Taking care of you when you’re travelling!
As the Founder of Travelling Divas I am constantly on the move both at home and overseas, researching new locations, checking out new experiences, and discovering quirky places to stay for the next Travelling Divas’ tour.
When I arrive in a foreign country I am constantly faced with the challenge of how to keep my mind, body and soul balanced in the midst of so much change, many new environmental factors and the daily stress of living out of a suitcase. Let’s be honest it’s tough when you’re trying to soak up the atmosphere of a new destination, and you’re fighting things like jet lag, disorientation, poor digestion and general niggling things that stop you from being your happiest self. Travel is a positive, life-changing experience but it’s not without its challenges.
Taking care of your body, mind & soul when travelling is crucial….. and so I’d like to share a few tips on how to be healthy and keep everything in balance when you’re travelling and on the go.
Of course these tips can also translate into everyday life too, but my team and I have been researching and trialling tips and recommendations from past Divas and friends that are particularly useful for when on the move. These are the programmes we like and where possible, have road-tested ourselves.
1. Pre-departure – before you leave, on the plane and arrival
The trip starts even before you leave home. Make sure you sleep, relax and eat well before your flight, so you go into the trip rested and with a positive mind-set. If you can get a massage the day before, get some exercise in and don’t drink alcohol – it will make a difference on arrival I promise!
Prepare well for the flight – take some herbal tea bags (they will provide hot water onboard) as it does help to keep everything moving on the inside, bring an empty water bottle so you can get it filled up over and over again and book an aisle seat so you can go for regular walks around the cabin. It goes without saying that you should try and get as much ‘zzz’ time as possible – so load your favourite relax music on your phone and listen to it to help block out the cabin noise.
On arrival, don’t sleep if it is daylight – get out and try to acclimatise to the local time, get some fresh air and get the blood pumping around your body by taking a good walk.
2. Adopt a go to travel exercise routine that is easy to maintain
If you love travelling and enjoy doing it often, taking time to find a workout routine that is easy and adaptable to use in a hotel room, on a beach, or in a small hotel gym is a game changer. And commit to it each time you travel! This prevents the “How can I exercise while travelling?” conundrum, and simplifies the entire process.
My two favourite solutions right now are:
1. Running and/or walking before the day starts is a no brainer and I’ve probably shared it before – it is a great way to enjoy your surroundings before they get busy, stay fit and check in with the locals. It is free as well! (Same with a skipping rope packed in your bag – they weigh nothing and work you out big time in a short time frame).
2. Body Boss is my current go-to, and I have been using for the last few months, including throughout my last reconnaissance trip Vietnam. In a nutshell it is an expertly designed, high-intensity workout series that you can do anywhere, anytime and with minimal equipment (it is amazing what water bottles can do in place of weights!).
The biggest reason I like this method? It is portable – you can access it via your phone, laptop or tablet. Old fashioned your preference? Then take the printed version if you don’t use technology (NB it does weight a bit). It is quick, adaptable, will work you hard plus you can do it in the hotel gym, or if you are travelling alone and would rather sweat it out in your hotel room – you can.
This is a win win – however you do need to have a level of fitness for this one as it is all about interval training – but the pre training programme is really good as well and might be what you are looking for! (NB It can take up to 40 minutes if you do all of the stretching, but I am usually done in 30 minutes, so give it a go). www.bodyboss.com
3. Mind Fitness
In the build up to going away a there is always a lot to remember before you even get the suitcase out of the wardrobe, which can be anxiety inducing no matter how many lists you write and how diligently you plan ahead. Travelling from A to B in itself can be stressful at times, particularly in recent years with increased airport security and just getting on to the aircraft can leave you frazzled.
And once on the road, days can be hectic and the environments very different to what we are used too. In some destinations the intense heat can be exhausting, navigating through bustling cities challenging, and then dealing with chaotic traffic when you step outside the the door of your hotel can be an complete assault on the senses and leave you mentally and physically drained.
Setting some time aside each day to rest your mind can work wonders. An app that I came that across via a friend’s recommendation is Headspace. Hands up, I was sceptical at first as had never tried anything like this but it is actually a fantastic tool, providing easy to follow guided meditation sessions and mindfulness training online or via their mobile app. www.headspace.com
Anyone can try Headspace and learn the essentials of meditation and mindfulness with their free Basics pack. If you enjoy it, then you can subscribe for a small fee. Once you do, you’ll have hundreds of meditations for everything from stress to sleep which you can do in your hotel room anytime. You can even do it in the back of a coach or on a flight, or anytime you need to still the mind and relax. It helps you train your mind for a healthier and happier life and is backed by science. I can attest I am now a convert!
4. Take time out for you
It can be tempting to want to spend all your time with your other travelling companions but taking some ‘me’ time is essential. Just taking a couple of hours out for yourself can go a long way to ensuring you’re very relaxed on your trip. We always support our guests if in the middle of a tour they want to bow out and just chill by the pool (or the beach or just take a nap), in fact we encourage it. There is no obligation to do every single activity on a schedule – it is a holiday after all!
5. Stick to your routines
Staying healthy whilst travelling isn’t just about eating well and getting in the occasional workout. Little things like your skincare routine and vitamin regime should all be maintained too. It’s easy to consider travel time as off-time from taking care of yourself in the usual way, but practicing total health during your trip will make your holiday all the more enjoyable.
If you take regular vitamins or medications, be sure to pack them in a travel container so that you can easily take them onboard, without taking up precious space in your suitcase.
Always pay careful advice on drinking water guidelines and the dietary tips we set out for each destination. A really good tip is to bring along probiotics with maintain health digestive support during times away from home. Keeping your gut healthy is crucial. I take probiotics daily and they work a treat…
Despite what you may think, keeping up with these routines won’t add undue restrictions to your trip. On the contrary, they’ll allow you to feel your best while traveling.
6. Nourishing your soul
A little yoga goes along way to keeping you stretched and supple, particularly with long flights and long travel days. Cramped environments can really do a number on you so if you practice your downward dog on a regular basis then make sure you keep up your routine when on holiday.
I actually haven’t done this programme as yet, but a clued up colleague of mine put me onto it and I will be giving it a go when I take my next longhaul flight in April….. check it out yourself and as it is flight friendly so might do the trick for you. And the thing is you can also do these in your room, on a bus, anywhere really so go for it. Verywellfit.com/airplaneyoga
The final thing is that I love pilates, and it is really important to me to keep this practice up when I am away. If I can, and if we haven’t included some kind of class in a trip, then I will try and find a local studio I can visit in my own time. This is a great way to keep your soul happy, your mind actively engaged and your body zinging! So check your destination for your favourite healthy activity whether it be the gym, yoga or pilates – also gives you time out and you meet new friends!
And don’t forget the simple things that help us all nourish our soul (again tips from some of the beautiful Divas who travel):
- Choose happiness and radiate it.
- Smile at others you meet along the way– it goes such a long way and costs nothing.
- When travelling be grateful for what you have back home.
- Breathe deeply when you get up in the morning
- Brew a cup of herbal tea in your room, sit down with a book and just take a break from the world.
Hope this helped and look forward to chatting again soon!
Andrea, Chief Diva xxx