Staying healthy while flying on long-haul domestic or international flights.

Staying healthy while flying is at the top of just about everyone’s travel list. Coming down with a cold on vacation is almost as disappointing as missing your flight. We’ve all been there- packed everything we need, paid for our tickets, and are ready to take off on our big adventure. Next thing you know the passenger to your right spends the flight sniffling and now you’re not feeling so ready to explore your destination.

Here’s some advice for staying healthy while flying on long-haul segments so you’ll feel refreshed and ready…no matter where you land.

Drink, drink, drink

Water, not soda, not alcohol. Hear us out. Your body loses moisture faster at higher altitudes. As tempting as it is to indulge in a plastic cup of wine or a fizzy drink, resist the urge until after you land (poolside piña colada, anyone?) and opt for water instead.

Tip: Pack an empty water bottle in your carry on and fill up before boarding—because those tiny little airline cups just won’t do the trick.

Layer up

Airplanes: sometimes they’re hot, like when you’re stranded on the runway without A/C because the last passenger still hasn’t shown up. Sometimes they’re icy cold, like when the person next to you insists their overhead fan blow directly in your face. Best come prepared with thin layers of clothing you can add or remove while you’re onboard. Think scarves, wraps, and light hoodies you can pull on and off at your leisure. Cool, cozy? Check, check.

Reach for the sky

It only takes a matter of minutes in those notoriously upright cabin chairs for your back to seize up and your neck to get stiff. Take a break, step into the aisle (only when the flight attendants give you the go-ahead, of course) and stretch those arms up high. Bend your knees, circle your ankles, roll your shoulders. Get that blood flowing from head to toe.

Top up on your ABCs

Give your immune system a boost before boarding. Take a multivitamin before you get on the plane. Take a zinc supplement for extra vita-power. And load up on vitamin C.

Scrub up

Keep a pack of disinfectant wipes and a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your carry-on bag. Use them to wash your hands when soap isn’t available and wipe down surfaces like armrests, in-flight TV screens, and tray tables, to keep the germs at bay.

Health essential packing checklist

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