Traveling…. Does that word bring up excitement or anxiety for you? Navigating new roads, finding your gate at an airport (hoping your plane is on time!), and getting comfortable in a hotel or guest house can quickly get us out of our comfort zones! Some of us enjoy traveling and love all the challenges it brings, others would rather just get to their destination and avoid the “getting there” part. No matter what your reasons for travel or how far away your destination, I have come up with a travel-tips list. I have put this list to the test over the last few months, and hopefully it will give you a few helpful ideas for your next adventure.
These basic items are always in my travel bag:
- Downloaded podcasts/music to listen to when internet connection is not available.
- A good book.
- Activated Charcoal. If taken as soon as stomach issues begin, activated charcoal may be effective at reducing food-borne illnesses since it absorbs toxins and carries them out of the body.
- Hand sanitizer (3 ounces or less if traveling by air, and not the toxic type! I use Dr Bronner’s Organic Lavender Hand Sanitizer)
- Band aids.
- Exercise clothes & shoes.
- A few favorite tea bags.
- Healthy snacks. A snack mix of made of nuts and dried fruits can ward off hunger anytime, and it might be your only healthy choice of food in certain places.
Helpful tips for staying your best…
This is SO important for several reasons. Dehydration symptoms may include fatigue, light-headedness, headaches, chapped lips, sore throat, heart palpitations, and constipation – none of which I ever want!
- Coconut water with electrolytes is my favorite travel beverage. (Coconut water can often be purchased after clearing TSA in many major airports.) Not only do I enjoy the taste but the electrolytes in this drink are very hydrating, and the potassium in the coconut may reduce anxiety and muscular cramps from sitting for long periods of time.
- Take your favorite tea bags with you. Tea bags pack easily, and hot water is available almost everywhere. I found a new favorite tea on my latest trip to Arizona, Yanabah Navajo Tea. It has only one ingredient – greenthread. Greenthread is an herb that grows at high altitudes in the southwestern United States. This tea has been used by the Navajo and Hopi Indians to help with digestive issues and anxiety. It is caffeine-free and has a subtle, semi-sweet earthy taste which can be enjoyed hot or iced.
Eat Healthy Foods.
If you have any dietary restrictions, a useful app is “Find Me GF”. This app lists all of the restaurants near your location that have gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and organic items. It has links to the restaurants’ websites, and includes ratings of these establishments as well as a map showing you how to get there. Find Me GF has been a lifesaver!
If you are traveling by air…
- Call the airline if you have any special dietary needs. Some airlines, especially on longer flights, will provide a gluten-free, vegan, or vegetarian meal at no extra charge if requested beforehand. And if you are traveling internationally, remember that customs will not permit meats, vegetables or fruits to be taken into another country. Make sure you have none of those items packed away in your suitcase either. And remember that drinking alcohol at the airport or inflight will always make jet lag worse.
- Guess what the dirtiest thing in the airport is… the bins TSA uses! Shockingly, these are rarely, if ever, cleaned and everyone from everywhere touches these! Use that hand sanitizer or wash your hands immediately after going through security if you touched anything! And if your bag is chosen for a more thorough search, request the TSA agent to put on a fresh pair of gloves before going through your bag. You never know whose bag was searched before yours, and remember, suitcases have dirty clothes in them too!
- When making hotel reservations, your best bet is to call the hotel you wish to stay in directly. I have both witnessed and been personally involved in issues with 3rd party reservation agents. If any problems arise with a reservation, a hotel will not be able to address your concerns if the reservation was made through a 3rd party agent. The issue would need to be taken up with that 3rd party agent. And contrary to what you would expect, I have often seen that nightly rates are LESS expensive if the reservation was made directly with the hotel.
- And as a guest at a hotel, please practice courtesy. Do not allow your room door to slam no matter what time of day. And to muffle noises outside your own room, create some “white noise” by turning the fan on your heating or air conditioning unit if available.
Stick with your morning and evening routines.
- Continuing with your morning meditation, prayers and/or readings will help you feel more in control of your day.
- Try to get 20 minutes of sunshine (or at least daylight) with no sunglasses before noon. This can give you more energy throughout the day and help you sleep better at night.
Walking for at least 20 minutes, stretching, or enjoying your normal exercise routine will give you energy that traveling can sap away.
Please share your travel tips with us.
And may the Lord bless you and your family with safe travels wherever you go!