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Well Traveled: 9 Ways To Maintain Wellness While En Route

We often think of travel as a luxury, but, as it turns out, it may be something we can’t afford not to do. We did a little fact checking + studies show that even as little as four days off the grid can reduce stress x improve your overall health. That being said, travel can mean late nights + long flights, more dining out, and less quality sleep. All in all — balance is key. To put this theory to the test, we looked to wellness contributor, Nicole Boddington, who recently ventured outside of her comfort zone on a cycling trip out west. Her approach to travel is one that both inspires x motivates us, whether it’s indulging in your favourite active hobby or that second round of drinks, she’s sharing her go-to tips x products for maintaining well-being during your travels. . .

Whenever I’m biking, on a hike, or doing any activity that takes me out of my comfort zone, this quote by former EIC of Bicycling Magazine comes to mind, “The quickest way to presence is pain.” While no one likes to be uncomfortable, if we choose to really “go there”, the reward that comes with getting to the other side is one worth taking. What if you bought the ticket x took the ride? That’s what I did when I signed up for a four-day cycling trip to Santa Fe with Austin-based riding group, The Breakfast Club hosted at El Rey Court. My trip, nestled in the desert of Santa Fe, NM, started out equal parts challenge + chill with just as much riding as relaxing. From exploring the city x terrain on our bikes, to pizza x ranch water by the pool [we said balance, right?] — this was more my speed. 

But the next morning was the big climb — 14 miles. For the majority of the ride, I was mostly alone, as other riders passed me. With goals + rest breaks along the way, I made it a meditation x finally made it to the top — welcomed by friends cheering for me. Though it had been a grind to say the least, I felt only feelings of immense pride + accomplishment. The next time I’ve got a challenge ahead of me, I will remember this climb. While your next booked trip may not include a 14-mile climb, this trip was a reminder of the benefit of having routines x products in place to help you to feel your best while en route. If you’re looking for ways to maintain your wellness during your travels, here are my tips. . .

Nicole’s Wellness Tips While Traveling:

01 | Stick to your normal sleep schedule. It’s normal to not want to waste a minute while traveling, but there’s nothing worse than feeling fatigued while trying to be present in a new place. Listen to your body when it says it’s time to rest.

02 | Schedule some quiet time to yourself each day. Before each ride, I would walk to a breakfast spot across the street for some breakfast tacos + enjoyed some quiet time to myself in the motel courtyard. You’ll thank yourself for carving out space for just you, especially when traveling with a group or significant other.

03 | Move your body. Whether it’s in your hotel room, at a yoga class, or on a hike, you won’t regret fitting in a bit of activity. For a travel-friendly resource, check out my band workout or slider routine. The equipment is light x portable, and each routine can be easily done in your hotel room. 

04 | Explore the town like a local. Book a hotel or Airbnb that’s within walking distance to great restaurants, the farmer’s market, or a museum.

05 | Be flexible.  It’s okay to say, “yes” to things that aren’t on your agenda x to say, “no” to things that just won’t work out on this trip. Leave room for the spontaneous x unexpected — you won’t regret it.

06 | Unplug. If you don’t have to check emails, don’t.

Nicole’s Product Picks:

01 | Baggu Packable Sun Hat

A wide brim hat is a necessity under the summer sun, but it’s hard to pack on vacation. Even on a road trip, it takes up a lot of space. Baggu, best known for their reusable shopping bags, came up with a killer + packable solution: a foldable hat that fits into a small pouch. Here’s the how-to.

02 | Skratch Labs Hydration Mix

I always ride with Skratch Labs Hydration Mix in my bottles. It contains a mix of electrolytes formulated to replace nutrients lost while sweating, and it has just the right amount of sweetness. My favorite is the lemon-lime, but I also tried [+ loved] the strawberry lemonade on this trip. 

03 | Supergoop [Re]setting Sunscreen

Keep this on you in your purse or pool bag at all times. The mineral powder sunscreen [SPF 35] is packed inside the makeup brush. Give it a few dabs to load the brush with powder, then swipe over your face. I like that it’s a dry, matte finish, non-greasy x doesn’t clog pores. Psst, a full feature x review is hitting the site soon. . .

04 | Chamois Butt'r

The original anti-chafe cream is a go-to product for bikers, a necessity for long rides as a way to prevent saddle sores [a real thing that can happen from enduring friction for hours on end!]. However, it’s practical x applicable for any kind of constant movement. Whether you’re biking or simply exploring a new city on foot, apply the cream to skin to grease the groove x keep ya moving comfortably.  

05 | Taos Bakes

First scouted by our EIC in her Summer Edit, I, too, stumbled upon these bars at a bike shop in Santa Fe. Easy to pack in my bar bag, I kept a couple flavors on me at all times. They’re all delicious x made with organic ingredients you can actually pronounce.

06 | Intelligentsia Instant Coffee

This instant brew by Intelligentsia is my personal go-to — simply pour into a cup x add hot water.

07 | Thinx Cotton Brief

Sometimes on a trip, you gotta go with the flow. These panties are a must when enjoying time outdoors, on a hike, or simply touring the city on foot. If your loo situation is unpredictable, these briefs will guarantee your peace of mind.

08 | Conscious Coconut Wipes

At the halfway point on my ride, it felt like a real treat to sit down x wipe the sweat, dust, dirt, and grime off of my face, arms, and legs with this hardworking coconut oil wipe. It moisturized my skin in the dry heat, smelled fresh, and boosted my mood when I felt less than fresh. 

09 | Everyday Oil

Easy to pack x stash en route, I use this body oil as my daily moisturizer for my face, skin + hair. It delivers a good amount of moisture x shine. I apply it right after my shower x pretend I am at a spa, because it smells like one. 

To see more from Nicole, follow along via Instagram @missboddington

Photos by Collin Ross Findlay  

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