Air Travel Tips - How to stay healthy for a long airplane flight
Summer is the traveling season. Most long-distance travel happens around this time when kids are having summer break and the weather is nice and warm. The downside is the long air flights confined in a small space with a crowd, not so fresh air, and not so tasty food. Here we have some tips to help you be prepared and stay healthy.
The common sense tips
1. Drink a lot of water because the air can be very drying. When you are dehydrated, you get sick easily. Most drinks offered in the airplane are not too healthy for you such as juice (too much sugar), soda (high fructose corn syrup), coffee, or alcohol. A little bit is fine to uplift your mood, but water is the best!
2. Sleep as much as possible. If you can fall asleep, the trip will seem less long and more tolerable. Your body gets the rest and you will have more energy when you arrive too.
3. Eat less of the airplane food. When I travel between Taiwan and the US, they always offer 3 full meals. When we still try to adjust the 12 hour time difference, we really do not need the extra food and calory. Eating in a bumpy airplane is not the best for digestion. And most food on the plane is stored for a while and does not taste good anyway. I always feel better if I skip one or two meals, or just eat very lightly. And skip the ice cream or chocolate cake that comes with it.
You can bring some healthy snack in case you get hungry. Some nuts and seeds, fresh bread, or even sushi. This is not a good time to party and eat junk food. Be strict with what you eat.
4. Stay warm and comfortable. It often gets very cold with the air conditioner in the plane. Bring socks and jacket or sweater that doubles as a blanket. Some people like to bring a travel pillow and eye mask for a more comfortable sleep.
5. Hydrate the skin. Since the air gets dry and cold, your skin and face will become dry too. Reapply some moisturizer and lip balm. Some people like to apply sheet mask on the plane. It is like a spa treatment. It might look strange but it does help with drying skin.
Chinese medicine wellness tips
1. If you tend to get the car or air-sickness, prepare some ginger slices and you can chew some on the plane to fight the nauseous feeling.
2. Acupressure for air-sickness or motion sickness - Large Intense 4 (LI 4, or HE GU point) is between your thumb and index finger, near the bone joint on the back of your hand.
The other popular point is the Pericardium 6 (PC 6, or NEI GUAN point), located 3 finger width below your wrist line, in the center between the 2 tendons. See picture below.
Press these 2 points with your finger can relieve some nauseous and dizzy feeling.
3. Before the trip, you can take some "Yin Qiao San" powder. It is a patent herbal formula for cold or flu that is from the external weather change. It can act as a preventive medicine to increase your immune system so you don't get sick easily during the trip.
That is all our tips for surviving long air flight. Eat light, sleep well, stay hydrated, and find something to keep occupied such as a movie or book. Try to keep the same schedule and avoid any extreme changes (diet, sleep hour and so on). Now you are prepared so just relax and enjoy your trip.