Going on vacation or heading overseas is undeniably exciting! Yet travel can also take a toll on our bodies- physically, mentally and emotionally. Traveling can disrupt our natural circadian rhythm, there can often be moments of stress, while changes in pressure, humidity levels and oxygen levels all have varying levels of effect on the body. Of course, these small and short-lived effects don’t mean you need to pack your passport away! Being prepared with a few simple tricks can help travel be simple, smooth and enjoyable and have you arriving at your destination ready to slip straight into vacation mode.
Here are our top travel tips for you:
At high altitudes, the air inside of a plane can actually be drier than a desert! This easily results in a dry mouth, eyes and nose, headaches, dizziness and dehydration. To avoid dehydration, make sure you drink plenty of water before you fly and stay hydrated throughout the entire journey. As tempting as it can be to have a few alcoholic drinks at the airport lounge or in flight, try to limit yourself to one drink (if any) as alcohol is also dehydrating in nature. Same goes for coffee, tea and soft drinks! Try packing your own electrolytes or a good quality green power to add to your water for extra hydration and nutrients. Having a handy moisturizer, face mist and lip gloss will also make your journey a little smoother!
Pack your own meals
Plane food isn’t always the most nutrient dense option! Sometimes it is barely even appealing! Whilst airlines are improving and starting to offer healthier options for travelers, packing your own meals or snacks is always a good idea! This will ensure that whenever you feel hungry, you have good quality food to support you. Try to avoid anything high in salt or sugar, and stick to travel friendly foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables, raw nuts and seeds, quinoa salad, homemade sushi, flaxseed crackers with almond butter or avocado, chia seed pudding or homemade energy bars. Keep in mind you may need to leave uneaten food on the plane depending on entry requirements into each country. Having your own food on hand can also help eliminate any tummy bugs that can be picked up whilst in transit.
Travel can have us sitting down for long periods of time! Keeping mobile will help you feel more physically comfortable, as well as assist digestion and avoid any clotting issues which can occasionally arise over very long flights. You can wander up and down the isles when safe and appropriate, try some gentle yoga poses such as seated twists, and flex your feet and legs often to keep the blood flowing. In between flights give the travelator a miss and walk to and from your gates, or even roll out a yoga mat and move through some sun salutations while you wait!
Breath and Meditate
Travel can sometimes induce anxiety or stress- racing to catch flights, the occasional bump in the flight path, traveling to new lands- these can be unnerving even for a seasoned traveler! Coming back to place of calm is as easy as a few deep breaths. Breathing exercises can be done anywhere and at anytime. Try taking 4 or 5 deep, long, slow breaths. Mediation during take off and landing can also be effective in alleviating any nervous jitters. Listening to gentle music or a guided meditation is a great way to relax the brain and help you to feel calm and centered throughout the flight.
Catch some Zzzz’s
Travel affects the body’s circadian rhythms and as we move through time zones, we often confuse our internal body clock. While sleeping on a plane may be challenging, it can also be one of the most beneficial ways to pass the time. If you are travelling a long distance or overnight, try bringing along a good eye mask, wear layered clothing so you are neither too hot nor cold, and use ear plugs to block out external noise. Make sure to adjust your clock and devices to the new time zone as soon as you arrive to help avoid jet lag. Try and also maintain a normal sleep pattern and avoid sleeping through the day- this will help you to adjust quickly and ensure that your time away isn’t spent in dream land!
Ground yourself when you land
Travel can be disorienting and it’s always a good idea to give yourself a little extra time to adjust and find your feet. Once you arrive at your destination, try going for a long gentle walk, or if you are by the beach, jump in the ocean. Unwind with a herbal tea or take a nice hot shower. Continue to drink plenty of water and eat healthy fresh foods. Getting some sunshine and fresh air can help your body adjust to the new time zone and new environment. It can be tempting to jump right into all the action that awaits you, but taking a little time to ease into your home away from home will ensure you don’t burn out on day one and have plenty of energy for your time away.