Let's face it — traveling is often stressful and can wreak havoc on your system. Between travel-induced anxiety and the potential for dehydration, a relaxing long weekend may no longer be enjoyable.
Luckily, there are ways to avoid these physical ailments and maintain a healthy – and happy – body. Here's the scoop on staying in good health so you can better enjoy your summer adventures.
H2O is your friend.
Sure, you hear it all the time — but being well-hydrated truly is essential to optimum health. Drink plenty of water, especially when spending time outdoors. As your body sweats while playing warm-weather sports or even just soaking in sunshine at the beach, it loses fluids and can quickly become dehydrated. So make drinking enough water a top priority.
Flying on airplanes is also very dehydrating. Not only is the re-circulated air aboard planes excessively dry, the lack of humidity in the cabin further zaps moisture out of the air — and your system.
Luckily, Dr. Rebecca Baxt, a board-certified dermatologist in New York and New Jersey, has some great tips to share from her expertise.
"Whenever the environment is moisture-free such as with re-circulated air in a plane cabin, the air actually draws moisture from wherever it can," says Dr. Baxt. "Dry skin will tend to get drier and oily skin will get even oilier to compensate for dehydration."
So what can you do to stay hydrated?
Avoid happy hour.
Steer clear of the bar cart. Those mini bottles are tempting – especially if you're a nervous flyer – but alcohol dehydrates the body. Drink water or seltzer instead. Dr. Baxt suggests going for healthy alternatives, as well as getting absorbed in an activity — such as reading a magazine or book, or listening to your iPod.
"Having something to distract you will help you as much, if not more, than a glass of wine," she says. "If you just can't pass it up, drink lots of water afterward."
Skip the junk.
Ditch the salty snacks and opt instead for fresh, unprocessed foods such as juicy fruits and nourishing vegetables. Apples, bananas, carrots and celery are great portable options that are rich in both fiber and water. The doctor warns that "salt can cause swelling" — making those free bags of airline pretzels something to be avoided.
Treat the eyes.
Travel is often exhausting and the first place most people show it is in their eyes. For an instant fix, tuck a mini eye cream that contains caffeine in your carry-on bag. Caffeine quickly perks up puffy eyes. Or, try an eye-specific sheet mask such as Klorane smoothing and relaxing patches, or the SK-II signs eye mask in order to soothe and treat tired eyes.
Want a natural DIY option? Dr. Baxt recommends bringing green tea bags on board.
"A half hour before landing, ask the flight attendant for hot water and soak a few minutes. Add ice to cool down; apply the cooled tea bags to eyelids before landing. The green tea has antioxidants and anti-inflammatories to decrease puffiness so you'll look your best when you land."