots and to-go hummus cups, or even whole avocado’s. I have yet to have a problem bringing any of these items through security- but if I ever did, I would just be prepared to explain my food restrictions, and how I cannot eat anything supplied on the flight. I’ve also heard you can bring a doctors note explaining the same, and it may be worth it if your airport is strict. Keep in mind, fruits/vegetables would be an issue once you land in your destination country and go through customs- so just make sure to finish these before then.
As for beverages- you cannot take them through your initial security either. So I always come prepared with a water bottle that is double insulated, and keeps liquids hot or cold for 24 hours. Once I am through security, I fill it up with water at a fountain to bring with me on the plane. I also like to look for a bottle of coconut water at one of the mini-marts in the airport, because as I mentioned in a previous post, coconut water is amazing for replacing your electrolytes, therefore making it extremely beneficial during flying. It is so important to stay hydrated during long flights/layovers, so I highly recommend bring a big water bottle for this reason.
And as a final note for food- I wanted to note that I also bring some organic green tea bags, and some echinacea or ginger ones as well. Once I have drank my water, I will ask the stewardess to fill my bottle up with hot water, and to bring me a cup. I will then sip on hot tea to help with settling my stomach (ie. ginger or peppermint tea) if I need it, or improving my immunity (ie. echinacea or green tea). Plus, it always warms me up!
#2. PREPARE FOR SLEEP- Even if you aren’t on a red-eye, chances are you will want to spend a portion of your flight catching up on some zzz’s. I personally, used to struggle with sleeping on the plane for loads of reasons- the sounds, lights, smells, etc. But I am pleased to report, with the implementation of these small steps, I have completely changed the game.
One of the biggest struggles I have, is that I am always cold. So, in order to combat this, I do a number of things. The first is that I wear comfy and stretchy travel clothes- but with lots of layers. My usual airport outfit includes thicker yoga pants, a racerback tank, a soft and warm hoody with a jean jacket over top, and runners. Comfy AND warm, but the ability to take off layers if a sudden hot flash hits. Now, the real secret weapon? Compression socks. Yep, you heard me. Not only do these bad boys keep me from ballooning up or developing a blood clot (a risk with long flights), but they also keep my blood circulating, which results in a much warmer and happier me! If you haven’t worn a pair before, I highly recommend making the purchase.
The other ways I prepare for sleep are with my silk eye mask, ear plugs, essential oils, and neck pillow. I used to never bring anything to assist with sleep, and simply would rely on a rolled up jacket to prop my head up- and let me tell you, the stiffness and cramping I experienced for days after was NOT fun. Now my silk eye mask blocks out all light, my ear plugs block out all sound, my essential oils keep me calm and relaxed, and my high-quality neck pillow supports my head and prevents any uncomfortable positions. If you are not currently packing for success, I highly recommend changing up your packing to get the most out of your flights.
#3. KEEP THE GERMS AT BAY- It’s important to note that planes are only given a quick wipe down between flights, with a thorough clean not happening as often as it should… yuck! So taking steps to eliminate bacteria and viruses from your environment is highly recommended.
I personally pack antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer with me, and as soon as we get on the plane I wipe down our seats, table trays, tv’s and anything else we touch. I like to make sure that the items we are in contact with for the next 6-13 hours are clean and sanitized. Then, when going to the washroom, I make sure to bring a wipe with me to cleanse the door handle, lock and tap upon entry. That way, when I am finished, I can wash my hands and exit the bathroom knowing that I am not getting re-contaminated.
And as an added personal step- a few days before we leave, I always up our intake of Vitamin D & C, take extra pro-biotics, drink kombucha, and guzzle some echinacea/elderberry syrup. Anything and everything I can do to boost my immune system before we take off!
#4. BEAT BOREDOM- My last tips are for battling for boredom. Because, as we know, boredom can lead to all kinds of negative health consequences such as depression, anxiety, cravings, fatigue, and more. By preparing with stimulating activities, you are more likely to stay focused, increase cognitive function, eat healthier, and be happier!
Here are some ideas on what to pack that I, myself, do each time we travel:
- Travel sized crib board (hubby and I both love to play this) or cards
- Books (informative and fiction)
- Journal/notepad & pens
- Crossword puzzle or Sudoku books
- Download podcasts/music play lists
- Download movies/tv shows to your phone or tablet
PS: As an added (and final) beauty tip, I am currently OBSESSED with Summer Friday’s ‘Jet Lag’ Mask. I use it everyday as a primer, but especially to keep my skin moisturized and radiant during my flights!
So that pretty much sums up the majority of my tips for staying healthy and happy while travelling. I hope you learned something new that you will incorporate the next time you take off on a new adventure! To see how I am travelling and what I am getting up to in Thailand this month, keep an eye on my Facebook page HERE.