Pretty sure I’m not alone when I say I miss traveling. Covid really put a damper on a few fun trips I had planned with Sam and my family this year, but if nothing else, it’s been a great lesson in learning to go with the flow, right?
While I’ve done a few casual getaways here and there, Sam and I took our first real vacation in God knows how long recently, so what better time to finally share my Ultimate Travel Guide? I’ve been promising this post for far too long, so here we go!
Something to keep in mind…
I adore the opportunity to see new places and experience different cultures, and in my travels I’ve found effective methods for BOTH maintaining healthy habits on the road as well as feeling comfortable letting go and enjoying the moment.
Trips are meant to take us out of our comfort zones, and I personally have spent far too much time and effort over the years worrying about how travel might “ruin” my healthy lifestyle. What I’ve learned, though, is that the anxiety created by not knowing what type of foods will be available to us or if we’ll have the opportunity to get a workout in is actually more detrimental than these realities themselves.
While a bit of planning can go a long way in ensuring we take care of ourselves appropriately, I also encourage you to simply enjoy the pleasures and spontaneity of travel as well – it’s ALL a balance!
Do your body some good
Leading up to a trip, we can do ourselves a major solid simply by supporting our immune and detoxification systems as much as possible, as they’ll be working overtime while traveling.
These days, staying healthy is all the more important, so in addition to the obvious precautions (bringing facemasks, hand sanitizer, cleansing wipes, etc.), we should ensure that we’re preparing our immune system to fight off any bugs we might come into contact with.
I dig into some personal favorites in my Top All-Natural Immunity Boosters post, which includes bone broth, elderberry, chaga, reishi and more – check out the above for specific brands I recommend as well. Plus, if you’re interested in more of the superfoods and adaptogens I try to slip into my diet regularly, I share all of the details in my Daily Rituals & Routines post.
Yet one of the most potent immune-fortifying superfoods I swear by is camu camu, which can deliver up to 750% of the reference daily intake (RDI) of vitamin C in only one teaspoon. Not only is vitamin C essential for collagen formation and a powerful antioxidant that protects against oxidative stress from free radicals, but it also strengthens the immune system. To try out my personal favorite variety from Karen Berrios Superfoods, be sure to use my discount code GOODNESSWITHG for 20% off.
Likewise, bone broth is one of the most nourishing, gut-loving foods I recommend for immune health, and I’ve found a delicious way to make it extra nutritious with vitamins and antioxidants sure to keep your immune system happy.
My go-to bone broth recipe:
- Warm a thawed package of Bonafide Provisions bone broth in a sauce pan
- Add 1/4 tsp each of: garlic powder, turmeric, ground ginger, cayenne, pinch of pink Himalayan salt & black pepper (can alter any of these to taste)
- Top with fresh cilantro & a squeeze of lemon juice
Load up on all of the above before travel, and you’ll thank me 🙂 .
While these specific additions are fantastic, I can’t stress enough the simple importance of a diet composed of primarily nutrient-dense, plant-based foods to ensure overall health. Gut health specifically is important to touch on as 75% of the immune system resides here. Thus, incorporating a wide variety of plants into our diet, especially those packed with gut-loving pre- and probiotics, is essential.
For more information and tips for optimizing your gut health, be sure to check out my Deep Dive Into My Digestive Healing blog post.
While I by no means encourage you to plan and prepare every meal during your travels (go out and enjoy different foods than you normally might!), there are most definitely times in which a little forethought can be helpful.
I oddly find myself hungrier than usual while traveling, and therefore ensuring that I pack a variety of healthy snacks, such as protein bars, energy balls, nuts, apples and jerky, is essential. Check out Satisfying Snacks to Keep Your Hanger at Bay for my top recommendations! Having a few things at the ready will keep you energized and less tempted by all of the not-so-great airplane food – yuck.
In addition to snacks, I also encourage you to make sure you pack your supplements. While there is much we can’t control while traveling (and that’s okay) staying consistent with this daily ritual personally makes me feel a heck of a lot better.
If you’re still not sure which supplements to be taking in the first place, check out my Q&A with Dr. Jackie Poirot where she shares Essential Supplements for Optimal Health. Also, though it makes me feel like a grandma at times, I also can’t live without my travel pill case, which saves me from having to bring all of those bulky bottles.
Last little tidbit – I have tons of fun travel-themed goodies linked in my Holiday Gift Guide if you’re needing a bit more inspiration or want to snag a fun gift for the adventure-loving someone in your life (and stay tuned for a 2020 gift guide coming soon 🙂 ).
