When you first book your vacation, all that you’re worried about is the fun that awaits—did you see that hotel pool? As you countdown to the long-awaited time off, the excitement only continues to build. That is until it’s the week of and you realize all of the things you still have to get done in a matter of days. (Yikes!)
By the time you hustle, scramble and manage to fit everything into your one checked bag, you’re likely just happy to make it to the airport in time for your flight. But here’s the thing: flights, especially those over 3 hours, are no joke. Not only can they be surprisingly uncomfortable and tiring, but they can also take a toll on your overall health.
So instead of just surviving your flight, here are 10 tips that will help you make the most of it:
1. Snacks are your friend. But not just any snacks will do. In fact, experts recommend bringing something with carbs, to help induce insulin secretion and minimizing jet lag, as well as protein, to help keep hunger at bay. We’re thinking PB&J sandwiches, granola bars, nuts, and hand fruit, like apples or bananas.
2. But don’t overdo it. While all those delicious snacks may be calling your name, it’s important to space out your eating so that you don’t become overly full. Not only is being too full uncomfortable, but your body may have more difficulty digesting food due to the environment of the airplane.
3. Avoid germs. Nothing puts the kibosh on vacation fun faster than getting sick. With that in mind, make sure to come prepared with hand-sanitizer, and stick to water or tea, instead of coffee or alcohol as both are dehydrating and can affect your immune system.
4. Show your skin some TLC. Anyone who’s been on an airplane knows that the cabin air can be dry, dry, dry. So how can you help to protect your skin from getting irritated and uncomfortable? Start by not wearing makeup, using a nourishing cream and having extra necessities packed in your carry-on (misting spray, travel-sized lotion, and lip balm).
5. Stretch it out. We all know that sitting for hours on end without getting up is a big health no-no. This is especially true when you’re traveling in a plane for an extended period of time; so when possible, get up once every hour or two. Experts also recommend doing in-seat stretches for your calves, ankles, and feet. (Bringing a golf ball and rolling it on the ball of your foot is a great option.)
6. Prepare for aches and pains. Traveling via air is hard on your body; which makes sense since you’re at 30,000+ feet in the air. With that said, you may encounter some minor aches and pains as a result, including headaches, toothaches, gas or stomach aches, ear pain, and dry eyes. These annoying conditions are a lot more bearable when you have a remedy on hand.
7. Relax and de-stress. Traveling is surprisingly stressful and the chaotic airport environment definitely doesn’t help matters. To unwind while on board, make sure to pack items that will help to ease tension and promote relaxation. A few essentials include headphones and/or ear-plugs, an eye cover, reading material, and breathing techniques.
8. Set yourself up for snoozing. One of the best ways to ensure overall health—and pass time on a long flight—is to get some solid shut-eye. But all that loud background noise, bright lights and lack of head and neck support can prove to be difficult. Make sure you come prepared with a neck pillow, eyeshade, and earplugs.
9. Layer it up. Even if it’s cold outside when you depart, there’s no telling what the airplane will feel like once you’re a few hours into your flight. By wearing multiple layers, you can take on warm and cold temps in comfort. Plus, this will ensure that you are prepared for any weather that you encounter when you arrive at your final destination.
10. Travel like an expert. Any travel pro knows that staying healthy while traveling is essential, but it can be surprisingly difficult. That’s because there are so many different things to keep track of before, during and after your travels—one of the most important being your health needs.
From pre-trip vaccines and planning for potential health hazards to healthful travel tips and post-vacation care, the experts at GMG Primary Care can help you make the most of all your adventures. Whether you’re going on an active Spring Break trip, a relaxing Caribbean getaway or sightseeing in NYC, GMG Primary Care is your go-to source for all things travel. Make an appointment today by visiting gwinnettmedicalcenter.org/pcpscheduling.