Stay healthy while traveling, whether you’re planning your first post-Covid vacation or returning to business travel. Getting back to the skies is something we are all looking forward to! Safety is still top of mind, however, and some things have changed to make flying a bit safer during the pandemic. Here are some key actions you can take to keep your health top-priority and stay healthy while traveling. Be sure to enjoy your time away and return with only positive experiences to share!
1. Avoid Shared Surfaces
One Of The Sure Ways To Stay Healthy While Traveling Is To Avoid Touching The Surfaces Everyone Has Access To. Check-In Kiosks, Countertops, The Window Shades On The Airplane, And Door Handles are all publicly shared surfaces.
Stay healthy while traveling by avoiding shared touchscreens and keypads! Airports and airlines are starting to realize the extent that shared surfaces are spreading bacteria and viruses. That’s why many airlines are moving to contactless check-in and spraying down their airplanes between every flight. However, it’s not always clear which airline or airports are following these precautions. Touchscreens on airport check-in kiosks or payment tablets at airport restaurants were found to be ideal hosts for viruses. One study even found them to be more contaminated with viruses and bacteria than the toilets!
There are some steps you can take to avoid the surfaces that are most contaminated. Opt for virtual check-in online and use a stylus like LyfeStylus single-use stylus on touchscreens or keypads. Wash your hands often and wipe down your seat area, armrests, window shade and tray table on the plane. Learn more about our disposable stylus on our Home Page!
2. Get Enough Rest
Getting Enough Sleep Is One Of The Best Ways You Can Prepare Yourself For The Stresses Of Travel. Without Enough Rest, Your Immune System Is weaker, Stress Levels Are higher, And You’re More Likely To Get Sick.
Jet lag may also hurt your sleep after you’re there. To avoid feeling jet lagged during your whole trip, try to stay awake the day you arrive until 8-9pm local time. That way you’ll get a good night’s sleep your first night in and wake at a good time the next day, beginning your stay on a local sleep schedule.
A few tricks to help you fall asleep after changing time-zones: Follow a nightly routine, make the room completely dark, avoid screens an hour before going to sleep. You can also try calming music or meditation, packing ear plugs, and reading a little before bed.
3. Pack Healthy Snacks
Another trick to stay healthy while traveling is packing healthy foods. What you eat on days of irregular sleep schedules and extra stressors can make or break your day. Healthy meals can support your immune system, balance your energy and keep you from getting sick.
The sugar- or carb-filled cookies and crackers handed out on flights can create a quick sugar high followed by a crash. To better balance your energy, pack fiber-filled granola bars, nuts or fruits. Fiber will keep your energy balanced throughout your long travel days.
Fruits like apples and oranges or a colorful salad can pack a great dose of Vitamins. These vitamins are helpful for fighting off any sicknesses you may encounter and to stay healthy while traveling.
Avoid eating meat on flying days to reduce swelling and stiffness. Meat has inflammatory properties, which can restrict blood flow and cause swelling in your joints. On a long flight with little movement, you want to avoid swelling as much as possible! Eat a colorful salad with dark leafy greens instead.
Be sure to avoid packing liquid foods or you will lose them in security!
4. Manage Your Gut Health
A Big Part Of Working To Stay Healthy While Traveling Is Caring For Your Stomach. Many People Suffer From Stomachaches, Bloating And General Discomfort During And Even Days After Their Flight.
The cause of this discomfort can be tricky to determine, since a lot of things contribute to gut health. Bringing healthy fibrous snacks and avoiding the high-sodium airplane foods served in-air can help.
Packing foods high in fiber, like apples or granola bars, or even bringing a fiber supplement can help keep bloating down. Taking probiotics before meals and eating before your morning coffee can also help preserve your protective stomach lining. You may find avoiding coffee to be the most helpful for keeping stomachaches at bay. Try opting for warm water with lemon or caffeine-free tea instead.
5. Wear Sunscreen
one of the best ways to promote your long-term health is to protect yourself from the high UV rays while flying.
Because you’re at a higher altitude when flying, there is less atmosphere to protect you from the Sun’s harmful UV rays. Most planes don’t have UV filtered windows to protect you. Wether you like to keep your window open for gazing or it’s your fellow flight passenger across the aisle, you’re getting more exposure to harmful sun than if you were strolling on the beach.
Wear a light sunscreen on your face and neck whenever you are flying. Actually, it’s a good habit to wear a sunscreen face lotion every day! I like to pack a sunscreen “stick” that won’t contribute to my liquids limit. If you’re looking for more natural or chemical-free skin products, look for the mineral sunscreens that use zinc instead of the more common chemical sunscreens.
