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November 4, 2016

by Alyssa

5 Healthy Travel Tips to Survive the Airport & Airplanes

As many of you know, I just left for a 10-day solo adventure to Thailand (woo hoo!) and today I want to share some of my best healthy travel tips to help you survive the airport and airplanes. So let's get to it!

The first leg of my trip to Thailand was 13 hours. NYC > Beijing > Phuket, Thailand. This is the longest flight I've ever been on and so I took a few measures before leaving to help make sure I was healthy and well rested when I arrived. Since airports and airplanes aren't typically the healthiest places on the planet, I've put together a list of some of my tips to help you stay on track. Hopefully they will help you on your next big adventure!

1. Stay Hydrated

This is numero uno always. I can't stress enough how important it is to stay hydrated while you're traveling (especially when flying). I always carry a water bottle with me when I travel. I have this insulated one that I love because it keeps the water super duper cold.

Remembering to drink water has always been a challenge for me, which is why having my water bottle is so important. It forces me to remember to drink because I'm carrying it around with me all the time. I also like to have tea bags in my carry-on bag; changes things up and planes are usually super chilly so it's nice to have something warm to sip on.

Things to avoid while traveling and will make you more dehydrated:

  • Soda
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee (drink tea instead!)

2. Have Healthy Snacks

Another tricky thing about airports? They never sell healthy snacks!

Well, I guess many are getting better, but still. The snacks are usually chips, candy, or overly salted nuts. Not great if you're trying to stay nourished and fueled. So for me, it's all about packing my own snacks. I stuff as many things into my bag as I can and that way I always know I a) won't have to go hours without eating and b) won't be reaching for things that will end up making me feel like crap.

Some of my favorite snacks:

3. Get Your Greens In

Just like staying hydrated, I love to make sure I get some sort of greens in while I'm traveling. Typically that means eating a salad once I get through security, but if that isn't an option, I will drink a green juice.

Most airports don't have smoothie & juice bars (yet!), so my trick is to carry some green juice powder with me. There are tons of options on the market, but two of my favorite brands are Amazing Grass and Garden of Life.

I will say…green juice powders aren't the tastiest. I usually mix them with some water and then CHUG, but you can also pick up one of the flavored varieties which are a bit more palatable. Either way, you're packing your system with alkalizing greens which helps to balance your pH and pull toxins from your body.

4. Pack Your Own Meal

Might seem a little counterintuitive since airports are full of restaurants and long flights serve food, BUT if you're trying to eat healthy, skip those options. Particularly on long flights; the food they serve is processed, high in sodium and doesn't have very many vegetables (or nutrients for that matter).

Sure, you might look like a weirdo opening up a tupperware container, but trust me, you will feel 1000% better for it.

When you're packing a meal for the airport, try and make sure it's balanced. And by balanced I mean include complex carbs, whole grains, plant-based proteins, leafy greens, vegetables and a healthy fat. Pack in as many nutrients as possible into that meal so you get the most out of it.

My favorite airport meals:

5. Use a Natural Sleep Remedy

Do you have trouble sleeping on planes? Yeah, me too. And it's especially an issue for overnight flights and time changes. Jet lag can be supported by getting a good night sleep on the plane.

My trick? Melatonin supplements.

I actually didn't realize this until now, but melatonin is a hormone that your body naturally produces. It helps control your sleep and wake cycles. Your levels rise in the evening and stay high during the night and then drop during the day. Basically it's your body's internal clock.

Melatonin is also sold as a supplement which you can find at most drugstores and natural food stores. Unlike other sleep aids like Zanex or Benadryl, melatonin isn't super strong and doesn't make you feel as groggy in the morning. Plus, I'm just not a fan of pumping chemicals into my body to help me fall asleep. The natural route is how I like to go!

If you've never tried melatonin before and have trouble sleeping, I suggest picking some up and taking just a little to help you get some rest on your flight. You'll feel more adjusted when you arrive!

Your turn…

Any healthy travel tips you want to share? I'd love to hear them! Pop your thoughts down in the comments below so we can all get ideas from each other!

xo Alyssa



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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

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  1. I agree with packing my own meal. Thanks for sharing these tips. I travel in planes a lot because of my work.

  2. Great tips. Drinking water is definitely my number 1 for when I go anywhere, otherwise I end up with a headache from dehydration, no fun when traveling. I need to remember to bring more of my own snacks and maybe a salad/meal for the long flight. I am planning to head to Thailand next year. Looking forward to hearing about your trip.


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