It can be hard to travel healthy. Whether you are a veteran traveler or taking a flight for the first time, making healthy choices is challenging.
I live in East Africa and travel a lot; several times a year. Here are my top five tips for making your inflight travel time comfortable.
1) Hydrate! Airplane air is very dry (and often cold). Be prepared to stay hydrated.
Bring a large bottle of water on board with you. Yes, they will have water on the flight, but it won’t be convenient. If it’s not convenient, you probably won’t take advantage of it.
Hand and face lotion and chapstick. The longer the flight, the dryer the air. Lotion will help keep your skin from freaking out.
Avoid excessive alcohol. The dry air will only enhance the dehydration from the alcohol and can lead to an unexpected headache/hangover.
2) Hand sanitizer/body wipes. Travel means coming in to contact with hundreds of other people, which means coming into contact with their germs. The tray in front of you may be the dirtiest place. I am not an advocate for everyday hand sanitizer use, but it is must have when I travel.
On long international flights I also carry body whips (baby wipes will do). They can help you feel a little less dingy while in transit.
3) Healthy snacks. This is a must for international flights. If you are like me, and riding in coach class, the food served is not fresh and will be highly processed. Also, it can be tempting to just eat everything handed to you because, well, there is not much else to do while you sit there for hours. I try and bring a few healthy snacks; nuts, granola bars and a piece of fruit if allowed.
4) Get up and stretch! Sitting for hours is not healthy in any environment. On a flight it can be dangerous (blood clots!). Set a timer on your phone (in flight mode) to remind you to get up and move around every couple of hours. I try and find space near the exit rows to do a bit of stretching of my legs, arms and back.
5) Dress in loose layers. Long fights have wide temperature ranges, so I dress in layers. My must haves: an extra pair of socks and a hooded sweatshirt.
Bonus items! These are small enough to fit in your pocket and can be a lifesaver on an international flight:
Ear plugs – keeps the noise out
Eye mask – keeps the lights out.
Enjoy your flight!