I am a big fan of travel. In fact, I plan to use this mass hysteria to get some pretty cheap tickets to some places I’ve always wanted to go. In my opinion, I don’t think there is any more concern today than there is any other day about the spread of disease while traveling. At any given time, and definitely worse during flu season, I can’t say it’s ideal to be stuck in a place for several hours with recirculating air. In fact, if you follow “Passenger Shaming” on Instagram, you can see exactly how disgusting people can be on airplanes. So, like any other given travel day its important to have several ways to keep yourself healthy. These are the travel hacks I do every single time I travel, whether it be a 3 hour flight to Florida or a 15 hour flight to China, I have never gotten sick during travel. Here are my top 10 favorite healthy travel tips:
1. Always clean the area around you with wipes. My mother taught me this when I was little. She always has to-go sanitizing wipes on her. Every time I board a plane the first thing I do is clean the seat, the seatbelt, the television screen, the arms of the seat and the tray. My husband always jokes that I do the job of the cleaning service for them and I should get paid. The truth is you never know who was sitting there before you or how much time they had to clean the area around you. I’d always rather be safe than sorry.
2. Always wear a scarf. This is big in Chinese Medicine. The fastest way to get sick is to leave your neck exposed. In Chinese Medicine, wind (wind-cold, wind heat) is one of the pathogens that invades the body through the neck and goes to your lungs. These are when people start to notice respiratory issues. This is especially true when it is cold or the wind is blowing on you, as it often is on public transportation. A simple lightweight scarf can help protect your neck from all the wind- and recirculated germs that might be flying around.
3. Get acupuncture before and after. If you haven’t heard by now you should know that acupuncture helps to boost your immune system. Getting a treatment in before to boost you up, and after to keep you healthy is always a good idea. You can’t go wrong with boosting the immune system.
4. Wash your hands. It’s simple and easy but I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen walk out of a bathroom without doing it. Don’t just leave your hands under the water, actually use the soap and sing “happy birthday” slowly twice. This is enough time to make sure you have properly gotten all the germs off your hands. Also remember to shut the faucet off with a paper towel. Keep some hand sanitizer in your bag for some extra cleanliness. BUT, don’t overuse it. It’s important to make sure you have some good bacteria on your hands as well to help you fight off anything you might touch.
5. Thieves spray- I love thieves spray. It’s anti-bacteria, anti-viral and anti-infectious. I take a travel size with me to use in hotel rooms or public transportation. The best way to use it in my opinion is to spray a little on your scarf, it helps to clear the air before you breathe it in.
6. Speaking of clean air I never travel without my pocket sized air purifier. If you’re someone who travels far or often I definitely recommend investing in this. They have a pretty decent radius and keep the air around you clean and purified. Some even give off negative ions which give you a boost of happy energy.
7. Don’t forget to hydrate! This should be a daily thing but so many people (myself included) struggle with it. Water helps you to move everything in your body and helps you to excrete unwanted waste. It’s a great idea to stay hydrated and help flush out your system after a day of travel.
8. Make sure you eat good meals. Nutrition is so important. Did you know sugar can actually lower your immune system and make you more susceptible to getting sick? Make sure you are eating well balanced meals before and during your travels. I often supplement green juice when I’m traveling as I know it’s hard to find a good spot to get vegetables in an airport. Just make sure you are checking your green juice for sugar levels, and make sure it’s not only “juice” but they have actual ingredients in them.
9. Get a good night of sleep. I thought for sure when I went to China in 2018 that I would get sick when I got back. It was a 15 hour flight with a 13 hour time difference and I don’t know anybody who has a body made for that. I slept really well the night before so my body would be in tip top shape to fight anything off. I slept on the plane (I mean, what else was there to do!?) and when I got home I gave my body 3 days to sort out the time difference. I know not everyone has 3 days that they can take off to get their sleep/wake cycle back, but taking melatonin (this is one of the few times I recommend taking this) can help get your sleep cycle back in sync very quickly.
10. Try some Elderberry. If you haven’t heard of elderberry you must have been living under a rock for the last few years. Elderberry is a syrup that is made to help boost your immune system. Many doctors have even started recommending it for the common cold and say that it can cut the length of a cold by 3 days.
I hope this helps! Remember to read the actual facts from the CDC instead of trusting what the media says. When in doubt, grab an extra acupuncture treatment and boost your immune system!