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How to survive long-haul travel with kids

Want your family to arrive at your destination feeling happy, healthy and hydrated? Leading travel doctor, Natalie Gray, shares her tips on how to manage some of the most common long-haul travel issues.

Issue #1: Dehydration
The main cause of dehydration when flying is the dryness of the cabins. Common symptoms of low cabin humidity are thirst and dryness of the mouth, skin, eyes and nose.

Ensure all the family minimises dehydration by drinking two to three glasses of water plus a dose of oral rehydration solution (such as Hydralyte) every five hours. Don’t worry about having to get up and down to the loo all the time... this also helps circulation! For those with dry, scratchy eyes, use eye drops or an eye mist (such as Murine Eye Mist) to provide immediate relief and restore the natural tear film.

Issue #2: Changing cabin pressure
Most long-haul flights travel at an altitude of 28,000 – 35,000 feet, but cabins are pressurised to a maximum of 8000 feet to ensure that travellers are able to breathe more comfortably.

During take-off and landing the cabin pressure can change relatively quickly and ear or sinus pain can occur. This discomfort can be minimised by using a saline nasal decongestant – such as FESS saline spray – thirty minutes prior to take off and landing.

Issue #3: Jetlag
Jetlag is the term used to describe the uncomfortable aftermath of a long-haul flight through several time zones, where your internal clock becomes out of sync. You can minimise the impact of this by setting your clock to your destination’s local time when you board and attempt to sleep depending on the time in that location. Staying hydrated and avoiding excess alcohol and caffeine will also help, as will ensuring you make time to move around the cabin during the flight and doing some light exercise – as simple as a casual stroll – upon arrival.

Issue #4: Stressed immune system
During long-haul travel you spend long periods of time in enclosed or confined spaces with lots of other people. Odds are if you’re not sick at the start, sitting next to someone for more than six hours who is sick could mean you are by the end of the flight. Boost your immune system by taking a supplement like Frequent Flyer Health Boost. It includes ingredients to help support your immune system while travelling.

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