As an avid traveller and health-obsessed being, I’ve done my fair share of long-haul flights and overnight train journeys. Throughout these experiences, I’ve learnt a thing or two along the way about how to stay healthy, energised and relatively stress-free during my travels, and so I decided to share with you my 10 Ways to Stay Healthy while Travelling and Flying.
I hope it helps you too, and happy travels!
No. 1 – Keep Yourself Hydrated
Dehydration is the quickest route to irritability, tiredness, dry skin, constipation and bad skin. Need I go on? Keeping yourself sufficiently hydrated helps to prevent water retention, dehydration and loss of energy, and is especially important if your travels involve flying.
If you’re flying, make sure to begin your journey fully hydrated and ensure you’re drinking water during and after your flight. It’s not hard to become dehydrated during the flight so try to drink water whenever you have the opportunity.
Other options to top up your hydration status could be coconut water, green juices, watery fruits and veggies and herbal teas.
Try bringing your own herbal tea bags with you and ask for boiling water on a flight, or bring a thermos flask if you’re camping or on a long-distance bus.
Ginger tea can help with nausea and aid digestion, as can peppermint and Pukka detox herbal tea.
Other options would be chamomile to help you relax (and you can reuse the tea bags as a tired-eye solution!), lemon balm, Valerian or simply hot water with lemon.
Warm liquids help ease the digestive system which can sometimes get agitated while travelling.
I also recommend that whilst travelling you bring your own reusable bottle (glass/stainless steel etc.) to bring on your journey that you can refill throughout your journey. Although water in plastic bottles isn’t necessarily the greatest choice for you or the environment if you’re travelling in a country where the water quality may be an issue, research before you go and drink bottled water if that’s the safest option. You can also buy a travel water bottle with a filter.
Since flying is so dehydrating, it’s best to avoid caffeinated beverages, alcohol or soda the day before and the day that you fly to avoid further dehydration.
No. 2 – Prioritize Your Sleep
Prioritise your sleep before you go.
If you’re organised beforehand, you won’t be running around at 4am before the flight wondering whether you’ve packed everything or realising that you forgot to renew your passport.
A lot of people get very stressed before they set off on holiday that they deplete their immune systems and burn out their adrenal glands, winding up sick once they arrive at their destination.
See my previous 8 Essential Supplements to Support Healthy Travels here for help on which herbal remedies you can take to encourage sleep naturally, or check out my blog on sleep here.
No. 3 – Pack Yourself Ear Plugs and an Eye Mask
Throughout your travels you may find earplugs and an eye mask to be handy companions, especially if you’re going on a long distant flight, an overnight train/bus ride or staying in a hostel. These two things are essentials.
Earplugs will help to block out the sound of the engine as well as people around you hustling and bustling about.
Since too much light can affect our hormone cycle which prevents us from having a regenerative sleep, it is important to be in darkness in order to support the sleep-wake cycle in our bodies.
Often people are using overhead lights to help them see their book, watching movies on their headrests, or walking to and fro from the bathroom. All of this can be distracting, especially when you’re out of your normal sleep routine.
Pop on an eye mask and bye bye bright lights and disruptive movement.
No. 4 – Prepare Healthy Snacks
Plane food is more often than not a no go. The food is ready-made in mass and is loaded with processed denatured ingredients and high amounts of sugar, salt and preservatives.
Occasionally on a long flight, I have been lucky enough to get a raw vegan fruit platter, but even I, a fruit lover, needs more than some melon cubes to survive!
Pack some of your favourite healthy snacks into a ziplock or cool bag before you go so you can snack guilt-free and know what you’re putting in your mouth.
Check out our recipe section on the blog for some ideas, like Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids and Adults, flip through a great healthy living cookbook like The Happy Pear or Deliciously Ella for some fun ideas, or check out some inspiring blogs for help.
Some healthy treats I recommend that are travel-friendly include chopped veggies, raw fruit e.g apples, pears, peaches or bananas; homemade granola bars or protein bars or balls. Even a bag of nuts and seeds to munch on throughout the flight is handy enough.
I often throw in a couple of raw chocolate bars too!
No. 5 – Pack Essential Oils
Some people get very anxious and stressed before and during travelling, and understandably so.
To help induce a sense of calmness, try dabbing some lavender oil on your temples at intervals as well as before sleep to encourage a restful sleep. Lavender is helpful for anxiety, insomnia, headaches, wounds, burns and insect bites. For most people, lavender essential oil can be applied directly to the skin.
