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The National Wellness Institute argues that there are 6 dimensions of wellness that individuals need to be thoughtful of as they journey to reach their best self.

We have outlined some of the ways our team maintains emotional, physical, and social wellness while traveling.

Written by Corinne Hogge


Emotional:


Be Prepared:

Give yourself the peace of mind when traveling by purchasing Travel Insurance. Travel insurance protects both you + your wallet against a variety of unforeseeable incidents that may affect you or your travel plans. You can depart for vacation with a sense of calm knowing that you will be reimbursed for part of or all their expenses should an undesirable event occur which prompts cancellation or interruption of the trip. Policies can be purchased for U.S. and international travel.

For more information on what Travel Insurance covers, see this post!

Stress Less:

Despite being practiced travelers, many of us feel the burden of pre-trip stress - what if I am forgetting something important? What if I made the wrong decision? What if didn’t bring the right clothes? While these intrusive thoughts are normal and quite common, they can still start our trips off on a stressful foot and finding ways to mitigate stress for the rest of the trip is a must. Below are some awesome items that we recommend for helping to combat some of the stress that can arise during the trip. 

Photo courtesy of  People.com

Photo courtesy of People.com

  • Packing Cubes:

    • There can be a lot of stress during traveling from timing issues to fighting crowds to making sure you can find a place to eat. Make sure your packing experience is as easy as can be with organizational packing cubes. These small, zippered compartments will fit right in your suitcase and will help you keep everything in its place so you can find all your items with organization and ease.

    • Runner Up:

      • If you like to keep things simple for the start of the trip, but know that you may make additional purchases during the trip, another great option to help you stress less over space is the REI lightweight compression sack. While these won’t keep your luggage as organized, it may help to downsize to fit all your souvenirs or serve as a simple way to store your dirty laundry out of sight. 

    • For even more packing tips, see these recommendations from Travel + Leisure!

  • Toiletry organizers:

    • Small bottles for your favorite products so you can always have what you need of your coveted products + help to reduce your environmental impact by removing the needless waste of disposable travel sized products.

  • TSA PreCheck + Global Entry

    TSA PreCheck: $85

    Global Entry: $100

    • If you fly a lot, or prefer to know that you don’t have to gamble with security wait lines, we couldn’t recommend PreCheck or Global Entry more. As novice travelers, we had assumed that waiting in the security line was a part of the gambit and that those in the fancy, “fast-pass” line must be special or work for the airlines. What is this magical program that saves both time + stress during an already stressful task? TSA PreCheck. You can sign up online for $85 for the next 5 years. While the up front cost might be a little shocking, it may be helpful to break the cost down into yearly increments for better mental accounting. The program is only $17 a year ($1.41 a month) and if you take an average of 6 flights a year (or 3 round trip flights), that is only $2.83 per flight to not have to remove your shoes, laptops, liquids, belts and light jackets in the security line. If you aren’t such a frequent flyer, the price may differ, but you can be the judge of how much waiting in the security line is worth. Another (slightly more expensive option) is Global Entry, for those of you who do a lot of international travel. The benefits are pretty similar, but also work when coming back into the USA from another country.

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Important Emotional Note:

It is extremely important to travel with an understanding of the futility of planning. On paper, the vacation planning version of ourselves is the most together version. We buy tickets, print things out, check in, pick out our clothes a week in advance, organize our toiletries, empty our trash cans at home before we leave, water the plants - we are ready for the trip. Our plans are perfect, but in reality, there are so many factors out of our control with travel - weather, traffic, mechanical issues, closures, etc. Unfortunately, our plans don’t get to control the unpredictable, and you should try not to waste your energy on feeling negative about dashed plans that are out of your control.

Take a deep breath and embrace the saying my mother instilled in me - “It is always an adventure”.

Emotional wellness follows these tenets

  • It is better to be aware of and accept our feelings than to deny them. 

  • It is better to be optimistic in our approach to life than pessimistic.


Physical:

Look + Feel Good:


Stay healthy:

  • Before:

    • As you journey to and explore your destination far from home, you may come in contact with illnesses or germs that you are not yet used to. You also may alter your normal eating, drinking, exercise and sleep habits while away. Both of these factors could lead to a weakened immune system, so it would behoove you to practice healthy habits before you leave - getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, eating a balanced diet. With a healthy mindset prior to the vacation, you may also make better decisions during the trip and are setting yourself up for physical success!

    • Probiotics:

      • Probiotics help keep your digestive system healthy, and that’s important when traveling - especially if you are planning dining on street food + fried snacks! No matter where you’re headed, we recommend taking these daily for the two weeks prior to your trip. Of course, everyone is different, so always consult with your doctor to ensure that adding a probiotic supplement to your regiment is safe!

  • During:

    • Sulfate-free Hand Sanitizer:

      $8.50

      • The older we get the more concerned we are about germs. Call it coming to terms with our own futility, call it education, but anyway you frame it, we could all use products that make us feel clean. Enter this organic hand sanitizer that smells great + is sulfate free so it won’t dry your hands out!

    • Stay Hydrated with these great water bottles:

      • Welly:

        $30 - 35

        • Welly Bottle is an insulated and infusing bamboo water bottle that will keep your drinks appropriately cold or warm. We love them because they donate a portion of their profits to organizations who provide clean water to people in need.

      • Que:

        $25

        • If you are short on space, a collapsible water bottle is a great option. Que bottles are the perfect travel bottle for your everyday adventures. They can be compacted to half their size when empty, are lightweight, and come in a variety of colors to match your style!

      • Find even more water bottle options that are great for traveling here.

    Physical wellness follows these tenets

    • It is better to consume foods and beverages that enhance good health rather than those which impair it. 

    • It is better to be physically healthy than out of shape.

 
Photo courtesy of  Welly

Photo courtesy of Welly

 

Social:

Stay Present:

  • Social wellness is all about encouraging us to contribute to one’s environment and community and emphasizes the interdependence between others and nature. As you travel with wellness in mind, stay present + aware during your trip. Maintaining social wellness during a vacation doesn’t mean that you have to make a ton of new friends or spend all your free time with others, but it requests that you remain consciously aware of how you interact with the environment you have entered. Stay respectful of your new location, be kind to others, and appreciate the new experiences that come your way. In maintaining our personal wellness + health, it is imperative that we also work to preserve the beauty and balance of nature.

Photo courtesy of  Civil Bikes

Photo courtesy of Civil Bikes

Support Local:

  • Part of the way Pack Up + Go incorporates social wellness into each of our trips is by focusing on providing small business recommendations for our traveler itineraries. These companies, which are run by members of the local communities, provide travelers with unique and honest perspectives of their towns. They help to introduce travelers to the new environment and forge new bonds between the individuals + the destination.


  • Social wellness follows these tenets

    • It is better to contribute to the common welfare of our community than to think only of ourselves.

    • It is better to live in harmony with others and our environment than to live in conflict with them.


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Whether you are traveling on a whim, taking one of our surprise vacation packages, or are planning a trip yourself, we hope that these tips help you be your best self when traveling!

We want to hear from you - what does maintaining wellness while traveling mean to you?

Tell us your recommendations in the comments!







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