Holiday travel tips: Frequent flyer shares five wise ways to travel better this season
The holidays are just about here — which means increased travel for millions of Americans.
Whether people will be traveling to see their loved ones or jet-setting away from home for weekend getaways, the travel bug is hitting many Americans.
With more people traveling at this time of year, many could use some tips on how to best navigate a potentially very stressful time.
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CEO Andrew Herr, 39, of Los Angeles told Fox News Digital that he’s taken over 400 flights in his lifetime — accumulating some helpful tips along the way.
“I’d estimate I’ve been on 400-500 flights to almost 50 countries,” he said.
Herr runs Fount, a health and performance advising company based in Los Angeles.
He has worked for the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Air Force and with Navy SEALs, fighter pilots and Army grunts, he said.
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He earned master’s degrees in health physics, microbiology and immunology, as well as in security studies, from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where he also completed his undergraduate work in the School of Foreign Service, according to his biography.
Herr shared his top five tips for surviving travel during the holiday season.
Use your diet to protect against inflammation
Herr’s first tip is to eat small, high-protein and lower-carb meals when preparing for travel.
“Many carbs can spike your blood sugar and set off systemic inflammation,” he said.
He recommends eating vegetables with every meal to slow down the absorption of blood sugar and help overall to decrease inflammation.
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Herr recommends eating grilled chicken and vegetables at the airport, if necessary.
Be smart about screen time and bright light
When traveling overnight, Herr said to be cautious about screen time and natural light.
Herr recommends avoiding blue and bright light for two to three hours before bedtime at your final destination.
“Blue and bright light signal your brain to be awake, and blue light suppresses your natural production of melatonin — a key part of your brain’s process of getting into deep, high-quality sleep,” he said.
He recommends using blue light-blocking glasses to help suppress the production of melatonin.
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Herr also said it’s wise to get bright light, preferably sunlight, when waking up at your destination.
Go without the alcohol
Herr recommends skipping the in-flight alcohol service.
“Alcohol amps up our fight-or-flight system, decreasing sleep quality and increasing inflammation,” he said.
“This effect is amplified when you’re flying.”
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He noted that flyers should avoid drinks in the airport or on the plane. Save those drinks instead, he said, for the party wherever you’re headed.
Move your body before you travel
Herr recommends getting in a quick workout before your travel day begins.
“Exercise increases circulation, joint mobility and endorphins, so you’ll feel better — body and mind,” he said.
If exercising before the trip isn’t an option, he advised moving for 10-15 minutes after your travels before going to bed.
Getting some physical activity can be one of the best ways to make your mind and body feel better after traveling.
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“Research shows that most people sleep better even when they work out in the evening up to two hours before bed, compared to no workout,” he said.
Regulate your breathing
Regulating the stress during long days of travel is key to surviving the holiday travel season, many experts believe.
Herr is a fan of “box breathing,” he said.
It’s a style of breath work in which you breathe slowly in through the nose for four seconds, hold your breath for four seconds, breathe out slowly through your mouth — and hold again for four seconds.
“This can help regulate your central nervous system and decrease stress,” he said.
Herr also noted that if four seconds is on the easier side, try upping the time to six of eight seconds for each step.
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Those feeling undue stress or anxiety before, during or after traveling should of course consult their health provider and get the best medical advice.