I used to travel almost weekly in my corporate job.
This might sound glamorous to some...and yes, I had some awesome times when travelling with my colleagues to Vienna, Bali, Bejing and Seoul, but travelling can be tedious and tiring. It's also not so great for your health - dehydration, poor food choices and multiple time zones can wreak havoc with your body.
What I know now is that there’s a lot you can do to ensure you arrive at your destination more refreshed and ready to have fun, with a little planning ahead.
Here are my Top 10 Tips for Mindful Travel:
Eat a healthy meal before you go to the airport. Having a smoothie, a protein filled salad or a light dinner can make a big difference to how you feel over the hours of travel ahead of you. Being hungry at the airport can lead to a fast food frenzy, leaving you feeling heavy and bloated before you even leave the ground.
If travelling internationally, buy a bottle of still water after you clear customs. Keeping hydrated is super important when travelling and is often overlooked. Many airlines only give small cups of water inflight so it's brilliant to have your own supply.
Pre-order a special meal (like vegetarian). The advantages are that you are served first, and the meals are often much lighter that the standard mass produced airline food.
Eat mindfully. Pause your inflight entertainment and focus on your food. Taste each mouthful and be selective as to what you eat, rather than just eating everything on the tray. Usually there’s far more food than you need (especially for your average female), and you're just going to be sitting around so you really don't need all those calories.
Do you really need to eat that bread roll? I'm not anti-bread, but that cold, hard bread roll is pretty ordinary and if it doesn't taste good, why eat it?
Move in your seat. Sure, DVT prevention is extremely important on long haul flights, but it also makes your body feel so much better if you move. Flex the muscles in your legs and feet. Squeeze your glutes. Suck your tummy in towards your spine. Stretch your arms overhead. Doing this every 30 minutes during your flight will make you feel alive and help you avoid the stiffness that comes with prolonged inactivity.
Meditate for 30 minutes inflight. Set the timer on your phone, plug in your headphones and focus on moving your breath in and out of your body. It's really a great and healthy way to reduce stress inflight and relax your mind, preparing you for the day ahead.
Stay at serviced apartments if you have a choice. That way you have a kitchen if you want to cook. Eating out constantly isn't good for anyone, and even if you can just make your own breakfast, it helps you to avoid temptations (waffles, anyone?) for at least one meal every day.
Take activewear with you. Even if you don't like exercising, going for an easy walk is a great way to recover from your travel and to get to know your local area. Check with the hotel and they might be able to guide you to a beautiful spot to walk to.
If travelling alone, eat in a restaurant rather than room service. As a female travelling alone on business, I always felt awkward eating out on my own. After I had a trip to Seoul, South Korea, that all changed. There was no way I was going to hide in my hotel room with the opportunity to explore Seoul right in front of me. And I had some wonderful experiences eating out alone. This gave me the confidence to do this on my regular business trips, and I was amazed at how much better I felt just by escaping my room for an hour or two, rather than having room service in my pyjamas every night (although that has it's own pleasures).
Happy travels everyone x