Healthy Travel Prep
Tis’ the season not only for parties and festivities, but also lots of travel for many of us. Whether you live abroad and fly home for the holidays, or simply travel between family houses and holiday getaways, staying healthy in transit is vital to make sure you arrive feeling great (and ready to celebrate!).
We all know traveling can wreak havoc on our health. From dehydration and high-sodium ‘dead’ plane food, to unhealthy choices in airports and celebratory drinks along the way, opting for healthy options in transit can pose a dilemma for most. The thing is, if you prepare before your departure, you can in fact travel healthy and better yet, feel good upon arrival!
BEFORE YOU LEAVE
Plan ahead. It doesn’t need to be difficult or time consuming, but putting a bit of thought into your journey ahead of time will make your trip that much more enjoyable. Here are a few helpful tips for that pre-travel planning:
+ Do research. If you are heading to a ‘destination Christmas’, be sure to do some healthy options research before you get there. Of course hit the local “must eat” highlights and truly enjoy yourself, but include some healthy options along the way. Seek out a few juice bars, organic cafes and even yoga studios for when you need a little re-balance from all that Italian pizza!
+ Take your vitamins. It’s easy to get sick on planes and in transit, especially after long work weeks leading up to your holiday. Start early and load up on Vitamin C and B-complex a few weeks before to boost your immunity and ward off any unwanted sickness. Continuing to take these along with a good probiotic throughout your holiday also works wonders!
+ Pack snacks. Packing your own snacks means you’ll have healthy options for your flight and not be tempted by crappy convenience foods at the airport. Airport and plane food are often loaded with sugar, salt and can be highly processed. These foods dehydrate you during your flight and leave you feeling crappy upon arrival. Having your own snacks will save you from going hungry or eating junk. Some of our favourites include:
- Unsalted raw nuts – goods fats and protein.
- Fresh fruit – apples, pears, oranges and berries are easy to carry and also very hydrating.
- Hummus – with rice crackers and veggies to keep you full
- Dates – to satisfy sweet cravings.
- Protein Bars – just avoid crap ingredient ones or make your own.
- Herbal teas – ginger and peppermint are great for digestion.
+ Bring a BPA-free water bottle. This is a must! Don’t wait for water service on the plane. Bring your own large water bottle (empty it before security), then fill it on the plane as much as you like. Hydration is going to be your saviour!
+ Dress accordingly. Don’t underestimate the importance of comfort when traveling. Especially for long haul flights, don’t go for tight jeans or sandals! Instead, be sure to pack socks, a few extra layers and wear pants that allow you to move. A neck pillow and eye mask are also great additions! When you feel comfortable, it’s easier to get rest and arrive feeling fresh.
+ Pre-fuel. Enjoy a nice hearty and healthy meal before you take off. Fuel your body with serious nutrients (we’re talking fat, protein and tons of greens) so that you don’t arrive at the airport ravenous and reaching for anything in sight. If timing doesn’t allow for this, opt for something hydrating and filling on the go … a takeaway salad or healthy smoothie is perfect.
+ Airport Options. If you find yourself in the airport and getting peckish, don’t fret there are healthy options – you just have to look for them! There are always bananas and apples at café counters, and sometimes even nuts. If you have time, grab a green salad at a restaurant and load up on whatever fresh veg they have on offer – simply hold the dressing and request olive oil instead.
+ Hydrate. This could not be more important! Save the alcohol and coffee for your destination and be sure to drink as much water and herbal tea as you can in transit. You will minimise dry skin, avoid headaches, reduce inflammation and feel less depleted upon arrival. Try for at least 1 cup of water every hour, and include water-rich foods such as fruit and salads.
+ Plane Food. In reality, no one wants to eat plane food. But hey, sometimes it’s our only option (note to self: pack more snacks next time!). Although the veg/vegan option might seem like the best bet, it’s actually often just a carb and sugar overload! Our suggestion is to go with a main meal with the least amount of sauce (sugar haven), eat the protein and load up on any veg or fruit they offer. Skip the dessert, and enjoy your own snacks or tea.
+ Plane Yoga. Sitting through long-haul (and even short-haul) flights can cause stiff, sore muscles, water retention and poor circulation. Simple movement and stretches throughout your journey will help ease these issues and even alleviate jetlag. Leg and side body stretches with arms overhead and forward folds can all be done easily while standing.
+ Eat consciously. This can be tricky. You’ve watched 3 movies, read all your magazines and played 2 games of scrabble … now what? We often reach for more snacks out of sheer boredom. Be mindful of how much and what you’re consuming. Be sure to have your healthy snacks and plenty of water on hand, go for a walk around the cabin and do some stretches to pass the time.
And there you have it. Some simple ways to keep you feeling great during your travels and upon arrival – ready to celebrate!
How do you stay healthy while traveling the long hauls? We’d love to hear your tips, tricks and thoughts … Share with us in the comments below!
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