It’s easy to feel under the weather after a flight. You are stuck in a metal tube with 100+ other passengers and all their germs, but with a few simple steps you can stay healthy on your flight. I’ve compiled a few tips to help you feel your best after you step off that airplane so you can hit the ground running at your destination.
1.) Drink Water
This sounds like it should be obvious but often times people pay little attention to this. Airplanes offer complimentary drinks such as coffee or sodas (and if you are in a higher class seat, alcohol) which can be dehydrating. I’m not saying don’t indulge, after all you are probably on vacation, but make sure you are drinking plenty of water too. The air at 37,000 feet is much dryer than on land and your skin will take the hit if you aren’t quenching your thirst. Drinking lots of water also helps combat jet leg (if you are flying through multiple time zones), helps to prevent blood clots, and …
2.) Walk Around
Speaking of blood clots, sitting in the same position for too long on an airplane (around 4 hours or more) can cause what is called Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). Typically this is more worrisome for long haul flights but goes for other modes of transportation as well such as car, bus, or train. The best way to prevent this is to simply walk around. I find using the restroom every hour is sufficient, and will be necessary if you are drinking enough water! Others swear by compression stockings which is an option too. For more information on DVT click here.
If I am traveling during the winter when the flu, colds, and other illnesses are going around, I make sure to drink my Airborne everyday for about a week before my trip. Then I continue to drink it while I’m on my trip until I get home. This is especially helpful if you don’t have the best immune system. I think this is also helpful before going on a cruise.
4.) Choose Lighter Meal Options
Whether you eat the meal on the airplane or bring your own food on, make sure it is a lighter option such as a vegetarian meal, salad, fresh fruit, etc. These foods are easier to digest and won’t leave you feeling weighed down. Plus, gas expands at higher altitudes so if you are eating foods that can cause gas, you will be left feeling uncomfortable. There have also been studies done suggesting what you eat can help with jet lag. Harvard University performed a study in 2008 and you can read about it here.
5.) Wipe Down Your Surroundings
Some people might find this one a little over the top, but think about how often those tray tables or arm rests actually get a good cleaning? Probably not very often since planes empty and are immediately reloaded. I am not a germaphobe by any means but I still take travel size wipes (like Clorox wipes or Wet wipes) and I like to wipe down the tray table, the arm rests, and anything else I might be touching (that isn’t cloth).
What are your favorite stay healthy travel tips? Let me know in the comments below!