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7 Tips To Stay Healthy On A Longhaul Flight

I was recently telling a friend how excited I was about an upcoming longhaul flight WITHOUT kids.

‘I don’t even care if I’m squished in the middle seat at the back of economy, I’m going to watch movies, drink wine and snooze’.  

‘Be careful’, my friend warned me.  ‘That’s how I ended up with DVT’.

Now I knew DVT existed but aside from wearing flight socks whilst pregnant, I had forgotten about it. When you’ve got kids in tow, luckily you’re often on the move onboard.  However, it really is important to keep healthy onboard. Here’s how…

  1. Keep hydrated
    Water restrictions mean you often can’t take your bottled water on a longhaul flight.  Sometimes you are given a bottle of water once onboard.  Or you have to rely on those little plastic cups they bring round with foul tasting water. Either way, keep drinking it.  I bring an empty flask and fill it with water from one of HK Airport’s many water fountains, after I’ve come through security.


    Healthy water

  2. Get lots of rest before the flight
    Difficult if you are at work and then going straight to the airport.  However, if you’re at home with the kids, try to have a nap when they do or even stick the TV on and disappear to bed for a bit.
  3. Eat healthily
    I usually abide by one of my best friend’s rules, ‘A Travel Day means you can eat whatever you want’.  This normally means you’ll find me stuffing my face with Pringles onboard and eating all the kids peanuts.  If you’re feeling low, this is not the way forward.  Eat clean, nutritious meals on the day you fly and pack healthy snacks.  Here are some ideas from a previous post courtesy of the lovely Chef Mia at Graciously Green.  You might also want to think about ordering a healthier meal onboard – I’ve been recommended the Indian veggie!
  4. Avoid the booze
    I’m rather partial to a Bloody Mary and a mini bottle of wine(s) on the flight.  The reality is that even if your kids are driving you mad or that bit of turbulence is making you anxious, flying dry is the healthier option.
  5. Pack your meds
    If you take regular meds, pack them in your hand luggage.  For my kids, I always pack calpol/nurofen for fevers and gravel for a bad tummy.  Don’t forget the dispenser too.
  6. Move around on the plane
    Don’t stay sedentary for 12 hours – get up and move around.  Easy if you’re chasing a toddler to the back of the plane.  Then use your walk to pick up more water (a la step 1).
  7. Steer clear of germs
    Let’s face it, planes are disgusting.  Whether its finding dirty tissues in your seatback pocket to hairs in your food (yes, that’s you Cathay Pacific).  As a mum, I always carry antibacterial soap and wet wipes.  Best wipe down that tray table before you eat off it.

For more great tips on staying healthy onboard, here are top 5 tips from the HK Hub

For tips on preventing DVT from flight socks, to aspirin, here’s some advice from the NHS



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