As lucky as I feel to be able to travel, long hauls are not exactly good for the body. Between the dehydration, stagnation, and potential stress (which leads to exhaustion) that takes place when traveling can take a major toll on the body. That’s the information to know. The GOOD news is that there are some simple approaches you can take to either avoid or manage these things, and maybe even end up feeling less jet-lag when you reach land.
Did you know that planes can be as low as 10% humidity? (This is 3x drier than the Sahara desert) So… yeah, dry AF). I like to carry my 40oz water bottle with me and fill it up once I pass TSA before getting on the plane. Just make sure it’s not too pressurized, because I have had my water bottle literally explode in my face. It wasn’t sexy.
This is also why I find it especially important to avoid alcohol and excessively high-sodium foods — they can further dehydrate the body, and make for some uncomfortable after-effects.
Once I land, I try to make sure that one of the first things I do is drink lemon water with a little bit of sea salt in it to restore hydration!
Vitamins + Supplements
I bring my vitamins/supplements/meds in a daily divider pack! I take Vitamin D3, Omega3, B-Complex, Magnesium, Zinc, Ashwagandha, 5-HTP, and a mood stabilizer. I fit them all in each day’s little compartment to avoid the hassle of dealing with multiple bottles. I also use this at home
Pre- and Post-Flight Movement!
This I find to be the most important. I try to get some light exercise in the morning before a flight, and then focus my pre- and post-flight stretching on areas that will be compressed during the trip: hips, hamstrings, neck, back, bent knees). It is super beneficial for the digestive system, lymphatic system AND these body parts to work through movements that release the front of your hips and quads, and activate them glutes.
I also make a point to move around at the airport. Rather than sitting and waiting for my flight, I take the stairs whenever possible, walk around with my bag(s) and check out what’s going on in the airport/call a friend/meditate, stand by a window, even stretch.
While we’re on this topic, I also bring with me my resistance bands and sliders so I have more than just my bodyweight to exercise with while away (though, there’s still plenty to do with bodyweight) — they’re easy to travel with and can help make a workout quite effective.
Traveling is the perfect time to meditate… as long as you’re not the pilot. And it’s the perfect excuse to do it because there are fewer distractions and the time is most definitely there. It might sound weird or awkward to do, but remember: most people have their eyes closed on a plane anyway, and either way, most of these people you’ll almost certainly never see again, also meditating is awesome AND who cares what they think anyway. So…
I will meditate on a plane/train pretty much the same way I would at home. I close my eyes softly, cross my legs or plant both feet on the ground, sit up straight, and begin to draw my attention to my breath. I focus on a mantra if I have one (lately my meditation has been all about manifestation, but sometimes it’s just about letting my thoughts go or slowing down), and I almost always find that 20 minutes have gone by before I even know it.
…the beauty and magic of being IN THE SKY, or on the road, or just alive and moving in the world. Plane rides in particular are extremely therapeutic to me because they offer such a spectacular perspective. There is something about seeing the world from far away, reminding us just how small everything that feels so big really is. Traveling can be a special time to take a moment to pause, slow down and simply appreciate.
Journal and Read!
I find that my thoughts are much more clear than usual when I am in the clouds. 🙂 It can be a special, distraction-free time to organize your thoughts, get some feelings down on paper, expand your mind through the words on the pages of a new book… and ultimately, slow down and be present.
And there ya have it, folks! Traveling can be exhausting, but it does not have to ruin the trip. Don’t let it stop you from keeping up with your wellbeing; let it be an opportunity to!
Bon Voyage 🙂