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Healthy Travel Tips For Long Flights

What to Eat, Wear, and Do on Your Next Long Flight

Whether you're jet-setting out of town to beat the heat or searching for it, Summer vacation can mean a few dehydrating, monotonous, or stressful hours on an airplane before you reach your rest and relaxation destination.

If you're gearing up for a long flight, make sure you're prepared so you can make those hours as healthy as they can be. Before you go on vacation, read these tips to make sure you have a healthy and safe flight.

Germ fighter. The air in there may not be as dangerously full of germs as you may think — in fact, airplane air is often filtered more often than the air in most office buildings — but that doesn't mean you're not more susceptible to diseases when you're up in the sky. While the coughs and sneezes of your fellow passengers may not make you ill, the fast turnaround times between flights means that certain areas on planes don't regularly get disinfected like they should. Carry a bottle of hand sanitizer for a quick wipe down of your area when you first sit down.


Read on for more tips on having a healthy flight.

Drink up. Speaking of what you're breathing up there, the air in planes lacks almost any humidity, which can lead to dry nose, throats, and mouths. That in turn can leave your defenses down. To combat dehydration, bring on the drinks — but not the sugary or alcoholic kind. Skip the soda and cocktails and drink as much water as possible instead.

Comfort first. The most comfortable clothes work both for getting on the plane as well as staying healthy. While you want shoes that you can slip on and off while in the security line, cold air can make for an uncomfortable plane ride for your toes. But lacing up in too restrictive footwear can also be uncomfortable if you experience swelling. Have a pair of travel-friendly socks in your carry-on so you can sport them while you're in flight. Your clothes should be easy to wear for an extended time too; wear comfortable layers in case you get too hot or too cold, and avoid extra zippers or buttons, which can impede you while you try to find a comfortable position.

Snack attack. Bringing your own healthy meals is easier to do when you're flying domestically, but when you are in for an overseas flight, you may be at the mercy of the galley kitchen's offerings. If you're taking an overnight international flight, try eating before your plane takes off and bringing healthy snacks so you don't have to eat the heavy dinner offerings. Or check out these airlines with the healthiest on-board fare.

On the move. Even if you're not on a 20-hour flight to an exotic locale, it helps to get up and move to reduce your risk of developing blood clots in the legs. Try getting up every few hours, and do a few of these stretching exercises (some discreet and some not as much!) in your chair to keep your circulation going.

Image Source: Thinkstock
CathyZhu CathyZhu 6 years
For long 12+ hour flights, I definitely try to get up and move around every hour or so. It feels great after sitting for so long! The health and fitness site I work for just did this pretty cool infographic on plane travel the healthy way. I've printed it out and propped it on my wall as an awesome reference. Give it a look before your next vaca!
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