Even Anthony Bourdain gets jet lag! It’s common for your internal clock to feel slightly out of whack when you’re crossing time zones. So we asked our most frequent flyers (unsurprisingly, there are a lot of them around here) how they deal with the less pleasant side effects of traveling. From your hometown to the tarmac to the tropics, here’s how to relax on the road.
For Peace of Mind
Need to disconnect from a fully booked flight or airport mayhem for a moment? There’s an app for that! Just slip on your headphones and tune into one of Simple Habit travel-geared sessions. For just $4 per week or $11 for a month, this app offers travelers meditative sessions such as “Waiting at the Airport,” “Just Landed” and “Relaxing on Vacation.” Buddhify, Calm and Headspace also feature meditation sessions geared towards travelers.
Forgot to download before takeoff? Seven airlines have partnerships with Headspace—if you have a personal in-flight screen (score!) check out the entertainment offerings for free, guided meditation session.
Will your flight have a blanket or a pillow? In the age of economizing air travel, it’s anyone’s guess. Take matters into your own hands by packing this compact travel set—including a blanket, pillow, eye mask, and earplugs—to ensure you’re comfortable from takeoff to touchdown. If you’re short on space, this Samsonite inflatable neck pillow will fit into any carry-on. If you’re boarding a long-haul flight or are a restless sleeper, this deluxe Travelon pillow wraps around your entire neck, enabling sweet dreams at any angle.
To Avoid Jet Lag
Beat the Clock
No, you’re not crazy—it really IS harder to adjust to time zones when traveling East. Luckily there’s Binaural and Sleepace, an app and a gadget that work to eliminate jet lag. Choose when you want to sleep or wake up with the Binaural Brain Wave app, which emits inaudible sounds that either relax or awaken your brain’s and body’s internal clock. To optimize your bedtime and rise time, incorporate findings from the Sleepace—a health-tracking device that seamlessly clips onto your sheets.
Your diet directly impacts how you feel and sleep, with consistency being one of the keys for feeling good. If you’re vegan at home, for example, do your best to keep it up while abroad. While this may prove difficult in more rural areas, you’ll be surprised to find vegan hangs everywhere from Siem Reap to Prague. The free Happy Cow app will help you locate vegetarian and vegan businesses around the world, including maps, menus, and real reviews.
Same goes for food allergies like celiac disease. The free Scan Gluten Free app has a database of more than half a million grocery products—just scan the barcode to find out if the item is safe for you. If you’re eating out while traveling abroad (and let’s face it…that’s one of the best things about traveling), it’s worth the $4.99 to invest in the Gluten Free Passport. This app helps you order safe meals at a variety of restaurant types, including Chinese, French, Indian, Italian, and Mexican.
If you take prescriptions, it’s important to keep meds at the same cadence you use at home. Time-change math makes this tricky, especially if you’re hopping over the International Date Line. Organize your daily doses in a pill case, which makes it obvious if you’ve missed a day.
A clear mind is everything. It’s making your train…it’s being aware, yet calm…it’s being open to new experiences. Whether you need to slay your 34-hour business trip or simply want to be 100% relaxed on your vacation to Bora Bora, a little bit of focused self-care goes a long way.
Annie’s based in Los Angeles but hails from Portland, Oregon. Sort of. She moved to six states by the time she reached middle school, and continues to move around the US and abroad – call her a nomad, but she prefers “Location ADHD.” After studying abroad in New Zealand, Annie circled the globe, graduated from USC, and circled the world once again. For one year she lived out of a backpack everywhere from The Philippines to Nepal to Slovenia to Norway. She’s a curry connoisseur and passionate explorer, taking the road less traveled, the “trail” covered in vines and swarmed in exotic bugs. Foreign lands feel like home, and Annie loves encouraging more and more people to utilize their passports and experience a new culture.