Tips for Trips: planes, hotels, and family visits

Airplane isle

Like most people, year-end means extra stress on all levels. From year-end bills to mailing cards, buying presents, and of course…travel, the final weeks of December tend to be some of the most chaotic of the year.

Even if you aren’t flying anywhere or taking a vacation, there’s a chance you will be away from your home for a night or two before the end of the year. I’ve got a few tips for you that you may not think about before you head out the door.

By plane: I’ve become a fan of essential oils and sinus irrigation to fend off unwanted sickness from coming my way. You don’t want to start off your travel getting sick the very next day. I love DoTerra On-Guard Essential Oil. I ingest it, wear it, and subtly drop it on the coughing people around me on the plane (don’t tell anyone about that last part!).

I’ve also become a fan of sinus irrigation over the past decade and find before and after a flight it has a two-fold effect. First, it helps keep your sinuses moist. Airline air is perhaps the worst air because it’s basically air pumped repeatedly through the plane. It’s dry up there and when your sinuses get dry, you have a tendency for your throat to take the brunt of the load and it gets scratchy. After the flight, when you get to where you are going, your very best bet is take a shower and irrigate your sinuses as soon as you can. Harboring any unwanted junk floating around that airplane and into your nose can’t fester if you dump it out right away.

My other 3 advice tips while on a plane:

  • Don’t drink alcohol or caffeine if you want to avoid inflammation in your tissue
  • Drink water throughout the flight. This means you will have to buy that $8 bottle of water from the airport store, but it’s worth it in the long run.
  • Get up at least 2 times during the flight. Even if you don’t have to go to the bathroom. If you really want to reduce the negative effects of that flight, just stand up every 60-90 minutes of your flight if you can to stretch and move your legs.

You are staying overnight at a family’s place or a hotel:

This may seem crazy but if you are driving, bring your own pillow. You will get a better night’s sleep if you do. And if you have allergies and you are staying in a hotel, call ahead of time and ask for hypoallergenic pillows. In the winter months, many hotels even have portable humidifiers which is a great asset in a hotel room when it’s dry and cold out. Finally, bring an eye mask! I have one that lives in my suitcase so I always have it when I travel. My favorite eye mask is the Dr. Mercola Lavender Eye Mask.

You are spending time with family:

It’s always a little stressful whether we admit it or not to see family during the holidays. Regardless of who you are spending time with, I’d recommend bringing a gift that has little to no hassle and doesn’t linger after you leave. That means don’t bring flowers unless you bring the vase. People prepping for family don’t have time to do it and it just adds one thing to their list of to-dos. Instead, bring perishable items like cheese and crackers, a fruit platter already set up and ready to go, or if you are so inclined, we are breakfast people and ask ahead of time if we can make breakfast the following morning. If we get the thumbs up, we bring organic eggs, bacon, and toast but we don’t make pancakes because they just make a mess. Sometimes frozen hashbrown potatoes are a good substitute because they are easy to bake and take little prep time.

How to stick to a routine while traveling for the holiday

I remember when my best friend brought her 19-month-old daughter to the city for a visit. We hadn’t really thought through all of the routine habits of the day, which sent us out buying things that aren’t cheap. Things like a highchair for her to eat. When we tried eating on the sofa, well that didn’t work out too well. She also didn’t bring a stroller so needless to say new travelers with new babies should think things through before they walk out the door.

Well, it turns out, even without baby we are all creatures of habit and routine which can get entirely derailed from a vacation or holiday travel. For example, I MELT on my soft body roller every evening before bed. Traveling with it can be cumbersome with carry-on luggage. So I always bring my MELT Hand and Foot Treatment Kit and do both daily if I choose not to bring my roller. Of course now, with my new MELT Performance roller (available early 2016), which is only 16” long, I can bring that along anywhere so I’ve got that with me at this very moment on an airplane.

I also love to run and exercise most days. That can be tough when I travel. I then have to bring my running shoes and clothing and figure out how to wash everything so I don’t have to bring a weeks worth of shorts and tanks along with me. I’ve grown accustom to using my MELT Performance resistant band and HIIT (high intensity interval training) type exercises in my hotel room to start off my morning. I can do it in bare feet, I sweat, tone, and strengthen every area of my body and it only takes me 20 minutes. I use the 2 minutes hard work, 1 minute rest 7 times targeting my abs, back, butt, thighs and arms. It keeps my body in good shape when I’m traveling for work or on vacation.

The other tough one can be food choices. Although you can find good quality food most anywhere, it seems when I travel I eat out more—meaning I eat more calories, drink alcohol, which means even more calories. I also tend to eat at odd times compared when I’m home. This can throw off my digestion and cause bloating and even constipation. I always bring some smooth move tea and watch my water intake like a hawk. I even try to add a glass or two of hot water with lemon to my morning before I drink coffee to stimulate my GI track and avoid the constipation altogether.

My final tip that seems to really keep my body feeling good is adding vegetables at every meal, including breakfast. Even at a diner, I’ll ask for a veggie egg-white omelet but I also ask for extra raw spinach on the side. That way I start my day off with something really good for my body. I also avoid desserts except dark chocolate, which is one of my favorite essential foods as far as I’m concerned.

So even if you aren’t traveling with a baby, care for yourself like one. Make a list of things you love, know your general habits and pack accordingly. Don’t get derailed this season before you even walk out the door.

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