Have vacation or business trips coming up? Try these travel tips to arrive rested and glowing at your destination.
Traveling is tough on the body. Planes are drier than the Sahara desert, getting to the airport in the early morning often means sacrificing sleep, and changing time zones in one day forces the body to adapt very quickly. Throw the the demands of handling family, and you have a perfect recipe for getting sick.
Want to know a secret? I haven’t been sick in over 8 years and I travel a ton.
I attribute this 99% to meditation, but there are also some essentials I make sure to pack every time I travel. These tools will help you not only survive travel, but actually enjoy yourself. Then you can use your travel as an opportunity to deliver some bliss to the people you are visiting, and all the stressed-out travelers out there.
Top 10 Things to Pack on Your Next Travel Day
10. Saline Spray
One of the main reasons people get sick when they travel is that the nose’s mucus membranes dry out and then are unable to filter viruses and bacteria. Seeing as the average plane has 10% humidity (the Sahara desert has 23%), air travel becomes an uphill battle to stay hydrated. Saline spray is a super handy weapon to combat dehydration and keep your nasal passages functioning as they are meant— and it’s only two bucks! I recommend spraying in each nostril 3-4 times during a 5-6 hour flight.
9. Empty Travel Thermos
Instead of buying plastic bottles of water, you can bring a thermos through security and simply refill at a water fountain. Even better, you can also ask the terminal coffee shop to fill it with hot water, which will keep you hydrated throughout the flight because water is absorbed more easily when it is not cold.
If you ever notice your nose hurting a bit towards the end of the flight, it is due to the incredibly dry air. To combat this, you can spray rosewater on your face to moisturize skin and breathe it in for a little extra humidity. Plus, this superfluid smells fantastic —without disturbing your neighbors!
7. Cocoa Butter Stick
When you need to pack light, it is important that your products can multitask. A small stick of cocoa butter can be your all-purpose chapstick, eye cream, hand cream and face moisturizer. I have one with a bit of mint and lavender that I got at a farmer’s market, but the classic Palmer’s Cocoa Butter stick can be found in almost any drug store (and is very affordable).
6. Earplugs & Eyemask
All earplugs and eye masks are not created equal, so it’s important to test out a few pairs and see what works best for you. When it comes to earplugs, I love ‘Hearos’ because they are soft and block out lots of sound. As for eye masks, any washable comfy one will do the trick— and will help if you like to fall into a nap after your meditation.
5. Giant Scarf
A giant scarf/ shawl is another multi-purpose gem. You can wrap yourself in it to keep warm, ball it up to serve as a travel pillow, or even use as a towel if you are roughing it/ have a spill. You can also use it as a shawl to drape over your head for a little meditation cocoon if you forgot your eyemask.
4. Lavender Oil
Lavender is one of the most soothing scents in aromatherapy, plus it has natural antibacterial properties, so if you are a nervous traveller, putting a bit of this on your pulse points can really bring you back into your body and the right now. I also find that the smell goes away quickly, making this a better option than perfume if you’re trying to be considerate to those around you who may not share your same tastes in fragrance. Being conscientious to your fellow travelers is important! This can also be a may-day if your neighbor has the toots. (Try our special zivaBLEND!)
3. Noise-Cancelling Headphones
While I don’t recommend using these for meditation (they actually stimulate the brain because they create “silence” by countering external sound waves), they are fantastic for listening to music or watching in-flight entertainment. The biggest downside of these is the size…but if there are screaming babies on your plane, you will be SO glad you gave up the precious space in your travel bag.
2. External Phone Charger
You never know what’s going to happen on your journey or how long you will be en route. I love having an extended battery pack/ charger (like a Mophie) with me so I have power when I arrive even if my phone dies and there are no outlets around.
While this is not a physical item, it is hands-down the most valuable travel tool I have ever used. Most of my students report a 80-90% reduction in jet lag. I recommend doing 15- 20 minutes of meditation on takeoff and landing (in addition to your regular program)! If you don’t yet know how to meditate on your own, you can learn at www.zivaMIND.com. If you don’t yet have a practice but you want to reduce jet lag, I highly recommend checking out my video Techniques To Beat Travel Angst & Jet Lag as part of the guided visualization course on MindBodyGreen. This will help you refresh and recharge your body so you arrive ready to rock.
Once you arrive, kick your shoes off and get your feet on the earth as soon as possible to re-polarize you to the new location. Also take a bath as soon as possible, submerging the body under water can help rebalance the pressure in the body. Finally, watch the sunrise or the sunset to help reset your body clock. As you take in your new surroundings under the sky, be grateful for the opportunity to travel. The travel itself may take a toll on the body but the experiences you have are so worth it.