I’m a big traveller and my work as an author, public speaker and well-being advocate sees me in the air and in hotel beds a good three months of the year. It could all take its toll… except that I’ve dedicated a great deal of energy to developing and collating my tips and tricks for staying well while on the road. You could call it a (obsessive) hobby of mine.
For me, far from being compromising, I now see my travel and hotel stays as a wonderful opportunity to focus on my wellness.
Here are my tips to stay well while travelling:
Always maximise your nutrition levels
Go for the food with the densest nutrition profile and don’t ever eat anything that you can’t identify, at every opportunity you have.
I avoid complex-looking sauces for instance – they invariably contain lots of processed additives and sugar.
Focus on green and order an extra serve of side vegetables whenever you can.
Watch your carbs ask for no bread and choose vegetables or salad instead of fries or mash potatoes.
On the plane as a basic rule drink 500ml of water for every hour you fly and drink even more before take off.
Pack your own snacks to avoid eating off the plane trolley or buying crisps or other unhealthy snacks once you land. Stock up on coconut chips, macadamia nuts, nut butters and chai tea to curb your cravings during your trip.
Take packets of green travel sachets for the mornings, Vital Greens do great ones and take some chia seeds to add to your breakfast routine to keep things moving – you can soak them the night before.
Tote your favourite green smoothie recipe in a canister to drink at the airport while waiting to board, then just fill the empty flask with water for the rest of the flight.
I meditate as often as possible: on the plane, in the cab, wherever. Even lying on the bed in your room can be just as beneficial. Draw the curtains, shut your eyes and focus on your breathing. A ten-minute quiet moment before heading off for meetings, sightseeing or a dinner can work wonders.
Book in for a massage and stay warm by taking a hot bath and jumping into a warm bathrobe.
Avoid excessive screen use and turn off electricity sockets We are exposed to so much electro-magnetic fields and blue lights when travelling it can really sap your energy levels so remember to put down your phone and switch off your laptop. You may think I am crazy but as soon as I arrive in my hotel room I walk around and turn off all the powerpoints – fridges, phones, alarm clocks, internet – they all get switched off!
Pack a travel alarm clock so you are not relying on your phone’s alarm to wake you.
Request a room away from the lift and away from any power rooms.
Pack Echinacea drops for those moments you feel ringing in your ears or your eyes begin to water – straight under the tongue!
I’m a chronic insomniac and so I am particularly mindful of ensuring my travel sleep routine is sound.
Skip the nightcap one drink can induce drowsiness, but two or more drinks will reduce the quality of your sleep. Instead take a few of your favourite tea bags (chamomile is a lovely, calming option) and indulge in a tea ritual in your room to signify the end of the day.
Pack an eye mask, ear plugs and natural supplements too help promote restful sleep patterns (such as magnesium).
Turn off all screens a good 30 minutes before bedtime and take a bath or hot shower to help pacify nerves.
Apply lavender oil to your feet and wrists – it really works!
Ensure the curtains are drawn tight and if you can open a window to let in some fresh air, do so.
Here’s my number one trick for staying fit at home and when travelling:
I walk… and I walk… and I walk Walking pumps out toxins which can build up when travelling. Walking is also the best cure for anyone (me!) who gets inflammation and water retention on planes. Walk to meetings, to the shops, to dinner, to the beach, fit it in wherever you can.
Wear compression socks on the plane and keep moving during the flight to stretch your legs.
As a rule, I exercise every day, particularly when away from home. As well as walking you can try yoga for lymphatic drainage and peace of mind, use the hotel gym early in the morning and look out for bike-share programs.
If there’s no gym, use the stairs! I do, I run up and down the fire stairs if there is no gym or I arrive late at night – you will probably bump into others doing the same!
Take your togs with you to steam and sauna if you forget them, just improvise and wear your sports bra with a pair of big undies. The steam is amazing for clearing your lymphs and removing gunk from your system.