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Building the Ultimate Travel Health Go-Bag for Flight

By Chris Brown

Planning ahead and utilizing tricks, such as avoiding airplane food, can optimize your travel health and reduce jet lag. However, optimized healthy flying often requires certain travel accessories that typically remain forgotten until mid-flight. Pre-assembling a small, to-go travel health bag can make it easy to preemptively solve wellness problems when pathogen exposure potential skyrockets during travel.

For my travel go-bag, I use a cheap fanny pack I picked up from a street vendor in Barcelona, Spain. It works well because it easily buckles off at security and has multiple pockets to separate small items from travel documentation. For help assembling your own travel health bag, below are the key items I've learned based upon multiple flights developing my own go-bag fanny pack.

Hand sanitizing towelettes - Single-use antibacterial towelettes take up little space and can prevent illness at your destination by limiting germ exposure from those oft-handled airport surfaces.

Moisturizer - The dry airplane cabin air can turn your skin into a cracked mess. Adding a travel-sized moisturizer keeps your skin happy and healthy for your destination.

Sleep mask and ear plugs - The power of a good sleep mask and earplugs to allow sleep during noisy, bright flights is underrated. I'm always sure to bring a pair for precious midair sleep that helps ward off jetlag.

Melatonin - A major aspect of avoiding jetlag and its sleep health problems, is adjusting your sleep rhythm to match your destination's time zone. Melatonin's sleep cycle deepening effects helps adjust your bedtime routine (if taken during your destination's night) before you've even arrived in a new time zone. You can additionally boost your biorhythm adjustment by drinking a midflight coffee during your destination's morning.

Emergen-C (or vitamin mix) - The stress of travel takes a toll on the immune system. Staying healthy on vacation often comes down to reducing the impact of travel stress. Supercharging your system, before and during flight, with vitamin mixes (I swear by Emergen-C) can protect you from the dreaded vacation illness.

Phone charging cable - A charged phone is no longer a travel luxury, it is a requirement for accessing maps, government documentation, text messages, and even calling taxis. Most modern airplanes have in-seat USB connections, so keep a charging cable in your bag to ensure you land with full cell phone power.

Space for important documents (passport, COVID vaccine card, boarding pass, etc.) - Placing crucial flight documents together allows easy access, without the health-traumatizing stress of frantically searching your pockets at the gate or security.

Other important toiletries/medicines - Depending upon the flight, access to your overhead cabin bag may be limited. Make sure that your daily medication or contacts case is packed with essential toiletries in your travel go-bag.

Travel toothbrush and paste/mouthwash - Speaking of toiletries, the mood boosting effects of a fresh mouth can send you into your destination psychologically more alert and refreshed. So pack a toothbrush to rejuvenate the mouth before landing.

Refreshing spritz - Who doesn't like a spritz after a long flight? Pack instant wakefulness with a small spray bottle.

A little preparedness can mean the difference between a healthy, stress-free flight and a nightmarish, exhausting transport. Assembling a health-enhancing travel bag, using this guide as a starting point, can make it simple to accomplish the former.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Douglasville, Ga.

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