Most people who travel by sea or air frequently complain of travel sickness or jet lag. The symptoms of jet lag or travel sickness vary from fatigue, tiredness, and flu-like symptoms, lack of concentration, nausea, and vomiting. In many cases, these symptoms may last for several days to a week.
Over the years, almost everything under the sun has been suggested as a remedy to prevent the symptoms of jet lag or travel sickness; unfortunately, most of these remedies are ineffective.
One study reported that nearly 21% of airline passengers reported developing a cold within 7 days of traveling, Of these at least 70% reported some type of stress, which could have caused suppression of the immune system.
So how can one avoid the travel sickness while traveling? Here are some tips:
- See a skin specialist before the trip. It is well known that jet lag can leave the skin looking old, sallow and wrinkles, which can often become worse by the humidity, sun, and water. Most hotels do not give out adequate and decent quality moisturizers or sunscreen. Therefore, anyone planning to travel should get some good advice on skin protection and carry some oil-based moisturizer and high-quality sunscreen.
- Wash hands. Washing hands is generally recommended for everyone, but you should especially keep your hands clean while traveling. Bugs and viruses can be spread via inhalation and touching inanimate objects. Hygiene is not ideal for an airplane, therefore, wash your hands every time you touch cushions, seats and tray tables. Germs remain alive for a week on inanimate surfaces so take along a box of alcohol sanitizers that you can use to wash your hands and armrest. Follow the same strategy when you’ve reached your destination and throughout the trip.
- Remain active. If you’re traveling to a far-off location and your flight is expected to be long, you should try to get up and walk about a few times during the flight. Remaining in a seated position in the airplane can affect posture and lead to stiff joints and muscles. Try to walk around the aisle and wear compression stockings if the flight is more than 2 hours long. This can help minimize jet lag.
- Drink plenty of water. One of the best ways to remain healthy during a flight is to keep hydrated at all times. While flying, limit the number of caffeinated beverages and alcohol as they can cause dehydration. Do not indulge in excessive sugary foods as this can lead to indigestion, bloating and abdominal cramps. Choose foods with low calories like fruits and vegetables and limit intake of saturated fats.
- Get adequate sleep. While on holiday most people forget to maintain good sleep patterns and consequently feel exhausted once they come back. Pay attention to your sleep and try and get in at least 7-8 hours of decent sleep every night. This will reduce the risk of jet lag and will also make your trip more enjoyable and productive.
Finally come home from your vacation 1-2 days early, so you have time to recover. People have a tendency of coming back from vacations on the very last day. When they show up to work the next morning, they are either sick or exhausted. Overall, a little bit of common sense can help you avoid travel sickness and jet lag.