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Experts Reveal the Food and Drink to Avoid and Consume to Stay Healthy When Travelling

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A study from Comparethemarket shows a 52% increase in searches for long-haul holiday destinations over the last 12 months, suggesting that Brits are looking to vacation further afield.

The research also reveals trending long-haul destinations for 2023, with holidays in the US being searched for the most.

With interest in long-haul holidays on the rise, the travel insurance team at Comparethemarket has worked with Dr Brian Fisher, clinical director at a health app, and Abbas Kanani, the pharmacist at an online pharmacy, to offer advice on what food and drink should be avoided before going a long-haul flight – as well as the ones that will best prepare you for your journey.

Food and drink to avoid before a long-haul flight

  • High-fibre foods

While usually, a healthy addition to any diet, high-fibre foods like beans, broccoli, chickpeas and wholegrains are a group you’ll want to avoid before flying.

These foods move through your digestive system quicker than others, which could result in you feeling gassier than you would usually. This, combined with the expanding gases in your gut while on a flight, could leave you feeling bloated.

  • Fatty and fried foods

Avoiding anything deep-fried and high in fat before travelling is advisable; chances of heartburn and indigestion increase when these types of food are consumed. The digestive system is more stressed while flying, and high-fat foods stress your gut.

  • Alcohol and caffeine

The high altitude on a flight causes you to expend more water than usual through your breath, leading you to dehydrate much faster, so alcohol and caffeine should be avoided before flying. Hydrating with water before and during the flight will help improve hydration levels.

Nervous flyers should also consider cutting out caffeine before and during a flight to minimise caffeine-induced anxiety.

Food best to eat before a long-haul flight

Eating light and nutritious foods, such as the examples below, is ideal for travelling on long journeys.

  • Bananas are packed with potassium, which helps to regulate blood pressure and minimise any muscle cramps during a flight.
  • Oranges and pineapple are high in vitamin C, which helps to boost immunity.
  • Whitefish is a great source of vitamin B6, helping fight inflammation and support the immune system. It’s also low in LDL cholesterol.
  • Nuts, seeds and dried fruits make perfect in-flight snacks and are all healthy options for a long journey.

Anna McEntee, from the travel insurance team at Comparethemarket, comments: “It’s great to see that searches for travel to long-haul destinations are on the rise, but travellers should ensure they have the right level of travel insurance in place to ensure they’re fully covered for their trip.”

“When going on a long-haul holiday, choosing the right policy for the region, you are travelling to is important. It could be worth comparing annual travel insurance policies to keep costs down, but think about your plans for the year and limit the policy to the regions you know you’ll be travelling to. For example, there’s no need to buy a policy that includes the US if you’re not going there.”

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