6 Tips for Maintaining Your Health While Traveling

Planes are terrible on the body and mind. Here's how to take care of yourself.

Young woman washing her face in a towel

To put it plainly, taking a plane is bad for us.  The less the better, and yet most of us often travel for work and/or leisure more than we often want to. Cold, insomnia, bowel disturbances and energy crashes being the most common denominators, none of them are welcome at any time, but are easily combined when traveling.

I learned to prepare and plan early on in my career and applied the basics of pre and/during/post tips all my life to avoid the imbalance (for body and mind) that air travel causes:

  1. Stay hydrated and keep drinking water (preferably hot water) 6-8 ounces every two hours and certainly first thing when you get up on flight day
  2.  Take a warm shower before heading to the airport
  3.  Moisturize face and body plenty starting a day or two before travel
  4.  Eat plenty of warm food 24-48 hours before leaving for long trips especially. Soups, grains, cooked veggies and yogurts.
  5.  If possible pack some snacks like hard-boiled eggs, slivers of hard cheeses, an apple or banana for the plane.  I rarely eat plane food (you can read why plane food and drinks are not the same as the same food on the ground plus the food on most planes is a turn off…and eating full meals on planes not a great choice). For me the smell alone has been an easy turn off.
  6. When you arrive, day light is important and so is a nice walk plus setting your body and mind to your new time zone. And a nice meal is now in order.

This worked for me, but one keeps learning, and what I recently learned at an ashram following the Ayurveda philosophy was that eating drying foods (not that I touch potato chips or dried fruit except for prunes) particularly salads in my case, which I love, have to be avoided. Point well taken. I’ll easily switch to warm or cold soups—function of season.

Don’t forget “we are what we eat” but food is one of the most important items to think about before you travel. It will make a huge difference in your experience.

I also learned to introduce a nasal oil like tridoshic nasya oil and do it every hour or so while on the plane, as it helps keep nasal passages clear from all germs.

Happy and safe travels.