How to prepare to stay fresh on long-haul travel
Travelling on a plane, bus or train for a long-haul of more than 3 hours can get uncomfortable. Your nether regions may need some serious airing! Your legs will get restless and your digestive system can start to get noisy.
The secret to feeling fresh while you’re travelling is to prepare before you step on-board. What you wear, what you’ve consumed in the past couple of days beforehand and what you pack in your carry-on bag can make a big difference to how you travel.
Here are some top tips on how to prepare so you feel as fresh and energised as you possibly can on a long-haul commute.
Start your trip hydrated
Every cell in your body needs water to work the way it is meant to. The more hydrated you are, the better your body is at regulating your temperature, removing waste through perspiration and bladder and bowel movements, keeping your joints lubricated and your skin clear.
Just downing a couple of glasses before you travel won’t necessarily hydrate you, if you’re already under hydrated. The Australian Red Cross Blood Service recommends hydrating up to two days before donating blood or plasma. Why? Because the more hydrated you are, the better your blood flows through your body. So start drinking up at least a few days before you travel. How will you know when you’re hydrated sufficiently? You’re aiming for light coloured urine by the time you start travelling.
Enjoy a few days of light, healthy eating before your trip
Digestion takes energy. Digestion of heavier foods such as simple carbohydrates, proteins and fats is hard work for your body particularly if you’re sitting still. If your intestinal tracts are all kinked and bound up because you’re sitting for long periods of time, a heavy meal will really start to play havoc with your insides! Of course standing up and stretching out those digestive tracts helps enormously but if you’re on a long-haul commute, your ability to stretch out for a decent amount of time may be limited.
Enjoy three or four days of light, healthy eating before you travel. That will give your body time to digest meats, cheeses, other proteins and fats that you’ve already eaten, and get rid of the waste before you step onto your transport. You’ll feel better for it anyway!
Wear loose, comfortable, natural fabric clothing
Along the themes we’ve already talked about, you want to have loose, comfortable, breathable clothing ready to wear on your trip. Clothing that is restrictive in any way will put pressure on your digestive system and circulation. So loosen up! Travelling long distances in one haul is not the time to bedazzle fellow passengers with tight fitting or tailored clothing design.
Pack some liver cleansing or tummy friendly snacks
On your last grocery shop before you leave, make sure you choose some liver cleansing, tummy friendly snacks to pack into your carry-on bag. While long-haul trips sometimes feel like a great reason to stock up on sugary snacks at the transport terminal, redirect your spending and buy a magazine or book instead. Enjoy your tummy friendly carrot and celery sticks, raw nuts and seeds, popcorn, pretzels and healthy crackers as you snack your way healthily through your travel.
Reduce your caffeine intake weeks before your trip
If airport terminal coffee makes your tastebuds retreat, perhaps it’s time to start decreasing your caffeine intake a few weeks before you travel so you’re less reliant on regular latte buzzes while you’re travelling. Every time I’ve broken my own rule about not buying an unfamiliar travel terminal coffee, I always end up regretting it! If you’re a latte sipping type, that cup of milk in your coffee doesn’t always travel well with you on a long-haul commute. Of course, caffeine and alcohol are known for their diuretic qualities, and can undo your efforts at staying hydrated.
Add these to your grocery shopping list before your trip
Here is a list of long-haul commuting remedies to add to your shopping list before your trip, ready to pack into your carry-on luggage:
- an essential oil based spritzer designed for refreshing or soothing: make sure to test it out beforehand to ensure it doesn’t trigger an allergy!
- a refreshing hand cream: just be careful not to buy a strongly fragranced moisturiser that is going to give your fellow passengers a headache.
- a neck pillow and lumbar cushion: if you can squeeze these items in, they’re well worth the extra bulkage.
- panty liners, or a spare pair of underwear: your nether regions can end up suffocating under the constant weight of your sitting body. You, and perhaps your neighbouring passengers, will benefit from a refreshing change of fabric around your air deprived bits.
- a toothbrush and toothpaste: I don’t need to spell this one out. This is a sure way to feel a little fresher before you arrive at your destination.
- a pack of facial wipes: when you head off to the squeezy bathroom to brush those pearly whites, you’ll be feeling sparkling fresh if you give some attention to your face with either a splash of cold water, or a wipe with a ready-made pack of facial refreshers.
- a bottle of water.