The Healthy Traveler: Wellness Tips for Air Travel

It can be draining and exhausting to travel by air. Even worse, because you are worn down and exposed to new microscopic organisms, it can be easy to get sick. So, if you are flying for work or pleasure, here are some ideas for staying healthy while you travel the skies.

Take your vitamins and supplements.

The best over-the-counter cocktail for superhuman immunity combines zinc, vitamin B, and vitamin C. These compounds are available in foods you can find in the airport, such as fruits and vegetables, dark chocolate, and oatmeal. In this recent article, Health publication offers eleven things nutritionists eat at the airport and four things to avoid. But to be safe, pack a pill box with this trifecta so you will have multiple doses on hand each day of your trip. In addition, it can be helpful to start these supplements two weeks before your trip.

Stay hydrated.

Medical professionals say the human body loses .25 liters (or 8 ounces) of water per hour when flying. Therefore, travelers should be drinking at least this much water or more. CNN published a recent article with many creative ideas on staying hydrated. Hydration multipliers are an excellent option to help maximize your water uptake. Using an Aqualert digital tracker app is a way to keep up with your water intake and get reminders to drink. Drinking tea is good because decaffeinated tea is as hydrating as water. Always bring an empty, large reusable water bottle to the airport, and after passing through TSA, keep it full and handy when you board.

Eat carbs and salt.

Eating salty carbs is essential to keep your body’s electrolytes in balance. Cheese, crackers, or a bread roll with butter will usually do the trick and are often available inflight. Otherwise, you can pack salty treats such as energy or protein bars. If solid foods aren’t available, packets of electrolytes are always a good fallback. Gnarly and Nuun make excellent choices, and for extra immune fortification, try Emergen-C.

Wear compression socks.

People who wear compression socks in flight have been touting their benefits for decades. These socks help increase circulation and prevent swelling and soreness during travel time. Therefore, you will arrive at your destination with more energy and ready to hit the ground running. In addition, compression socks help prevent blood clots, varicose veins, and leg failure. Look for varieties tailored to your body, including wide calf options. CNN published a great article on the best compression sock brands on the market and the unique features each offer.

Get creative with layovers.

A great way to get exercise and keep yourself occupied on layovers is popping into the city for a meal or visiting a friend. On a recent 8-hour layover in the mile-high city, a friend picked me up at Denver International Airport, and we drove into town for lunch. He then put me on the RTD train back to the airport. It required a lot of walking, and I learned an easy way in and out of the city for my next trip.

Take a Peloton class.

While you may enjoy a diversity of bike classes at home from the Peloton App, you might not know that Delta and Peloton have partnered to bring you wellness classes in the clouds. The app offers 10-Minute Sleep Meditations, 15-Minute Patience Meditations, 15- or 5-Minute Seated Stretches, and 5-Minute Calming Meditations.

Use hand sanitizer, wipes, and masks.

While you might feel the coronavirus train has passed, you could catch many other germs and organisms at the airport. Bring hand sanitizer and use it often. Carry germ wipes and wipe down your tray table and other surfaces. Lastly, if you still have masks on hand, chuck one in your bag for emergencies. Then, if someone in your aisle is coughing or you start to get a scratch in your throat, you’ll be able to protect yourself and others as you travel.

Check out Let’s Roam’s most recent publication with even more dos and don’ts for healthy airline travel tips.

About the Author

KM Collins
Hailing from the Oregon Territory, K.M. Collins is a geologist-gone-writer. Five generations deep in PNW hydrology, her Grandmothers were daughters of the White Salmon, Clackamas, and Willamette Rivers. Though rowing is her favorite whitewater pastime, she doesn’t discriminate when it comes to paddle sports. Roller skating, snowboarding, and shuttling by bike rank among her favorite land-based activities.

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