Make your future self love you
Though not necessarily health-related, perhaps the most helpful tip I can impart on anyone pre-travel is to think about what might help out your future self upon returning.
For me, this looks like changing my sheets and cleaning my apartment before I head out of town, leaving me with a couple fewer chores to catch up on when I get back. Plus, odds are you’ll be feeling a little exhausted and out-of-sorts after time away, so returning to a clean, comforting apartment or home feels all the more amazing.
For extra bonus points, make sure your freezer and pantry are stocked with easy meals or basic ingredients to throw together when you might not have time to get groceries or are too tired to pick something up. My Recipe Round Up: 80+ Healthy Pantry-Friendly Meals is a great resource for inspiration!
One of the most important ideas to touch on – hydration! Flying depletes our bodies of water, often leaving us swollen and dry. I try to bring a couple of large bottles of water on the flight with me (or better yet, a large reusable bottle), and make it a game to finish them all before landing.
As for your skin, a hydrating mist (I love the Stone Crop Hydrating Mist from Eminence) is great to give your skin a little boost (plus it feels super refreshing). I also love bringing some of these collagen eye masks to put on in-flight or after I land, especially if flying overseas.
Long, overnight flights require a bit more prep, and here are a few items I always bring in my carry-on for these occasions:
- a pair of socks (to put on when I take my shoes off while resting)
- hair tie
- cleansing towelette
- toothbrush and toothpaste
- makeup (I go clean-faced on long flights, but putting a bit on before landing makes me feel somewhat human again)
- small travel perfume
Pack all of the above in one of these handy Truffle Clarity Clutch bags – my sister got me hooked!
As for being comfortable in flight, I recommend dressing in layers, as it’s hard to know whether you’ll be sweating or chilled to the bone, ugh. My mom got us all hooked on these Mer Sea travel wraps that you can throw on with a tee-shirt or sweater and jeans or leggings. They keep you warm and almost serve as a blanket, plus they tuck up into their own little pouch for easy transport (and this can also be used as a pillow).
Likewise, while it can be tempting to zone out to a movie or nap the entire flight, I highly encourage you to remember to get up and MOVE now and then! Especially on long, oversees flights it’s incredibly important for circulation. Likewise, if you have some time on your layover, make a point to take a lap or two around the terminal – this always makes me feel a bit rejuvenated.
Throughout Your Trip
Again I’ll reiterate this point – travel is meant to be enjoyed, and that often means embracing new and different foods and routines. Being too terrified to stray from our normal schedules not only does more harm mentally and emotionally than it does benefit us physically, but it also hinders us from embracing the growth that travel is meant to cultivate.
But that likewise doesn’t mean that we must have an all-or-nothing mindset to reap the benefits of travel.
Finding a balance that pushes you out of your comfort zone and likewise protects your energy is the most important thing. With that being said…take into account some of these tips I’ve learned in order to do just that.
This is an area in which it took me a LONG time to feel comfortable doing what I needed for myself (read more in my Redefining My Relationship with Alcohol post). Many people tend to use vacation as a time to go “all out” and often consume much more alcohol than they typically would. Hey, you do you. I’m all about celebrating, living in the moment and enjoying life.
If there’s ever a time to enjoy a margarita or piña collada, it’s while soaking up some sun on the beach, no? BUT I personally find that I just can’t drink every day without feeling like absolute crap – physically, mentally and emotionally.
Too much alcohol tends to worsen my anxiety and sleep, and though I used to try and keep up night after night for fear of being “lame,” I’m finally learning that I don’t have to apologize for doing me. That often looks like enjoying several cocktails some nights and not feeling badly about saying no completely other nights.
If and when you do choose to imbibe, hydration is all the more important, and I highly recommend adding a Liver Protect supplement into your routine (I actually take these daily for additional support as well).
While some trips lend themselves to more “me time” than others, it’s often a great chance to reset and reconnect with the rituals we know we should be implementing in our days regularly. I by no means am perfect myself, but the below are a few easy ways to sneak a little wellness into an otherwise crazy travel schedule:
Meditation – whether you’re on a long flight or have several hours to kill in the car, that time spent scrolling through your phone or staring out the window provide the perfect opportunity to slip a little meditation into your day. Take a peek at my 7 Steps to FINALLY Commit to Your Meditation Practice post for a little more encouragement in this department as well.
