Every now and then I answer a question that crops up a lot from you lot. This week: how do I travel so much and not fall apart at the seams?

I do travel a lot. I fly from Byron Bay to Sydney or Melbourne every week or so. Sometimes it’s a day trip. Sometimes I have to stay a few nights and I stay in air-conditioned hotels and friends spare rooms that aren’t always ventilated etc as I like. It’s really very disruptive to my health. And I DO fall apart at the seams a bit.

Don’t know about you but travel also grinds my digestive system to a halt. I don’t go to the loo. Plus, I get puffy and lethargic. And tired. Plane travel is so bad for us. Ditto air-con (which is everywhere when you travel). It’s hard to eat well on the road and we have odd timetables and sleep patterns.

And so I’ve had to learn ways to make it work for me. It’s taken some trial and error, but I have a flow now. Of sorts.

My key advice is to create routine. As much as possible.

To replicate what you do at home, on the road, as much as possible.

And lesson the toxic load at all turns.

So a list of the routines and toxic-reduction tricks that work for me:

In hotels:

* You’re going to think I’m bonkers: As soon as I arrive I go around and turn off all powerpoints in the room. All of them, including the one to the fridge. The EMF load in hotel rooms is crazy – fridges, phones, alarm clocks, internet…plus the load from surrounding rooms etc. I do what I can… (and am sure to turn them all back on when I leave…. although I do feel bad I stuff the clock radios).

* I request a room away from the lift well and away from the power room. Again to lessen the EMF load.

* I wear earplugs and an eyemask. Again, bonkers? Nah.ย  It’s all about minimising interruptions and stimulus wherever you can.

* I go to bed early, as much as I enjoy sitting in bed watching news channels to all hours.

Exercise:

Exercise is key. You really have to make sure you get your lymphatic system moving – to flush toxins and to help facilitate routine (bowel and otherwise).

* If there’s no gym and/or I arrive late at night: I run up and down the firestairs in the hotel. I know it seems mad. But you do what you have to do. I came across others doing the same after arriving in HongKong when we filmed MasterChef. We laughed as we passed each other. Just make sure you remember what floor you entered from and that the firedoors allow you back out.

* Where there’s a gym, there’s a way. I always use the gym in the morning and do my Origin of Energy workout for 20-30 minutes. Weights are great when travelling – they don’t drain my energy as much as cardio but get the joints moving. If possible, I take the weights out into an outdoor area – I get fresh air wherever I can.

* Make use of the sauna/steamroom. I always take togs with me. Or wlll enter in my undies and sports bra if I have to. Steam is sooooo good for clearing your lymphs and getting gunk out of your system.

* I walk as often as possible. Cosmopolitan magazine founder Helen Gurley Brown once told me her #1 tip in life was to never stop walking in New York. That is, to head in the direction you need to go and move with the green lights, zig-zagging your way along, never stopping. I find this is such a great way to move when you’re staying in any city. Walk. Don’t cab. It’s mostly faster and it avoids further stressors.

On planes:

* I wear pressure socks. My life is so much nicer when I do. Even if I look daft.

* I drink a lot of water. I take my own.

* I travel mostly with carry-on only. And wear flat shoes. I move smoothly.

* I pack my own meals and/or eat nuts from the Australiana stores ( so I don’t revert to sugary or trans-fatty foods).

* I meditate on planes during take-off and landing (basically, when the hosties aren’t talking on the speaker or bustling past with the food trolley).

* For more info on travelling efficiently see my post here.

Food:

* I take an arsenal of bowel stuff with me. I KNOW I’ll suffer so I ensure I’m equipped. See my post on stomach aids here. Vital Greens do travel sachets, which are great. I also take small sachets of chia seeds (and add to my breakfast…whatever it is). Mintec is great, too, for stomach aches.

* At the breakfast buffet I go poached eggs and bacon and mushrooms. I don’t touch the yoghurts and sauces and sweet things because they are sooooo sugary and sooooo gooby and sooooo full of additives. Choose food that is one ingredient only.

* I eat at pubs or places where I can order a bowl of steamed greens with whatever I’m eating.

* If I’ve eaten crap all day, I simply order the soup and/or a bowl of steamed greens in my hotel. Operation Get Nutrients.

* I avoid booze. Combined with air-con and plane travel, it makes me so puffy and mostly I’m traveling to do a job that requires me to look and play sharp.

* I go for Greek food or pub food (steak or fish and vegetables of some sort), or Italian (but go for the clean, simple stuff). I avoid Thai or heavy, saucy food (full of sugar and goob).

So, this is what I pack:

Many of the below I keep in my toiletries bag and case at all times, ready to go:

* chia seeds sachets

* Vital Greens sachets

* lavender oil – for better sleep and to put, topically, on spots (which I always get when travelling)

* melatonin, especially good for international flights. I take one when it’s 10pm in the destination city and it kicks jet-lag to the curb.

* Echinacea drops (as soon as I feel ringing ears and watery eyes, I douse myself in this stuff, straight under the tongue)

* soluble aspirin (for bringing down plane swell; on long flights I take two as we take off…not ideal, but for thyroidy types, it’s a salve)

* pressure socks

* earrplugs and eyemask

* camomile teabags

What thoroughly ingenious tricks and tips do you have/follow?

Have your say, leave a comment.

  • Jenn

    Rosehip, argan or coconut oil lathered on my skin at the start and end of short flights, and every 3-4 hours on longer flights – makes a big difference re: hydration when you get off the plane. I also take my own thermos to refill with warm water and lemon whilst on board.

  • San

    I am with you here. Sun salutations in my hotel room, or a whole Ashtanga practise, and I feel much better.

  • sandra

    I’ve always had trouble with my ears, even on hills, but now when I fly I carry a bottle of young living Peppermint oil, and take a good sniff in each nostril on take-off and also when descending. No more pain and no deafness when I land. Also a drop of Vetiver oil on the bottom each big toe before bed helps me sleep quickly and well.

  • Susan

    This is great ๐Ÿ™‚ I am just back from 3 weeks in Europe, followed by a week in China and my body is not happy at all after it. Craving green juices and healthy things. These tips are great, thanks!

  • San

    I love to go to saunas when I travel, but usually naked, as it is much more hygienic and healthier. Anyway, clothes are forbidden in many saunas in Europe – so I don’t need to bring anything for that.

    Some of these tips are amazing. Just a few years ago I realised that it is actually not a big deal to bring food on planes.

  • Anna Crosbie

    Thank you for writing this post Sarah ๐Ÿ™‚
    Travelling definitely upsets my anxiety big time!
    I get so disappointed every time I feel that pit of worry while I’m away.
    At home I have a lot of home made probiotics everyday. I’ve definitely notice that as soon as my gut health is compromised, so is my mental health. So from now on I’ve realised I need to bring probiotics with me.
    My main issue when I travel is insomnia, so your tip about melatonin was one I found really interesting – hopefully I can find some before my next trip.
    Thank you for all your tips Sarah & thanks for speaking so openly about this illness.
    Cheers
    Anna