Exhausted, I dropped my bag and slumped into bed, praying for sleep to come. Late nights, uncomfortable flights, and quick food had drained my body and all I wanted to do was rest for the next three days. Can you relate?
Traveling often takes a toll on our bodies no matter the destination. But with a few lifestyle changes, we can greatly improve our overall mental and physical wellness during our adventures away! In fact, I put these seven tips to practice during my last trip to New York City and felt ten times better. They’re not a miracle solution, but rather just a few simple reminders to help keep us on track.
Remember to Rest
Seemingly counterproductive? Allow me to explain. Whether you’re traveling for work or pleasure, your mind and body are about to face a host of new experiences – running through the airport to catch a flight, ascending a mountaintop, enjoying foreign food, participating in cultural events, etc. It’s the primary reason we travel! To learn. To experience. To grow. But after adrenaline has run its course, our body tires. It needs to rest, to rejuvenate! Rest will allow you to live each day to its fullest.
- Try to get eight hours of sleep each night.
- Bring a small pillow and nap during travel.
- Listen to calming music.
- Read a book.
- Take a healing bath with Epsom salt and lavender essential oil. [Here’s a recipe if you want to try it out!]
I can hear my mother now, “Bekah, have you drank enough water today?” She was, and is, the queen of hydration … and I, unfortunately, am not. But over the years, I have learned just how important staying hydrated is to daily life and how it becomes even more vital while traversing the globe. Water is key to a well-functioning body; it flushes toxins and carries nutrients to your cells. In new and potentially stressful environments, we need all of our cogs turning.
- Carry a high quality reusable water bottle and fill it up as often as possible.
- Eat hydrating fruits and vegetables (ex: cucumbers, watermelon, celery, star fruit, strawberries, etc.)
- Opt for water at restaurants rather than a drink.
* Be sure the local water source is free of harmful toxins and chemicals. If needed, pack a portable water filter system like LifeStraw.
Prepare Your Own Meals
One of my favorite ways to stay healthy and save money while traveling is to prepare our own meals. Restaurants often use heavy oils and sugars and, while it tastes good, a sudden constant diet of these foods can overwhelm your digestive system. Try to stop by a farmer’s market or grocery store and pick up fresh foods to prepare at your hotel or Airbnb. Sam and I love to make our own breakfast and lunch but splurge on dinner to experience the local food!
- Pack homemade snacks for the car or plane (ex: fresh fruit, nuts, or energy bites – I love these recipes)
- Google a local grocery story or market and swing by for fresh produce and healthy food options.
- When eating out, select restaurants or entrees that are locally sourced/organic.
Normally, I am a huge fan of sourcing vitamins and minerals naturally through the foods we eat. But when traveling, it’s not always as easy. In this case, I recommend finding a high quality multi-vitamin or nutritional support powder to supplement your daily diet! Adding a probiotic/prebiotic will help fight off any bad bugs that you might pick up during your travels.
- What to pack: Medications, high quality multi-vitamin, probiotic/prebiotic, protein powder, etc.
*I am not a health or wellness expert, nor am I a doctor. This article is not intended to be a treatment plan, but rather recommendations from my personal experience. Please seek a healthcare provider if you are in need of professional assistance!
During a recent week long work trip, I committed to spending time each morning in prayer followed by a quick yoga session. In past trips I would wake up late and rush through my morning routine. At the end of the day, I would come back exhausted and stressed. However, during this recent time away, I found myself both calmer and more joyful! Spending even ten minutes in prayer, meditation, or relaxing movement will tremendously improve your day.
- Start each morning with one or more of the following …
- A slow walk outdoors
- Deep breathing
- Long soothing shower
If you’re on a surf trip in the Maldives, then I doubt you’ll need to remember this tip. But what about a work trip? Sitting in meetings or entertaining company partners will take a lot of mental energy, but it might not be the best activity for your physical health. Depending on your trip, try to carve out time to get your body moving. Increased circulation and endorphins will certainly help make each day look a little brighter!
- Walk – Opt to walk to the restaurant or conference center rather than taking a cab. No matter the weather, a little fresh air can only help!
- Take the Stairs – Is the elevator taking too long to arrive at your floor? Look at it as an opportunity to get a little exercise!
- Yoga – Open YouTube, prop up your phone, and try one of my favorite on-the-go twelve minute yoga workouts: Yoga with Adriene.
- Body Weight Workout – Type that phrase into Google or Youtube and you’ll find a host of exercises that you can do right at your hotel! Sometimes all you need is a little guidance to get you started.
Keep a Positive Mindset
When your flight is delayed or your hotel room isn’t yet ready for check-in, it’s not always easy to look on the bright side. But keeping a positive mindset can make or break your trip! The benefits of positive thinking are certainly not new or groundbreaking, but their impact is overwhelmingly significant. Negative thoughts contribute to a narrow mindset. Positive thoughts broaden your horizons, helping you to see new options and better solutions!
So no matter the circumstances, try to find that silver lining. It will undoubtedly contribute to a happier and more fulfilling trip!
- Laugh it off. Some things are just out of your control; find the humor and move on.
- Practice looking at the situation in a different light. You might discover that it’s not as bad as it might seem.
- Wake up joyful. Start each day focusing on the good!
“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” – Mary Anne Radmacher
Put any of these tips to practice? We’d love to hear what you think! -Bek