The snow is gone, the sun is out, a warm tropical breeze is blowing through your hair as the birds serenade you; this is wellness travel.
A fresh cup of coffee is brewing nearby as the sun rises over the mountain, the clanking of pots and pans from a nearby market stand rouse you; this is wellness travel.
You wake up with the light of dawn; sit in stillness thinking about the space around you, and make your way down to the spa for a morning healing treatment; this is wellness travel.
Whether you find yourself near or far, small changes to your travel routine can make all the difference. Learning to be present in your surroundings doesn’t have to cost anything; it simply means putting away your smartphone. Wellness resonates in a different way with every traveler and the aspects that nourish you can and will change throughout the stages in your life. Everyone can add a little more wellness to his or her travel no matter your budget. Start with any of these tips and build up to create a routine that maximizes your favorite wellness rituals.
Pre Travel Tips:
Prepare your body for travel 24-hours before you leave home by eating as clean as possible: no alcohol, no caffeine, and limit your carbohydrates. Instead fuel with lean protein and fresh vegetables. This will give your system less to breakdown and keep your blood sugar in check.
Get in a workout – any favorite physical activity. Travel by plane, train, or car involves sitting for a long period of time. Prepare your muscles by giving them some stimulation and stamping out the muscular stress and tension your body builds up by being sedentary.
On the Road Tips:
Make your calories count by eating nutritious food. More and more airports are renovating their restaurants to offer healthier choices, but if you are planning a road trip it’s not always possible. Either way, pack snacks so you can eat what and when you want. Insider Tip: Did you know that flight attendants pack coolers instead of eating airplane food? That should tell you something.
Take time to stretch out. Walk up and down the aisle of a plane, make a pit stop to do a little exploring on a road trip, or strike a yoga pose in the terminal. This is the best way to keep your blood flowing and re-center your breath. Sometimes a small physical movement can make the difference between a smile and a frown during stressful times of travel.
Book a hotel with a steam room or sauna. This is my #1 go-to wellness travel staple – especially when traveling for work. Being on an airplane dries you out and leaves you trapped with foreign germs for hours at a time. Heading directly to the spa upon arrival detoxes your system and lets you sweat out all the baggage of travel – literally.
Pack a pair of sneakers or walking shoes and set out to explore. Concierge desks often have running maps or hiking trail guides available. If you are in a major city there are always great neighborhoods to explore. Even if this means waking up an hour earlier, you will feel grounded and more alive when you can connect and enjoy the environment around you.
Eat local food. Travel opens the world to us and food is the quickest way to grasp the history and a unique understanding of a new culture. Fruits, vegetables, spices, even entire meals may be made up of ingredients that are new to you. Depending on your budget you could arrange a cooking class, a food tour, or just stroll the markets and point to what you want to try.
Research the local culture and participate. From line dancing in Texas to a pilgrimage in India, any place you travel will have something unique to that town, city, or country. As a traveler who is open to stepping out of your comfort zone, the locals will embrace you and aim to make your experience special. Want to splurge? Join a group wellness vacation, which focuses on a local festival – here you will have access to private ceremonies and events that are not open to regular travelers.
Have any wellness travel tips of your own? Share them in the comments below!
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