Do you struggle with staying healthy when you travel? From lack of healthy food options in the airport to being seated right next to the one person who is coughing in your face, there are many perils to your health. If you are like me, you want to be able to travel but remain healthy when you do so! Here are my Top Ten Travel Tips! The number one thing you can do is think ahead and take these few steps to make your trip a success!
Before you leave, your best bet is maintaining a baseline of adequate sleep and a strong immune system, nourished by minimal processed foods and sugars, and stress management. If your immune system is suppressed before you take off by long-work days, poor sleep and junk food, you are setting yourself up for picking up a bug when you leave.
Before you leave check out various options for hotels or rentals where you will be staying. If you are staying in a hotel, request a small fridge and/or microwave in your room so that you can bring or prepare some of your own healthy meals. Most hotels will accommodate you for medical necessity if you have gluten-intolerance or other food allergies. Check to see where the nearest Whole Foods or natural grocery store is located.
2. Pack food
Before traveling, pack items, like packets of nut butter, shredded coconut, nut and seed mixes, or dried jerky. Don’t count on the airport to have the healthy foods you need. Planning ahead and making sure you have food with you is especially important if you have celiac disease or severe food allergies. There are very few airports restaurants that cater to us.
It’s essential to make sure you get 7-8 hours the night before you travel. I specifically avoid scheduling my flights prior to 10am so that I can get adequate sleep the night before and have my morning routine before a big trip. While you are gone make every effort to maintain good sleep hygiene and get 7-8 hours per night. If you must have a sleepless night, take a quick nap to catch up. If you are traveling overseas or crossing time zones, try melatonin one an hour before planned bedtime beginning one day prior to leaving. Melatonin is excellent remedy to help you adjust your circadian rhythms for the new time zone.
Many people are very sensitive to wi-fi in the environment. If you live in a condo complex or apartment, you may notice the effects from the many other wi-fi signals around you. At home, be sure to put your phones and iPads on airplane mode at night if at your bedside. If you are in a plane with wi-fi, most likely you are captive in a confined area with large amounts of wi-fi exposure. I recommend drinking 1 liter of filtered water prior to boarding and if possible,1 liter for every hour you are on the plane.
Yes, coffee!. I recommend avoiding caffeine during the flight itself so that you are not dehydrated. Once you land, you can drink a cup.
Just because you are on vacation doesn’t mean you are excused from moving your body! Start your day with yoga, take a walk, go for a jog and explore the city or surroundings! I always pack my running shoes. Don’t forget your bathing suit if you swim! Most hotels offer fitness centers and a pool where you can stretch, swim laps, lift weights or use the treadmill.
While we can survive days without food, pure clean water is essential and without it, we would not survive long. Purchase several liters of water before you get on the plane and once you debark, be sure to pick up another. If possible, carry your own re-fillable water bottle to avoid the BPA in plastic bottles. This will save you money and time and can easily be refilled at any public drinking fountain.
Perhaps the most powerful immune supporting vitamin is none other than Vitamin D3. If you feel the onset of a cold or flu bug, you can take a dose Vitamin D3 for 2 or 3 days to knock out the virus out. You can also take that dose one time on the day you travel to help your immune system fight anything it might encounter.
Be sure to pack any other supplements that you take regularly. I recommend getting snack-size Ziploc baggies. To differentiate your morning and evening pills, get the snack baggies.
If you have prescription medications, it is best to keep this in their original bottle with instructions from the pharmacy. Check airline guidelines for international travel as some countries have restrictions on what you can carry in. If in doubt, ask your doctor to write a note that you can carry through security that you are allowed to carry food or vitamins due to medical necessity.
9. Travel Remedies
Expect the unexpected is a good motto to have when traveling. Here’s a list of things you may want to pack in case of illness:
- Boiron Oscillococcinum – prevent the onset of the flu.
- Boiron ColdCalm and Sinusalia – natural symptomatic relief of cold or flu symptoms.
- L-Lysine – for acute outbreak of stress-related cold sores.
- Magnesium Citrate – for constipation when traveling.
- Vitamin C – helpful to keep your immune system in tip-top shape.
- Hyland’s Motion Sickness tabs – for motion sickness during travel.
10. Travel with comforts
Have a favorite pillow? A soft sweatshirt or throw? How about your favorite relaxation playlist? Don’t forget to pack a few things that make you feel comfortable on the plane or once you arrive to your destination. In addition, it’s a good idea to wear layers since airplane temperatures vary and the climate of your destination may vary dramatically from home. Pack an extra pair of socks, underwear, toothpaste, and other essentials in your carry-on in the slight chance your checked luggage is lost or delayed. My favorite part of airline travel getting to enjoy a good read, guilt free… so don’t forget to pack your favorite book or download one before you go.