Tips for Staying Healthy & Organized While Traveling
I’ve grown up traveling the world, and there is nothing I love more than stepping off a plane into a new place and breathing in the air. It’s exhilarating and exciting, and we are so privileged to be able to explore the world, more easily and affordably than ever before.
I’ve lived in Europe, the US and Canada in the past 6 years, and I travel by plane on average 4 times per year. I also love to see new places locally, and take a couple of road trips every year as well. Visiting new places is a passion of mine, and as I’ve explored the world in my teens and early twenties, I’ve learned some valuable lessons on staying healthy and making travel as seamless and organized as possible.
As someone who is naturally very grounded and measured, traveling can throw off my body and make me feel tired, anxious and scatter-brained; developing healthy habits and knowing how to listen to my body has been vital for me. I thrive on routine, plenty of rest, and healthy foods, and traveling can often throw off all of these factors and make me feel irritable. As much as we glamorize travel, we have to acknowledge that the radiation from the plane, recycled air, cramped seats, the time change, the stress, lack of sleep and lack-luster foods aren’t great for our bodies.
So, after years of trying different things out, here are my best tips for staying healthy and feeling good whilst traveling!
Eating a lean, protein-packed, veggie loaded meal with plenty of fats the night before your travel will ensure that your body feels nourished, and has important nutrients to maintain good energy levels while traveling. A great example of a pre-travel dinner might be: roasted chicken (rubbed with ghee), roasted sweet potatoes and carrots, an arugula or spinach salad with lemon, olive oil and sea salt, and a whole avocado.
Personally, I stay away from carb-heavy meals before flying, and don’t like to eat any sugar on or before my flight, since it makes me feel bloated and tired.
It is best to always avoid plane food and packaged snacks, as tempting as it may be. They are overly processed, full of additives and sugars and bad salt which doesn't give you any energy and can make you dehydrated. Instead, you can bring your own snacks on the plane if it's a really long flight and you think you will get hungry.
seaweed strips (high in iodine)
Bulletproof collagen bars
Ningxia wolfberry snack bars (order here)
Trying to avoid food while flying is probably your best bet. Take the time on the plane as a mini fast to let your body clean out and rest. Being up in the air at that speed is hard on your digestive system, so you will most likely feel better if you avoid food or limit your intake to a small snack once during a 4-5 hour flight.
Obviously, international flights are a different story. I used to travel to and from France and California twice a year for about 3 years, and got myself on an eating and sleeping system that worked well. Once you enter the plane, think in terms of the destination timezone you will be landing in. Eat according to that time zone, and sleep according to that time zone. I try to eat only one meal on board (for 8 hour flights) and I purchase them beforehand.
In the plane, keep it simple and light:
- organic chicken & greens salad with nuts
- bone broth and fresh veggies, like carrots or celery
- a cup of miso soup & a side of spring rolls
... these are all light and easily and digestible in-flight.
If you are flying in the early morning, start out with a huge mug of hot lemon water. This will flush out your system and jumpstart your hydration for the day. In the morning, drink a bulletproof coffee or matcha latte to kickstart your day with healthy fats to wake up your brain.
Make sure you bring an empty water bottle with you on the plane, such as my favorite water bottle EVER, a bkr. I like that it is glass and won’t get dented like aluminum, plus it is super cute, easy to carry or clip onto your backpack, and has grippy rubber so it wont slide around on the tray table (triple win!). Please, if you can, do not buy reusable water bottles! They are horrific for the environment and just generally wasteful. Fun fact: we only hold plastic water bottles in our hands for 7 minutes on average… is it worth wasting that much plastic just for some water to carry under 10 minutes? Plastic is harmful to our health as well, so avoid drinking out of plastic as much as possible. Invest in a cute reusable bottle, preferably glass, so that you can add essential oils to your water! The flight attendants will fill up your bottle instead of giving you water in a cup, if you ask nicely.
Staying hydrated throughout your whole trip will help your body process and not feel so bloated, achy and swollen upon landing. Make sure you are drinking liquid (NOT soda) every hour.
What to drink on the plane:
plain water with 2 drops of lemon or lime vitality essential oil
I always carry organic tea bags in my travel bag, and just ask for hot water in-flight. That way I know that my tea is good quality. I also always carry mushroom coffee packets if I need some caffeine - plus, they are loaded with antioxidants.
Pro tip: bring collagen single-packs to add to your mushroom coffee!
I also always travel with Ningxia Red Nitro single packs as a pick-me-up right before I land (if it's not night time). These are tiny little packs that you can stick in a ziploc in your purse - TSA approved! These little packs are loaded with antioxidant juices, a little caffeine, vitamins, and essential oils and are formulated to enhance performance and lift mental fog.
