Let’s face it, travel can be stressful whether it’s peak season (coming up sooner than we realize) or not. The airport security lines, the heavy traffic, the high gas prices…we’re getting a bit anxious just thinking about it! So in order to make your (and our) next trip a seamless one, we’ve gathered several skin, body, and diet tips from a team of experts. Add them to your travel checklist.
Traveling may be a bit taxing, but your skin doesn’t have to show it. Keep your complexion smooth and supple with this advice from San Diego board-certified dermatologist Dr. Susan Stuart:
- Avoid alcohol on planes. “Alcohol is very dehydrating. While it may help to relax you if you’re nervous about flying, the effect of alcohol will be dry skin,” says Dr. Stuart. “Drink water, and read a magazine or book or bring along your iPod. Having something to distract you will help you as much, if not more, than a glass of wine.” And if you can’t avoid it, compensate by drinking lots of water afterward, Dr. Stuart suggests.
- Pack hydrating mist in your carry-on. A hydrating mist is ideal for in-flight application—simply spray a couple of pumps onto your face for instant hydration.
- Keep makeup to a minimum while flying. “Airplane air is dry and can exacerbate your makeup’s drying-out effects on your skin, which can lead to breakouts and your pores becoming clogged on the flight,” Dr. Stuart shares. “Opt for tinted moisturizer if you cannot bear not having any makeup on, and use lip balm in lieu of lipstick…the cabin air is dry, [and] lips tend to feel a little drier while on the flight.”
Uncomfortable airplane rides and hotel stays can cause traveling to take a toll on not just your skin, but your body as well. Keep aches and pains at bay with these recommendations from Dr. Michael A. Gleiber, a board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon based in south Florida.
- “Most [airplane] seats encourage back rounding rather than proper posture,” Dr. Gleiber says. “As soon as permission is given, tilt back your seat. Place a small travel pillow behind your shoulders and another behind your lower back. Get up and walk around the plane, or at least to the restroom, once every two hours.”
- Stiff back from an uncomfortable hotel bed? Try this resolution and sleep easy: “Ask for some extra pillows at the front desk to make your rest more comfortable,” Dr. Gleiber continues. “If you need to substitute for an extra pillow, try a rolled up blanket or towel to cushion your body in the bed. When resting on your side, place a pillow between your legs and a small rolled towel at your neck. If you sleep on your back, place a small pillow beneath your knees.” Try to avoid sleeping on your belly, he adds.
On the fitness front, put together an exercise program that travels with you, recommends Mike Giliotti, certified personal trainer in New York City. “If you’ve worked hard to establish a good fitness routine, going on a trip doesn’t have to mean your healthy habits will be derailed. You can keep your momentum and endorphins flowing and maintain your fitness level when traveling.” He advises to:
- Ask your travel agent about hotels that offer fully equipped gyms, pools, and/or other fitness facilities.
- Bring along a CD or iPod with your favorite music and work out in the privacy of your hotel room.
- Plan active recreation during vacations. Spending time at a ski resort this holiday season? Check out the property’s snowshoe or cross-country trails. Heading somewhere warmer? Sign up for outdoor activities like beach volleyball and snorkeling, Giliotti says.
Craving something nutritious when you travel? Airport food courts are convenient and tempting, of course (especially if you’re killing time waiting on a delayed flight), but should you choose a healthier approach, apply these pointers from Franci Cohen, a New York City-based nutritionist, exercise physiologist, and fitness instructor.
“Carbs and sugar alleviate stress, and airports stress people out, especially during the holidays,” Cohen says. “So while it may feel good to inhale a day’s worth of calories in 10 minutes, the combination of a high-sodium meal and air travel equals a very bloated body from head to toe. You can find healthy food options at airports—you just have to look beyond the hot dog and fries.” Cohen suggests:
- Eat before you leave for the airport or pack your carry-on with fruits, veggies, and granola bars.
- Stick to water on planes. You’ll have a happier flight and feel revived upon arriving at your destination, she says.
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