Going out and seeing the world is a great experience, but it isn’t all glitz and glamour. Unless you’re off on a luxury holiday, new adventures can take you well out of your comfort zone. Before you know it, you’re counting down every second during your long haul flight, or cursing under your breath as you drag your heavy bags behind you. According to the Harvard Business Review, travelling can definitely take a toll on your mental and physical health, especially for frequent flyers. Fortunately, you don’t have to suffer in silence in exchange for an otherwise wonderful trip.
That said, here are a few tips on how to travel smarter and stay comfortable.
Wear the right shoes
Travelling involves you being on your feet for a lot of time, even at the airport. So your first line of defence is a reliable pair of shoes. Previously here on Flanelle Mag, we outlined some of the most common travel injuries caused by not wearing the right gear — but don’t overlook the right shoes even if you’re not jumping off a cliff or climbing a mountain. Leave the heels or clunky boots at home, or pack them if you’ll still need them for a later event during your trip. Travel + Leisure warns flyers about the condition “gravitational oedema,” which explains why you might notice your foot and ankles swelling during flights. But don’t worry, as it is typically harmless, if a little uncomfortable. Try to wear shoes you can easily take off when it gets too much.
Bring a reliable carry-on
If you’re traveling light, it’s worth investing in a good carry-on bag. Capacity is the most important requirement, and various airlines can have different baggage restrictions. Excess baggage fees can get pretty expensive if you don’t pack properly. Nowadays, there are plenty of choices and innovations meant to make packing easier, such as compression technology and more durability. Your favourite brands like Rimowa and Away all have suitcases that are as functional as they are fashionable.
With athleisure taking the world by storm, you won’t run out of quality leggings or jackets you can live in for long haul trips. But don’t forget to pack a good set of sleeping clothes, too. Just because you won’t be out and about in them doesn’t mean you should settle for a ratty old shirt in the evenings. Woman Within has a vast selection of sleepwear that puts emphasis on comfy fabrics and designs that will provide maximum comfort at night. Like we mentioned, travelling can be physically taxing, so a proper recharge is essential — whether you’re resting on a luxurious hotel mattress or in a tent under the stars.
In addition, have a good mix of casual and formal clothes. Some luxury cruises have strict dress codes and gala nights, so pack a set that is appropriate, should you choose to participate in these events.
Buy travel-sized toiletries
Spare yourself the sadness of having to throw out your favourite skincare products because they’re too big for your flight. Instead, buy travel-sized products or containers that will hold your shampoo, conditioner, cleanser, moisturiser, and more without having to bring entire bottles.
Pack light snacks
When travelling, you might not always have the grandest culinary options at your fingertips. Perhaps you’re on a road trip and the next restaurant is quite a distance away, or you’re stuck on a plane with bad airline food. It’s important to stay fuelled as you make your way, never having to starve yourself. Dietitian Joel Feren suggests going for healthy snacks that are versatile and easy to buy. Muesli bars, nuts, and popcorn are ideal because you can just throw them in a bag and go, without requiring refrigeration.
Don’t forget your eye mask and ear plugs
Sometimes, you just can’t help but take a nap outside your hotel room. If you’re feeling conscious or can’t stand the light, an eye mask will be a god’s send. Get one that is lightweight to prevent pressure on your eyes. A pair of earplugs may also come in handy for a full sensory deprivation, especially if you’re looking to stay in a shared room or hostel.