Travel is fun and exciting, but (let’s admit it) it can also be somewhat stressful. Between planes, trains, automobiles, and crying babies two rows back, a little self-care can go a long way. Luckily, it’s not too hard to recreate the comforts of home while traveling. Next time you’re heading out on the road, try prepping beforehand with a toolbox of relaxation essentials:
1. Travel Candles. You can find great candles that are typically in a small metal tin with a lid, making them totally packable and safer for hotel rooms. Finding luscious scents like cinnamon, vanilla, or those that bring your senses to a place of calm will help you settle in and cozy up. Or, for the morning, you can choose a floral fragrance to brighten your mood.
2. Essential Oils. Essential oil blends are a great way to indulge your senses if a candle doesn’t strike your fancy. Now more accessible than ever, you can find essential oils in most natural grocery stores. You can dab the scented blends on your wrists and inhale the aroma. One way to take your shower one spa level up is to drop a bit on the shower wall or floor while you bathe as the steam from the shower helps to diffuse the scent. For nighttime, a relaxing lavender is a great option while eucalyptus can really wake you up in the morning.
3. Face Masks. Face masks have been a self-care staple for years, and for good reason. There are all kinds of masks on the market now, whether you’re after anti-aging or pore clearing. If you’re prone to breakouts following a mask, try to aim for enzyme-based, gel-like products rather than clay, as clay tends to draw bacteria to the surface as a way of clearing the pores and can be too harsh for some people.
4. Scarves and Wraps. Finding a big scarf that can double as a blanket on planes, or even a pillow, can be a total game changer for travel. Plus, you can cozy up with it once you get to your destination.
5. The Right Pillow. Neck pain is never fun. If you’ve ever slept on a hotel pillow that was too flat or, conversely, too large, you’re familiar with how much that can put a damper on your whole trip. An obvious but often underutilized answer for this is to bring your own pillow along. This is, of course, more feasible if you’re on a road trip (going through the airport with a full-sized pillow is admittedly embarrassing). But whenever you can, try to bring one along. Neck and small travel pillows also work wonders on long flights.
6. Eye Masks and Ear Plugs. If you’re heading out for a long flight or know that where you’re staying won’t be as serene or as controlled an environment as your normal sleeping situation, throwing an eye mask in and some earplugs is a good way to ensure you get the peace and quiet you need to get a good night’s rest.
7. Entertainment on Hand. We all have our own ways of unwinding. For readers, pack a page-turner and charge up the Kindle if you go digital for your bookworm time. If you want to have a movie to watch and don’t think you’ll have Wi-Fi, consider downloading one. If you prefer game time with your co-travelers, pack a deck of cards or travel-sized board game.
8. Plush Socks. Soft, comfortable socks to lounge or travel in can instantly turn a plane trip, car ride, or hotel stay into a cozy experience. Plush microfiber is a fantastic fabric for this, as it’s not as warm as wool but thicker than everyday cotton.
9. Taking Time to Stretch and Unwind. For some, it’s habit to immediately get up and go in the morning while on vacation or to go right to sleep when they get back to the hotel room. However, to maintain more balance and grounding while traveling, it’s beneficial to take a few minutes each day to stretch, breathe mindfully, and prepare for either a great night’s sleep or an exciting new adventure. 2