Travel Survival Guide 101

Escaping the Maine winter and heading somewhere warm this month?

Or maybe you’re heading out west for a skiing or boarding adventure in the Rockies? Wherever your travels may take you, we have compiled a list of tips and tricks to make your travel experience as pleasant and healthy as possible.

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    1. Keep moving

      Moving around the small cabin of a plane can be difficult, but it is important to get up and walk the aisle as often as you can when the flight crew indicates it is safe for you to do so. Doing a few simple exercises in your seat such as ankle pumps, ankle circles, long arc quads, and seated marches are a great way to keep your blood flowing. Don’t forget to utilize long layovers to your advantage by taking a walk through the terminal to stretch your legs!

    1. Stay hydrated

      A big mistake people make before and during a flight is limiting water intake to avoid having to use the public restroom on the plane or in the airport. Staying hydrated is integral to protecting yourself against getting sick as lack of humidity in the cabin can dry out mucous membranes and make it harder for your body to fight germs. Also be mindful of alcohol consumption as changes in air pressure experienced during flight can heighten the effects of alcohol. Although you can’t bring liquids greater than 3.4 ounces through security, you can bring an empty, reusable water bottle that can be filled at a water fountain once you’re inside the terminal. Don’t be shy about asking a flight attendant to refill your bottle for you.

    1. Avoid germs

      The best way to avoid germs in flight is to limit points of contact with surfaces on the plane. Packing antiseptic wipes as well as hand sanitizer (3.4 ounces or less) in your carry-on can help you disinfect your tray table and arm rests as well as your hands. Being mindful of and limiting contact between your hands and your face, mouth, and eyes can minimize your risk of picking up unwanted germs. It has been rumored that airline blankets and pillows are often reused flight-to-flight, so use them at your own risk!

  1. Eat a healthy meal and pack your own snacks

    This not only helps you avoid the outrageous airport prices, but allows you to properly fuel your body; eating a well-balanced meal before your flight and bringing easy-to-pack snacks are crucial to a successful flight. Roasted nuts, granola bars, and whole-grain crackers are great snack options that won’t be confiscated by security.

Airline travel can often be stressful and the most unappealing aspect of a vacation. We hope these tips and tricks make your travels a little easier and the destination that much sweeter.

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By Kirsten Bombardier, DPT

Back in Motion® Physical Therapy – South Portland, Maine

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