Updated: Mar 2
Looking forward to your holiday with a slight sense of dread?
For many of us longer holidays happen only a few times per year and since they’re so infrequent, there's pressure to make it extra special and ‘perfect’. If there’s only two weeks to really enjoy yourself on holiday, the last thing you want is to feel sluggish, constipated or stressed for the majority of the time.
I like to get ready for a holiday with a moto: ‘better safe than sorry’ and pack for a few potential scenarios. Imagine it’s like getting a travel insurance, to guarantee your mental and physical wellbeing and good mood (and no travel insurance can fully guarantee you that).
Check out effective solutions for some common travel complaints below, that don’t take up much room in your suitcase, doesn’t require changing your whole travel plans or make you into an unreasonable traveler.
So grab your travel packing list now and add some essentials to it.
Boost your energy
If you work in an intense, stressful job that requires a lot of focus, chances are that once you stop and your body gets a signal to relax, you might be struggling to stay awake, feel sluggish and lack the energy to enjoy your trip of the year.
Perhaps it’s the unusual foods, too much bread, too little colour or balance on the plate, and you might feel like lounging about all day or having afternoon naps, not only for rest purposes, but for pure desperation to carry on.
I always take a couple of green tea teabags with me, as it is guaranteed to boost energy and improved wellbeing on holiday. Too much coffee (which is so abundant while traveling) will create spikes and crashes of energy, making the energy fluctuations worse. Green tea also contains antioxidants and polyphenols that will cultivate rejuvenation.
Pack a small bag of protein powder for balancing blood sugar, especially if traveling in countries where vegetables aren’t readily available or there’s only vegetarian food diet that consists of mainly bread, to give you an extra boost and balance.
Eliminate cravings and stay balanced
Notice that a few days on holiday and it’s hard to stop eating bread and sweets? Do you say to yourself that it will only happen on holiday, yet the cravings persist once you’re back into your regular routine?
I absolutely am an advocate of enjoying foods when traveling and I’d always try out the local cuisine to the full. Yet, even the local cuisine varies in quality and Oreos or a bag of crisps hardly is a ‘local gourmet gem’ of East Asia.
Sadly Westernised cheaper alternatives like crisps and chocolate bars have reached even the furthest corners of the earth, pushing out traditional whole foods. It’s always a good idea to pack some snacks for the road, for travel delays or when other options look grim. Opt in for nuts and seeds, natural protein bars or even seeded oatcakes.
Travel is uncertain and you’re in luck if everything goes according to the plan. So be prepared for delays and travel changes and make sure you don’t accidentally skip meals. It’s common to get through an intensely stressful day just to realise that you haven’t eaten since breakfast and it’s 9 pm.
This will only result in overeating later or increased sugar cravings.
Get the pipes moving
Does travelling, unfamiliar food and change of environment often cause your pipes to clog up? Some people commonly get constipated for 3- 4 days from the start of the holiday, which can taint their experience and make the holiday that little bit less enjoyable.
If that sounds like you, be sure to pack some psyllium husks for emergency situation. Extra fibre will help empty the bowel quicker and get the digestion working to its natural rhythm in no time.
Don’t underestimate the power of water. Mucous membranes are abundant in your gut and they need plenty of water to detoxify and flush things out of your digestive tract. Staying hydrated will also help balance your blood sugar and help keep you vital and energised in your adventures.
Fibre is key in keeping your digestion regular, so do come out of your way to add a little more
vegetables in your travellers diet and make an effort to make your side salad a large one.
Try out some gentle abdominal self- massage at the end of the day or gentle yoga and stretching to help your body relax and promote natural detoxification pathways.
If bloating is your nemesis on holiday, check out my previous blog article on simple hacks to reduce
Calm and de-stress
If you experience zero stress throughout your holiday (start to finish), tell me how.
Holidays often contain a fair bit of stress, especially with travel delays and working out how to get to places or get around.
This low (or really high) level stress not only causes arguments between you and your travel partners, but also takes a toll on your health. Mood swings, poor sleep, irritation and even the digestive symptoms mentioned above all relate back to elevated stress.
Whether you’re a seasoned meditator or have never tried it before, download some basic mindfulness videos or audios to listen to on the plane or while in other transport. Take 10 min, close your eyes and do some deep breathing exercises to have the best relaxing experience on your holiday.
Carry a bottle of lavender or frankincense essential oil in close reach and take a few deep breaths when in transit or have a little break to sit down. This will help you get grounded, fully feel your body and help relieve stress in minutes.