With stores all over the country (and in Canada and the U.K.), we have a lot of team members who travel... a lot. Alana's post about eating well when traveling
inspired me to check in with some of our enlightened travelers to find out about their healthy travel routines. Here are their secrets. What are yours?
I find that minimizing stress is a really simple way to enhance wellness during traveling. For me, this means getting to the airport early, being prepared (researching parking beforehand, having your boarding pass printed out, have your liquids in the baggie), not rushing during the travel, keeping a mellow and patient attitude when you encounter other potentially cranky travelers or during delays, and having calming music in my ipod for the plane. I also bring rescue remedy (I hate turbulence!) as well as some calming supplements or tea. If I remember, I bring a small spritzer of water with a couple drops of essential oil to freshen my skin during the plane ride, as the air can be dry and stuffy. And I always remember to pack my daily supplements: a multi, probiotics, fish oil and a mushroom (or immune enhancing) supplement.
As for food related tips, I always, always take food with me, more than what I need just in case there are any delays. I tend to emphasis fresh foods (veggies, fruits), since they travel well and since it is nearly impossible to find fruits and veggies at airports. Hard cheeses and quiche also travel well. I also always bring a reusable cup/mug so that I don't have to take a disposable plastic cup on the airplane.
Another important aspect is the return home: as much as possible, I try to plan ahead and have my dishes cleaned, garbage taken out so that I can return to a clean and calm home. I also ask a friend or neighbor to check my home so that I won't worry about it too much when I am away. Finally, I always make sure I have some good food ready for me when I return (you can freeze it if you will be away for a while). In fact, a ritual for me is to cook the night before I leave, which calms me down and ensures I will have fresh food when I return.
I pack a toothbrush and small toothpaste to use when I land or if there are delays so I can try to continue to feel fresh. Sometimes I take an extra top in my carry-on, too, for delays. Nuts and dried fruits are great for sustained energy (vs. sugary snack bars). I almost always travel with a selection of individually wrapped herbal tea bags, too…both for the plane and for wherever I'm going. A guy from Aura Cacia (aromatherapy and bodycare company) once said he always carries lavender and peppermint essential oils because those can help almost anything that comes up, from a migraine to a pimple…plus they smell good, but won't annoy fellow travelers with cloying artificial scents, such as perfume, in the closed space of the plane.
I am a single mom, and I try to be as organized as possible to make traveling with a 5-year old a relaxed and fun experience. Days before my trip I think about what we are going to wear and make sure laundry is done. I pack clothes that can easily be mixed and matched, and that match one (no more than two) pair of shoes. I allow my son to decide which toys, books, activities, and movies he wishes to pack, and make sure his portable DVD player is charged and ready to go. I pack my phone, computer and DVD player chargers in advance to make sure they do not get left behind. (If I have to use them prior to my departure, I try to use spare chargers or place them immediately back in the bag.) I always pack a carry-on with fun activities and movies for my son, and lots of food and snacks, which he helps pack. We travel with both perishables (for quick trips) and non-perishables (for longer trips and unexpected layovers). Foods I may pack include: guacamole and pita, mock tuna salad, hummus, nuts, seeds, dried fruit and fresh fruit. During summer months, we always pack cantaloupe and watermelon. When packing food, don't forget your disposal utensils and paper napkins. Finally, I always grab a jacket (even during warm weather) in case the plane is exceptionally cold.
Airplane food is never good, but it is especially treacherous territory for someone with special diet considerations. I usually make sure that I eat before leaving to catch my flight and pack a small snack for the plane. (Note: Be careful of what you bring on the plane as the TSA regulations do not allow many common food items such as peanut butter, salsa, soups, etc.) This means that I don't feel trapped and hungry on long flights, which might force me into giving in to unhealthy prepackaged snack goods or monochromatic TV dinner-like entrees out of desperation.
What are your special tips for traveling? Let us know!