Getting Ready to Travel

Estimated read time... 4 minutes

In a few hours, I’ll be boarding a plane to head to East West School of Planetary Herbology’s annual Seminar.  This will be my last year there as a student, I am not sure how I am feeling about it.  The week long Seminar is located in Ben Lomond, California, which means I’ll be on a plane for many many hours.  While I love flying in small airplanes, being cramped on a commercial plane -with that horridly dry recycled air- is something I dread.  As such, I wanted to write a brief post about plane travel, to help support you and your body for a flight.

If you don’t already have this book, I recommend that everyone pick up a copy of The Naturally Healthy Traveler by Susan Kramer – it is available in paperback and Kindle – and includes remedies for many common ailments one may experience while traveling.

As common-sense as this sounds, I’m going to run off my list for the carry-on that goes under the seat in front of you: a pillow (or neck roll), a warm scarf that can double as a blanket, warm socks, ear plugs, eye mask, facial mister, and nasal spray.  Bring any entertainment you may desire – music, movie, book, magazine, etc.

Before you fly
 
Get No Jet Lag tablets or Jet Lag spray (Liddell), begin taking the remedy once you are on the plane, then every 2 hours (or so) thereafter, basically follow the manufacturer’s instructions.  I did this the last couple of times I flew across the country, and it helped tremendously.
Hydration  

Drink as much water as possible (bottled) – not juice, soda, coffee, tea, or alcoholic beverages.  My goal is usually to drink two large bottles of water on a 6 hour flight, but I physically cannot do that without feeling waterlogged and ill.  Buy two large bottles, and drink as much as you can, as often as possible.  Soda and juice are nothing but sugar, and really not optimal for keeping you hydrated and healthy for a long haul flight.  Caffeinated and alcoholic beverages are dehydrating and thus work against you for staying hydrated and healthy on the flight.  I avoid drinking the water (even boiled/hot) from the plane for a couple of reasons: 1. it tastes gross and 2. you don’t know where that water came from and can be high in bacterial and chemical additive (chlorine, fluoride, etc.) content.  Better to be safe than sorry, and buy a couple of bottles of water from the airport shop.

Taking an Omega-3 supplement while traveling can help you feel more hydrated, and it helps your skin stay moisturized longer.

Use the facial mister, I have one that is rose water and glycerine combined, as often as needed on the plane.  But, get up and go to the bathroom before using it so as to not be rude to your seatmates by spraying water everywhere (as good and refreshing as it is, others may not feel the same way!)


Food

I pack a bento style box meal, and bring a pair of disposable chopstics and a disposable fork.  Fill your bento box with things like soaked/sprouted rice, vegetables, and a protein (legumes, beans, lean meat, egg) – all low in salt.  Keep it as dry as possible so as to not create ire with the TSA agents and risk having your yummy meal thrown out.

I like to pack the food in a clear-lidded disposable container, and then place it in a ziptop bag – so the TSA can see what is in the container, and the container is light and easy to repack.  Plus, if the TSA decides your meal isn’t passable through security, you won’t be upset about your container being thrown out!

Make sure to eat your meal when you are hungry, preferably at a standard meal-time for your destination.

Snacks: I always have snacks with me whilst traveling, though I rarely eat them.  Some that I bring: nuts (unsalted), raisins, granola bar, smoked jerky, powdered smoothie packet (like Vega), and Emergen-C.  Emergen-C isn’t food, but it is sweet and is better than candy!

Relax

They say to time your sleeping on the plane to the schedule of your destination.  I have not mastered this at all, much as I try.  Get settled, take a tincture that has a few relaxing/sedative herbs such as: chamomile, passionflower, hops, motherwort, skullcap, lemon balm.  I’m experimenting with a blend that includes schizandra, oyster shells and dragon bones (fossilized bones) – I will report back on my progress with it after this trip and post a link to the products page if I am happy with the results.

Make sure you use the loo/restroom before getting too settled into your seat (whether before boarding the plane, or before dozing off), drink water, take your tincture of choice, put your ear plugs/buds in, get that eye mask on, sit back and relax.  If you are on a long flight, be sure to break from your relaxathon to drink more water, use the loo/walk the plane, take your anti-jet lag remedy, stuff like that.  You want to keep the circulation going so as to not get cramped up.

When you Land

Go to the bathroom, wash your hands, rinse your face (I always bring a washcloth soaked in water from home in a ziptop bag, and use bottled water vs the water from the airport sinks), brush your teeth, and drink yet more water.  When I get to where I’m staying, I usually shower before heading out to find food.  Get on local time as quickly as possible – the sooner you are on local time, the less jet-lag you’ll feel as the days wear on.  Most importantly: have fun!

Hope some of this helps those of you who are infrequent travelers, like myself.  If you are a frequent traveler, please comment on what you do that you find helpful with your air travels!