Get plenty of sleep. Nothing depletes your immunity like a lack of sleep, so in the nights leading up to travel, I keep a strict bedtime that allows for 7-8 hours of sleep each night. I try to avoid things that can interfere with my sleep cycle. That means I turn off my cell phone and computer by 8:00 p.m., and I avoid consuming anything with caffeine (hello chocolate!) after about 2:00 p.m. During the flight and at my destination, I'll sleep with a sleep mask. It fits comfortably over my eyes and yet blocks out all the light in an airplane or a hotel room (so many little lights from the TV to the alarm clock to the fire alarm). Years ago, I did a workshop with a famous expert on intuition. She talked about the importance of sleep and how she would cover up all the little lights in her hotel room. I can't even imagine how long it took her to track down all the light sources. Um, so yeah, using a sleep mask is much easier.
Exercise regularly. Even if it is just 15 minutes on my yoga mat or a 20 minute walk, I try to exercise every day leading up to a trip. And then, in the airport, I'll find an empty gate area to do a little yoga or Qigong. Here is my favorite Qigong move if I only have a couple of minutes, and you don't even need to be traveling to do it. Try it if you are feeling sluggish at your desk.
Eat to feel good. To operate optimally on a trip, eating well the week of the trip is paramount. Avoid sugar, alcohol, and, for me, soy (all trigger immune responses in my body). Eat green vegetables at least two out of three daily meals. Instead of having a green smoothie every other day, I'll try to drink one per day. I travel with these handy flax seed packets and powdered green juices. I sprinkle the flax on oatmeal or yogurt at breakfast to ensure I am getting enough fiber in my diet. Let's be honest, staying regular on the road is important (eating an apple also can help in this department). When possible, we reserve a hotel room with a mini-fridge so we can stock it with our favorite foods, including yogurt, hummus and berries. I'll bring my vitamins, which these days include a women's multi-vitamin, fish oil, and glutamine.
Stay hydrated. One big reason to avoid alcohol the week of a trip is it is so dehydrating, a state only compounded by a pressurized airplane cabin. I bring two empty 1L water bottles to the airport so I can stay hydrated on the flight, especially since some airlines are pretty stingy with the water (United, for example). At my destination, I drink warm lemon water first thing in the morning. Just hit the breakfast buffet, grab a cup of hot water from the coffee station and squeeze the juice from a couple of lemon quarters in it. Drink this first and then have breakfast. It's detoxifying and aids your digestive system.
Do your research. To stay healthy at my destination, I do a little research ahead of time. As gluten and I are no longer friends, I'll look up restaurants that are good for gluten free eaters and actively avoid cross contamination. I'll find juice bars near my hotel so I can boost my immune system and hydrate with green juice. If I have a layover, I'll use the GateGuru app to find out what food and retail options are available at the airport.
Enjoy the trip...and then once I've eaten and exercised to optimize my immune system, packed to preserve my health, and researched where my next five meals (or so) are coming from, I'll sit back, relax and enjoy the trip!
Now it's your turn. What is your best tip for staying healthy on the road?