Friends, I’m writing this blog post well in advance of you reading it but I started packing for a trip today and I thought of some things I didn’t want to forget to share with you. I’m getting ready to leave the country for a trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina for my cousins wedding and I am so excited! My father is from Argentina so much of my whole family is still living there….Aunts, Uncles, and all my cousins. I cannot wait to drink Mate, eat matambre, empanadas, asado, benejena con escabeche, Chimichurri, dulce de leech and afajores, all the food I grew up with!! And, I of course can’t wait to see and spend some quality time with all of my family!
As I started thinking about getting all the necessities together, I thought about how you might like to hear how I prepare for a really long flight. I had a client ask me about this just today so I thought if she was wondering, some of you may be as well. There’s definitely a right way to go about handling these longs flights and there’s absolutely a wrong way too. I really think that planning in advance and thinking about your travel can totally set your vacation off on the right foot.
I travel a lot overseas because we have family all over the world…in the UK, Australia and Argentina. This year I am going to Argentina, Israel, London and Sydney, Australia. When it comes to vacationing, Jonathan and I love to travel around the world exploring different cultures too (especially when the kids are away at camp for the summer!!).
I asked my client to sit down with me for a little recorded question and answer session regarding healthy travel, especially when it comes to long flights. Here’s how it went….
Q: How long is the flight to Argentina?
A: This flight will be 11 hours. I always try to book a night flight because getting to sleep inflight really makes the trip go so much faster.
Q: What do you do in advance of your flight to healthfully prepare yourself?
A: I drink a lot of water before I go as I get very dehydrated on long flights. I also try to pack a lot more fiber into my diet before I leave as well as through snacks while I’m on the flight. I find that time change and travel can really mess up my digestive system (aka constipation). This helps. I also like to exercise on the day that I am leaving. I find that helps me to relax and sleep better on the flight.
Q: What do you do when you first get on the plane?
A: As soon as I get on board, I eat a little of the food I’ve packed for myself (more on that later), drink some water, and just get comfortable and try to get some sleep. I always feel like my sleep is interrupted by having to use the bathroom (because of all the water I drink), but I don’t mind the interruption, it gives me a chance to get up, stretch, walk around, and wiggle my feet a bit. This is important for keeping up the circulation in my legs, feet and ankles and for preventing swelling. A lot of people swear by compression socks or leggings. Luckily, I’ve never had to use those.
Q: You mentioned you eat the food that you packed from home on the flight? Typically what does that look like for you?
A: Healthy travel 100% requires you to prepare in advance. I always take food that I’ve prepared at home for me to eat inflight and enough snacks to last the entire trip. For the flight, I always pack myself a salad (dressing on the side) and healthy sandwiches for Jonathan. My boys like to eat at the airport so I only pack them snacks for the airplane.
My packed salad is almost always the same and is made up of chopped romaine, cucumbers, beets, edamame, roasted chicken, hard-boiled egg, shredded cabbage, my roasted pumpkin seeds with a simple dressing balsamic vinegar and olive oil (on the side). Use a well-sealed container to pack everything to avoid leaks and spills.
Q: What snacks do you pack for both the flight and for the rest of the trip?
A: My basic food travel list is roasted almonds (no salt), peanuts and raisins, homemade popcorn, roasted pumpkin seeds, Fiber De’lish bars, hard boiled eggs, carrot and cucumber sticks, GG crackers and goat cheese (you can buy these in small travel packs), roasted chickpeas and apples. I pack green tea bags because they really help alleviate bloat and give you a natural pep in your step if traveling has you dragging. You can always ask for hot water on the plane and wherever you are in the world so packing green tea bags is a must! I obviously eat all the perishable items when inflight and save the rest to enjoy on our vacation when I’m in a pinch.
Q: What about having a glass of wine once I’m settled on the plane? That always seems to be the first thing I want to do to relax and more easily fall asleep.
A: I always recommend staying away from alcohol. I know it can seem to really relax you but it’s very dehydrating and will make you feel extra tired and sluggish. Instead, buy the biggest bottle of water you can find before boarding the plane and drink it throughout the flight! Drink at least a cup of water every hour. Absolutely no soda! You don’t need the extra bloat.
Q: Can I eat anything that they serve me in-flight?
A: In general, I try to stay away from all that. Airplane food tends to be very high in salt and full of preservatives—both cause dehydration, bloat and swelling.
Q: Lastly, is there anything I can do for my skin?
A: Keep non-oily lotion in small carry on bottles with you – keep adding it to your face and your hands throughout the flight but use it throughout your trip too. This will really help with combatting the very dry air circulating on the flight and will also help with the climate change throughout your trip. Remember to make sure you abide by the rules regarding how many ounces you can take onboard—I wouldn’t want you wasting a whole bunch of nice lotion on the account of me!
So there you have it, my tips on healthy air travel. Vacations are special. Don’t let a bad glass of chardonnay, a bag of Dorito’s and a chocolate chip cookie set things off on the wrong foot for you. Prepare and plan in advance, making healthy choices will be so easy. You’ll be glad you did. Xx Janine