Whether you are flying cross-country or driving to Grandma’s many of us will be travelling over the holidays. I often say, the anticipation of event is sometimes greater than the actual event itself. While you prepare to travel consider these recommendations to help feel balanced and beautiful all journey long...
1. Make a playlist-Whether in the car or on a plane, music has a calming and/or uplifting affect on most people. Figure out how long your flight or drive will be and plan for at least that many hours of music.
2. Manicure/pedicure/hair blow out /color-schedule a nail or hair appointment before you leave. You will hit the ground feeling fresh and put together!
3. Pack in advance-This is my biggest challenge, but when I do, travel always goes smoother. Pretend you are styling one of those shoots you see in magazines where the jacket, goes with the pants and the shorts and the top and the sweater. Lay it all out and pack a couple nights in advance. Be sure to leave out a comfortable yet classy outfit to travel in.
4. Plan your travel outfit-The days of travelling in your Sunday best is long gone, but it is still nice to travel in style…and comfort. Strangers treat you with more respect when you look “nice” and let’s face it, when you look good, you feel good. A pashmina or large scarf has many uses while travelling, wrap it around your neck for style and warmth, drape it across your lap like a blanket or fold it for a pillow.
5. Pay Bills and Make Lists-This is my father coming out in me, but it does help to make sure all your affairs are buttoned up and accounted for. Making lists ahead of time and actually checking them off raises endorphin levels in our bodies making us calm and happier.
6. Learn a few breath work techniques-You don’t have to practice Yoga to find benefits in some of the breath work (Pranayama) that Yoga offers. Alternate nostril breathing and breath retention is a great way to relax, clear the mind and possibly keep you from strangling the screaming kid behind you.
7. Stretch-There are many great stretches such as back, side and forward bends, that are natural mood enhancers and won’t make you feel like a total weirdo doing them in a public place such as an airport or gas station.
8. Bring your tweezers!-Eyebrows are the most under-rated fix to creating a finished face. Don’t laugh but I’ve found the light in my visor mirror to be great for tweezing my brows. Also the bathroom light on airplanes is surprisingly good, just don’t stay in there too long, or people might start to wonder.
9. Baby Wipes and Makeup Removers-Baby wipes will clean clothes, dirty seats, hands, when there is no soap and so much more. There should be a survival book written about baby wipes and duct tape. Seriously! For the face, pre-moistened makeup remover cloths remove makeup or just clean the skin mid or post-travel. (Note: These pre-moistened towelettes must be placed in your one-quart bag of liquids.)
10. Snacks-As a mother I never leave home without them. However even as an adult a healthy snack might be just what will get you through a traffic jam or long flight. Choose snacks that are easy to pack like nuts, bars, fruit, beef-jerky. Don’t forget something “special” too, like chocolate or candy as a reward for keeping it together. If you have kids, individually wrap a few treats for your kid to unwrap every half hour as a "special" for good behavior.
11. No excessive alcohol or heavy foods the first night-Especially if you are travelling to a higher elevation avoid heavy food and alcohol the first night if you want to start your trip off on the right foot, looking and feeling good! After that, everything, in moderation, even moderation, is fair game! After all, it is the holiday season!
12. Hydrate-Given right? However TSA has made it challenging and sometimes not worth the hassle. Collapsible plastic water bottles are great to stick in a side pocket of your carry-on and fill up once you are through security. If you are a parent travelling with a small child, you are allowed to bring a sippy bottle filled with water “for your child”. They may ask to test it, but so long as you can unscrew the top, they will let you keep it. Eye drops and an all purpose moisture balm are great to have too, just make sure they are under 3 0z if you are flying.
13. Audio Book-If you are not a big reader or get easily distracted with all the hustle and bustle around you, try listening to an audio book. Get a few recommendations from friends you trust and load them up!
14. Meditation-There is not greater time than when you are asked to sit still for hours anyway to learn a few mediation techniques. Start with a guided meditation, two of my favorites are Jack Kornfield on Headspace or Dr. Joe Dispenza. Or, simply count your breathes and observe your body as you inhale and exhale relaxing each muscle in your body as you exhale more deeply
15. Delete Emails! If you are like me you probably have at least 100 if not a 1,000 emails on your phone that are unread. There is nothing better than taking care of a brainless task when there is nothing else expected of you than to sit back and do nothing.
16. Sleep-Need I say more. Really the best all around solution for most things in your body is sleep. If you packed ahead as suggested, the night before your travel you will hopefully afford yourself a good night sleep which will set the tone for a smooth day of travel.
Want to know what is and is not TSA approved? Here is a great breakdown.