Tips for Trips: planes, hotels, and family visits

Like most people, year-end means extra stress on all levels. From year-end bills to mailing cards, buying presents, and of course…travel, the final weeks of December tend to be some of the most chaotic of the year.

Even if you aren’t flying anywhere or taking a vacation, there’s a chance you will be away from your home for a night or two before the end of the year. I’ve got a few tips for you that you may not think about before you head out the door.

By plane: I’ve become a fan of essential oils and sinus irrigation to fend off unwanted sickness from coming my way. You don’t want to start off your travel getting sick the very next day. I love DoTerra On-Guard Essential Oil. I ingest it, wear it, and subtly drop it on the coughing people around me on the plane (don’t tell anyone about that last part!).

I’ve also become a fan of sinus irrigation over the past decade and find before and after a flight it has a two-fold effect. First, it helps keep your sinuses moist. Airline air is perhaps the worst air because it’s basically air pumped repeatedly through the plane. It’s dry up there and when your sinuses get dry, you have a tendency for your throat to take the brunt of the load and it gets scratchy. After the flight, when you get to where you are going, your very best bet is take a shower and irrigate your sinuses as soon as you can. Harboring any unwanted junk floating around that airplane and into your nose can’t fester if you dump it out right away.

My other 3 advice tips while on a plane:

  • Don’t drink alcohol or caffeine if you want to avoid inflammation in your tissue
  • Drink water throughout the flight. This means you will have to buy that $8 bottle of water from the airport store, but it’s worth it in the long run.
  • Get up at least 2 times during the flight. Even if you don’t have to go to the bathroom. If you really want to reduce the negative effects of that flight, just stand up every 60-90 minutes of your flight if you can to stretch and move your legs.

You are staying overnight at a family’s place or a hotel:

This may seem crazy but if you are driving, bring your own pillow. You will get a better night’s sleep if you do. And if you have allergies and you are staying in a hotel, call ahead of time and ask for hypoallergenic pillows. In the winter months, many hotels even have portable humidifiers which is a great asset in a hotel room when it’s dry and cold out. Finally, bring an eye mask! I have one that lives in my suitcase so I always have it when I travel. My favorite eye mask is the Dr. Mercola Lavender Eye Mask.

You are spending time with family:

It’s always a little stressful whether we admit it or not to see family during the holidays. Regardless of who you are spending time with, I’d recommend bringing a gift that has little to no hassle and doesn’t linger after you leave. That means don’t bring flowers unless you bring the vase. People prepping for family don’t have time to do it and it just adds one thing to their list of to-dos. Instead, bring perishable items like cheese and crackers, a fruit platter already set up and ready to go, or if you are so inclined, we are breakfast people and ask ahead of time if we can make breakfast the following morning. If we get the thumbs up, we bring organic eggs, bacon, and toast but we don’t make pancakes because they just make a mess. Sometimes frozen hashbrown potatoes are a good substitute because they are easy to bake and take little prep time.

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