Immunity Boosting Wellness Travel Tips



We’ve all been there: You’ve been counting down the minutes until your upcoming vacation, only to be knocked out by a cold or virus merely hours after arriving at your destination. Contrary to popular belief, flying won’t make you sick – but a compromised immune system will, and the recycled air in airports and airplanes is a prime place for germs to spread. While hand and seat sanitizers can work wonders while in flight, a healthy immune system is the best way to combat sickness, particularly leading up to long travel day. Scroll down for our top six pre-travel supplements, elixirs and lifestyle hacks to keep you healthy in-transit and beyond.

VITAMIN D:  Vitamin D is crucial to activating our immune defenses, according to research from the Mayo Clinic. Although our bodies produce Vitamin D when exposed to the sun, it can be difficult to get adequate amounts during the long winter months. Supplements are a great way to boost the immune system, just make sure you look for at least 600 international units (IU) per day when choosing one. Prefer to go the whole food route? Fatty fish, cheese and egg yolks are all rich in Vitamin D. Bonus: Vitamin D can also help aid in digestive health and brain health—a win-win. 

CHAGA MUSHROOM ELIXIR We’re huge fans of Four Sigmatic’s superfood mushroom beverages, and when it comes to boosting immunity, and we swear by the Chaga Mushroom Elixir mix. One packet contains extremely high antioxidant properties that support your daily wellness, energy levels, and protect your immune functions. Simply throw a packet in your carry on, ask the stewardess for a cup of hot water and voilà—you’ve got yourself an instant immunity elixir. 

MAINTAIN YOUR ZEN: Your first line of defense against illness is adopting a healthy lifestyle, and this means doing everything you can to reduce chronic stress. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, can alter the immune system and suppress digestion when consistently activated. Help keep stress at bay by adopting a consistent yoga practice, practicing daily meditation and developing deep breathing techniques. The great news is these practices travel, which means staying zen on the road is doable. 

EZC PACK: When it’s time to bust out the big guns (think: it’s been a long flu season and you’re boarding a red eye flight), we turn to this kit of heavy-duty Echinacea, Zinc and Vitamin C supplements. Starting this tapered pack five days before travel will enhance your body’s normal immune defenses and help you stay healthy amidst a plane of coughing strangers. 

PLENTY OF SHUT-EYE: Lack of sleep can wreak havoc on our immunity and leave us susceptible to colds and other viruses, our founder Linden Schaffer knows all about this and upped her sleep game when starting Pravassa. She details this along with the science behind sleep in her book Living Well on the Road. While all our bodies are different, getting between seven to eight hours of sleep per night is key and a non-negotiable in the days before you travel. Your immune system will thank you! - Leah Abraham

5 Inherent Truths of Travel



From the time I got my first passport at 16, I've had a case of wanderlust.

The need for constant exploration has taken me across six continents and into 40 countries and counting. Traveling opens your eyes to the fact that no matter our race, religion, ethnicity, or circumstance, we are all in this together. As Mark Twain so famously wrote, "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."

No matter where in the world I find myself, my journey of discovery has led to these universal truths.

1. Simple is better.

During a family vacation I took as a child, my mother accused the maid at our hotel of stealing her engagement ring. After a day of upheaval, my mom found her ring, secreted away in a hidden layer of her suitcase. She had been so afraid of losing the ring that she had actually hidden it from herself. After much embarrassment and profuse apologizing, nothing like this ever happened again—to my mom or me.

The experience taught me once and for all that you need less than you think when you travel. Today, I advocate for using a carry-on whether you're traveling for five days or five weeks. Having less with you at the start of your trip is physically and spiritually freeing, and it shows you can really survive on less than you think.

2. Intuition is your guide.

Fear stops many people from ever taking a step outside their comfort zone, let alone outside their country. Remember that some basic common sense and intuition is all you need to head in the right direction. A motorbike ride up a mountainside, a trek through the woods, dinner with a family of strangers—these are all experiences that have enhanced my travels. I've embarked on these somewhat uncomfortable adventures because they felt right, and I've declined a fair share of offers that did not. You know more than you think, so be open to your intuition and trust what your body tells you.

