If you’re like me, then traveling is one of your greatest joys, but it can also sometimes leave you feeling your worst. If you love taking trips for work, but being disconnected from your usual routine while rushing to your meetings stresses you out, then it’s time to revamp how you support yourself while you travel. The same is true for those of us who come back from vacation feeling depleted and physically exhausted.
Remember that traveling is meant to be enjoyed! That extra piña colada on the beach or that extra course at the lavish business dinner happens to the best of us. That said, there are ways that we can stay grounded while traveling, and support our systems so that we can enjoy our travels without the post-trip hangover.
Start your health game on the flight
Flying takes a huge toll on the body, so it’s best to mitigate as many of the negative effects as you can. To start, the low humidity of the air in the plane dries out your nasal passages and skin. Packing a hydrating serum (or a serum sample from Sephora) that you can apply to the dry parts of your face and neck can help to maintain your youthful glow until you disembark.
Hand cream can also be a nice addition to your travel bag. If your nasal passages tend to get really dry on long flights, apply a bit of Vaseline, using a Q-tip, in the lavatory—just be sure to keep the Q-tip from touching any surfaces while in the bathroom.
The low humidity can also make you more susceptible to germs, so an immune system booster like Airborne is recommended. It also makes you prone to dehydration, so bring a water bottle with you on the plane and try to stay as hydrated as possible. That free glass of wine on the plane might seem like a good idea, but try to avoid alcohol and caffeine unless you compensate with increased water intake.
Additionally, the air pressure and dryness combined cause you to make less saliva, which enables more bacteria to grow in your mouth. Consuming sugary foods and drinks provide the bacteria with food, causing them to multiply. Pay attention to your consumption of sugar and starch, and bring a travel toothbrush with toothpaste on the plane for overnight flights.
Finally, the cabin pressure combined with sitting for long periods of time causes blood to pool up in the legs and feet, and also contributes to bloating. Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing if you can and try to get up and walk around the cabin a few times during long flights.
To recap, your flight essentials are: a hydrating serum for your face and neck, hand cream, Airborne or other immune support remedy, water bottle (or 3), travel toothbrush and toothpaste, Q-tips and Vaseline.
Bring the support you need with you
Now that we’ve covered some of the things that you can do to make your flight more comfortable, what about the rest of your trip? If you’re traveling for business, the key is to try to incorporate as much of your regular routine into your day as possible. This could mean 10 minutes of yoga or another type of exercise practice on your hotel floor (or even better, in the gym) if you usually fit in a.m. workouts at home. Or, it could mean carving out time to sit down to breakfast.
If you travel often for business, you may even want to start practicing a morning routine that you can take with you. This could be as simple as getting in the habit of using apps on your phone in the morning like Sworkit for workouts, or special alarm clock apps, since you’ll have that with you wherever you go. You could also commit to a short meditation in the mornings, or writing out a few pages in a journal before you start your day.
Follow your morning routine, build time into your day to regroup and reground yourself. If you have even a 10-minute window during a flurry of work meetings, take a walk outside or simply step into a bathroom stall for some deep breaths or a tapping practice. These same grounding practices can also be helpful for staying centered during a pleasure-filled vacation.
Regardless of whether you’re traveling for work or pleasure, lots of food and alcohol typically play a role. Packing digestive enzymes to take before heavy meals can help to put less stress on your stomach. Activated charcoal pills during a night out of drinking while away can help to absorb some of the alcohol in your drinks so that your body doesn’t have to process it.
Please consult with your physician before incorporating new supplements into your regimen, and remember to follow the directions on the packaging of any product your purchase.
Remember that indulgence should feel good
Last but not least, always keep in mind that indulgence should feel good. If you are eating too much, or too much of the things that you are sensitive to, or imbibing more than you otherwise would when it comes to alcohol, then slow down and focus on enjoying the experience. After all, that’s what traveling to a new place is all about!
If your enjoyment of life’s guilty pleasures is having a dampening effect on the way you feel, then take a step back and return to a centering practice. There will always be more vacations, nights out, dinners on the company tab and receptions, so focus on really enjoying where you are, and the way you feel,right now.