Travelling Is Fun!
Whether you’re going near or far, for work or for pleasure – there’s always a new adventure to be had. But with this break from your routine, and being away from home and all its comforts, you can lose some of the daily healthy habits and rituals that keep you feeling good.
I’ve recently wrapped up several months of travel for work and thought I’d share with you some of the things I take with me, and do while I’m away, that keep me feeling my best.
I eat incredibly well, and enjoy the occasional indulgence – and this applies when I’m at home as well as away. But eating well away from home can be a bit tough. Without my fridge and cupboards stocked with fresh, healthy options I’m forced to rely on either what I’ve packed – or what I can get nearby. Plane food is the pits and in-room dining menus can be pricey. I always pack snacks/meals for the plane and I also carry a brekkie kit for healthy mornings that cost a fraction of the buffet. With the right forethought and preparation you can prepare all kinds of elaborate, fresh and nourishing meals and snacks for the plane and for when you reach your destination – but below is my ‘Lazy Girl’s Guide’ to keep it simple and easy:
- Nuts and Seeds: a ziplock bag with your favourites is a handbag must-have and will keep you going when there is literally no other option. A sprinkling of dried fruit and/or dark chocolate can keep things interesting too.
- Water bottle: a BPA-free drinking bottle, whilst a little bulky and heavy, can keep you hydrated when you’re stuck in a cab or on a train and dying of thirst. It also helps you to avoid potentially unsafe drinking water or water that has been stored in plastic. I recently was given one of those 100ml pre-sealed plane numbers and, on first sip, all I could taste was the plastic. The endocrine-disrupting chemicals in plastics should be avoided at all costs (never cook or heat in plastics) but water bottles are a commonly overlooked source.
- Bircher muesli: I travel with sachets of Uncle Toby’s oats and a tupperware container with a blend of ground flaxseed, chia and psyllium in it. Each night before I go to bed I soak a mixture of both with either milk (hotels will provide this free) or water, or water and fruit juice (you can either buy a little bottle or most mini-bars will have some). I pop this in the fridge overnight ready to enjoy in the morning.
- Fruit and Yoghurt: If my flights are short I will carry with me 2-3 pots (200ml) of natural yoghurt and put these straight in the fridge once I’ve checked in. These are a good snack on their own, with fruit, or at breakfast with my bircher. I also pack fruit that is handbag friendly. Mandarins and apples are pretty safe, and if you can get organised – snack-size tupperware with berries or chopped fruit are also great. A punnet or two of berries is also a good ‘fast-food’ option but I generally keep these in a plastic bag just in case.
- Bar mixer: I have one that breaks down into a couple of pieces and fits conveniently, along with a mixing jar, into my suitcase. This is perfect for blending up my Whey Less smoothies which are a great breakfast option and also brilliant for between meal snacks. If I’m only away for a few days I will scoop out several servings (and include the scoop) into a tupperware container otherwise I make room for the whole tub!
Vitamins, minerals and other supplements do not replace a good diet but, knowing what I know about the nutrient levels in our food, and the demand for nutrients my body requires, I have a basic supplement regime as part of my daily routine to ensure I get optimal amounts of everything I need.
Even when I’m not travelling I organise my supplements into a weeks supply so that they’re conveniently in one place and I can see at a glance if I’ve taken them or not. The vitamin container normally lives in my handbag and saves me from having to go to the cupboard and opening umpteen bottles every time I need to something.
Exercise is an essential part of my daily routine – not only for my physical wellbeing but my mental state as well! Keeping active while I’m traveling, especially for extended periods of time, is essential to keeping me well while I’m away – and on top of things when I get back. Many hotels will have some sort of fitness centre where I can get some cardio done on either the treadmill or cross-trainer – I either do an aerobic session or interval training. They’ll also usually have some sort of resistance exercise option too – either free weights or machines. In some cases a hotel might have an agreement with a local gym for guests to use either free of charge of for a token fee. If not, you can always take your workout outside with a power-walk or jog. If the weather is terrible I have been known to jog the hallways and the stairs haha!! And there is always the option of a hotel-room workout too! Jillian Michaels has a great demo here:
- Cross-trainers: these are the most versatile shoes that will take you from gym to street for any kind of cardio workout (unless you are a serious runner in which case shoes built for this would be better). I also swear by Light Feet socks. I know this sounds crazy – they’re ‘just a pair of socks’ – but these make me feel like I have light, springy, go-go-gadget feet. I generally dislike running with a passion but a combination of the right shoes and these… have changed my workout life.
