I’m far from your typical ‘girly’ girl. I hate champagne; I never get my nails done; my makeup selection is actually a joke; I don’t even own a hairdryer; and on average I think I get ready to go out quicker than my boyfriend! BUT the one thing I love, along with most females is some good old GIRL TIME.
This weekend I am heading to Singapore for a ‘girls weekend’ with my mum and sister.. I can hardly contain my excitement!!! This is not a typical Esslemont family activity, the last family holiday we went on was about 10 years ago and we haven’t been away together since; I think traveling through Europe for 6 weeks with 3 kids and 13 suitcases was slightly more stressful than my parents envisaged.
Travel, whether for work or pleasure is often not all bells and whistles. It is change after all and not many of us deal well with change; different time zone, unfamiliar environments, different bed, unusual foods. Yes it’s exciting seeing new sites and new cities but it’s actually quite a stressful transition for your body.
There are a few simple things that can be done to minimise unnecessary stress. There is no point going on a holiday if you return more frazzled than you were when you left… right?
- Pack your own food: I’m not trying to be high maintenance here BUT seriously airport and aeroplane food doesn’t exactly excite my taste buds and most of the meal options are pretty unsatisfying. Having a few snacks in your bag at least gives you have an option other than McDonalds or Burger King.
- Check in on-line: Most carriers let you do this 24 hours prior to departure especially if you are traveling with carry-on bags only as you can skip all the queues and head straight for security. Internationally most of you have luggage but I’d still recommend checking in prior it just saves a little extra time.
- Dress for comfort: Nothing entertains me more than when I see women strutting around the airport with 6 inch stilettos, perfectly styled hair and caked with makeup.. Did you forget that you are about to be packed like a sardine into a tiny plane seat for 9 hours? Don’t dress like a slug either but comfort is key. Pack a change of clothes and some basic toiletries so you can freshen up if needed.
- Look after your body: Flying can play havoc with your body physically. Economy class seats weren’t ergonomically designed for comfort (or spine health). Have you ever walked down the aisle at night and seen some of the wacky positions people fall asleep in? Hilarious. Get up, walk around and have a little stretch regularly, especially on longer haul flights.
- Pack good footwear: Here comes my physio orientated mind. We do a lot more walking when we are in foreign cities and you don’t want to miss out on seeing the sites because you have sore feet from crap shoes! I learnt this the hard way; walking for 8 hours around the streets of Peru in thongs = acute case of plantar fasciitis = nightmare; really affected my dance moves at the pub that evening. Might not be a fashion statement but caring for your feet is so important!
- Be mindful of your health: I love nothing more than to try local cuisine and often this leads me to street karts and local markets. Usually not the best idea; exercise a little bit of intelligence and choose wisely. The bbq duck that’s been roasting in the direct sunlight all morning may leave your guts in disarray (holiday spoiler right there). Get suggestions from people who have traveled there before and if in doubt look for ex-pats or other tourists.
- Allow some down time: Do not be one of those people that has every minute of your trip mapped out. Sure have a few key things you want to achieve but leave your inner control freak at home and relax! You shouldn’t be left feeling guilty about spending a few extra hours lazing by the pool with a pina colada because you haven’t made it to the 20 different art galleries you planned to see that afternoon. BORING.. Spontaneous activities are usually the best anyway!
Traveling is meant to be fun and sometimes the chaos and drama create some of the funniest memories. Be organised, relax and go with the flow; a delayed flight isn’t the end of the world just an opportunity to some extra duty free shopping!