The Well Traveler: Healthy and Well on the Move! General Well Travel Tips – Part Two

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Photo by Michael Arloski

General Well Travel Tips – Part Two

Our last post generated lots of interest in traveling “well”. We’ll be posting more on this theme and on the larger concept of “wellness travel”, that is consciously planning and traveling in a way that enhances our experience in all the dimensions of wellness. Wellness is a whole lot more than hygiene, and that’s what we’ll be talking about.

Let’s continue with our General Well Travel Tips before we journey on to looking at recreational wellness travel and business travel from a wellness angle.

Well Travel Tip #4
Pack Light, then re-pack lighter!

Airline baggage fees have already started many of us to completely reconsider what we take along on a trip. The overhead compartments are stuffed to the max as folks go lighter and avoid those added expenses. However, have you considered this for a longer trip, perhaps for a vacation? Could you do Europe for two weeks with one backpack weighing about 20-30 lbs.? What would be the benefits of simply bringing less on any trip?

Lighter on the back, lighter on the soul.

I may never be able to convince a true pack-rat to “lighten up”, but once you do, you will always be looking for ways to “cut the ounces and the pounds will take care of themselves”. The freedom quotient goes up exponentially with the weight and bulk that you cut. Wouldn’t it be nice to have no heavy bags dragging your arms down, making you awkward and tortoise-like.

Just a few years back I took a solo trip through six European countries in a three-week period with everything in one travel backpack. I loved the freedom of movement, the spontaneity it allowed, and my ability to “carpe diem”! I followed good old Rick Steves’ advice to pack light and pack smart and was thrilled that I did. . He’s got it down to a science. ( I used an REI travel backpack and loved it. (something like this:

The ergonomics of a well-fitting, and not too heavy, backpack will pay off. Your body will thank you regardless of your age. Your soul just might thank you too. With less to “weight you down”, you make different decisions about how to spend your time, about how to move through life. You have no luggage cannonball chained to your ankle so you can literally “jump” on opportunities. Toss that pack in the overhead compartment and climb on board to a truly new destination!

Well Travel Tip # 5
Consciously “Calendarize” Your Trip: Leave Space for Spontaneity

“Failing to plan is planning to fail”, for sure, but cramming every waking hour with activities, events, traveling, and obligations backfires making almost any trip, either recreational, or business, a bust as well. When a wonderful opportunity presents itself in your lap will you have the flex in your schedule to go for it? Some of the absolute best moments in traveling happen when you just go for a walk with no plans, no agenda, and see what unfolds before your eyes.

On a business trip to Brazil the flex in my schedule allowed me to say yes to training and consulting work in Rio de Janeiro (not on my original itinerary) and at two spas in two other astonishing parts of the country.

The over-packed itinerary may seem like you’re getting the most value out of your trip, but at what cost? Ever stressed out and gotten fatigues by such a schedule ending up with you becoming ill and both the schedule and your good time got completely shot?

A great little idea from wellness coaching is “conscious calendarizing”. That is, setting up a calendar schedule for your trip with consciousness about your own health and wellness. Build in more time than you think for traveling (even across town). Seek out experiences that honor our Primary Wellness Travel Tip – being true to the purpose of your trip. (see previous post). Plan some “holes” in the schedule. Let serendipity and your own awareness of opportunities easily fill them in deliciously.

More Well Traveler Tips coming soon. Please share your comments and ideas. Well travels to you!


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