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The only thing more stressful than the thought of bumping into your high school ex at your hometown bar? Airport TSA lines and open season for germs in the plane's cabin.
Going home for the holidays is always worth the journey, but that doesn't mean it's not an ordeal and a half getting there. If you're not "Driving Home for Christmas" á la Chris Rea and are taking to the skies instead, do yourself a favor and pack an inflight survival kit.
First up: Immune system boosters, because thou shalt not miss out on any family fun due to the flu.
"A strong immune system keeps you healthy," Dr. Erika Schwartz told In The Know. The NYC-based doc is particularly busy at this time of year administering personalized IV infusions containing a cocktail of vitamins and antioxidants to her various clients before they jet off around the world.
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Not in New York? Not a problem. Dr. Schwartz has some helpful tips up her sleeve to help you arrive at your destination feeling your best.
The health expert recommends washing your hands constantly and not touching your face while traveling, and using alcohol swabs to clean surfaces rather than an antibacterial option.
Lastly, hit up the vitamin and health snack aisle in the terminal before you take off and stock up accordingly.
"Bring vitamin C and probiotics and avoid sugar, alcohol and generally eating on planes," Dr. Schwartz warned. "Your body cannot process foods eaten on the plane."
Here's what will help you arrive with your health – and sanity – in one piece.
Doctor's orders! As per Dr. Schwartz's advise, guard yourself against any lurking infections by upping your intake of vitamin C before your trip. For ease, pop a convenient sachet in your carry on – these ones contain gut-friendly probiotics too – and remember to take it on the day too.
SHOP: Beats x Dr Dre Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones, $199.99
Don't let screaming babies, inflight announcements or your gossiping seat mates stop you from having some zen time at 35,000 feet. Not only will a pair of noise cancelling headphones allow you to listen to your fave shows and podcasts without being disturbed, they'll ensure you can have a quick cat nap without being woken up by your chaotic surroundings.
SHOP: P.E. Nation Exposure Track Pants, $57
Opt for comfort and style with a loose-fitting jogger in cosy terry cloth to ease the pain of waiting in airport lines and at baggage claim. This on-sale offering from luxe Aussie sportswear brand P.E. Nation (normal price: $189) ticks all the boxes.
SHOP: Care Touch Sterile Alcohol Prep Pads, $5.77
If it's good enough for Naomi Campbell, it's good enough for us. The supermodel went viral with her painstakingly detailed inflight ritual, but when it comes to cleaning her surroundings with germ-busting wipes, she's wise to do so. (Wearing latex gloves while doing so: optional.)
SHOP: Sakara Life Chia Tortillas, $12
Giving a new meaning to the phrase "beauty food", Sakara Life is a chic meal delivery service loved by the A-listers. Fake it 'til you make it and pack a snack from their nutritious and delicious clean boutique. These gluten-free, plant-based superfood tortillas will keep you satiated until the holiday feasting truly begins.