Healthy travel

Tips on how to reach your destination feeling fresh, relaxed and rejuvenated

• Try to get a good night’s sleep before your flight, eat a light meal and take some gentle exercise before travelling.
• Wear loose, comfortable clothing and shoes that are not too restrictive.
• On longer journeys low cabin humidity can cause dry eyes, nose and throat. Drink plenty of water and fruit juice (keeping alcohol, tea and coffee to a minimum as these can lead to dehydration). Drinking little and often is best. If possible, remove contact lenses and apply skin moisturiser and lip balm. You could also try breathing through a handkerchief soaked in a little water.
• Occasionally your ears may feel blocked during take-off and landing. To help ease pressure, try sucking a sweet or yawning.
• Keep your circulation going by standing up and walking in the aisle when possible. By carrying out some simple stretching exercises in your seat every few hours you will feel much fresher on arrival. Flex different muscles in your feet, legs, arms, shoulders and neck. Sluggish circulation causes tiredness, muscle cramps and water retention (the cause of swollen feet). It can also result in blood clots, which are potentially dangerous.
• If you are prone to motion sickness during take-off, landing or in the event of turbulence, focus on a fixed object. Some people believe that applying pressure to your earlobes can reduce nausea.
• When travelling across time zones your body’s sleep rhythms can become disrupted, leading to insomnia, loss of appetite and fatigue. Prepare your body clock by getting a good night’s sleep before your flight. Try to give yourself a couple of relaxed days to adjust to new night and day cycles when you arrive. Moderate exercise and drinking plenty of water also helps.
• Eat a light, well-balanced meal before you travel and a smaller helping than usual on the aircraft. Avoid too much salt, sugar and dairy products – and also try to steer clear of fizzy drinks and rich food. Moderate your intake of alcohol, tea and coffee, and drink lots of water throughout the flight. Eating and drinking in excess, or consuming the wrong kinds of food, can lead to indigestion and discomfort.
• On arrival at your destination spend as much time as possible outside. Sunlight will slow the body clock, allowing it to adjust to the new time schedules you are facing.

Travelling with infants?
Feed your baby on take-off and landing to reduce discomfort caused by changes in cabin pressure. Ask flight attendants for any help you require.
Breathe easy
The sinuses are air-filled cavities located around the nose. As the aircraft climbs, the air expands and escapes through a tube leading into the nose. If any sinus is blocked, the air will be trapped and will press on the surrounding tissues as it expands. To ease sinus pressure, try an inhalant such as Karvol. This can be sprinkled over a pillow. It contains menthol and the essential oils of the thyme plant. Aromatherapy oils such as peppermint or eucalyptus will also clear congestion.

Insider Knowledge
Abdominal pain during flight is often caused by the expansion of gas in the stomach or intestines. To lessen the chances of stomach pain make sure that you don’t consume too many gas-inducing foods such as peas, beans and cauliflower prior to flying. Try to avoid too many carbonated drinks. Chewing gum can also cause discomfort as it makes you swallow air. Try to eat and drink slowly.