Traveling Well: 5 Ways to be Healthy While Traveling by Plane

Two weeks ago I was on a plane to Seattle en route to a speaking engagement. In the past, flying left me tired, puffy, and feeling less than well. That day, I realized I was on my seventeenth flight of 2016 and that I had finally figured out the secrets to traveling that kept me feeling and looking my best. A better way to travel, really.

With the official start of summer approaching, you may be departing for a well deserved vacation or two. I’m excited for you and because I want you to have happy and healthy trips, I am sharing my top tips for staying healthy while traveling.

This week I will focus on travel by air (something this airline MVP member has plenty of experience with). Airports and airplanes can be wellness vampires leaving you feeling tired, bloated, and irritated. That’s not how I want my vacations to start. I want to feel rested, relaxed, and ready for fun. So fret not! Follow these simple tips to stay healthy while traveling by plane.

Buckle your safety belts, make sure your tray is in the upright and locked position, and get ready to travel in A Better Way Wellness Style.


1. BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle for Water)

Whether you are traveling by foot, car, or plane, you will feel your best when you are appropriately hydrated. What’s the easiest way to stay hydrated?

Bring your own water bottle.

Did you know you can bring empty water bottles through airport security? This is my personal practice because I love my water, but don’t love drinking it out of expensive plastic bottles sold at airport shops for outrageous prices. In fact, many airports now have filtered water bottle filling stations (SFO, SEA, SLC, GEG, JFK, and LAX, to name a few). So you can take care of yourself, your wallet, and the environment. This is a win-win-win.

My favorite water bottles are made of glass. One reason is I’m not keen on plastics leaching into my water. Another is everything just tastes better out of glass. Trust me.

Right now I’m loving my 1-liter bkr bottle. bkr bottles are my go to — glass, protected with silicon, durable, and cute. Bonus: these bottles are dishwasher safe.

2. Pack Your Own Meals

When I travel, I want to feel rested and ready for action when I arrive at my destination. Airport and airplane food is notoriously subpar, expensive, over salted, and makes you feel blah. The fix?

Pack your own meals for the plane! You can bring food through security, just like an empty water bottle. Insider tip: make sure your food is not considered a liquid (such as soup, yogurt, or a smoothie). Liquids will get confiscated through security. Salads, wraps, and even leftovers can be taken through security without a problem.

For my last trip, I packed red pepper, arugula, and mushroom pitas. They tasted amazing, left me feeling great, and may have been the cause of more than one jealous stare.

3. Stash Some Sanitizer

Let’s be real here. Do you know how often airplane seats and trays are cleaned? Neither do I. But my guess is not often because when I wipe my tray down, my white wipes always turn brown. Yuck!

Keep yourself healthy and clean by stashing some hand sanitizer. My current favorite spray is Dr. Bronner’s lavender. If you, like me, are concerned with too many liquids at security, try the EO wipes.

To keep yourself healthy, sanitize your tray and seat belt as soon as you board. Then clean your hands before you eat or drink.

4. Say “No, thank you” to Salty Snack Foods

Have you ever had a free airplane snack that was so delicious you couldn’t stop thinking about it? I didn’t think so.

Most of the complimentary foods are barely palatable, at best, and include more questionable ingredients than a Twinkie. These snacks are often chock full of preservatives and salt, which will leave you dehydrated and puffy. That’s the opposite of how I want to feel when I land.

Instead of the pretzels/snack mix/weird cookies, just say no thanks. If you have it in front of you, the chances are you will open the little packet and nibble. Plus, since you brought your own food, you won’t need the free snacks to fill you up.  

5. Meditate in the Sky

As soon as I board a plane, I stash my bag, sanitize my space, and put in my Bose noise cancelling headphones (the greatest Christmas gift from my husband). Next, I close my eyes and do some deep breathing and meditation.

Mindfulness is an incredibly important part of wellness and can be done anywhere (even at 10,000 feet). Air travel can be stressful and anxiety provoking. I find that simple meditation — merely counting my breaths in and out — can make me feel relaxed in the moment and better when I land.


BONUS TIP: Take the Stairs and Avoid Moving Walkways

Moving your body and exercising will make you feel better. Period. So do it even while traveling by air.

While I LOVE that the San Francisco airport has yoga and mediation rooms (which I highly recommend), that trend has not swept the nation. Instead, move your body. Take the stairs. Avoid moving walkways. Instead of sitting in the boarding area, go for a stroll. It’s amazing how many steps you can actually accumulate while traveling.

I find walking and moving while traveling is much easier when I wear comfortable shoes. This doesn’t mean you need to wear athletic shoes (but if you want to, more power to you). There are many stylish and comfortable options. My favorites? Josef Siebel and Isabel Marant (the Dicker boots are amazing).

There you have it! A better way to travel by plane. I challenge you to try all five tips (plus the bonus) on your next trip.

Do you have any healthy travel tips to add? If so, please share!

Sending you light until next time.

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