You know what makes me happy? Wine. You know what makes me puffy and tired? Drinking wine while flying and in airport layovers. Does it stop me from drinking it? Of course not. That said, taking care of yourself when you’re in transit is nothing short of an art. You’re tired, feeling annoyed at the long security line, delayed, and sort of just want that cold glass of sauv blanc to take the edge off and just GET there already, you know? Well I say go for it…but there are ways to balance that ‘ish out, too, and you know I am all about always trying to achieve that that fun/sensible balance.
I feel like this holiday season is probably a good time to tell you guys about my favorite travel/airport wellness hacks that I have amassed over the years from my 26,478 layovers I have had in my life. For the record, I tend to be on the cheap when I fly, which often times means long. ass. layovers (I slept in an airport, in a bar once, to save a few hundred bucks…true story). Anyways, I actually quite enjoy a good airport hangout sesh. I love the people watching, the romance of bringing people from all over the world together moving around like crazies and just imagining their stories (hello “Love Actually”), sitting on my computer at a bar and getting things done…speaking of, can we PLEASE talk about how every Euro flight I have ever taken involves free wine and beer? America, get on board. Pun extremely intended.
Anyway, I fly a lot. You’d think that by now, I’d be OVER the sweaty-palm syndrome I get at every takeoff (not kidding, I literally get so nervous when a plane leaves the earth’s atmosphere, TO THIS DAY, it’s pathetic. You guys remember that cheesy Devin Sawa movie, Final Destination?…didn’t think so…). I realized, over time and likely too late, that you have to learn to keep equilibrium of mind and body going when in transit from city to city, time zone to time zone. Especially during the holiday travel season, because personally, I am spending more time in my car/in a plane than ever coming to and from Reno most holiday seasons, and then all over the bay area to see various friends and family. It’s exhausting, honestly, but I love it all the same. The more selfish I can be with my “take care of #1” time, the better it will be for everyone…trust me. Nobody likes an emotionally drained Lindsey.
So here you go. Keep self-care a major priority with these tips, and kill the holiday travel game in style. You can thank me later when you’re enjoying your egg nog guilt (and face-puff) free with your family explaining to them for the 5th time that night that “you’re single by choice so get off my back.”
- Play a Game with Water. We all know flying can you leave you majorly dehydrated and your skin looking pretty droughty as well. Because I am traditionally really bad at drinking water in general, I needed some way to gamify my water consumption, so I made up the water fountain game. Every time you see one, you take a drink for 7 seconds. 7 is a very arbitrary number, don’t overthink it. You can do 5 seconds if it suits you. Also, it’s FREE, and we all know how absurd airport food/drink prices are these days. You also become acutely aware of how many water fountains an airport has. A lot. And yet we continue to but the $4 Dasani plastic bottle…le sigh. Bring an empty water bottle with you, for next-level hydration hacking.
- Facial mah-sage. You ever seen those Xpress Spa stops in various airports? Denver has 2 of them, SFO has a few…pretty sure they are everywhere now or at least there’s something similar. They give an “Xpress facial” for $50, which is 25 minutes of chill out bliss. Ask them to do some lymphatic massaging too for super contour and de-puffing, they won’t even charge you extra. It’s a great break from the booze and will leave you feeling calm, circulated and less stressed. Besides, you’d spend $50 on like, 2 drinks anyways.
- Take a Terminal Tour. STEPS STEPS STEPS. One of my favorite things to do during a layover is to WALK. I don’t know about you, but I cannot sleep on a plane for the life of me, so the more tired I can make myself, the better. It’s also a great way to keep the blood flowing, and how I justify getting exercise while traveling. It also prevents the boredom from setting in. I like to take the air train to other terminals, just for kicks, and airports like Paris and Chicago have tons of walking options as they are enormous hubs. Point is, walk as much as possible or give yourself some kind of goal, depending on how much time you have. Mileage, time, whatever. I track my steps on my iPhone health app, it’s great for accountability. Also, the bar scene and shopping scene changes from terminal to terminal, so fun to explore. Airports these days have some great shopping. Kinda wild.
- CYOC (Carry your own creamer). So with my recent obsession with skincare (what is happening to me?!), I’ve been adding collagen to my coffee and/or shakes in the morning. Elastic skin, yes plz. SKIN SZN. I’ve been carrying around little to-go packets with me, and you can get 2 coffee/drink uses out of one packet. Vital Proteins makes one that is coconut flavored, it isn’t an overwhelming taste, but if you are a weirdo who hates coconut there are also flavorless packet options. Coffee and travel go together like Jenny and Forrest, so I use these all the time because let’s face it I am ALWAYS traveling. Tasty coffee addition, skin benefits, sign me up!
- Skip the Sugar. You’re sweet enough, babe. So aside from wine, which doesn’t count (and fine, if it does, go for a Cab because it’s the lowest sugar count of any wine, #fact), it’s relatively easy to control what you eat at airports nowadays. Some of my fave meals include fish tacos at a restaurant, skip the flour tortilla and make a “salad” out of all the fixings and the fish. Or, salads to-go are not half bad from the little stands, just choose one with a balsamic or oil based dressing. Sometimes I will buy a sandwich, like a turkey and cheese or something similar, the ones you get everywhere, you know? But I cut 3/4 of the bread out. Snack packs, cheese and fruit plates, all good choices as well. Whatever your diet or eating habits are, I think staying away from sugar is just KEY. Helps with the whole hydration thing, and if you need to be on your a-game wherever your destination is, staying away from sugary foods and drinks will really help the energy levels as well. Protein is the name of the game. This feels obvious to me, but it is a habit I have worked hard to achieve. And honestly? The way it makes me feel is sooooo worth the sugar/carb sacrifice.
- Class Pass. So this is not really “airport” related, but it is one of my favorite travel hacks I’ve discovered in the last year and just feel the need to get everyone on board. For me, maintaining a (semi) normal fitness routine when I am in transit and traveling is super important, and the mental benefits of exercise are without fail, superior to anything else I have tried. It clears the mind fog, and balances me out in so many ways. Anyways, instead of paying $30+ for ONE fitness class like Soul Cycle (not to hate, I love going to my place of yes on a bike), I subscribe to CP, and get at least 5-6 classes or “gym time” a month. FlyWheel cycling classes, Crunch Fitness, Barry’s Bootcamp (OB-SESSED), etc. all partner with CP and it’s the best thing ever when you are traveling and need to get a workout in. For the “lite” version, I pay $40 a month. This is a steal, just do the math. They also charge you a $20 fee if you skip a class you signed up for via the app. and I am not about to pay $20 for being hungover and lazy. I will drag my butt to the gym to save that money. Brilliant accountability pushing business plan, right?
I hope everyone has enjoyed their long weekend and Thanksgiving holiday, no matter where you are or who you spent it with. Me personally, I am going on day 6 of being in the bay area with my family and friends, living out of a suitcase, and as much as I am thankful beyond measure for the QT I have had with so many people down here (most importantly my nephew Anthony), I am READY AF to go home to Reno, my puppy, and my NEW apartment! Moving hacks, coming soon…happy weekend all….and stay healthy out there.