Traveling abroad isn’t easy. Different beds, different time zones, different languages. All of it requires preparation and a clear head to be able to enjoy a minimally stressful travel experience, especially if you’re like us and focused on experience the most you can with budget travel. Setting up alerts for flight deals and knowing how to use AirBnb are helpful tools for the experienced traveler. For those who aren’t experienced travelers – there are basic habits to master first. These 7 habits for stress-free travel will simplify your home routines and make your next trip so much more enjoyable.
Sleep Regulating + Nighttime Routines
Let’s just make this part simple. You need to sleep and be well-rested before you travel because travel is work. Travel requires effort for even the high ball luxury traveler, but more especially if you’re a budget traveler. While all travel requires work, it doesn’t require stress – which is easier to fall into when you’re tired. You cannot hop off a plane and explore Rome if on your 13-hour flight you didn’t get any sleep!
What does it take to get sleep on a 13-hour flight you ask? While I would say that all stress-free travel requires some pre-planning. Even if it’s a concentrated hour of packing before a spontaneous trip! Knowing ahead of time what things keep you up, and what things help you sleep. For myself, a non-addictive sleep aid, an audio-book, and a neck pillow are pretty essential. For you, it might be a movie? Taking off your apple watch and turning off other electronics? Either way: Getting your rest while you can before and during travel will make your adventures much more enjoyable.
Links to helpful articles on non-addictive sleep aids like Ashwagandha and Melatonin. Neither Ev or myself are doctors, so please consult a physician before adding in any supplements or medications to your regimen. The links below are the ones I have personally found to work the best.
Meal prepping is one of the most efficient ways to cut down on stress at home, save money for the budget traveler, and maintain a healthy diet. I really don’t think I have to explain how much eating a healthy diet can help you when you travel but overall: the healthier you are before travel – the healthier you will be during travel. See my favorite eco-friendly meal-prep containers here and my favorite eco-friendly food storage bags here.
One of my favorite parts of any traveling is hiking and walking 12 miles a day through new cities. This is not accomplish-able if you don’t have healthy eating habits in place before you travel! While eating one doughnut on vacation is certainly not that big of a deal – eating doughnuts all the time because they’re fast and easy is going to hurt you in the long run. Your body doesn’t need to store up processed sugar, high sodium, and fatty foods before a big adventure. It needs green juices that keep your brain firing, healthy carbs that give you energy to workout, and healthy protein to help you build the muscles you need to climb those mountains!
If meal prepping was mentioned on this list, then you should’ve known that exercise was naturally going to follow. You can’t expect to hike the Swiss Alps if you’re not getting up and exercising regularly while at home. Coming full circle- this is why meal prepping is so important. You can exercise all you want, but exercise does little when there’s nothing for your muscles to build on? Regardless of your circumstance, if you’re traveling – you most likely have the strength to also do some form of exercise.
There are a million workouts on YouTube that you can do at home, and many resistance band workouts you can do while watching TV! I’m not ashamed to admit that while I run on the treadmill – I watch TV. It’s not different than listening to music while you run? Do what you have to do to get your fitness in check! These resistance bands have over eleven thousand reviews and are probably the only sporting equipment left available after the corona closed all the gyms! 😉
While, yes, this is a disciplined person’s habit in general- hydrating frequently will help you overcome a lot while you travel. From beating jet lag, making it all day in the heat on any adventure to keeping your immunity strong in new environments. While traveling you may be exposed to new viruses, new foods, and new bacteria that you aren’t used to and could affect you negatively. Your body eliminates toxins and bacteria naturally, and keeping hydrated keeps those processes happening in a timely manner.
Another important reason for why it’s important for travelers to stay hydrated: eliminating brain fog. Dehydration can compromise cognitive functioning in the same manner that a lack of sleep can. For a full breakdown of why hydration is so important and the adverse effects of dehydration, please see this article from The National Center for Biotechnology, ‘Water, Hydration and Health’.
Skin + Hair Care Regimens
From minimizing our routines to finding sustainable products, this is a major stress-free travel tip. Last year when we went to Italy, our friend Morgan went with us. We all backpacked, but needless to say- Morgan and I had heavier packs because we took way too much in the form of beauty products! 5 pounds may not sound like a lot, but when it comes to backpacking… it’s a lot! Click here for a guide on travel hair care tips!
As far as skincare goes- I am obsessed with coconut oil while I travel. I haven’t found anything more versatile and useful in my skincare for a while now! It is a make-up remover, moisturizer, and sunburn balm all in one. For some of my personal favorites, see here, here and here. There are a few other products that I find incredibly helpful for reviving skin after long flights, all products linked here.
Makeup though? This is totally a preference for most people, but when it comes to stress-free travel? I’ve found that the less I do the better when it comes to makeup. Mascara, BB cream, blush, eye-shadow, and a couple of good lipsticks go a long way!
Organize Your Gear
De-cluttering and organizing your home are healthy habits in general, but it can actually make your travel goals much easier to accomplish as well! The less ‘stuff’ lying around means you’re probably more organized with what you do have! Regardless of whether it’s a spontaneous trip or one planned for months, it’s much easier to grasp what you need and what you already have this way. You are so much less likely to forget important things if all of your gear is together in one well-organized space. If your quick drying micro-fiber towels, hiking boots, and water filtration systems are all stored together in one place you’re much less likely to forget them for a big hiking trip!
Minimize Your Wardrobe
I think my favorite phrase of all time when doing any planning is ‘Know thyself‘. From packing to grocery shopping to planning adventures on a trip – just know thyself. For the purposes of stress-free travel- get to know, before you go, what kinds of clothes you’re most comfortable in and what kind of activities you actually think you’ll enjoy. It will make packing for your trip more streamlined and get dressed when you’re on vacation much easier. When in Italy last year – I only brought 2 bathing suits, activewear, and some cute dresses. So I had a pretty quick decision every beach day on what I wanted to wear- meaning I had much more time to spend on the beach!
These are two of my favorite neutral bathing suits that look glam but are also functional for adventurous days!
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