While I am ok with roughing it once I’ve reached a destination, I like to make sure the journey is pretty comfortable and in line with my routines at home. As I was flying back from New Orleans last week, drinking a cup of herbal tea, I realized how much more enjoyable travel becomes when we bring some of our home wellness habits with us. A good journey means we arrive at our destination relaxed, and return home still savoring the good memories of a trip.
My travel calendar is filling up for spring, and I have my heart set on a few summer trips already (does anyone know a good yoga retreat in Costa Rica?). As my at-home routine has become more health and self-care focused, I can’t imagine traveling without bringing these practices with me. Especially when there’s lots of travel on the horizon, it’s nice to know that you can still feel like a human even in an airport.
I hope you’re planning a few adventures, and if you are, here are my favorite tips to travel naturally and healthfully:
1. Travel with tea. Sugar, caffeine and alcohol are your worst enemies during a flight, especially when you’re going between time zones or seated for an extended period of time. Instead of a sugary in-flight beverage, I ask for a cup of hot water and use my own caffeine-free herbal tea bags that I pack in my carry-on. The experience of drinking tea is not only relaxing, but the aroma of the herbal blend freshens the air around you. If you’re like me and love something warming or spicy, try Yogi Tea Ginger or Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice.
2. Bring a cozy wrap from home. No little scarf or paper-thin airplane blanket will do when you’re freezing on a flight. A large wrap like this one from Study NY rolled up in your carry-on is easy to pack and can double as a blanket during transit. It’s also the perfect accessory once you reach your destination.
3. Opt for refillable containers to bring your natural body care with you. I used to use whatever shampoo a hotel supplied. Now that I’ve so carefully selected the safe and natural products I use at home, I stock up on small refillable containers (These mini Nalgene bottles have never let me down!) rather than purchasing travel size items or using hotel-supplied products. Bonus tip: In my carry-on, I always make sure to have hand sanitizer and a heavy duty hand cream to keep me fresh and moisturized during a flight
4. Don’t underestimate an eye mask (and earplugs). Sleep can be tough in unfamiliar environs and when you know you should sleep, but it’s hard. Pack an eye mask (like this option on Etsy) and earplugs to protect your sleep, both during travel and once you arrive at your destination.
5. Drink enough water. It’s hard when you’re in transit and out of your normal routine to remember to drink enough water. But water can kick jet lag to the curb and keep your body working when it’s under the stress of travel. Pack a reusable water bottle like this easy-to-clean and super lightweight Klean Kanteen version and fill it up at the airport after security. Then play a game – whenever you see your travel companion(s) drink water, you each have to take a gulp. It’s a helpful reminder and it keeps everyone mutually un-grouchy.
6. Carry a reusable bag that folds up. Just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you should say yes to plastic bags. And with more cities charging for disposable bags, it’s a good time to start the habit of bringing one with you. Slip a fold up bag into your purse for day trips or bring a larger bag that folds up and stores in your luggage in case you plan to do some shopping.
7. Stay grounded with a yoga or meditation service. Whether you have a regular routine you want to keep up while you’re away from home or to stretch out if you will be doing lots of walking, try a service or app that will stream to your phone or tablet. I’ve been a yogaglo subscriber for 3 years, and I love taking a break for a 10-minute post travel grounding practice or a longer session to work out the travel aches. Recently I’ve been trying out the meditation app Headspace. It’s a great option for beginners and quickly brings a little calm to long days. I’ve also heard that vacation is the best time to start new habits, so if you aren’t meditating or practicing yoga yet, it’s a great opportunity to try it out.
So there you have it. Those are my travel tips, but I can’t wait to hear yours! What are your travel essentials? What at-home routines do you make time for during your travel? And most importantly, where are you headed this year?