The beauty of traveling, love it! Seeing new places, meeting new faces, kissing under stars, falling asleep in beachy hammocks, swimming in oceans of blue, exploring old cities, jungles, deserts, riding up mountains, and running through snow doesn’t even begin to touch on the endless opportunities traveling can bring. The things we discover, the places we go, the racing, the family adventures, all of those fun stamps on the passport, and that money that looks like it belongs in a game totally excites most of us. It’s the “getting there” that often takes a body and makes a mess of it.
My longest flight was 42 wonderful hours (insert sarcastic voice), my body didn’t like it. My longest layover was 11 hours X2, and I’ve been stranded at an airport for 2 days thanks to snow. I’m sure you have your horror stories as well, possibly much worse. My luggage usually gets lost, I’ve been left with only underwear in South Africa, and for some reason my bike always arrives a couple days behind me. Each and every time I want to leave the islands the plane must cross the Pacific Ocean, (no complaints, price I pay living in paradise). While I have yet to become the world’s best traveler, I have found a couple things that make the trips a lot less painful. Rather than load you up with each and everything I’ve discovered the hard way, here are my top ten:
- Pack a back up outfit in your carry-on, no need to be lost in Africa in only your undies!
- FOOD! Unless airport food is your FAVORITE meal and you enjoy spending $8.99 on chips and a coke on the plane be prepared with your carry along go-to-foods!
- Be swim ready! Just in case the plane takes a dip into the ocean have your bikini ready, just kidding. There is a 50/50 chance that your luggage will arrive with you, sadly your bike and run gear takes up too much space in your carry on. However, cap/goggles/swim suit weigh almost nothing and pack easy. Then if you find yourself without bike and run gear you can at least get the body swimming.
- Contact list. Sometimes those trusty blackberries and Iphones don’t work. In that case old school is the way to go. Have your most trusted contacts numbers/addresses written (yes, by hand or printed out). And be sure to have your hotel, flight, and car info written too.
- Wipes! Have you been stuck in an airport for nearly 3 days, almost to the point of showering in a sink? I have. From that “long weekend” on I never leave home without travel wipes! They work wonders for your face, as hand sanitizer, for your other parts too, and freshen you up without taking up too much space in your carry on.
- Gum or tooth paste/tooth brush. ‘nuff said.
- Learn to sleep early. If by chance, (almost always for those living on islands), you find yourself switching time zones get your rest before you go. To help the body adjust, begin going to bed a little earlier each night so when you arrive to a 6 hour time change it isn’t as big of a shock on the body. Also, don’t be scared to reach for the melatonin. It’s a totally natural sleep helper sold at most natural food stores that helps the body rest easy and wake up without the grogginess.
- Entertainment…IPOD, books, journal, magazines, whatever it takes to keep you from going crazy on a flight. If you travel with children, you MUST pack the toys, treats, books too. And my best trick is to make it something new, surprise them with something never seen before so they stay entertained longer than with their usual go-to-entertainment.
- Water. Flying is a natural “dehydrator”, stock up before boarding and make sure you drink roughly 6-8oz per hour you are awake.
- Long sleeves, compression socks, and a blanket. Planes get cold, be prepared. Looking silly is worth it if you plan to fly then race and want your legs to be ready to rumble. Keep them warm and blood circulating.