22 Tips to Make Travel Healthy with Less Stress In Mid-Life


I love traveling, especially when I am going to visit my family, but it could be very stressful for the mind and the body: planning the trip, preparing luggage, stressful security lines or even feeling changes in your body.  For instance, you might get swelling of the feet and legs because of the of the change in pressure on the airplane.
 Last week, I caught a plane and I practiced some rituals to increase my wellness while traveling.  Here are some practices and tips that I use to help me to stay well and energized once I arrive at my destination.  

Before Traveling

Plan your trip in advance - In order to reduce last-minute stress and confusion, it’s a great practice to plan.  (examples making extra keys, picking up mail rides to the airport)

Make a list with all you need - consider making the list a month in advance and add to its needed keeping in mind a cutoff date for the list  

Start eating a healthy diet - days before, try to have a healthy diet: increasing vegetables and fruits, reducing big and spicy meals, reducing sugary foods and avoiding alcohol and soda.

Practice wellness rituals - days in advance to help your body relax before traveling, such as taking a bath, listening to music or practicing gratitude and try to rest more a couple of days before rather than running around and exhausting yourself.  There is nothing worse than traveling when exhausted.

Moisturize, Moisturize - It's a good idea "extra-moisturize" your skin in advance.  The air pressure in planes cause the skin to be very dry and other environments you may travel through can be dry as well.  

Minimize the Makeup - When traveling it is kinder to your skin if you can minimize your makeup.  Using a light foundation, less eye make-up, and a gloss rather than lipstick can go a long way in being kind to your skin when traveling. 

TSA Pre-Check  -  For those who are traveling by plane in the United States it is a good idea to apply for a TSA Pre-Check. This will allow you to go through the security check much more quickly.  Less stress and less waiting, 

Clear Nail Polish -   It might sound silly, but for those who spend a lot of money on keeping their nails nice and shiny, you may want to wear just clear nail polish while traveling.  There are so many ways to ship your nail polish, or for the nail polish to get dull because of handwashing in public lavatories ( the commercial soap can be harsh).  Try a clear nail polish while traveling and make an appointment for nail care while on vacation1 


Onboard

Choose comfortable and loose clothing - bring a sweater and a pair of socks to keep you warm and avoid tight clothes.

Wear flat and comfortable shoes. Probably your feet are going to swell because of the elevation of the plane.

Assemble a travel set - to help you feel more comfortable putting together a travel set that has: a blanket, an eye mask, socks, earplugs, and a pillow. You can also prepare a toiletry bag with deodorant, toothpaste, and toothbrush, medicines, painkillers or other prescriptions.

Meditate during take-off and repeat every time you need in order to focus on your breath to reduce stress. Try closing your eyes and breathing in through your nose for four counts, holding for four counts, and breathing out your nose again for four counts. Just a few minutes breathing like this can help us to calm down. You also can use meditation apps like Headspace and Calm to guide you.

Use aromatherapy and essential oils - smelling them can help you to calm down your body. Ask the advice of an expert in order to know which essential oils to use and how much.  Be careful because some of them can be counterproductive. Make sure you put in a clear plastic container - check with your airlines on the size of the bottle.

Stretch and move your body - occasionally, during mid and long flights it’s important to stretch in order to keep your blood flowing. Flying usually affects our circulation and sometimes we can experience swelling, mainly in our feet. You can do small exercises with your legs moving them up and down while sitting.  If possible, get out of your seat and find a space to stretch or walk down the aisle of the plane.

Stay hydrated. Flying usually dehydrates our body. Drink water mainly, but you can also choose juices or smoothies and avoid coffee. Try to avoid also alcohol because it dehydrates your body faster.

Choose healthy food. Because there are not many good options on the airplane food cart, I suggest you prepare healthy snacks in your carry-on bag: pack dry fruit and nuts and avoid sugary foods.

Keep your skin hydrated. Our skin also suffers dehydration while flight. Use a TSA approved sized, hand cream, face cream, or lip balm to apply it throughout the flight.

Practice activities to keep your mind busy: read a book or a magazine, listen to music with your headphones, watch a movie, write in a journal about your thoughts and ideas. Do not forget to carry an extra light because, sometimes, airplane light is not enough.


After Traveling

Continue keeping your body hydrated. Drink water, fresh juices, or smoothies and moisturize your skin.

Continue choosing healthy options to eat: fresh vegetables and fruits, mainly, and avoiding sugary foods.

Stretch and move your body to get your circulation pumping as usual. If some parts of your body are swollen, you can massage the affected zone, practicing yoga poses or simply stretching the body and walking.

Epsom Salt bath laced with Lavender - Taking a 30-minute bath (or longer) with Epsom salt laced with lavender essential oil can go a long way to helping you to relax once you reach your destination.  Taking this kind of a bath can also relax your muscles, help relieve stress and even gently detox your body.  


Incorporating these tips can really help you to have a great travel experience!  
Happy Travels! 

Want to find out more tips on how to be healthy and well after 40, 50, 60 and beyond? 

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