3. Plans change.

Traveling is a lesson on relinquishing control, as something is always bound to go wrong on the road. Life goes on after canceled flights, lost hotel reservations, sudden changes in local government, and other unexpected hiccups. Sometimes these diversions from the original itinerary can even lead to unexpected lessons or exciting discoveries. Stressing out over the things you cannot change is wasted energy. Early on in my travels, I began leaning on my yoga teachings and quickly noticed that being able to go with the flow can mean the difference between an amazing trip and a terrible one.

4. You have the power to make someone's day.

Energy, both good and bad, is contagious. If you make the decision to start your vacation on a positive note—saying hello to the person next to you before you curl up to sleep on the plane, smiling at the taxi driver who picks you up from the airport, learning how to say "thank you" in a new language—you can set yourself up for a wonderful experience. It may not always be easy, especially when your plans change, but take a breath and tap into the feeling you had when you first booked your trip to give yourself a boost.

5. People are inherently good.

Travel is the best educator, and learning from other cultures is priceless. Everyone in the world is seeking a way to feel more connected and less alone. From the waitress I chatted with in a cafè in Istanbul to the history professor I met in Cairo to the young woman studying to be a nurse in India, I've connected with all types of new people and found it extremely easy to make friends on the road. These complete strangers have enhanced my travel plans by suggesting new things to see and do, inviting me to their dining tables so I wouldn't have to eat alone, and sharing their life stories—all of which have shifted how I relate to my surroundings. To me, these chance connections are what make the world so beautiful. - Linden Schaffer

Wellness Packing List


Pravassa is all about travel with ease - and remembering to leave a little extra room so you can shop. We suggest you only pack what you can carry-on as it limits lost luggage and makes train travel a breeze. Plus if you roll your clothing and commit to hand washing some of your wears on your trip, it will be easier than you think!

Our packing list is a suggested guide only. You will be given detailed instructions before you depart. We suggest consulting the weather in your destination before you pack and keep in mind different countries have different requirements.

JET LAG REMEDY: Pre-Travel Prep

When people meet me, the first question they ask is how I manage to travel and stay healthy at the same time. Coping with jet lag, strange food and a new bed every few weeks; I’ve had my share of triumphs and failures - and I learned a long time ago that in order to stay well on the road, I needed to create a pre-travel routine. Yes you heard me right, just like you spend time warming up for a work out; there is a warm up routine for traveling.

I am grateful to have created a routine that keeps me functioning at full capacity no matter which time zone I find myself in. This pre-travel routine was created based on an overnight flight- departing at 11pm. But to make it work for you, all you have to do is plug in your own flight time and work backwards.

In order to stay well on the road, I needed to follow a pre-travel routine.


Make an extra effort to wind down even earlier on pre-travel days. If you are lucky enough to be able to sleep on an airplane, the quality of sleep you get while in the air is nowhere near as restful as sleeping in your own bed – sorry business class travelers, I’m talking to you too. Any restorative sleep you get onboard is typically interrupted by background noise, in-flight entertainment, and meal service. While these influences can be mitigated with noise canceling headphones, a great eye mask, and telling your flight attendant you won’t be eating, failing to get a good night’s rest can lead to increased hunger and the desire to eat more sugary foods along with refined carbohydrates. By showing up for your flight well rested you will not further drain your sleep cycle. Your body, mind, and waistline will thank you for this one.

16 hours to go: Get in a Good Sweat

Whether you enjoy jogging, a group fitness class or yoga, it is important to move your body before sitting stationary for a long period of time. Exercise reduces stress, burns calories, and keeps our muscles from succumbing to adaptive shortening (when the muscle fibers shorten and our range of motion is decreased due to inactivity). Consider movement as medicine. Exercise targets our muscles and connective tissues lubricating our joints and moving cellular waste through our lymphatic system, but it can also help to reduce jet lag symptoms faster. Exercise also smoothens the adjustment to a new time zone by helping to reset your circadian rhythm. By getting your heart pumping and working out your stressors before you fly, you’ll find yourself more sedate and ready for rest and recovery mode in-flight.

14 hours to go: Drink Your Veggies

As adults we are supposed to be consuming 9 servings of fruit and vegetables a day to keep us healthy. As the American diet moves away from meat and potatoes and toward quinoa and kale, we’re taking a step in the right direction. But if you spend more than one of your meal times in-flight, you are missing an opportunity for optimal nutrition. Today, drink your greens for breakfast ensuring that you get at least half of the daily recommended servings at once. If you don’t have time to make your own morning smoothie, it’s best to find an on-the-go option made of dark leafy greens, which calorie-for-calorie has the most concentrated source of nutrition. Full of amino acids and protein, it is important to find an option that is not just a juice, but one that has the fiber, the whole fruit or vegetable, still in the smoothie. With juice bars opening on every corner from Miami to Seattle, it has never been easier to grab a juice to go - although not all juices are created equal. To make sure you are maximizing your nutrients and fiber, you better take a look at that label. Had any sugar lately?

