Join Lenora Boyle in Italy, the land of passion and possibilities.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Top 10 travel tips from Jay

My husband is a gem dealer and travels a great deal throughout the US and abroad. He has traveled many millions of miles around the world, so he wanted to share his top 10 travel tips, based on his experiences.

1.) Hydrate. Drink lots of water before, during and after the flights even if you don't feel thirsty. Drink more than you think you need. This will reduce jetlag by 3-5% The air on airplanes is drier than the desert.

2.) Exercise. The rigors of long distance travel are demanding physically and mentally so exercise regularly in your life, especially after arriving at your destination. When you do arrive, do some sort of physical exercise, even if it's a long brisk walk. This will speed the recovery from jetlag.

3.) Eat lightly on the plane. Airplane food is some of the worst nutrition to put in your body. If you eat lightly or not at all, especially on long international flights over 7-10 hours, you'll be far better off.
Elimination is a result of eating, and long flights sitting for extended periods of time creates constipation, so load up on the oatmeal for several days before your journey to get the elimination working efficiently.

4.) Get up and walk around on the plane, to exercise your legs. You can go to the back of the plane to do knee bends along with some yoga stretches, arms over head, stretch side to side. When sitting, move your ankles in circular motions and don't cross your legs.

5.) One of the best remedies for long distance travel is simple: Keep your eyes closed. This means sleep, meditate, or even just rest with your eyes closed for hours at a time. You reduce the stress whereas watching movies and reading adds to the strain.

6.) Noise cancelling earphones are around $350 but they help reduce the stress of sound (Amazon has used ones for sale also). For a much less expensive choice, buy spongy earplugs and a bucky eye cover. These eye covers are padded for increased comfort. You'll reduce the stress and feel better when you arrive at your destination.

7.) Drink calming vata tea, which is an herbal tea that is made with Indian herbs and is used for calming, relaxing, and aiding that spaced out feeling you can get when you're jetlagged.

8.) Have an oil massage as soon as you can after reaching your destination. It reduces stress and gets you grounded in your body again.

9.) Begin to live according to the time zone you travel to, which means if you arrive in Italy at 10am, and it's actually 3am in your hometown, you will stay up for the day. Take a walk outside and reset your internal clock as well as your watch.

10.) If you have jet lag, try to get a full night's sleep. Then try to stay up all day. Melatonin liquid is a natural help for sleep and usually works well. If you wake up at 2 or 3 am and can't go back to sleep, take melatonin judiciously to stay asleep.

PHOTO: My husband, Jay, and a statue of Apollo archer in Pompeii, Italy

Do you have other travel tips you'd like to share? Just click 'comments'


  1. I think that 'preparation' is a great travel tip. Some people don't really know what they're getting in for when they travel abroad and understanding the culture you're about to be immersed in, the local food, customs, etc. are helpful in acclimating yourself as well as settling in with ease with locals. Great list!!

  2. A great tip I learned before going on my honeymoon in Italy for 2 weeks: Don't carry more than you comfortably can while running with an open umbrella one mile in the pouring rain. My husband and I took heed and sure enough, we had to scurry more than once to catch planes, trams, and trains. I put everything in an oversized purse which was easy to carry and pickpocket proof. I could not imagine dragging a suitcase on wheels through cobblestone streets. Running would have been virtually impossible.

    Besides, hotels carry wonderful soaps and shampoos. We were never disappointed and my hair never felt better!

    While on an overnight train ride across the Italian countryside, I learned from a seasoned Japanese traveler to take old underwear and each day throw the pair you wore the preceding day away.

    And the number one must: Take comfortable walking/hiking shoes!

    Abbia viaggi sicuri e felici.

  3. Mary,
    Isn't that the truth! Running is part of travel, but I had to laugh at your description of running with an open umbrella in the rain for a mile to catch the train. We're all traveling lightly and it's a heavy challenge for me as I'll be gone for a month.
    A presto!

  4. Great tips, Lenora - thanks! Only a week til I leave. Mary, that is a hilarious image, but I seem to recall more than one similar instance.