If you’ve been following my blog this last year, my adventures on Instagram, or even my weirdness on Snapchat (find me @jessicazweig), you know that I’ve been doing a little bit of traveling this past year.
Okay…a lot a bit.
In the year 2015, I found myself in:
- Hong Kong.
- New York
- New York.
- And Singapore. (Three times.)
In 2016, I’ll be heading off to:
- Tel Aviv.
- Palm Springs.
- And Mexico. (Again.)
Since international travel has become such a huge part of my life and career, I am constantly asked: “How the HECK do you do it?” I mean, it is kind of insane how much time I spend on airplanes. The truth is, while it’s been such a huge blessing and I am so insanely grateful, it has certainly posed its challenges. Namely, the toll it can take on my body, mind and spirit. I have learned that planning ahead to take care of yourself is as essential as planning your itinerary, and have developed my own tricks-of-the-travel-trade.
It all starts with what (and how) you pack.
So, today on the blog, I’m giving you a peek inside my suitcase and sharing with you my go-to products, remedies, packing tips, beauty tricks and wanderlust essentials. These are things that work for me, and so whether you’re hopping on a flight for 30 minutes or 30 hours, I hope these insights help you wander with a little more ease.
Let’s dive in to my bag…
One of the first things airplanes will do is wreak havoc on your skin. For years, I’ve used generic cleansing cloths from Walgreens. (Oh, the shame!) Recently, I discovered Juicy Bamboo Natural Cleansing Oil Cloths from Kaia Naturals, a boutique brand from Toronto. The cloths, which triple as a cleanser, toner and eye makeup remover all in one, are blended in small batches with honey, citrus essential oils and saturated in vitamins B12, C and E. They completely wipe the grime and make-up right off and smell delicious, while leaving my skin fresh, dewy and hydrated. They are seriously AMAZING. I am obsessed.
BUT FIRST…SHOP YOUR CLOSET
Many of the trips I take are two weeks at a time, often spanning multiple cities (and different climates) within the same trip. You can imagine the stress I feel when it comes down to deciphering which shoes to bring, let alone tops, bottoms, jackets, dresses and accessories. It’s serious business trying to get it all into one suitcase. This is why I hire help. I’ve been working with Hanna Ashbaugh Donnelly of Hanna Lee Style for years. She’s a peach of a babe, with mad styling chops and a serious entrepreneurial edge. Hanna recently launched Shop Your Wardrobe, a comprehensive closet consultation where she creates 20 completely unique looks using the clothes you already have. Within 24 hours, Hanna sends you a link to a customized app with pics to all 20 outfits. It’s like having your own personal Pinterest board of fashion you can actually wear. I’ve learned that packing versatile items is key, but it’s amazing to work with a professional stylist who helps me keep me fashionable, not just functional. This has been a game changer for me.
BREATHE IT IN
Another obsession happens to my coaching client, Dana Frost. I have been working with Dana for over a year on her life coaching business and I am so, so, so grateful we found each other. Dana is a certified Aroma Therapist and has opened my eyes to the incredible world of essential oils. She blends her very own line of oils, Capim Santo Alchemy, and I swear by her “Shield” Essential Oil (to ward of germs and keep my immunity in tip top shape), Ylang Ylang (to ease anxiety) and Lavender (to aide in sleep). I don’t travel without them.
MY LITTLE ELEPHANT MAN
I’m never without my statuette of Ganesh: the Hindu God of protection and the remover of obstacles. He has literally traveled 100,000++ miles with me. The few times I have forgotten him, not only did I (practically) cry, my flights were canceled or delayed. Yup. I’m telling you, Ganesh is my homeboy and you should make him yours, too.
KEEP AWAY FROM MY AURA
Airports and airplanes can be nasty places, FO REALZ. I’m not just talking about the filth, stale air and grime. I’m also talking about the people you’ll come across. #SorryNotSorry. Airports, for some reason, have the tendency to bring out the worst in some people, least of all the people who actually work for the airlines. That’s why I carry with my Lindy Heart Aura Cleanser Spray wherever I go. My babe Erlinda Vo, energy reader and healer extraordinaire, just developed a full line of holistic healing products and she blessed me with this spray just a few months ago. If you catch me spritzing like a mofo’ – on the plane or off – don’t judge. You gotta protect dat’ energy, gurl.
SAY NO TO DRUGS
You think I’d be a Xanax/Ambien junkie with all the flying I do, but I have found those drugs mess me up even more and defeats the purpose of adjusting altogether. I am a fan of JetZone, an all-natural jet lag prevention pill I buy at the Raby Institute of Integrative Medicine in Chicago. I also get my Zen on by popping a couple magnesium pills if I can’t sleep. They work like a charm without the icky feeling prescription drugs leave.
I don’t know about you, but I’m always thinking about food. And when it comes to thinking about airplane food, my head hurts. Even in business class, it’s still a microwave dinner at best. Which is why I come equipped with a pantry’s worth of healthy, dry snacks that I munch on the plane, as well as take with me when I’m on the go in a foreign city. In Chicago, I work with Christina LaMacchia as my personal trainer and nutritionist and she has taught me SO much about eating well in general, but also how to maintain optimal wellness on the road. My go-to’s are Whole Foods Turkey Jerky (high in protein, low in sugar, absent on the antibiotics), Quest Bars (the chocolate peanut butter flavor is the bomb), Lundberg Rice Cakes (filling and flavorful), Justin’s Almond Butter mini-packs, VPK Marishi Tea (for that calming effect) and Paleo Granola from Kitchfix. Also, be shameless in your water consumption. I usually grab at least two liter-sized Smartwaters when I get on an international flight and am always carrying a bottle of water on the road. If you’re going to take ANY of my travel advice, that would be my absolute #1 tip: hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
BACK IT UP
It seems basic, but when traveling long durations, I’m all about the backpack. (Functionality over form, ladies.) BUT, that doesn’t mean you have to trash your fashion. I purchased the chicest backpack on Amazon of all places and for less than $30. My “pack” saves me from backaches, keeps my hands free for WhatsApping en masse and makes a statement wherever I go. (I seriously get compliments constantly.) I’m telling you, the backpack is where it’s at.
YES, I’M THAT GIRL
I’m talking about the girl you can’t help but stare at rocking her memory foam neck pillow, hot pink ear buds and designer eye mask. I recommend investing in all three of these essentials to ensure a restful sleep and a guaranteed way to achieve quiet, calm and personal headspace. Ain’t no shame in this game.
OK! I am seriously soooooo interested to hear how you thrive and shine on the road. Leave a comment below to share with me your tricks- of-the-travel-trade. Let’s stay healthy, vibrant, stylish, rested and protected from those icky vibes together, shall we?
To the love of adventure, xo –