I have spent a lot of my life actively on the road. For about 5 summers straight, I traveled for at least 2 months, bouncing from city to city every few days. While it’s all great and fun – people don’t always talk about the fact it can take a toll on you mentally, emotionally and physically. I started to learn how to take care of myself while traveling. Here are some of my tips.
- Go with what’s familiar – sometimes when you are in a new place, it’s nice to go with the familiar in terms of movies or series. For me, whenever I fly transatlantically – I want to watch a children’s movie or two. Whether it’s a Pixar movie or the Muppets or something classic like Aladdin – It’s easy to watch, it’s not heavy and it calms me down. I feel the same with food. When I’m homesick – I go and find a McDonald’s and have at it.
- Read – on the contrary, I often find it’s helpful to have a new read when traveling. It makes the time go faster since you don’t know what’s going to happen in the book. Reading takes a lot longer than watching a movie and therefore is easier to take in bit by bit. There’s nothing wrong with reading whatever genre you are comfortable with. My friend Janet was reading Hemingway last time we were together. I usually read something either beachy or suspenseful.
- Skin Care – So travel dehydrates your body. Something that I try to do is to make sure I keep up my skincare routine as much as possible. While personally, I think skipping sheet masks is probably smart if you are staying in a hostel (they are absolutely terrifying), I try to stay as otherwise hydrated, exfoliated, cleansed and toned as possible. Mini skin care is one of the only minis I think can be worth buying in a set since they are ready packaged. Sure – you can decant into travel bottles but if I’m totally honest, the seal on those is just never as good as I want it to be.
- Do a little bit of Pampering (if it’s in your budget) – there are some places where massages are extremely cheap. Likewise manicures and pedicures. Some cities have wonderful hot springs or bath houses. Why not take advantage of it? Seriously – one of my favorite travel days was the bath house in Budapest. Another was the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. Another was a hot springs in Costa Rica. All of these involve soaking in water. No surprise – I love taking baths! Some things might be gimmicky but if they calm you down – honestly who cares?
- Sleep – I remember once I was talking to someone who was telling me how exhausted they were when they traveled. They went out late and then couldn’t sleep late at the hostel (for whatever reason). This is a terrible idea. However much sleep you get at home, you should get at least that much sleep when traveling. Realistically, most people have a more active lifestyle when on the road so you want to make sure you aren’t going to end up sick.
- Balanced Itinerary – Both of my best travel buddies and I agree on something. It’s nice to have a balance in activities. Something like a museum is best balanced with a chill glass of wine or trip to the beach. When you absolutely pack an itinerary, you are often so exhausted by it, it’s tough to appreciate everything. There is nothing wrong with taking it easy during travel – a nap, a beer, a few hours people watching – all of those things only add to your overall experience and wellbeing.
- Personal Time for reflection – no matter how you want to do it – it’s really helpful to take some time to reflect and be on your own every day. Whether it’s before bed or before everyone is awake in a city – you should really take some time to yourself every day.
Those are the tips I have for taking care of yourself while traveling. Let me know if you have any other ones!