Having been exposed to a bit of our beautiful planet by plane, train, ship, canoe, kayak, car, bike, or solely my legs, both personally and professionally, I have learned a few tidbits that might make your journey a bit more comfortable and even save you from having to spend unnecessarily.
While I do not claim to be an expert or know everything when it comes to healthfully transporting myself and my belongings, I was recently bestowed the title “professional traveler” by a dear friend of mine. So this one is for you, B, as well as anyone who is curious about ways to ease travel professionally and personally and infuse their next journey with a few of my favorite practices.
Carry an empty glass or stainless steel water bottle with you so that you can fill it up once you pass security. In the airports I typically depart from I have a routine where I usually go straight to the water fountain after I pass through security. This saves $$, time, as well as can be said to be more environmentally friendly as you are not purchasing a plastic water bottle but are instead refilling your reusable bottle. Remember, if you ask politely the flight attendants will more often that not fill up your bottle if you get low during a flight.
Wear/pack your most comfortable walking shoes. If you will need to dress up during your trip either for a business function or for an event, make sure to pack comfortable "fancy" shoes that can withstand more than the few steps you anticipate taking. Wearing uncomfortable shoes can most certainly be in the way of staying completely present and enjoying your new surroundings, especially if you will be walking a lot. It might not be the time to try out your “cutest” uncomfortable new shoes. This almost always leads to frustration, blisters, and discomfort. Not to mention it might be annoying to your fellow travel companions as they will hear about it from you!
Invest in compression socks. It might sound a bit cuckoo but they help increase circulation in your legs, reduce the risk of swelling, and in the prevention of a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and blood clotting especially when you are flying longer than three hours. If anyone takes a second glance at you putting them on, smile and feel good knowing you are helping your circulation.
Be mindful of your tummy. In the past when flying transatlantic, more often than not, I would arrive to my destination with so much joy and excitement while at the same time quite uncomfortable with an unexplainable bloated belly and the need to lie down. It was a bit embarrassing to say the least! Although I experimented numerous times, I never ate the same thing therefore I could never isolate what was hurting my tummy until one time I ate quite light, I semi- fasted, and I arrived feeling great with no bloat and need to be horizontal. What a relief! While recommending to fast during a long journey might be a bit much with your individual circumstances, I do recommend tuning into your body and seeing how best you can support yourself throughout whether with lighter food, more water, less caffeine, etc., etc.
In continuation of number four, always be sure to pack plenty of snacks that you like! You never know whether or not you will be delayed at an airport and if so, for how long plus airports tend to be quite pricey. Also, remember that most airlines give you the option to request a vegetarian meal if that is what you would like. Just remember to file your request prior to 24 hours of your departure time. I have found the following snacks easy to transport and munch on:
Protein bar (no or low sugar!)
Instant miso soup (ask for hot water at any coffee shop for a warming snack)
Move as much as you can. Planning ahead by choosing the aisle seat or having a long layover sets you up for many opportunities to get moving. Whether you walk from terminal to terminal or you get up on the airplane to stretch, make sure to do it. Your entire body will be relieved and will silently be saying “Thank you! It has been a while since I moved around!” When you land at your destination, if at all possible, try to aim for at least a 20 to 30 minute walk outside. This will help you feel a bit calmer and “grounded” so to speak. Also, feel free to pack an exercise mat with you, especially if you will be on the road for a few days. It feels so good to stretch out after a long day of being on the go. Light weight and easy to transport, I recommend this mat for travel.
Make sure you pack a cosy scarf. It is even better if it can be worn with the majority of your outfits. This habit has been cultivated over the years and is one that one of my older brothers always giggles and comments about. He doesn’t laugh about the scarf per se but what can be done with the scarf! Tee-peeing or making a teepee with your scarf to ensure that you are blocking as much light as possible so that you can comfortably fall asleep and rest en route is essential. If you forget your scarf, an airplane blanket can do but it is always recommendable to have a scarf especially when you feel a little cold at a business function and/or event.
The above are but a few ways I continue to move about both professionally and personally while supporting myself in feeling my best! How do you stay well and at ease while traveling?