I used to always get sick when I traveled. The stress of traveling (which can weaken your immune system) combined with the plethora of germs flying around amidst crowds in the airport and dry air mid-flight did nothing to help my sinuses (or my skin, for that matter).
I travel fairly often for work, and whether I’m traveling for work or pleasure, I’d prefer not to arrive battling through a cold, sniffles, dry skin, a breakout, or all of the above combined.
Because I appreciate my health, sanity, skin, and overall well-being, I started trying anything and everything to save the aforementioned pieces of myself. Through trial and error, I found my traveling ritual that I swear by to keep my body healthy, my mind sane, and my skin glowing.
1. For starters, I drink water, water, and more water. I drink 2 liters of water the day before my flight, and I drink 48 oz of water before I board (usually, before I even get to the airport). I want to give my body plenty of time to hydrate (and let’s be honest, I want to give my bladder plenty of time for a break before take-off).
Your immune system functions best when your body is hydrated, and I’ve found that drinking plenty of water is one of the best ways to save your skin.
Get a BPA-free resuable water bottle to keep with you at all times. Personally, I drink more water when it has a built in straw or mouth spout, like my Contigo Water Bottle that I take with me everywhere.
2. I take this essential oil blend. I don’t sell essential oils, I just swear by this stuff. I pop 4 beadlets in my mouth and bite down on them like pop rocks the night before, morning of and right before my flight to keep my immune system strong.
3. I wash my hands religiously. Honestly, this should be a no-brainer, but I see so many people rush out of the bathroom and not wash their hands. (Gross, I know.) GIRL, WASH YA HANDS.
4. …and I keep a good hand cream handy to prevent my hands from drying out. I’m currently obsessed with Weleda Skin Food – it feels like it puts a protective barrier of moisture on my hands. I also always have this cuticle cream from Lush on hand because it is THE best thing I’ve ever bought for my cuticles.
5. I don’t skimp on the moisturizer. I use a healthy amount of my favorite facial moisturizer (seriously, this stuff is liquid gold, and a little goes a long way. I use it every night to keep my skin glowy and even, and use it in the morning before a flight. It’s worth every penny.) I also skip face makeup so my skin can breathe.
6. I try to get a good night’s sleep. I know firsthand that is easier said than done. I’m a chronic procrastinator. But this last year, I made a conscious effort to get my packing done early so I can hop into bed at a reasonable hour and enjoy a sleep meditation. It boosts my immune system AND my sanity.
7. I power up with probiotics. I’ve tried a LOT of different probiotics, and these are by far my favorite. I take them every single day because they keep my gut-health game strong, and they also keep my immune system strong – and I might take an extra 1 or 2 capsules in the 24 hours before traveling.
8. I plan ahead so I’m ready to walk out the door for those early AM flights – clothes laid out and luggage by the door so I’m not rushing. Even though I travel frequently, I still get a little anxiety on flights and traveling as a whole, and not having to rush out the door late gives me some extra calm in the morning that I need.
9. …and I don’t sweat the small stuff. Flights can be delayed. Or you miss your flight. Or, in my case this morning, you totally blank on how early you have to be at the airport to get your bag checked on an international flight and have to get moved to a later flight. Old me would’ve blamed everyone around me for not letting me slide by to make my flight, but truth is, it was my fault. I’m so used to traveling domestically with a carry-on that I didn’t stop to think that I’d need to be here earlier. Lesson learned for next time.
Whenever something happens that disrupts my original travel plans, I take a deep breath and remind myself that it is what it is. There’s nothing I can do to change the situation, and I know getting myself worked up will only make things that much worse. I find a way to make use of that time – whether it’s posting up to write, indulging in a book, working, or treating myself to a 15-minute chair massage (I see you, Terminal Spa!) so I can stop the track of negative vibes and move forward with positive ones.
10. I get a meditation cued up for take-off. I can’t tell you how much this has helped my flight anxiety. I’ll be honest, it takes a lot of practice to meditate, but it is SO worth it. I used to take Xanax before every flight, and now I’m able to manage my anxious thoughts through deep breathing and meditation.
Choose a meditation you’ve done before, and have it downloaded & available so that you have a familiar calm cued up when you need it. Yoga nidra is a great type of meditation for flights, and you can also search Insight Timer for “anxiety” or “calm” to find one that’s a good fit for you.
11. I turn the fan on in my seat to help move the stagnant air around. Here’s a fun fact: the ventilation systems on planes were actually designed when smoking was still allowed on planes, and they were created as filtration to clear smoke from the cabins. Turning on the fan above your seat helps to create a little barrier around you to block germs out from those around you.
If you are traveling – take some time to take care of you. Get enough sleep, fuel your body with vitamin & mineral packed foods, and take time for yourself – to plan and to breathe. It’s worth your health & sanity!