Less than a year ago, I wrote about the things I can’t leave at home when I’m out on the road. We just spent a day in travel from Vancouver through London to Prague (about twenty hours worth) and I spent a little time en route contemplating all the comforts that I require to really make a long day of travel feel as good as it can.
On my original list, I included a neti pot, but I’ve changed my feelings about them over the months since. I’ve never used mine regularly so whenever I got stuffy or felt like there was something going on with my sinuses, I’d pull it out and I started to notice that it would make me feel even ickier. I really thought that it was a travel must, but I used it while I was in Newfoundland last year and it took me weeks afterward to recover.
We travel fairly frequently, but most of our trips are within North America and usually our flights are five hours or shorter. This is my third trip to Europe and, honestly, my trip to Newfoundland took nearly as long. (No direct flights.) So, having done four long haul trips like these, I’ve worked to perfect the experience and do everything I can to feel my best when the travel is done.
In preparation for this trip, there were a few things that I knew I needed to collect. I really wanted to have smooth travels and knowing that we’d be close to a full day in airports and planes and transport, I didn’t want to leave anything out. I’ve been pretty busy with work lately and this would be my first chance to really relax in quite a while which is further reason I didn’t want to waste a single second so I stocked up on everything I needed to make sure things went seamlessly.
For the flight
- No Jet-Lag. (I know, how ever did they come up with that name, right?) When I’m traveling across multiple time zones, there’s nothing I want less than to be on a different clock than my destination. This is a homeopathic that is designed to reduce jet-lag and in all my experiences, it totally works. You just take one chewable tablet at take-off and then another every two hours (or you can wait up to four hours if you’re sleeping) under your travel is complete.
- Sleep mask. I’ve never used one of these before and, frankly, I was worried it would be really bothersome. Kevin got me this one (I don’t know why they only show it by itself in their online store – mine came with a really soft cover with a velcro strap to keep it in place) from Saje for Easter and I used it for the first time flying from Vancouver to London. It was really surprising to me A) how comfortable it was to wear – it didn’t bother me at all and B) how instantly relaxing it was – I never realized how easily I’m distracted by my eyes. (Also does double duty if your hotel room is bright in the mornings.)
- Lip balm. With all that recycled air, your lips will need some extra TLC. I’ve been using the lip balm from matter‘s outdoors collection for the past couple of years (check them out at Circle Craft Winter Market) and the lip love balm that I got at my skoah facial a few weeks back. Whatever you love that will love your lips will do.
- Essential oils. Basically all of the liquids in my carryon were variations of essential oils. I had bottles of essential oils and blends, oil blend rollers and a couple of spray bottles for misting. My favourites at the moment? I like the arrive revived remedy and lavender mist, both from Saje and Alpine Meadows diffuser blend from Healing Hollow. I also keep a roller of immune with me at all times, home or away.
- Compression socks. I bought a pair last time we were in Vegas and I wore them home from there and again while we flew yesterday. They’re comfortable and they keep my feet and ankles from becoming painful and swollen. By the time we arrived at our hotel last night, my legs were in better shape than any other part of my body!
- Facial wipes. I use yes to cucumbers. They make it in a “travel” pack with just ten wipes, but I usually carry the regular thirty pack because it isn’t that much bigger than the smaller version. Since you can’t or don’t want to wash your face on a plane or in an airport bathroom, these will save you the splish splash on the way to feeling fresh again. When you’re tired, there’s nothing more invigorating than washing your face.
- Water, water, water. Of course, you can’t take water through airport security so pack an empty bottle instead. FIll it up in the airport before you leave and ask for water again when in-flight service comes around. Just keep it coming. Here’s a post I found that outlines the importance of drinking water during air travel.
For the hotel
- Tea. I’m not the orange pekoe type and sometimes that’s your only choice when you rely on hotel supplied beverages. I’ll pack a little green and some herbals, too. I like selection. The Davids Tea travel mug in the picture is super (thanks Julie!) and the little sampler sets of their loose teas are easy to bring along whether it’s just a few or the whole box. Limited for space? It’s almost impossible that you could ever not have room to squeeze a few single tea bags into those outer pockets on your bag.
- Travel candle. Candles are nice and relaxing. I like ones that smell pretty, too. A travel candle will take up just a tiny bit of your packing space and can provide a thousand times its size in comfort. (Don’t forget matches! I’m not sure if you’re supposed to pack them in checked baggage or carry-on, but I’ve brought them with me in both.)
- Essential oils. Again, they’re small, but pack a big punch. They can make your accommodations feel a little more like home or they can work their magic in the case of headaches, nausea or even just ill-ease.
- Socks or flip-flops.
Food & drink
- Vega Protein Smoothie. Few things are as challenging as keeping up a healthy routine when away from home. I give myself a little leeway and plan to start my day with a healthy food foundation so that if I indulge throughout the day, I know that there was at least a little good to balance it out. (Pack a shaker bottle and ball, too!)
- Snacks. There’s no time when you make worse decisions than when you’re hungry. Whether traveling or at home, I try to, as a rule, have a snack in my purse or at my fingertips so that a mid-afternoon hunger pang turns into a peach instead of a pizza. Whether it’s raw nuts, granola bars, fruit or cut veggies, having something at your fingertips will help. Lately, we’ve been eating Mama Chia Squeezes. They come in plenty of delicious flavours, boast 2 grams of protein and 4 grams of fibre and can be eaten at room temperature or cold. Note: Yes, you can buy snacks once you get to your destination, but many times, it can be hard to find or get to a place that’s going to sell what you’re looking for or if you get busy, you could forget about it altogether.
- Immune support. When you’re out there in the wild, wide world, you’re exposed to a lot of different people…and their germs. You might also be eating a little less healthy, drinking a little more alcohol and/ or logging fewer hours of quality sleep than you’re used to. Travel always involves some degree of stress and that can impact our immune systems. I like to get a boost from Emergen-C. Each packet contains 1000 mg of Vitamin C and dissolves easily into a glass of water. There is a huge selection of flavours and every one I’ve tried is great. I don’t use them at home unless I feel a cold coming on, but when I’m on the road, I find them really handy for keeping up my energy and good feelings.
The more I travel, the more this list evolves and expands. I’m not sure if its age or savvy, but as both increase, I find that it’s more and more reasonable to me to devote some of my luggage space to creature comforts.
Help me grow my list! What is something that you just can’t leave for vacation without? What is a must to make your travel experience complete?