I have a love-hate relationship with travel. What do I love? Exploring new places, cuisines, and cultures. Bonding with my family outside of our everyday setting. Immersing myself in the “vibe” of wherever I’m visiting. What don’t I like? Well, the stress of organizing, packing, planning, etc. Feeling disjointed without my routines, touchstones, and foods. I was forced to confront the duality of my feelings towards traveling just this past week, when I spent ten days exploring Seattle, the Pacific Coast, and San Francisco. Despite some major anxiety beforehand I ended up having one of the best, relatively breakdown-free (you think I’m kidding) trips I’ve experienced in a while. Today, I’m sharing the tips I picked up along the way that helped my stay grounded. From pampering yourself in-flight to what to do when you return, below you’ll find my best advice for enjoying your trip inside and out. 🙂
+ Pack ahead
I don’t know about you, but I’m not my best self when I’m hungry. In order to avoid being a cranky traveler eager for a snack, take time to pack up some goodies pre-departure. Example: I noshed on a baggie of boiled eggs and avocado before an early morning flight, and tucked an RX Bar in my bag to eat later!
+ Mind your face
A combination of stress, sedentary travel time, and stale airplane air can do a number on the skin. Right after boarding, sneak off to the bathroom to cleanse your face and apply moisturizer. If you’re into it, take advantage of the long haul do a mask and/or serum treatment while in the air. It might sound a bit silly, but you’ll thank me when you’re not disembarking with dehydrated, drawn skin.
+ Keep it moving
Regardless of whether you’re on a tropical island or skiing in Switzerland, try incorporating movement into each day of your trip. Walking around your new locale is a great way to keep the blood flowing, but don’t be afraid to take advantage of the hotel gym, as well. Better yet, check out the boutique fitness classes in your area. On my trip, I found some great hot yoga studios that kept me feeling stretched and zen throughout.
+ Create your space
Even though it’s fun to travel with family and friends, several days in others’ company 24/7 can start to take it’s toll. As an introvert, it’s really important for me to create time for myself while traveling. On this last trip, I snuck away in to workout (see above) or explore other parts to the city solo. By the time dinner rolled around, I was refreshed and a better travel companion for it.
+ Don’t freak out
Vacation is a time of indulgence, to enjoy beautiful views, meals, and moments by yourself and with others. That said, if you return home from your trip feeling a little “off” (you know what I mean) physically or mentally, don’t beat yourself up! Take every day at a time, and focus instead on all the amazing memories you’ll have forever.
+ Embrace routine like it’s new
Returning from vacation can be kind of a bummer. To beat the post-travel blues, try embracing your day-to-day schedule. From brewing your favorite cup of tea in the morning to hitting up your local grocery store (I missed you, Whole Foods), there are familiar joys to be found in the same old, same old. 🙂
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So there you have it: the top tips that kept me feeling balanced while adventuring on the West Coast. How do you stay cool while traveling? Do you have any foolproof ways to set yourself up for an enjoyable time?