The word “well” can mean two things, at least for me.
It means doing something good, in a way that is easy, enjoyable, and maybe even a little luxurious. Doing anything “well” means that you’ve mastered the basics and can perform it with grace and efficiency.
It also means being healthy and feeling “well.” I’m all about being mindful of habits and practices that keep your mind and body balanced, keeps you from getting sick, and feeling as good and mentally clear as possible at all times, wherever I am. This is the idea behind the term “wellness.”
Travel can be stressful, right?? On both your BODY and your MIND. The prepping and packing, the moving and going, the planes and Ubers and being around a lot of people. Over the last few years of travel, I’ve honed in on my favorite items and methods for traveling well – things that help me travel more easily, efficiently, smoothly and healthily and with LESS STRESS – and this is what I’m sharing with you here. This is a list of my musts.
I know a lot of you have bought some of these items as I have shared them on my stories with you, and I love love love seeing you share them on your stories, too! Hope you’re enjoying these tips and are having smooth, less-stressful travels this summer!
NOTE : I’m focusing mostly on me for this post, but there are some items I note below that apply to the family and kids, too.
T H E W E L L N E S S T O W E R
If you follow me at all, you will have seen me post all about my “wellness tower.” It’s a vitamin-stacking container thing that is now a must for every trip I go on. I first got the idea to use a round stacking-type container from my friend Paige (@thelovedesignedlife) who was looking for something more user-friendly for storing vitamins rather than a traditional pill case. I first used it on a trip to store daily doses of supplements and my essential oil vials and was hooked right then and there! Since then, I have added onto it with more compartments (you can use and stack as many as you want, theoretically) and now it’s really become a “tower.” It makes me look completely neurotic with this huge tower filled with vitamins and supplements but honestly, it’s helped so much in transporting and helping me to remember to take everything while I travel.
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P R E – P L A N N E D G O O G L E M A P S
This is in relation to the wellbeing of your mind. Google Maps has been KEY in my trips especially ones where I a) don’t know the layout of the city well and b) have a ton of places I want to hit up. Before I leave for any trip, I create a Google Map with “starred” locations helps me find what I need. One thing I always look up before I go are nearby gyms or spin studios, and have them marked before I leave to make finding a good local workout easier. You can view you map offline and also save and share them with others.
Download the app here.
T R A V E L S T E A M E R
You may not think that a wrinkly outfit can affect your mood and wellbeing. But I think as with anything in life it’s the small, incremental things that add up to stress, and something like a wrinkled shirt can make you feel, well, wrinkled. When you’re trying to enjoy a vacation or have a smooth trip, you literally want things to be SMOOTH. I always steam my clothes at home, so this one is my travel one and I never leave home without it. Worth every single penny (and actually does an ever better job than my pro-level standing steamer back home!) Steaming can also soften clothes that you hang dry (which I am having to do here in Italy for lack of a dryer) and can bring back to shape out your clothes that have shrunk in your dryer.
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A G O – T O A I R P O R T O U T F I T
This might seem like a strange wellness tip, but an outfit or two that are your go-to’s for the airport really helps in the packing and outfit planning and overall getting-ready-to-travel process (less thinking = win.) Plus you feel put together and collected at the airport when everything is PURE CHAOS. I don’t like to go too casual at the airport – something about well-dressed airport outfit makes me feel better about life. Also you won’t feel like a hot mess upon arrival and check-in to your hotel if you have something neutral on that can then transition into something else with shoes or accessories. My two favorite lookds are white jeans with a chambray shirt, or black lululemon “hugged” leggings with a loose cream-colored knit sweater, both with a neutral sandal or shoes. I also always make sure to have my hair done because you never know what you’ll do once you arrive and what kind of time you will or won’t have to get ready. I think I actually get ready for a flight more so than I do for my typically day-to-day looks. Sounds weird, I know. But it just works for me to do this!
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P A C K E T S O F G O O D T H I N G S
I like to keep up with the various drinks I have at home to keep me healthy, like detox tea for bloating, collagen packets for skin, hydration packs for pre-, during, and post-flight, and mint tea for mornings to curb appetite and refresh. I also have lately been trying packs of instant mushroom coffee from Four Sigmatic with chaga and cordyceps mushrooms. I actually don’t like mushrooms, but after hearing great things about it and also listening to the founder on a podcast and loving him, I gave it a try and loved how it made me feel. Like the wake-up feeling of coffee, but more “stable” is the best way I can put it. Anything to increase my mental clarity and performance, I’m all about it. It actually doesn’t taste like mushrooms, and mixed with collagen, almond milk, cinnamon and some stevia it’s good!
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A R O M A T H E R A P Y
Flying can give me anxiety, germs are everywhere, it’s hard to sleep when I get to my destination, and kids can be a real stress trigger when traveling. To help with all of the above, I turn to aromatherapy. It might not CURE anything but it seriously helps. I use the entire line from Gemfleur by Nectar Essences and the size is perfect for when I travel. I pop them into a compartment or two of my wellness tower, divided into my daytime oils and my nighttime/therapeutic oils like decongest and immunity, and take them with me on the plane. I put a couple of drops into my hand to breathe in which keeps them from diffusing into the air too much and just stays with me. I also use them for meditation and just creating a good mood wherever I am. PS use code MIKA for a discount at checkout!
I also travel with a diffuser and use this one, plus this one that I use in my car also can plug into a USB which is convenient for international travel. Right now in our villa in Tuscany, I have lavender and eucalyptus diffusing which, also helps keeps the mosquitos away.
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Z I P P O U C H E S
You’ve probably seen me post all about these, too, but I use these zip pouches for almost everything when traveling. Chargers, diapers and wipes, electronics like headphones and kindles, books and magazines, snacks, etc. Literally, EVERYTHING. It keeps items separated and totally organized. I label, them, too, which makes it all the more easy to see and grab what you need in your carry-on bag, for example. I also use them in the suitcase for things like shoes and swimwear or even bottles of shampoo and conditioner and shower puffs if it’s a long trip and I’m taking full sized items. I like the ones from The Container Store because they’re a little thicker, but I like these ones from Amazon because they come as a value pack and have more size options. You can’t go wrong with either. The name labels are from Namebubbles (use code MIKA15 for 15% off until July 31st!)
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H E A L T H Y S N A C K S
I always bring snacks for myself and kids and get them at Whole Foods the day before I travel. I look for ingredients like goji berries, cacao, nuts, chia or hemp seeds, and also like to grab popcorn for a salty snack. I also have grabbed kale salads to bring as my meal on the plane, or have packed things like veggies and fruit. Anything is better than airport food, IMO.
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