Ways to Stay Healthy During Winter Travel

Hi, Ladies! Cassandra here from The Calm Collective. How is everyone hanging in this winter? If you’re in the Midwest, I’m sure you can relate when I say that this has been a tough one to get through. My winter blues are kicking in, and I’m doing all I can to stay healthy amidst my work schedule and occasional trips.

Which brings me to today’s post! With all of the traveling that I partake in for my photography business (and to see my sister and my mom who live on opposite sides of the country), I tend to be living out of a suitcase more than the average person.  Because of this, I’ve picked up a lot of helpful tools and suggestions for how to avoid getting sick while I’m on the go.

To me, there is truly nothing more uncomfortable then coming down with a dreadful cold and having to be on an airplane. I don’t wish it on myself and I certainly don’t wish it on any of you!

So let’s jump in.

10 Ways to Stay Healthy During Winter Travel

10 Ways to Stay Healthy During Winter Travel

Reach for water (with lemon when able!) instead of cocktails and the coffee

It’s no secret that alcohol and caffeine dehydrates you, but when you’re 10,000+ feet up in the air? It’s so much worse! Not only will it make your skin feel dry and your body swollen, headaches are also prone to appear. To avoid this, I make sure to bring my own reusable water bottle and fill it up at the airport prior to my flight (and I’ll almost always slice up some lemons and bring them with me).

Prioritize your schedule

Avoid doing too much during your travel to ensure you have some down time to nap and unwind. Being at a constant fast pace can often times make your immune system work overboard, so it’s best to apply some balance to your travel plans. Carve out a little R&R time and feel your best every single day that you’re away.

Bring your own snacks when you fly

As tempted as I am every time a slew of cookies and snack mix appears, having fresh snacks is such a game-changer when I fly. My favorite fresh foods to bring include grapes, hummus with some carrots and celery sticks, and dried fruit. (Unsweetened mango from Trader Joe’s is my favorite!) Eating fruits and veggies helps out the old immune system, which means I’ll be less likely to pick something up on the plane. Not to mention the fact that I feel so much better upon landing!

Carry hand sanitizer

The secret weapon for any traveler. I use hand sanitizer constantly when I’m at the airport and on the plane, and if you’d like a little pro-tip, I buy the sanitizer wipes so that I can clean the arm rests, food tray and seatbelt buckle! My aunt who was a flight attendant told me that these are the things that never get wiped down. Yikes.

Carve out some alone time when you get to your destination

No matter where you’re going, chances are you’re going to be busy once you arrive. If you’ve read my blog, you know I’m a huge advocate for self care and creating time for it, even when it feels impossible. There are a few ways to achieve this while traveling! A few: take a longer shower, limit the time you spend on your phone, read or journal for 20 minutes, sit by the water for a while (if possible), or spend some time behind your lens. What helps you decompress at home? Whatever that is, carve out a little time for it when you’re away, too.

Dress warmly (and bring plenty of layers!)

Dressing for winter season is imperative to ensure that your body remains at its optimal temperature. By packing layers (which could be anything from a thin, long-sleeved shirt to a blanket scarf) will help dramatically when it comes to keeping that pesky cold at bay, and make it so that you can enjoy being out and about on your trip, no matter the weather!

Take Vitamin C or a probiotic

Take Vitamin C or a probiotic

I rarely skip a day of taking Vitamin C AND a Probiotic even when I’m not traveling, but I’m especially diligent about it when I am—winter or not.  When you pair this with staying hydrated (see above!) and partake in some physical activity, your immune system will thank you! Speaking of which…

Add in some physical activity every day of the trip

I don’t know about you, but when I’m traveling, I’m so tempted to let my workouts slip through the cracks and just indulge, indulge, indulge. The absolute best thing we can do for ourselves–alongside these other tips, of course–is to keep moving. It can be something as simple as stretching, doing an intuitive yoga flow, taking an early morning walk, or doing a short HIIT workout that you can find on YouTube!

Add in some physical activity every day of the trip

Prioritize your sleep

Above all else, get enough sleep. Our bodies need time to repair themselves, especially when we’re over-stimulated and eating (and possibly drinking) more than usual. We all know how much we need to feel our best. (For me, that’s nine hours, no question.) Don’t apologize for what it is you need to be the best version of yourself! At the same time, it might be more of a challenge to convince yourself to get into bed at a reasonable time, since you could want to stay up later to get the most out of your trip. Be kind to yourself. In the end, you’ll have a better experience if you get the shut-eye you need. :)

Get a good fix of Vitamin D

Wherever you can find some sunshine, embrace it and take it all in! Fifteen minutes a day of SPF-free exposure is super good for you, so don’t fret if you’re without sunscreen for a little. An alternative, if the sun isn’t shining where you are, is to take vitamin D capsules. (1,000 IUs is recommended for the average person, but check with your doctor to make sure what’s best for you.)

You might also like… Tips for Flying with a Toddler, Mark & Graham Terminal 1 Suitcase Review + Giveaway, and Mom Talk: Sleep.