11 – 13 hours to go: Get Up and Move

Any way you can find to add movement throughout your day will balance out the hours of sitting in your plane seat. Movement releases endorphins, which helps to trigger the relaxation response when you most need it. So whether you decide to take the stairs at the office, walk around the block the long way to pick up your lunch, or park at the farthest spot away from the door when running any last minute errands, you’ll increase your health and improve your mood as a bonus.

10 hours to go: Lunch

While you might already be stressed out about work piling up while you are away, do yourself and your mind a favor - step out to pick up a healthy lunch and eat it away from all your electronics. Enjoy a well-prepared lunch of your favorite green salad with lean protein or quinoa tossed with seasonal veggies, choose your add-ons with care opting for crunchy legumes instead of bacon and a high-quality olive oil dressing for salads. If you can cook or prepare the lunch yourself, you get bonus points.  

5 – 9 hours to go: Drink Your Weight in Water

Aircraft cabins are low in humidity, which leads to dry skin, dry eyes, and dry mucus membranes in your nose. Dehydration can often exacerbate jet lag and partaking in alcohol and coffee in-flight is a total no-no as it only further dehydrates your system. Start preparing your body by upping your H20 intake pre-flight and then drinking water en-route. Keep a reusable water bottle on your desk or with-in easy reach and continuously sip from it all day long. Getting up to refill that bottle or use the restroom serves two purposes: it gets you moving and replenishes your system.

Water Rule: 4 cups for every 5 hours in the air

4 hours to go: Eat a Nutrient Rich, Protein Punch Dinner

I always pass on airplane food. Aside from some meals being prepared in unsanitary conditions, the food is bland, full of sodium, and not all that nutritious. Let's be honest, they are feeding you a lot of empty calories. Instead make sure that the meals you consume pre-flight are nutrient rich, (packed with a high percentage of vitamins and minerals per calorie), protein heavy, and full of fatty acids. This kind of meal keep you full and satisfied, but also the omega-3 fatty acids will help to keep skin from drying out onboard. Grilled fish and dark green vegetables, with a side of olive oiled avocado is my typical pre-flight meal. If you eat meat, a lean protein such as a small skinless chicken breast would be a good substitute. Insider tip: Flight attendants pack their own food. This should tell you something!

3 hours to go: Pack Snacks

Packing snacks high in protein and fiber will keep you sated until you reach your destination and can get your hands on a proper balanced meal. Almond butter, which falls under the high protein and fiber category, is also high in calcium and iron. You can pack a small container to spread on celery or my favorite seven-grain bread. Cooked whole grain pasta is also a good option to bring on board. You can choose your own accoutrements such as grated cheese, olives, peas or sautéed mushrooms. Pack separately, combined when ready and enjoy your own pasta salad to the envy of your neighbors. On a return flight you don’t typically have the ability to make your snacks so instead, stock up on raw unsalted nuts or trail mix and grab some fruit such a banana or apple at the airport before takeoff.

2 hours to go: Get Ready for Bed

If you are going to be on a plane for more than 8 hours, hop in the shower before leaving home. Be sure to slather on organic body oil to seal in moisture and make your skin feel soft and supple in preparation for plane dehydration (this oil goes in my hair and on my face as well). Dress in comfortable yet chic clothes like loose linen pants and a plush sweater or a cotton t-shirt, and grab a cashmere scarf that can double as a blanket. I never wear makeup to the airport, but if you can't stand the thought of this, you should hightail it to the airplane bathroom once on board. Wash your face using your travel size face oil and your skin will be happy throughout the flight. If you are in business class, you might run into a celebrity, as this is part of most of their beauty regimens.

1 hour to go: Cup ‘o Tea Love?

