Your survival kit!
Truth be told, I became a bit of a germaphobe even before COVID-19. Traveling abroad wears you down, and there are a lot of people in a tight space! We have a family friend who gets a cold every time he flies, so I implemented these tactics years ago. Arrive healthy and ready to explore with these tips!
Good habits start even before departure day. Of course traveling abroad requires some planning and can be stressful. You need to pack, maybe arrange for people to take care of pets or kids or your job .. you are already worn out before you leave! This is no time to skimp on sleep, so get plenty of rest, keep hydrated, and take some extra vitamin C. The day before your departure I like to vitamin-up - Emergen-C or Airborne or Power Paks with electrolytes are a good idea.
The morning of your trip, be sure to drink plenty of water. (You will see that hydrating is a reoccurring theme here, but it really is important!). Why? The air in the plane is extremely drying. Your body craves moisture and will try to pick it up wherever it can find it. But guess what, when it finds moisture on the plane, it also finds germs. So, you need to be as hydrated as you possibly can to be sure your body doesn't go searching for it elsewhere! Not only do you want to drink a lot of water, but you want to be sure every part of you is amply hydrated.
Here are the 5 things you need:
1. Antibacterial Wipes: When you get to your seat, wipe down EVERYTHING you will touch: your seatbelt buckle, tray table, armrest, and touchscreen TV. A few years ago, I could feel people judging me, but now I am often asked if I have a spare!
2. Saline Nasal Drops: This one seemed a bit odd at first, but I have to say it works! (I usually use these in the bathroom to avoid strange looks.). How does it work? The saline adds moisture to dry nasal passages, and also keeps the cilia healthy. Cilia are the hair-like structures that trap bacteria. I can honestly say that this step has kept me so much healthier!
3. Eye drops: Your eyes can also dry out, especially if you sleep on the plane. Speaking of sleep - I bring my own eye mask and headphones to listen to piano music or white noise (crashing waves always knock me out!). I also bring a lavender essential oil roller with me. I put it on my wrists and take a good inhale whenever I wake up. It puts me right back out! (I used to drink the mini bottles of wine during dinner to make me tired, but alcohol is very dehydrating, so be careful). When you wake up, add those eye drops again!
4. Lip Balm: Once again, apply often!
5. Hand lotion: If we have learned anything from COVID-19, it is to wash our hands! With all of that washing, our hands can also get very dry. Keep them hydrated with a moisturizing lotion.
About an hour and half before landing, you will be served breakfast. I try to convince myself that I am rested and ready to embrace the new time zone! I have a coffee to perk myself up. Caffeine is also dehydrating, so I keep the water coming too. Orange juice can give you the extra vitamin C you might be needing as well!
Once off the plane, I am excited and lively for the first couple of hours. After I get settled into the hotel or wherever I am staying, I take a short nap - no more than an hour. It is hard to force yourself to get up again, but if you can explore your new surroundings for a while you should get a second wind. Try to stay up at least until 9 or 10 pm, and then you should sleep through the night and be on the time schedule.
It may take a bit for us to feel safe flying again, and I expect to see changes in the way we do things. I know I will continue to incorporate these habits, and hope you find that they keep you healthy as well! Bon voyage!