Holiday Travel Survival Guide

Traveling for the holidays doesn't have to be stressful, below is our go-to for surviving the holiday season happy and healthy.

Packing Must-Haves

  • Elastic band: great for working out on the go. Does not take up much space in your bag and there are tons of exercises you can do.
  • Neck Pillow, eye mask, and ear plugs: The last thing you want to feel as you're stepping off the plane are neck pain and fatigue. 
  • Thick Scarf: This versatile piece of fabric can be your best friend. It doubles as a pillow and a blanket during your travels when you just cannot adjust the temperature. 
  • Emergen-C or Airborne: Sometimes you just need an extra boost in nutrition while you're away, it's also important to refuel your body with proper electrolytes after day drinking mimosas by the pool
  • Refillable Bottle: Most airports supply filtered water at the terminal. Keeping your own water bottle allows you to stay hydrated throughout the day and keeps you from splurging 6 dollars on a bottle of pop. Just remember to empty the bottle before you go through security first!
  • Photo copies of ID and Passport: No brainer, the last thing you want is to be stuck somewhere without proof of ID

Stretching at far as you can go!

If you're traveling for the holidays you're about to spend some quality time sitting whether you're going by plane, car, or train. It is important to maintain a good level of flexibility during your travels. Not only will stretching help break up sedentary time, it will also help combat the stress that comes with traveling, which causes an increase in certain hormone levels that causes your body to stiffen up. That, combined with being seated for long hours is a recipe for disaster.

  • Seated Neck Rolls: While sitting on the edge of your seat, sit upright with shoulders rolled back. Resting your hands on your thighs, slowly rotate your head clockwise 10 times and then counter-clockwise 10 times. During the movement, make sure you take deep breaths in through the nose and out though the mouth. 
Seated Neck Rolls 1 - Madison Square Wellness - NYC.jpg
  • Seated Spinal Twist: As you sit upright, Bring right knee over the opposite knee while bringing the left arm over the right knee. Take a deep breath in and while you exhale, rotate to the right. You should feel a stretch along your entire spine.
Seated Twist - Madison Square Wellness - NYC.jpg
  • Seated Chest Stretch: Interlock your fingers behind your head. While looking forward, bring your elbows back as far as you can while maintaining a straight spine. 
Chest Stretch 1 - Madison Square Wellness - NYC.jpg
  • Standing Shoulder-Opening Pulls: Find an open area (exit row or the isle) and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Roll both shoulders back and rotate internally as you interlock both hands together. Proceed to press your hands downwards towards the floor and away from the body. 
Standing Stretch - Madison Square Wellness - NYC.jpg
  • Standing Hamstring Stretch: Stand with one foot in front of another with your ankles pointing up. Bend the behind knee slightly while leaving forward at your hips. For additional support, rest your hands on the front thigh. 

Beat the Jet Lag!

Most people experience jet lag if they are traveling over 2 time zones, but there are ways to make the transition little easier

  • Start to adjust your internal clock: on days leading up to your trip, you would want to begin to adjust your sleeping and eating habits based on the direction you will travel. For example, if you are traveling east, you would want to gradually go to bed earlier (or later if you are traveling west).
  • Skip the coffee: unfortunately, caffeine is not your friend if you're trying to avoid feeling jet lag. Avoid caffeine for 12 hours prior to as well as during your flight. Instead fill up on water, drink at lease 8 ounces of water for every hour you're in the air
  • Use sleeping pills or aides carefully: Too much will leave you feeling groggy and disoriented. It is suggested that you should only take a sleeping aid if your flight is 7-8 hour or more. Try taking melatonin versus prescription sleeping pills, as it controls when we go to sleep and wake up. It can also help adjust to your new time zone when you arrive 
  • Force yourself to live in your new time zone, wait to eat and sleep until as reasonable of a time as possible

Wishing everyone a warm holiday season

Happy travels!