14 Jun Airport Wellness Travel Guide: London Heathrow with Sanctifly
Who says flying is unhealthy? I’ve partnered with Sanctifly — the global provider of wellness options and activities at airports — to transform that belief and share and show ways to make your frequent travel a healthier one.
Join me on my recent adventure through Heathrow Airport, sharing my favorite food finds, meditation spots, where to stretch, and tips for making your next trip through London a healthier one.
About Heathrow Airport (LHR)
Heathrow Airport, also known as London Heathrow, is a major international airport in London, United Kingdom. Heathrow is the second busiest airport in the world (after Dubai International Airport) by international passenger traffic, as well as the busiest airport in Europe by passenger traffic, and the seventh busiest airport in the world by total passenger traffic.
Stats aside, it’s a big a** airport with some very tight Security (see tips below), and at times, a bit confusing with directions and information given.
There are four main terminals: Terminals 2 (The Queen’s Terminal, also the newest) and Terminal 3 (mainly international, U.S. and long-haul flights) are connected (although we were told you couldn’t walk between them after Security, there supposedly is a bus you can take, or underground route). Terminals 4 and 5 are also within close proximity to each other, or take a bus to get from one to the other.
Don’t let anyone fool you: there is no Terminal 1. It closed at the end of June 2015, and originally house flights for British Airways, which now operates out of T5 and T3.
> STRESS-LESS TIP. Plan some extra time when passing through security. You will need to remove any liquids and fit them tidily into a provided plastic bag to be scanned. Grab some extra bags, or already have your liquids in your own bag, to prevent having to stop, unpack your bag and not get run over by the hearding line of other passengers waiting behind you.
> WELLNESS TRAVEL VICTORY. Within Heathrow, there are plenty of water refill stations, so don’t chuck your water bottle before security! Drink up, and refill after.
> EAT (Terminals 2 & 3). Seasonal recipes, quality ingredients, delicious 100% Arabica coffee, and they donate as many leftover sandwiches and salads as possible to local charities. EAT has shops all throughout the UK. However, their airport option (particularly in T2) is a great option for sitting down to rest and nourish up before a flight. // MORE
> WONDERTREE (Terminal 2). An all-day global food dining experience, who’s tagline happens to be “Travel Happy” — what’s not to love? Wondertree offers vegetarian and gluten-free dishes, and delicious speedy food for those in a hurry. // MORE
EAT Terminal 2
Wondertree Terminal 2
Free Your Mind
> READ. Part of well-being is also stimulating the mind. Reading can do just that, and spark a dose of creativity, offer the opportunity to learn something new and give you the space to dream of that next (insert passion or dream trip here)!
The Bookshop by WH Books have three locations located throughout Heathrow, in T3, T4 and T5 past security. If you’re looking for some recommendations, check out 12 here. And, as a personal favor, request that they order and stock and inspirational read and guidebook, Living Cancer Free (#shameless).
> JOURNAL. There are many benefits to journaling, a few of which include: evoke mindfulness, achieve your goals, develop emotional intelligence, boost your memory, increase your creativity, self heal, and spark some creativity.
Finding a space to do is can be fairly easy in Heathrow, with so many options to openly sit and zone in. My favorite spot was in the No1 Lounge and right after the lounges where the Gates split in Terminal 3. There was a sweet seating area in front of a section of windows to zone out and write.
> PLANE WATCH/MEDITATE. In those same areas you were journaling, you can do all of the above (given you have your own selection of reading material). Some call it mindless day-dreaming, I call mindful exploration. Watching any single point and allowing your mind to focus can create an inner peace and focus that will instantly take your head out of whatever stress you had it in prior.
Free Your Body
> YOGA. I don’t even need to start sharing once again all of the health benefits of stretching your body before and after a flight (and during!). So, I’ll save the blog space and coding and remind you to just STRETCH! As much as possible during your travels, stretch, move, wiggle, walk and un-cramp your body.
Unfortunately, the only “official” space for yoga is in the Terminal 4 SkyTeam Lounge, which is accessible only to SkyTeam Elite Plus Members or Business Class. That being said, don’t let that stop you from finding an empty gate or quiet corner to stretch. It’s really a large airport, and on your way towards your gate, no doubt there are a plentitude of empty gates that you can plane watch, meditate, journal and yoga in.
Have a long flight ahead? Or, getting ready for an overnight and need some sleep? The linked videos in this paragraph will help you with just that.
> MASSAGE. I used to think massages were a luxury. Until, I experienced a massage in the No1 Lounge in Heathrow Terminal 3. Now, it’s a necessity! While you may not always have time for booking some spa time, the Travel Spa can set you up in advance to have this time slot booked even before you land.
I used my Sanctifly App to book the access to the lounge prior to even leaving Miami (members get access to over 250 lounges worldwide). Once there, I was able to fuel up with one of the healthiest meals I’ve experienced in an airport, secure quality, high-speed wifi, sip delicious Arabica coffee, and enjoy a massage that got my blood moving, muscles relaxed, and mind free. If you happen to visit the Heathrow location, request a massage with Peter, who was both professional, light-hearted and intelligent.
> MORE. Fortunately, airports are updating, adapting, adding and increasing more options for health and well-being every day. This is great news for us frequent flyers!
What else did I miss to be sure to check out on the next visit through Heathrow? Comment in below.