- Comfortable workout gear: I typically wear 3/4 tights and a racerback singlet when I’m working out. If it’s super-hot I might opt for shorts, or super-cold I might want the trackies, but for the most part this combination is light and rolls up nice and small in my luggage. If you’re travelling for extended periods take a couple of singlets and you can air them out (or wash them in the shower and dry them on the heated towel rail!) to keep them fresh. I find singlets with low-cut sides the best so they don’t get sweaty. Make sure you’re wearing a funky sports bra though as you’ll be showing it off a little!
- Sports peak or cap: sun protection is a must to avoid UV damage and premature ageing. If I’m taking my workout outside, I also apply a sun filter (if you are using a chemical sunscreen it takes approx. 20 mins to activate so give it time before you head outside!). You can wear a cap if you prefer, but a peak suits me so my hair doesn’t get so sweaty (and my head doesn’t get so hot).
- Windbreaker: you don’t need a heavy/warm jacket if the weather is a little chilly but you do need some kind of protection from the elements – especially as you’re warming up and cooling down. A light wind-breaker over your training gear should be enough to reduce the wind-chill and trap warm air around your torso if conditions get a little wet.
I adore scented candles. That, and relaxing music are one of my favourite ways to unwind at home so I bring that ritual with me when I travel too. Many brands do travel-sized tins of their most popular candles. Ecoya Lotus Flower (formerly known as Divine Affair) is a firm favourite, both at home and on the road, but right now I’m loving Lilly’s Wish in Lime & Coconut. It comes in the most beautiful, decorative, slim-line tin (pictured above) and the fragrance, and its throw, is phenomenal!
I have a pretty little white cotton one I bought from La Senza and I adore it for the beautiful broderie anglaise detailing but the best ones are made from silk as it is smooth and thus reduces drag on the skin (and lashes). I also recommend a silk pillowcase (for travel and at home) for the same reasons which is why it’s in my Top 10 Beauty Tips! The mask serves to block out light if the hotel room curtains are not-so-great, or there is an industrial-strength street light outside your window – but they’re also useful if you need to have a daytime snooze. You may need a rest in the afternoon before an evening event (this was me – a lot!), or need a sleep-in that extends past sunrise, or perhaps even catching a few zzz’s on a flight between here and there.
I am more sensitive to noise than a lot of people and this makes sleeping a bit of challenge. When I’m away unusual building noises, traffic, hotel guests and cleaners can all make getting a good night’s rest a bit tough. I even find at home with the wildlife that rises before the sun that I can struggle sometimes. Which is why I hit up the Ear Plug Superstore to find a solution.
I actually bought three different types of ear plugs (I was desperate) but I tried the Flents Super Sleep ear plugs first and they were SO GOOD I have not yet tried the other two. These ones are made especially for people who sleep on their side (which I do) so they are slightly shorter in length for maximum comfort.
For optimum results follow the directions on how to insert them properly – I can assure you if you do this you will be thrilled with the results. The amount of sound they block out is amazing. Whether you’re dealing with a snoring bedmate, a barky neighbourhood dog or street parties – these are the answer. Now it’s important to remember that sound is also transmitted by vibration of the ear bones, independently of sound waves entering the ear canal – so they don’t block noise 100% but, in my experience, they block about 80% which is good enough for me!
Along with 2 magnesium tablets before bed, I also enjoy a hot chocolate. Not just any old hot chocolate – but a healthy, low-carb, sleep supporting treat! PM Slimming Nights is not only delicious (I make mine 50/50 with water and milk) but contains Lactium with calming properties that help me sleep!
When I’m travelling, especially this time because it was for work, it can be hard to carve out quiet time to focus and centre. I find while I’m travelling there are a couple of apps that help inject a little peace into my day. In the mornings, especially if I’m out doing a power-walk, I love to wake up to Louise Hay’s affirmations. There are affirmations for morning and evening so you can use it either to start the day, or to end it. You can select whatever combination of affirmations you like and effectively create a playlist to listen to whilst sitting still, lying down or – in my case – whilst walking!
At night I will either put on some peaceful nature sounds from Naturespace or meditate with Holosync which is an amazing way to get into a deep, peaceful sleep quickly whilst strengthening your nervous system to tolerate stress.
If you want some tips on how to survive a long-haul flight you can find some, including mine, right here.