Lemon water – I know I keep harping on the hydration point, but our bodies are under even more physiological stress while traveling than usual, and thus providing them with adequate hydration in order to naturally detoxify is key. Ask for some lemon with your water not only to encourage you to drink more but also due to the additional health benefits it provides. Lemon is a good source of vitamin C, provides antioxidants shown to improve insulin resistance, aids digestion and more.
Superfoods & adapatogens – It’s no secret that I’m a huge proponent of slipping in some “sneaky superfoods” into our daily diets (I share all of my favorites and why in my Daily Rituals & Routines post), and if we can continue to incorporate even just a little of this goodness into our travel days, I’d say that’d be a major win. These foods aid our bodies in “adapting” to stressors, which are often even more present while traveling. However we can support immune, parasympathetic and detoxification systems is a yes from me.
Magnesium – This mineral is one I personally swear by and recommend for stress relief, digestive support and improved sleep. I always try to pack either a little baggie of Natural Calm or magnesium capsules to take before bed, and I never regret it.
Gut health goods – I don’t know about y’all, but when I travel I’m often eating new and different foods, which is one of the best parts of exploring new places! Though these are all meant to be enjoyed, our digestive systems can sometimes get out of whack and need a little additional support. While on the road, I make sure to bring a good quality probiotic (Seed is my personal favorite – use code GEORGIA15 for 15% off the first month of the Daily Symbiotic) and some digestive enzymes (Karen Berrios Superfoods is my go-to and you can use code GOODNESSWITHG for 20% off).
I’m by no means here to say that you need to workout while traveling. Rather, it can often be the perfect opportunity to rest and recuperate. Personally, I try to find a balance of doing just that while also moving in ways that make me feel my best. Especially after a night of drinking, I try to get a sweat in as a way to reset and be able to function the following day (lol).
If you have access to a gym, wonderful! Otherwise, running in a new city is one of the best ways to get to know a new place while also sneaking in some movement at the same time. And don’t forget the power of a killer site-seeing walk.
Exercise should never be used as a tool for punishment or a way to “burn off” what you ate or drank the night before but rather a way to show your body and mind some love and appreciation.
While it can be easy to slack off on skincare when we’re out of our normal routines and environments, maintaining a few staples throughout your trip will make you feel better and look a bit more rested and ready to take on whatever the day has in store. My go-to routine includes:
- Vitamin C serum
- Hyaluronic acid serum
- Eye cream
I share the specific brands I love in my Daily Rituals & Routines post, if you’re interested! I also try to pack this Kora Organics Noni Glow Sleep Mask to give my skin the added boost of moisture it’s in need of.
Be sure to browse more of my favorite beauty products on my Shop page!
Returning to your routine
I might just be speaking for myself, but after travel of any sort I’m always pretty dang excited to return to a bit of a routine and some home cooking.
It’s natural to feel a little cruddy after likely getting less sleep, drinking more and eating out-of-the-norm foods, but that doesn’t mean we have to come back and restrict, over exercise and go full steam ahead in the opposite direction in order to “make up for it”. This only instigates the binge-restrict cycle that can be so hard to dig ourselves out of.
Rather, simply get back to the healthy habits and routines that you know make you feel good and set you up for success. Focus on what you can ADD IN to your diet and day – lots of greens and a variety of veggies, tons of water, meditation, movement, solid nights’ sleeps – rather than what you need to cut out after a vacation.
Likewise, focussing on including tons of anti-inflammatory foods into your diet post-travel like berries, fatty fish, cruciferous veggies, avocado, green tea and turmeric is a great way to give your body that little extra push it might need. For example, a batch of my Homemade Turmeric Ginger Shots seems to do wonders whenever I’m feeling run down.
Likewise, booking a session at out your local infrared sauna is another amazing way to reduce inflammation and release toxins. Read my Get Hot & Healthy With Infrared Sauna post for more of the amazing benefits. Sam and I swear by our weekly Sunday afternoon sweat sessions!
When I began taking a more balanced, holistic approach to travel and recovery afterwards, it actually took me much less time to get back to feeling like myself. The stress we can put on ourselves after several days of living it up honestly does more harm in the long run than those extra cocktails or desserts ever would have.
Overall, travel is something I hold dear, and it wasn’t until we weren’t able to enjoy it quite as frequently with COVID that I realized how much of a blessing it is.
So whether you’re likewise getting back to a bit of travel here and there yourself or are planning for a getaway down the road, I hope these tips help you best prepare, plan and enjoy every single moment.
And as always, leave me a comment below or give me a shout on social media if these topics resonate, the tips come in handy or you simply want to say hey!
Happy and safe travels, y’all 🙂 .