(BPT) - Ask people who fly frequently, and they will tell you that it takes a mental and physical toll on them.
Psychologically, air travel can make you feel like a nameless face in a herd of sameness. The combination of spending hours in airport lines, dragging around luggage to avoid bag fees and being wedged into tiny seats drive people to near madness. The confluence of monotony and feeling unappreciated has made air travel a lethargic chore instead of, at the very least, a necessary means to an end.
The possible physical effects of air travel are even more troubling. Dry cabin air and altitude changes can compromise a passenger's immune system. Long stretches of inactivity can also contribute to circulatory conditions such as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), which some have contentiously called Economy Class Syndrome.
The good news is that there are common sense ways to keep your mind and body healthy while traveling.
* Hydrate to energize - Dehydration can lower energy, and also affect your mood and the ability to think clearly, according to a study conducted at the University of Connecticut. Pack a refillable bottle in your carry-on and be sure to fill it once through security. When in the air, ask for water or juice instead of soda or alcohol, which can increase dehydration. Hydration can boost energy levels once you arrive at your destination.
* Assert your personality - Find a way to bring along something that reminds you of home. This keeps you grounded and can spark conversations that make air travel more enjoyable. A new and unique way to do this is with a MyFlyBag. This personalized luggage features a photo or image of your choice - your family, a pet, a favorite vacation spot - turning an otherwise boring piece of luggage into a personal billboard.
* Limit stress - Stress is the body's enemy. Mitigate it by arriving at the airport early, so you can navigate the ticketing and security lines without having to constantly look at your watch. Arriving at the gate early also gives you a chance to meet new people.
* Stimulate the mind - At the airport, pick up a book of crossword puzzles, math games or even a newspaper from a foreign country printed in English to stretch the brain in new directions.
A little planning and a positive outlook can change the entire air travel experience for the better. You will stand out, be energized and will be ready to make the most of your business trip or personal vacation.