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Grata on the Go: Travel Routine

Updated: Dec 6, 2022

Summer is a wonderful time to travel, explore, and create memories with friends. Several of you have asked: how can one travel while maintaining routine, consistency, and balance? This summer I've traveled from NYC to Chicago, DC, Lake Waramaug, Long Island, Nantucket, and Denver.

Throughout my trips, I have tried to incorporate the following practices to help me feel more grounded while away:

  1. Bring a reusable water bottle and drink water!

    1. On the day of travel, I typically have 4 steps to optimal hydration:

      1. Drink one bottle en route to the airport

      2. Refill after security and finish another bottle pre-flight

      3. Refill before boarding and hold off on other beverages in-flight (unless a Sprite is calling my name)

      4. Refill once more at the destination airport before hopping in the car

    2. I stay dedicated to hydration throughout my travels by keeping my water bottle with me and remembering to drink lots of water at meals as well.

    3. I like this Stanley water bottle with the handle because it’s easy to carry while walking around.

    4. Benefits of hydrating when traveling:

      1. Counteract the dehydrating nature of air travel and reduce the likelihood of jetlag

      2. Maintain moisture in skin (no one likes feeling dried or chapped on vacation)

      3. Aid regular digestion

      4. Improve overall mood and energy

  2. Keep consistent with normal daily routines.

    1. Just because you are traveling doesn't mean that you have to completely upend your sense of normalcy. Don’t be afraid to adjust your regular practices rather than scraping them all together while away.

    2. These are some of my daily routines and the way I modify them while traveling:

      1. Write 3 things I’m grateful but switch out my favorite journal for the Notes app on my phone

      2. Get at least 5 minutes of Italian practice in on Duolingo (can't break my streak)

      3. Ice my face when I wake up and before I go to bed with an ice cube if I haven't packed a face roller

      4. Take my vitamins (tricky to do so with fidelity but I try!)

      5. Follow daily skincare routine utilizing products like Cadence to have my favorite products in travel size

      6. Stretch. I love stretching after exercise, after I wake up, or right before I go to bed

  3. Engage in daily movement.

    1. I love to go for daily walks and what better way to explore a new place than to walk around! Even if I don't want to get an intense workout in, I find walking daily maintains consistency for my mind and body.

    2. It's fun to explore the activities your destination has to offer (biking, hiking, skiing, golf, tennis, etc.) or to try a new exercise studio. On a girls trip to DC, we attended a complimentary Cycle Bar class, which was a fun and sweaty way to start our day.

    3. I also like to use the Peloton app for yoga or strength workouts that I can do anywhere and in any time frame.

  4. Be prepared with snacks.

    1. I do not like feeling hungry (usually hangry) and without easily accessible snacks. Particularly as someone who is GF and usually can’t eat the plane snacks provided, it’s important for me to come prepared.

    2. Some travel-friendly snacks I like include:

      1. Protein bars

      2. Granola

      3. GF pretzels

      4. Turkey sandwich or PB&J

      5. Fruit: apple, banana, berries

  5. Find ways to incorporate normal eating habits while enjoying meals out and trying new foods.

    1. I love to explore new restaurants and cuisines while also being conscientious of what fuels me and sits well. I find that breakfast is a good time to stick with what I normally eat at home such as eggs, yogurt and berries, or oatmeal. I also try to have something green with lunch or dinner such as a side salad or veggie.

    2. I also stress the importance of enjoying myself. Sharing special culinary experiences with friends and family is often at the heart of my trips. Sometimes meals leave me feeling full or bloated. Going for a walk after meals and drinking plenty of water are two strategies I use to aid with digestion. I also make a conscious effort to leave any feelings at that meal and proceed with the rest of my day/trip without guilt or fixation over what I've consumed.

  6. Get that beauty rest!

    1. I don't have to tell you that sleep is important. What I can add is that sleep while traveling is tricky because many factors are out of our control. Is the mattress to our desired firmness? Is the temperature optimal for sleep? Are there unfamiliar sounds or silence? I like to take a few measures that are in my control to encourage an optimal sleep routine:

      1. I pack my favorite pjs and fuzzy socks. I love wearing a coordinated pj set at home, why wouldn't I while traveling?

      2. Stick to my turn-down routine. Think skincare regimen, stretching and meditation, and reading a few pages of a book before bed.

      3. Address any temperature concerns. I like to sleep in a cool room so I turn on the AC or open the windows and prepare the bed with my preferred level of coverage, often stripping off the heavy comforter/quilt.

  7. Pack smart.

    1. I have been known to overpack with the logic that I like to feel "prepared." Unfortunately, checking bags costs time and can result in losing luggage. Thus, I've been on a journey to travel carry-on with everything I need without the Battle Royale as I sit on top of my suitcase and pray that it will zip.

    2. Here is what I've been working on to be prepared and still pack light:

      1. Think thoroughly through the activities and plans scheduled and write out what I'll need

      2. Factor in exercise clothes, pjs, and undies

      3. Take a minimalist approach to accessories, especially bulky shoes, and pack only one purse, hat, and pair of sunglasses

      4. If flying, wear the heaviest outerwear (usually a sweatshirt) and bulkiest shoes (sneakers) with joggers and a t-shirt

      5. Try to leave room for a potential new acquisition while traveling. This continues to be aspirational

  8. Wear sunscreen.

    1. Nothing kills a mood on vacation like a sunburn. And no one wants skin cancer or wrinkles. That's all.

  9. Prep your home to jump back into routine seamlessly.

    1. To avoid further exacerbating the post-travel blues, I try to prepare my apartment to be clean and organized upon my arrival.

    2. Some things I do in preparation:

      1. Wash my sheets so that my bed is made with clean sheets

      2. Run the dishwasher upon leaving

      3. Throw out the trash–no spookiness upon arrival

      4. Plan to go on a walk to the grocery store the morning after I arrive home

  10. Practice gratitude and mindfulness.

    1. Enjoy yourself! Let yourself relax, disconnect, and feel present in the moment.

    2. For me this looks like:

      1. Limiting phone use

      2. Taking off my Apple Watch

      3. Leaning into the people/places/things around me in the new setting

  11. Give yourself grace!

    1. These are just suggestions based on activities I utilize to feel balanced and consistent when traveling. I definitely deviate and celebrate going with the flow and being flexible.

I hope you find some of these tips helpful in your upcoming adventures! Feel free to share your travel advice and recommendations.

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