Flying can certainly take a toll on your body, so it’s important to ensure that you and your clients are staying healthy when travelling.
Here, Malaysia Airlines’ regional manager for Australia and New Zealand, Giles Gilbert (who also happens to be speaking at Travel DAZE on 28 August 2019), shares his top tips for flying healthy:
- Stay hydrated
Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water is my number one piece of advice for anyone travelling – especially for medium- and long-haul flights. Staying hydrated is really important, as humidity levels inside aeroplane cabins are way lower than most of us are used to. The result is that flying in an aeroplane is literally draining moisture from your body, and there is a much higher chance you’ll become dehydrated. Not only does this tend to make most of us feel fairly average, it can also exacerbate jet lag.
To ensure I’m drinking enough water inflight, I always aim to drink one standard glass of water every hour. You can also take a moisturising lotion or a hydrating face spray on board – just make sure they meet the 100-millimetre liquid rule.
- Move around regularly
Sitting down in a crammed seat for hours can not only be uncomfortable, but being sedentary for long periods increases the risk of developing deep-vein thrombosis. To avoid this, I always try to move around the plane by walking up and down the aisles every couple of hours or so. Another great idea is to wear compression socks as this can significantly reduce swelling of the feet and legs.
- Get some sleep
This one might appear really obvious, but sleeping on flights can be harder than it seems. To minimise jet lag at the other end, it is worth adjusting your watch to the time zone of your destination at the outset of your flight and follow the cues of the cabin staff in terms of when to sleep, eat etc. To help you get some rest on long-haul flights, I recommend investing in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones, a neck pillow and even a good eye mask to increase the chance of getting a few hours’ sleep.
- Load up on antioxidants
It really is important to protect your immune system as much as possible when flying because spending long periods of time in a closed environment like an aeroplane, breathing in recycled air, can certainly increase your risk of getting sick. My tip? Try and avoid eating heavy, stodgy food and instead eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables – before and during your flight. I always keep some vitamin C tablets or Berocca handy at all times. Plus, it’s a great idea to carry some hand sanitiser in your carry-on luggage to keep germs at bay.
- Dress comfortably
There’s nothing worse than being on a long-flight stuck in tight, uncomfortable clothing. I always make sure to pack a change of loose, comfortable clothes in my carry-on luggage to slip into.
And don’t forget to layer up! Aeroplanes can get quite cold, so bringing an extra jumper or a wrap can help you avoid this.