Hydration Is Probably The Most Common Tip You’ll Hear On How To Stay Healthy While Traveling. Because The Air Is Dryer At Higher Altitude, The Air On Your Flight Will Be Dryer Than You’re Used To. This Can Dehydrate You Faster Than Usual.
It’s Easy To Forget To Drink Water And To Eat While You’re In The Hustle And Bustle Of Traveling, But It’s One Of The Best Things You Can Do For Yourself During These Long, Often Stressful, Days. To Avoid Buying The Expensive Water Bottles At The Airport And Wasting The Plastic Bottles, Pack Your Own (Empty) Reusable Water Bottle And Fill It Up At The Filtered-Water Fill Stations You Can Find Once You’re Through Security.
The Small Cups Of Water Passed Out On Flights Aren’t Enough To Keep You Hydrated Throughout The Flight. In Addition To That, The Coffee Needed By Many To Get Through The Early-Mornings Or Long-Days And The Salty Foods You’ll Find At The Airport Can Dehydrate You Even Faster. Keep Track Of Your Water Intake On These Long Travel Days! Dehydration Is One Of The Most Common Health Issues Flight Attendants See In-Air.
7. Wear Comfortable Shoes
If you travel often (for work or for play!) you will eventually learn how much a good, supportive pair of shoes can affect your health, your experience, and your mood on these long travel days. This can be a short-term or long-term look at how to stay healthy while traveling.
Short-term, shoes without support or cushion become painful and can cause blisters, back pain or joint pain. Walking through the airport and to your destination carrying the extra weight of luggage can turn seemingly-comfortable shoes into your worst nightmare. Don’t let your shoes slow you down!
If you travel a lot, you have to think long-term. If you consistently wear shoes that aren’t supportive or cushioned it can cause back, joint or foot problems. Invest in a good pair of travel shoes. Even if you’re traveling for business and heading straight to work, there are many shoes that look good while being comfortable. Flight attendants have to wear heels in the terminal between flights. Many opt for Clark’s heels, because they have good support and cushion for all the walking required in this profession. You can definitely find both style and comfort!
8. Pack Light
This is a hard one for most of us! Learning what to pack for any situation you may find yourself in is a learned skill, but that’s not the only challenge. If you travel a lot, you can fall into a pattern of “hoarding” things you can’t always find when on the move: straws, plastic silverware, personal entertainment, antibacterial wipes..
But packing light is a strategy that, once you find the courage to leave those extra things behind, is truly liberating! It’s helpful to reduce stress, lighten the load on your body, disconnect from material objects, and to stay healthy while traveling.
Carrying a small set of reusable straws and silverware can keep you from stuffing the front pockets of your carry-on with bulky plastic. Downloading books onto your tablet or phone can cut down on weight. Picking multi-functional clothing pieces that you can layer or dress-up/dress-down for different occasions can help you minimize overpacking. Shoes are heavy and huge space-suckers– you only need, at most, two pairs! Really, that’s it! One pair of walking/work-out shoes and another pair for work, strolling around the city or nice dinners is perfect.
BONUS: If you pack light enough, you won’t have to check any bags! On most flights you’re allowed a carry-on bag (small suitcase) and two personal items, which could be a backpack that fits under the seat in front of you and another small item like a purse. Not having to check a bag can make the check-in process much faster and you get to skip baggage claim at the end, too! That can shave time and stress off a long day of travel.
9. Stress Less!
If more travelers could accept that travel is never easy and things aren’t always going to go as planned, they would be happier, less stressed, and more prepared! With travel comes delays, crowds, rushing then waiting, last-minute changes, and other frustrating scenarios.
Stress can suck your energy and patience, and it’s been found to have detrimental long-term consequences on your health. To stay healthy while traveling, one of the best things you can do is to physically and mentally prepare for your day of travel. To start, all of the tasks listed above will improve your experience and help you physically prepare for traveling. Thinking about all of these points will lower your stress levels and help you tolerate whatever is thrown your way.
But the way you approach the day can be the biggest game-changer for you. If you are tied to your plan and left no room for delays or wind-down time, your day is going to be stressful and disappointing. If you approach the day with the mindset that there will probably be delays, stressful situations, irritating people, etc. but you brought entertainment for yourself and are fully prepared to settle in and spend time at the airport, then you will have better luck with protecting your peace.
Just remember: you’ll have to be patient, everything takes longer than expected, and you will have to be content to cozy into your seat at the gate with that book, podcast, or online course you’ve been waiting to have time for (and have already downloaded onto your phone, because you never know). Focus on what you can control and enjoy the rare down-time with some good entertainment you’ve prepared for yourself!