My nightly bedtime routine does not involve a cup of tea unless it is a very cold winter night. Therefore before flying it helps me to settle into a different rhythm. Traveling with your own tea bags ensures that you will have the flavor and natural sedative effects that you need to wind down from a busy, stress-filled day. Chamomile or valerian are my go-to flavors and they taste yummy without milk or sugar, both of which are going to aggravate your mucous membrane and lead to further dehydration. If these flavors don’t appeal to you by themselves, there are plenty of companies that make bedtime teas with complementing spices. Most coffee shops or flight attendants will be happy to offer you a cup of hot water.

By consciously constructing this pre-travel wellness routine, I know that if nothing else, I will feel better, less stressed and less affected by jet lag when I arrive at my destination. Trust me, I’ve been doing this for years and have seen the results to prove it. - Linden Schaffer

Zero Hour: In-flight Set Up

In-flight set up can be just as important as your pre-flight wellness routine. Make sure you select your seat early if possible so you don’t get stuck in the dreaded middle seat. Before boarding, make sure you have the following easily accessible: water, eye mask, earplugs, scarf, neck pillow, and magazines. (If you've ever traveled with me, you know I have my Yoga Tune Up® therapy balls handy too.)

Board your flight as early as possible to make sure there is room for your luggage. (The worst is a full flight that makes you check your hand luggage when you were planning to skip baggage claim completely.) Feel free to wipe down the arm rests and tray tables with a lavender scented cleaning wipe – really they don’t clean these areas!

Once settled apply a balm made of clove, cinnamon, and other anti-viral and anti-bacterial boosting properties to your upper lip, wrists, and chest. This helps to ward off the stray germs floating around the cabin. Unfurl that long lush scarf to use as a blanket not only over your body, but also as a barrier between your head and the airplane pillow – again, these items are not washed often.

With everything you need in easy reach, decide how you want to use your my flight time – sleep, catch up on a favorite magazine or book, write, etc. Make sure you get up to move, use the restroom and ask for a water refill. Just before landing I pull out my travel size treatment oil and slather my face, neck, and hands, which helps battle the dreaded skin dehydration.

By consciously constructing this in-flight wellness routine, you will arrive feeling better, less stressed, and less affected by jet lag. Trust me, I’ve been doing this for years and have lived through the positive results. - Linden Schaffer

Re-Entry after Travel

You’ve just spent much needed 'me time' away from the daily grind. Having immersed into a glorious wellness travel experience. Yet real life beckons and on the flight home the reality of errands and laundry await. Reentering life after a vacation can take as much commitment as preparing for it did. So can you hold onto that magical ‘changed by travel’ feeling assimilating back into your routine?

Express your reentry needs

There's nothing worse then being in blissed out vacation mode and walking directly into chaos. The last day of your trip, email your family or roommate saying you can’t wait to see them, but you’d love to hold onto that chill vacation vibe. It might mean asking your children to have their toys off the floor, asking your partner to tidy the kitchen or expressing the need for silence in your room instead of a vacation download with your bestie. 

Keep your schedule open

Some people enjoy having a full day at home before returning to work. This is a great way to help you ease back into a daily routine. For you, jet lag maintenance might sound better by clearing your evenings to honor an early bedtime. If you didn't clear your schedule for your first week back, don't feel guilty canceling plans to keep a mindful balance.

Stop checking your phone

The second an airplane lands, the first thing most people do is turn on their phone. There is no faster way to kill a vacation high than immediately reconnecting to the life that you need to take a break from. Instead commit to being present while you wait for your luggage and make the journey back home. Challenge yourself and see if you can last until morning before plugging in again.

Say it with a smile

A smile is contagious and puts people at ease. Hold onto your calm tranquil air by paying that feeling forward. Often the people we interact with react to how they are treated. Keeping a tone of serenity around you can be done if you give off that relaxing vacation energy you just spent time cultivating.


You created so many wonderful memories while traveling. From your favorite landscape or hotel to an amazing spa treatment, meal, or a breakthrough you had during a wellness session. At some point during your journey time stopped and you relished in what you were doing at that exact moment. Take a few moments daily to recall this present moment feeling and let it send you back to your happy place.


Powerful shifts happen during travel. Seeing another part of the world can transform your spirit, deep physical work changes your body, and an wellness eduction can reframe your mind. Remember you experienced these things in a bubble, completely removed from your daily stressors, and surrounded by others often having the same types of experiences. Post travel, we’ve had people tell us that they were ready to quit their jobs, quit their marriages, or move across country. While these actions may be the right choice in the end, we encourage you to proceed with caution. Take baby steps and assess your new ideas in familiar surroundings before taking a big leap.