Wellness travel is by no means a new concept. For many, travel is an essential part of who we are and for some it is simply a way of life. Business travel can involve a stressful journey so here is how you can pack health and wellbeing into your travel bag:

  • Try to book direct flights.
  • At the airports: use healthy food outlets, make use of meditation rooms, spas, napping pods, personal spaces and fitness rooms.
  • Jetlag: To help prevent or reduce jet lag use the following six tips and strategies:
  • Try to sleep on the plane if you are travelling eastward and into a new day.
  • Pick a flight that allows you to arrive in the early evening.
  • Take a power nap of no more than 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Arrive at your destination a few days early so you can acclimate before any important meeting.
  • If you’re flying eastward, try getting up several hours earlier for a few days prior to your departure. If you’re flying westward, do the opposite.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine the day before and the day of your flight.
  • Health and fitness. Below are tips for staying fit while travelling:
  • Skip driving. Skip taxis and rental cars when possible and find a more active way to get to your meetings. Not only is walking good for you but it’s often the best way to explore an unfamiliar place.
  • Use hotel fitness facilities. Many hotels have gyms or pools, or offer day passes to local fitness centres.
  • Try a new activity. Look for classes and group activities or meet-ups that interest you and allow you to explore your surroundings and participate in local culture.
  • Use fitness apps. There are so many fitness and health apps that can help you train even when you’re travelling. Some of my favourite fitness apps are Nike Training Club, Aaptiv and Map My Run.
  • Mental health stress. Above all, it’s important to remember to take care of yourself – below are a few tips on how to look after yourself while travelling:
  • Maintain a healthy sleep schedule while traveling that’s similar to your regular schedule. This can help diminish stress while traveling.
  • Maintain adequate hydration/calorie intake and avoid drugs/alcohol during travel will reduce travel stress.
  • Utilising travel apps can help eliminate stress induced by travel and schedule changes. My favourite business travel apps are TripIt and Circleback.
  • Utilise coping skills or tools to maintain your routine while traveling e.g. if having a schedule is part of keeping your mental health on the up, try to be aware of the way travel affects you — and plan ahead to maintain your wellbeing.
  • Diet. Snacking on the road and enjoying local cuisine can add up to a whole lot of extra sodium and calories! Healthy travel means keeping your diet on track by sticking to your routine as much as possible, bringing along a few staple healthy snacks for the trip, avoiding alcohol, staying hydrated and enjoying the local food but avoiding heavy dishes.

If you are an employer, it is important to educate employees on stress management and health/ wellbeing strategies for business travel.