My Top Tips for Healthy Travels
Airline travel opens up the world for us, but getting from point A to point B while staying healthy can be a daunting task within itself. A little extra preparation (and a few of my favorite elixirs) can go a long way in helping you feel your best when you arrive at your destination.
The following list incorporates my best advice for staying well while traveling by air, along with essential the products I never fly without. You can find all five of the elixirs mentioned in my new Voyager Set.
1. Make hand sanitizer & soap the most accessible items in your bag.
Fussing with zippers and digging through fully-packed luggage for your sanitizer or soap can potential spread any germs on your hands to other objects. Keep your key hand-cleansing products within easy reach, ideally on an outer pocket.
Try to find a hand sanitizer with healthy ingredients and at least 60% alcohol. To DIY your own, check out my blog post on the topic ~ but in a pinch, know that you can use 70% rubbing alcohol straight from the drugstore aisle as sanitizer (just pour into a clean bottle with a sprayer top).
I also always keep a 1 oz bottle filled with one part Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap mixed with one part water to avoid those heavily scented, chemical-laden public bathroom soaps. Whenever you can, wash your hands with soap and water ~ sanitizer is intended for the moments when you simply can't access a sink. Be sure to absolutely wash your hands before eating.
2. Bring your own home cooked meal (and water bottle).
With airport vendors only partially open and on-board service suspended, the options for food where you're flying out of and in flight may be exceptionally minimal. Skip the hassle and make a nutritious meal to eat during your flight ~ keep it simple, light, and stick to foods that are part of your normal diet. By bringing healthy food along for the ride, you're helping your body to feel its best and keep your immune system functioning optimally.
I personally love making a 'bowl' with a whole grain (like rice, bulgur or barley) with a few cooked veggies, beans or other protein, and season with spices & fresh herbs, salt & pepper, olive oil, and a dash of vinegar or squeeze of lemon. Layer everything in a tupperware or recycled sealable plastic container (yogurt containers work great), secure with a rubber band and wrap a cloth napkin (or fabric scrap that can function like one). Don't forget to bring any necessary reusable utensils!
In addition to a meal, I always bring some easy snacks to pick on during long flights. I typically make a simple trail mix with nuts, dried fruit and pieces of dark chocolate. A few pieces of fresh fruit are really nice as well.
Because you don't want to go through airport security with liquids, avoid carrying on soups, sauces, or anything that might be construed by TSA as a liquid in a container larger than 3 ounces. To speed up your time in the security line, put all food items and snacks in a separate bin without any other belongings (unless instructed by TSA to do otherwise). Food can sometimes be pulled aside for further inspection, but keeping it separate from your luggage means that security won't have to go through your entire bag when this happens.
And of course, don't forget your reusable water bottle! Make sure it is fully empty before getting into the security line. Most airports now have touchless water dispensers to fill water bottles, usually located near bathrooms. I like to add a slice of Ginger or a Cinnamon stick to keep me warm, soothe digestion and improve circulation in transit.
3. Wear layers, bring a scarf & keep yourself warm.
Airplanes seem to offer an extensive range of cabin temperatures, from arctic to equatorial. Our immune system works best when we are within our normal body temperature range, so be prepared to keep yourself comfortable regardless of the external temperature.
Avoid freezing or sweating by wearing layered clothing that allows you to remove and add layers as needed, and have an extra sweatshirt accessible in case you need it. Socks and closed-toed shoes will help keep your feet warm to encourage proper circulation.
A great scarf goes a long way on a long flight. Use it to keep your neck warm, as the neck is known as the 'Wind Gate' in traditional Chinese medicine and it's said that we are particularly vulnerable to catching colds when the back of our neck is cold. You can also drape a scarf over your head to create a little tent around yourself and form an extra layer of protection.
4. Help your nose filter germs effectively.
My all-purpose Solve All Salve serves a very specific purpose onboard: it helps keep your nasal passages lubricated, to ensure they effectively filter out germs. When we fly, the cabin air can dry out nasal passages and hinders their efficiency, making it more likely that we will pick up a cold or flu virus from the person coughing nearby. Help your nose do it’s best work under the mask by applying the Solve All Salve before takeoff and as needed throughout the flight. Using clean fingertips, simply coat the inside of each nostril with a thin layer of salve, and reapply if it starts to feel dry (every two hours or so). The Solve All is also great to keep on hand while traveling to help any minor abrasions and irritations — I personally keep one in my wallet, so I am never without it!
5. Ease head & sinus pressure in the air.
I formulated the Breathe Relief Balm specifically for airline travel, because I wanted something that would really help to alleviate pressure in the head that can be experienced while flying. Massage all over the face — specifically the temples, forehead, sinuses, and under the nose — as well as the neck before taking off to help encourage healthy circulation in transit, and apply again throughout the flight as often as needed. While it’s an essential for airline travel, Breathe Relief also works amazingly well for headaches and congestion on the ground.
6. Keep your belly warm & relieve abdominal discomfort.
Blue Moon Balm is an excellent multitasker on long flights. Keeping our gut healthy is crucial to our overall wellness, and ensuring that our stomach stays warm is necessary for it to feel good. In addition to bringing plenty of warm layers, Blue Moon brings heat wherever applied: in doing so it helps to prevent and alleviate stomach aches and cramps. Massage all over the abdomen, working in small circular motions spiraling out from the belly button moving from your right side to your left. You can also apply on sore spots like the back of the neck after falling asleep in your seat!
7. Refresh your senses for peace of mind.
Long hours, confined spaces, and (my least favorite) a sea of weird smells can leave you feeling less than your best as you arrive at your destination. Since brushing your teeth in the plane bathroom is hardly worth attempting, the Vanilla Mint Lip Bar helps to hydrate your pout while the touch of spearmint keeps your mouth feeling fresh.
I also recommend recalibrating your senses with Manoa Mist, a space and body spray infused with the lush essence of Hawaii. Spritz this spiced floral water onto your skin and clothes before the flight and after landing to reinvigorate your being for the next step of your adventure.
All five of these jetsetter essentials make up the new Voyager Set, now available under the Gift Sets collection — purchase them together for your next flight and get an $8 discount. Safe travels!