TAKING CARE OF YOUR BODY
I cannot stress this enough - MOISTURIZE! Please for the love of your body, moisturize your skin before and during your travel!
The night before travel:
I like to rub some coconut oil into my hair and all over my face and neck area before bed. Just tie your hair up in a topknot the next morning, it will help it not tangle! Applying a deeply moisturizing body oil such as Sensation Body Oil (buy here) will give your skin a soft moisture, plus you will smell absolutely heavenly. Trust me.
In the plane:
Bring a small portable hand lotion to keep your hands moisturized.
Spritz your face and neck with a hydrating spray every hour. I use Lavaderm which is formulated with aloe and pure lavender essential oil (get it here).
Bring a nourishing chapstick
Bring Thieves spray and Thieves hand sanitizer. I am not a proponent of regular hand sanitizers - these things kill 99.9% of ALL bacteria, including the good bacteria your body needs. Instead, I carry Thieves spray and sanitizer on me. If you don’t know the scoop on Thieves, you need to get in on the party! Thieves is your secret best friend in avoiding germs. Use the spray to wipe down the armrest and tray table, spray some in the back of your throat (the circulating airplane air can carry pathogens), and use the sanitizer on your hands - let's not forget, airports are huge public places, and they aren't exactly sparkly clean. You can get these essential oil products as a member, here.
Wear collagen eye pads! These ones from Honest Hazel are amazing. Who cares what you look like on the plane, you're never going to see these people again ;)
Bring essential oil roller bottles! You can make your own custom blends which I love to do, or you can bring these ones: StressAway, Tranquil, or RutaVala (available only through Young Living membership program).
Chew gum. I like Spry xylitol gum, since its healthy for your teeth and doesn't contain sugar.
Get up and move your body around every hour to stretch your legs and keep your circulation fluid.
When you land:
Mouthwash. I carry a small, travel sized Thieves essential oil blend mouthwash, and swish my mouth in the airport bathrooms (kills all the germs without alcohol or chemicals!)
Deodorant wipes. These things are game changers. Need I say more?
Face serum or cream: I use an essential oil based Light Moisturizer and Moisturizing Serum. I apply these in the bathroom after landing and rinsing my face in water. They are deeply hydrating, gentle, and nontoxic. Grab your account to order here.
Pro tip: Keeping your skin well-moisturized will make you feel less dry and uncomfortable when you travel and arrive in a new environment.
Being super fashionable and hoping for your first-class upgrade isn't worthwhile if you're horribly uncomfortable your entire trip. Plus, dragging yourself around an airport isn't super glam anyway. You can still look damn cute with some comfy athleisure clothing. Ditch the stilettos, please, and make sure your shoes are comfortable so you're ready to hustle if you're late for your connection!
breathable leggings or joggers
comfortable shoes such as Nikes or Adidas
a breathable sports bra, or, a bra without underwire
a short-sleeve or lightweight t-shirt
a light jacket or pullover hoodie
ACCESSORIES TO PACK
IN YOUR CARRY-ON
Staying healthy and relaxed is super important, but don't forget to pack plenty of things to do in the plane and in between flights. Plus, you always want to be prepared for any mishap! It's not worth stressing and buying overpriced nonsense in the airport if you missed a flight and have nothing to do.
Here are my must-haves in your carry-on:
headphones (I bring my Beats & my headphones)
probiotics, digestive enzymes + DiGize essential oil (buy all of these, here)
portable tissue packs
a few band-aids
Lavender, peppermint & purification essential oils (buy oils)
Progessence Plus hormone serum (for balancing hormones + sleep!)
Rose Essential Oil Ointment (dry skin, cuts, scrapes, etc.)
Two pens (customs forms, people!)
At least $50.00 in cash
a book or a magazine
a journal or notebook
iPad (or tablet or laptop) loaded with music and podcasts
extra wallet (for foreign currency)
Travel case (all cards, cash, IDs, boarding pass, luggage stickers, extra SIM card for international travel, checkbook, and house keys)
Being prepared well in advance when you are traveling is a lifesaver and will keep you feeling calm. Women especially need to be careful with spikes in cortisol as it throws our hormones all over the place and is harmful to our health.
After traveling consistently all my life, I have figured out what works for me, and I stick to it! Having a routine and travel habits will keep you focused and minimize anxiety that oftentimes accompanies travel to new places. Remember, travel is such a huge privilege and we need to be grateful for every moment. Just don’t forget to take care of yourself, stay calm, breathe, and be organized so that the journey can be enjoyed without taxing your body.
Happy Summer & Happy Travels!
What are your travel plans? Do you have your own travel habits?