Top 4 Travel Tips to Feel Your Best (and Still Have Fun)
Traveling is awesome. Seeing a new place, experiencing how other people live, trying out new things. There’s not much you can’t love about it.
From deciding on where you’ll go, to scoring a deal on your travel plans, to diving deep into blogs and hashtags to find the best places to dine and enjoy all the city has to offer, to actually BEING THERE? It’s a rollercoaster of excitement.
I mean, they could hurry up on the time travel portion to save me time in planes, trains, and automobiles but there’s not much I can complain about otherwise.
However, the switch up from your normal routine can really throw a wrench into the equation. Jet lag, time zone changes, different foods, changes to your exercise routine. They all play a role in your mood, digestion, and sleep. While we can’t control everything, I’ve picked up a few tricks in my years of travel that have helped both my mind and body transition to the new place I’m exploring better to feel my best on the trip.
1. Hydrate. I bring my reusable water bottle with me absolutely everywhere. It was an investment, but it has paid for itself tenfold. I try to reduce my carbon footprint whenever possible, so naturally saving on buying plastic bottles of water was a no brainer. On top of that, it reminds me to actually DRINK WATER. A lot of airports have installed refillable stations for water bottles which makes it even MORE accessible to stay hydrated (hi, I’m a germophobe who refuses to fill my bottles at a water fountain). This helps combat the dehydration associated with travel, the evil pimples that can evolve, and keeping ya’ regular!
If you're the type of person who doesn't like to drink water when you're sitting in your living room, let alone in Bali-I get it. Some other things you can do to up your water intake is to either buy some travel packets of crystallized citrus fruits (I like the TrueCitrus flavors) or bringing some of your favorite tea bags along with you to hydrate -- I love peppermint flavored teas because they can also help settle your stomach (ginger works well too for this).
2. Food. I fully appreciate that half the fun of traveling is trying all of the local cuisine. Everyone is different, and you know your body better than anyone. Before getting into the tips, I must say, that going on a vacation is the LAST time to stress over "how much sugar I'm eating" or "how many calories is this?". If you know me, you'll know there is actually never a time for this, #thankunext , but that added stress has no business on your fun vacation. Moving on.
Some things I do to help keep me feeling my best and avoid the stomach pains that I know come with very rich or heavier foods are:
1. Picking at least one meal and snack a day that is full of fiber to help keep your GI tract in order, aka help keep things moving. This goes hand in hand with my first tip of HYDRATING.
Buy some fruit + veggies to keep in your room to snack on when you first arrive. You save money and make sure you don’t get hangry (your travel partner will appreciate that).
2. Share food! Hopefully you’re going to eat with someone who has similar food interests as you (if I were to make a traveling buddy application, this would be HEAVILY weighted). That way, you can try more stuff, and satisfy your craving without sacrificing your comfort later.
3. Don’t be afraid to order the deemed “healthy” option. Part of the allure of traveling is “living your best life” and taking a “vacation” from your routine. But heck, if you want the oatmeal one morning because it sounds good and you know it’ll make you feel good while everyone else is ordering the double stuffed French toast with [insert crazy topping here], THEN YOU DO IT HONEY!! Cause damn it, this is your party and anybody who has a problem with it can suck an egg (a lovely insult I copped from my grandma).
3. Jet-lag. Do not, I repeat DO NOT, fall asleep when you first get to your destination. Try your absolute best to stay up until the sun goes down wherever you landed. For example, let’s say you left your home in NYC at 8 am and flew to Hawaii (+12 hours), but it was only 2pm when you arrived. Do you nap? Or do you shoot a cup of Kona blend coffee and check out the local scenery. If you chose option one, you‘re simply doing it all wrong, and I apologize but nothing I say can help you.
Resist the urge to hit the pillow as soon as you get to your room. I know it’s easier said than done, but staying up until “bed time” in the place you’re visiting DRASTICALLY cuts down on your jet lag and helps you acclimate to the time change quicker so you don’t waste your time feeling drowsy and sleepy for half your trip.
And coffee, that helps too.
4. Exercise. I’m not telling you to run out and find the closest gym. In fact, I would not recommend that because the place you‘re visiting likely has much more to offer than the local Y. Find things in the area that you’d be interested in trying like paddle boarding or bike tours if you’d like, but my favorite thing is to just WALK. Explore the place you’re at on foot, it’s likely going to give you an experience that a guided tour will just miss out on. Sometimes (when my bag permits) I’ll bring my running sneakers and spend a morning jogging around the place I woke up in to get a sped up tour with less people around because naturally sleeping in on vacation is something my body hasn’t accepted yet. This just means shorter lines for coffee and baked goods too. #winning
Above all, HAVE SOME DAMN FUN! Traveling is one of the best parts of living to me. I first traveled abroad at 16, and my mom likes to say that was the first time I was bit by the travel bug and she claims she "ruined" me with that move. I've been to 28 of the 50 United States and traveled to three continents. And that hasn't even scratched the surface on the list of places I want to explore.
Photo credit: @whereintheworldismydrink , www.whereintheworldismydrink.com
If you have been dying to go somewhere, all I can tell you is that money will come and money will go, but the experiences you get from traveling are worth more than you spend on the actual trip.
What tips have you picked up over your travels? What’s next on your bucket list?