Scrambling together before a break can send our stress levels sky-high, which is not the aim of the game when it comes to a relaxing holiday. Then there’s the stress before the take-off, cramped fidgeting mid-air and then hello jetlag. But! It doesn’t have to be this way - your escape can be bliss from beginning to end. We asked Stella Photi, Founder and MD of Wellbeing Escapes (UK’s leading wellness travel company) for her stress-busting, jetlag free tips...
Before you go
Before we’ve even made it to the runway there’s a whole host of stresses keeping us grounded. Will everything fit in the suitcase? Will the house be clean enough? Who’ll feed the goldfish? We think it’s important to wait for a second, take a deep breath and just stop stressing out.
The house doesn’t need cleaning top to bottom. Throw away any perishables and give it the once over before crossing it off your to-do list. Maybe pre-order your return home supermarket shop to take that stress out of arriving back to barren cupboards?
Pack light. On holiday you don’t have to be Lady Gaga. Three costume changes a day just means dicing with the baggage surcharge. Streamline your suitcase and pack clothes you’ll actually wear, can wear in the daytime or evening and feel comfortable in, and if you’re worrying about toiletries check to see if your destination comes with complimentary ones. Don’t forget that accessories are light to pack and can transform an outfit. The less you pack, you less you have to carry and then less washing on return. It’s just another weight off your shoulders (quite literally).
As for the goldfish? Well, that’s the only thing we can’t help you with.
In the Air
From rubbery in-flight food to screaming children, being confined to an airborne tin-can can be a real endurance test. Flying can leave our Cortisol levels up in the clouds even after the seat-belt signs have been turned off which puts a real dampener on our sun, sand and relaxation. Here’s a few of our favourite stress busting aviation tips...
Practice conscious breathing in flight. If you’re a fearful flyer it will help you rebalance and remain calm, the same applies if there’s an inconsiderate recliner or a little one’s decided to start kicking your seat.
We believe a lot of the in-flight stress stems from the poor diet both pre-flight and on board. The changes in cabin pressure lower oxygen levels in the blood making cells less efficient. Our bodies then draw upon water stores to oxygenate the blood; as a result we bloat out, scuppering that hard earned beach body from the offset. The airline food only exacerbates the issue - it’s full of fat, salt and flavourings to compensate for how badly our tastebuds work at high altitudes. The food’s contents makes nutrient and water absorption even more difficult causing further bloating and discomfort. So how can we combat this? Well we recommend eating a big green salad before the flight. The amount of water in it will help to hydrate your body whilst keeping your tummy from rumbling along with the engines. Pack some healthy snacks for the flight too, don’t rely on onboard food...
Always hydrate before the flight - that way you’ll be less tempted to fill up on the boozy compliments and in-flight fizz that leaves you swollen upon touchdown. Ideally drink 8oz of water for each hour you’re in the air keeping you properly hydrated and away from the empty calories throughout the flight.
You can also bring your own herbal teabags on board. Simply ask the attendant for hot water and you can get all the antioxidants from your favourite teas without having to leave your seat.
Jetlag. The dreaded word that can scupper the first few days of your getaway, there are however a few precautions you can take to help combat the time changes...
Synchronise your body clock before you travel. If you're travelling east, try going to bed earlier for a couple of nights. If you're travelling west, go to bed later. When you get on the plane set your watch to the time zone of your destination and either sleep or stay away as appropriate.
Get sunshine on the backs of your knees. No, seriously. Traditional Chinese Medicine says that can also help alleviate post-flight grog.
Avoid napping after you land. No matter what you do, don't nod off – it’ll only render you a night owl, missing the sun for first few days of your stay.
Keep vitamins and minerals high and follow these steps for a healthy, happy journey. Now that’s what we call a wellbeing escape.
Wellbeing Escapes is UK’s leading wellness travel company, specialising in healthy holidays and experiences