With the coronavirus pandemic restrictions finally starting to lift and the majority of us have already received our vaccine, summer travel finally appears to be back on the menu. Many of us have spent the past year sequestered in our homes, hidden away from the world, and we’re more than ready to take in the sights in a new city and start planning that next vacation.
However, as amazing as travel can be, it does come with its own downsides. The fact is, most of us come back from our vacations carrying a few extra pounds as an unwanted souvenir, and time zones can easily throw a wrench into your sleep patterns. If you’re looking to make the most out of your next vacation– and you don’t want to feel like you’re missing out — here are four realistic tips you can actually use the next time you travel.
It’s no secret that air travel can be incredibly dehydrating, as the low humidity of the air cabin can quickly dry you out. Even road trips can leave you vulnerable to getting thirsty, as many people tend to turn to coffee or energy drinks (both of which are diuretics) to keep them alert. Combined with the fact that nobody wants to be the person to have to ask for a bathroom break, it’s a surefire recipe for getting parched.
Dehydration can quickly take the wind out of your sails on a trip, leading to serious issues such as fatigue, dizziness, brain fog, and even heat stroke. To help combat it, it’s smart to always keep water on hand. A refillable water bottle can go a long way in keeping you hydrated, and you can always top it up at any of the water fountains available at your vacation destination.
Ease Into the Indulgences
Whether you follow a strict diet at home or you’re perfectly fine to let loose here and there, an all-inclusive vacation is the perfect time to treat yourself to new tastes. Who wants to deprive themselves when they’re on vacation from sampling exotic cuisine to sipping fruity cocktails? That said, if you dive head-first into a plate of fried appetizers or those delicious local libations, you may find yourself regretting it later.
Instead, don’t feel as though you need to tell yourself “no” while on vacation. Rather, think of it as, “I’ll just dip my toes into these treats.” Of course, we mean that figuratively, not literally! Start with one cocktail, then chase it with a glass of water before considering a second. Or enjoy that fried calamari, but split dessert with a friend or a partner. Your stomach (and your waistline!) will thank you.
Find Ways to Sneak in Fitness
It can be so tempting to want to throw your kettlebells or your running shoes into your suitcase along with your favorite pair of house slippers for women or house shoes for men, but do you really want to get up before the crack of dawn to squeeze in a workout? It’s understandable to feel torn between wanting to exercise while on a trip and wanting to take it easy. Who said you can’t do both, though?
Instead of trying to sneak in some formal exercise, try to find ways to naturally incorporate it. One great way to do this is to find local walking tours and spend a morning or afternoon leisurely exploring a point of interest on foot. Or, if you prefer, look up some hiking trails and take them to the woods while on your vacation. Even a day of splashing in the pool or the beach can give you gentle exercise so you can avoid feeling sluggish and bloated.
Take Jet Lag Seriously
Jet lag is every vacationer’s secret nemesis, a thief that tries to rob you of all of your vacation fun. Even if you grabbed some shut-eye on your flight, it’s still totally normal to feel lethargic and groggy when you arrive at your destination. This can be further compounded if you move forward or backward several hours in time zones. Rather than letting the time change throw you off, try to plan for it so you can work around it.
Don’t arrive at your vacation destination blind; research the time changes ahead of time so you can be alert to it. About a half-hour before bed, implement a “no mobile devices” policy, as blue lights have been shown to make you feel more alert and wired. You may also want to take a cool shower before you go to bed, as this can signal to your body that it’s time to rest and wind down. If you feel so inclined, you may also want to introduce natural sleep aids, such as melatonin to help you get a good night’s rest.
It’s understandable to be excited about your upcoming travels, and it’s equally understandable to also feel a little bit overwhelmed about finding balance while you’re there. By incorporating these four tips and allowing yourself to have a little bit of fun on your trip, you can make the most of your vacation without feeling crummy while you’re there — and return home feeling your very best, too!
Featured Image by Joshua Woroniecki from Pixabay