If Thanksgiving means heading to the airport, pre-travel prep shouldn’t just include packing a suitcase. Airplane travelers are 20 percent more likely to catch the common cold— not to mention feeling under the weather due to dehydration and poor food choices. Before heading out, prepare for your plane trip with a few easy supplies. In your carry on, pack a large empty water bottle that you can fill up on the ground after heading through security (or a bottle with a filter to remove dangerous bacteria sometimes found in plane tap water). You’ll need to chug eight ounces of water for every hour of flight time to stay properly hydrated. Add in an extra dose of H2O with water-rich fruits and veggies. Salty airline snacks are a no-go; instead, choose lean protein, complex carbs, and fresh produce. Bonus points: pack ‘em ahead of time to avoid airport sticker shock.

Pack your own blankets, pillows, and headphones— especially for kids and elderly folks with weaker immune systems. Wash your hands frequently, or use antibacterial hand sanitizer (for those pesky times you’re stuck in the middle seat). For the sake of moving, stretching, and hygiene, the aisle seat is usually your best bet. Avoid alcohol and caffeine before and during the flight to help prevent jetlag and ensure a few restful ZZZs in-flight.

The Takeaway: Plane travel doesn’t have to wreak havoc on your health. Pack the appropriate supplies, skip airplane food and drinks, and opt for the aisle seat.

Why We Chow Down

We don’t pile it in on Turkey Day just because of the delicious food (though it does help). Our “food environment,” which includes the atmosphere while we eat as well as the way food is presented, can affect how much we eat. So avoid grandma’s pleading eyes if you don’t want a second helping of pie!

Fun Fact:

Until the 1960s, most airlines required that all flight attendants be female, 20 to 26 years old, single, and under 5’4” and 118 pounds. This rule was supposedly due, in part, to space restrictions in the crew’s areas of the plane.