Healthy Tips To Survive The Holidays and Seasonal Travel
We have made it to the most wonderful time of the year! Or so they say. This time of year, for many, is that mad scramble to shop, fly or drive and be merry. We all spread ourselves a little too thin, grind our teeth in order to not make waves during a family gathering and do our best to dodge illness despite germy flights and malls. Well, below I've concoted my list of tips on how to keep up your immune system, lower your stress level and actually have a merry little holiday season. Easy healthy travel tips along with ways to keep the peace during this festive season!
Holiday travel is one of the most stressful things we encounter every year as well as dealing with family members and mingling with all sorts of people either at parties, at work or at the mall. Be sure to use this cheat sheet and easy tips to keep your holiday travel and gatherings healthy and stress free!
Check out these tips to keep healthy and sane this holiday travel season:
- Pack patience! Now that the TSA has added heightened security measures and airlines have tacked on more fees, flying can be a beast. Do your best to give yourself enough time to get through the lines and know that it’s all just part of the experience.
- Pack good attitude! Nothing spoils a holiday trip or exacerbates any problems more then a sour disposition. Do your best to make the most of the situation and enjoy the season because it only comes once a year. You never know what great memories you will make if you're willing to enjoy the holiday!
- Eat before you leave the house. You should always leave with a full tummy or you will be tempted to nosh on whatever is convenient. And that means expensive junk food that’s bad for you and the trash cans!
- Know before you go. Know which airports you will be flying in and out of, laying over at, etc. Most have websites that show what dining establishments can be found in each terminal. For instance, I know that the Delta terminal at LAX has a Starbucks (for my soy latte) and a CPK express where I can grab a salad or soup for the flight. Most international hubs have chain restaurants or familiar fast food counters where you can order up a healthy meal for your in flight pleasure. From a veggie salad or sandwich at Quiznos to a black Bean Burger at Chili’s To Go, there are ways to not give in to bags of pretzels and pounds of danishes to keep you from passing out on your flight. The World Travel Guide site will lead you to each city’s airport web site.
- Stay Hydrated. Seeing as how we cannot bring our own beverages from home anymore, the first purchase to make upon entering your gate is a big bottle of water. Or better yet, pack your favorite glass or BPA-free bottle in your carry on bag and fill it at the airport. This way you save money and you aren’t drinking unhealthy water or contributing to landfill waste. Above all else, staying hydrated during air travel is key to cutting down on fatigue and fighting off the munchies!
- Take your vitamins & eat your veggies. If you’re running around and not able to eat balanced meals on your travel day, be sure to pack water soluble vitamin packets. In addition, there are many powdered veggie drinks that you can down and get your recommended servings of veggies a day to keep your immune system top notch when sucking in recycled air. My favorite brand for both is To Go Brands Go Greens and Vitamin C packs.
- Stay away from caffeine. Drinking caffeinated beverages on or before a flight will keep you from relaxing on the plane. In addition, it messes with your insulin levels and can cause you to overeat.
- Don’t drink alcohol in flight. Alcoholic beverages have double the effect in the air as they do on the ground, so you’re definitely gonna feel crappy when you get to your destination. If you need to relax, grab some all natural melatonin to help you sleep along with some soothing tunes.
- Pack snacks. Stock up on healthy bars, nuts and even sandwiches. Pack your carry-on with your own goodies so you aren’t spending money at the terminal on expensive, crappy food to be sure and have something on hand when hunger strikes.
- Sleep well the night before travel. That’s the toughest with the anticipation and stress that comes with flying during the holidays, but it can be done. And if not, invest in a flight pillow, eye mask, earplugs or noise reducing headphones and a blanket. Bring all the comforts of home with you to make your catching ZZZs in the air easier.
- Plan ahead!. Know where you’re going directly after you pick up your bags at your destination. Home, hotel, family’s house, wherever – map out what is close by in case you need to pick up a snack or a full blown meal so you don’t keel over and start your vacation on a bad foot.
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By Kathy Benson