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By Olivia Janisch

Travel brightens the spirit and gives us an opportunity to explore new places and ourselves. It’s a chance to de-stress, and to refocus on our own personal needs and goals. Vacation smart and don’t be a victim to poor food options and excessive travel times, use these tips to make the most of your trip to come back energized and balanced.

1. Combat jet lag

Jet lag can take a serious toll on your energy and immune system, and strips precious days from your trip. By disrupting your circadian rhythm, it causes fatigue, dizziness and disturbed sleep. Take measures to prevent jet lag by staying ultra hydrated. This means drinking plenty of water on the days leading up to your trip, and drinking water all during your flight.

Food is more difficult to digest at higher altitudes, so eat lightly on the plane to avoid further stressing your body. Bring healthy options like fruit and nuts so that you can avoid eating the sugar, salt, and fat laden snacks on board (that way you won’t have to worry about waking up for them either). This will leave your body with the energy it needs to quickly adjust to your new environment.

Sleep is essential, so to ensure you get good sleep without a massive hangover, opt for melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone created naturally in our bodies by the pineal gland, and helps control our sleep cycles. It spikes during the middle of the night and levels out in the mornings, so taking it as a supplement helps to naturally relax the body and enhance sleep. It is affected by light, so wear an eye mask to minimize outside distractions that could reduce its effectiveness.

2. Strengthen your immune system

There is nothing worse than being sick on a trip, and because you’re exposed to so many new places, foods, and modes of transport your system is more likely get disrupted. Actively strengthen your immune system by drinking water, taking probiotics, reducing sugar, and getting lots of sleep the week before your trip. This will help ensure you’re able to fight off potential pathogens and will be able to enjoy your trip stress-free.

Counter Attack is a great supplement that works to get rid of anything that might be making you sick. It’s a powerful dose of antioxidants that will flush your system, so it’s worth taking with you in case you feel anything coming on while you’re traveling.

3. Get active

Just because you’re out of your daily routine doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stay active. One of the best ways to see a new place is by foot or on a bike. Look up tours or trails you can do and spend a few half days exploring a new place without the confines of a car or train. You get much more of a feel for your new city, and have a way better chance of coming across charming cafes and interesting locals.

4. Picnic locally

Food is such a strong marker of a place and is an excellent way to learn about the regional culture. Instead of eating at restaurants all the time, stop into the farmers markets and local shops to buy seasonal fruit, veg, cheese and meat. It will save you money and give you an opportunity to support local business.

5. Stay in air B&Bs and apartments

Staying in a place with a kitchen is the best way to make sure you’re eating well. Having at least one homemade meal a day will save you from eating unnecessary amounts of oil and salt, and will keep you grounded and balanced. It’s also a fun way to try new foods and methods of cooking typical to where you are, and you can invite over all the new friends you make on your trip!

6. Get wet

Water is extremely healing and rejuvenating, and relaxes stiff muscles that come from hiking around or being cramped up en route during travel days. It cleanses your system and releases stress and anxiety. Try and seek out places with pools and Jacuzzis, or better yet get into natural bodies of water like a lake or ocean. Soak it in and ease into your holiday bliss.

 

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