Travel healthy

Some tips to help you travel healthy

We all look forward to a holiday or trip abroad, but it can bring its own stresses. We've pulled together a few tips to help your holiday get off to the best (and healthiest) possible start:  

  • Give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport. There's nothing more stressful that a last minute dash to your flight.
  • Check road or rail travel updates well before you leave to make sure there are no unexpected delays on the day.
  • Know the rules on what you can and can't take in your hand luggage and carry any necessary medication on you.
  • If you feel very unwell, delay your trip.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing and shoes.
  • If you have any health concerns, it’s always a good idea to consult your GP before flying.

Fear of flying

This is very common and the symptoms range from mild anxiety to panic attacks. If you’re affected it’s a good idea to reserve a seat with extra legroom at the centre of the aircraft where you will feel less enclosed and there should be slightly less turbulence. Please don’t suffer in silence, make sure you let a member of the cabin crew know, so that they can look after you. Keep yourself calm by occupying your mind with a good book, a game and or some calming music through headphones.

There are various self-help courses or some organised by airlines to help you overcome your fear of flying. Find out more here.

Motion sickness

If you're affected by travel or motion sickness, symptoms can include: nausea, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, cold sweats and vomiting.

  • Ask your doctor about suitable medication,
  • Reserve a seat by the wing.
  • Avoid over eating before and during the flight.
  • Avoid alcohol for 24 hours before flying (and in-flight)


  • Air travel can make you dehydrated, so always drink plenty of water and fruit juice.
  • Avoid alcohol or drinks containing caffeine.

Travelling during pregnancy

Air travel is generally safe for expectant mothers. Every airline has its own guidelines so you should check with yours to make sure you can travel.

  • Always get the all-clear from your GP before travelling and take possible vaccinations into consideration when planning your trip.
  • Check your airline's policy – many carriers won't accept passengers who are more than 28 weeks pregnant.
  • Consider long flights, they can be very uncomfortable in late pregnancy.
  • Make sure your travel insurance covers pregnancy.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

DVT is a blood clot in the deep veins of the body, usually in the legs. It has been linked with long-distance travel which is determined by journeys of four hours or more.

  • Try to move around the aircraft whenever it is safe to do so.
  • Avoid taking sleeping pills, because they'll leave you immobile for a long time.
  • Wear loose clothing to aid circulation.

Elastic flight stockings improve circulation and can further help lower the risk of DVT. You can buy them at pharmacies or at Boots  at the airport.

Ear problems

Some people suffer from ear pain or even temporary hearing loss as the aircraft descends.

  • Keep swallowing, sip water, suck a sweet or chew gum, even yawning helps.
  • Babies can suffer this condition – feeding during take-off and landing may help them.
  • Don't wear earplugs during the descent.
  • If you've had or waiting for ear surgery, check with your doctor before you fly.

Jet lag

Crossing time zones can disrupt your body's daily rhythm and lead to fatigue, clumsiness, loss of appetite, memory loss, digestive problems and flu-like symptoms.

  • Rest well the day before flying.
  • Keep well hydrated.