If you’re stressed, nervous or anxious, try May Chang essential oil, also known as ‘Oil of Tranquillity’. This oil has a refreshing, stimulating uplifting action which makes it useful oil for relieving fatigue, lethargy and may aid with jet lag.
This essential oil has a tonic effect on the nervous system and may help to provide clarity of thought when you are feeling nervous, stressed or anxious.
I like to put a few drops on my jumper or scarf so I can breathe it in regularly to keep me calm.
Another bonus point for many essential oils are their antiviral and antibacterial properties. To support your immune system during your travels, bring a small bottle of lemon, tea tree, eucalyptus, peppermint or lavender to sniff.
No. 6 – Throw in a Natural Hand Sanitizer
During your trip from your front door to your final destination, you’re likely to touch many door handles, credit card machines or handle cash, and you won’t always be within reach of a sink. The same goes for when you’re on your holiday.
Of course not all bacteria are bad, but when you have no access to clean water or soap when travelling, travel-size natural hand sanitizers are fantastic. They’re gentler on the skin and the environment, plus they kill nasty germs as effectively as conventional sanitizers, but without the use of harsh chemicals.
No. 7 – Research Where to Eat Before You Go
Chances are you’ll be eating out during your travels, whether you’re in a completely new country, a different city or even a new part of your own country.
For me, preparation is essential.
Arriving somewhere half starved, cranky and disorientated is no fun anyway, but top that off with having to find internet or tourist information to find out where you can eat is just one more stressor I don’t need, so I research where to eat before I go.
As a vegan, vegetarian or general health nut in a foreign speaking country, seeking out healthy options before arriving will save you time, stress and decision making.
Of course, once you’ve arrived, settled in and have been fed and watered you can also have a scout about the area or ask locals for their recommendations, but it’s always good to be prepared. It’s also a good idea to look up the translations of certain words and food if you can as well. Seeing what ‘gluten free’ ‘vegan’ or ‘vegetarian’ is in the local country can be really helpful when trying to order.
I always check online for veggie/vegan-friendly cafes, bars, restaurants and even health food shops before I get on the plane. It’s saved me a lot of stress and hunger-fuelled arguments!
One of my favourite sites to check for these places is a site called happycow.net where you can search by country or city – very handy! It’s also available as an app on your phone.
Facebook is also handy, as is Yelp.
If you already have a list of good food places to go to, you’re less likely to fall off the health wagon when you’re away, so research research research!
No. 8 – Book A Hotel/Guest House/Airbnb With a Kitchen
This is something I recently started doing and it’s actually been a game-changer for me.
Having a kitchen/kitchenette with a fridge to store cold-pressed juices, fruit, fermented goodies and fresh produce has not only helped me stay healthy but also saved me so much money by not having to eat out 3 times a day.
If I bring some superfoods with me like Iswari Buddha awakening Breakfast mix all I need to do is add water or rice milk and I’ve got my breakfast covered at my hotel. Or maybe I’ll buy some oats or muesli and add something like Iswari Seeds of Wisdom to jazz it up a bit.
Personally, I love to buy cold-pressed juices and have them in my hotel/airbnb fridge for when I wake up or return from my day to refuel myself with goodness.
If you do have access to a kitchen, you can cook some of your own meals to offset costs and avoid overeating at restaurants. Plus, if you’re in a foreign country, heading to the local shops and cooking your own meal is a great way to get to know the culture.
No. 9 – Keep Moving when Travelling
If you’re travelling for a long time, such as a long haul flight or overnight bus/train, ensure that you keep moving. Get up and stretch every hour or 2 to keep blood flow moving effectively around the body. Try out some stretches from my blog Easy and Effective Office Friendly Yoga Poses to Give Aches and Pains the Slip. These positions will also be great during travel when you’re in a secluded space.
If you’re flying, know that this can cause blood to thicken as a result of increased pressure in the cabin and a dehydrating atmosphere. This gives rise to a higher risk of blood clotting, therefore it’s advisable to keep the body moving and well hydrated. It also helps prevent any soreness and stiff muscles once you get off the plane.
No. 10 – Supplements
See my blog 8 Essential Supplements to Support Healthy Travels to cover all you need to know about which supplements to bring for a healthy holiday.
So as you’re gathering everything up for your holiday, don’t forget to tick off the following items to Stay Healthy while Travelling and Flying
- Reusable water bottle
- Herbal Tea Bags
- Eye Mask
- Ear Plugs
- Healthy Snacks
- Essential Oils
- Natural Hand Sanitizer
- Your Collected Research
Happy Holidays folks 🙂
If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact us via our Facebook page or email!- Emily
Instagram – nourishireland
*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention
Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet if you’re on any medication