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How to Feel Glamorous on the Inside While Traveling

Obsessing over how you look on vacation is so last year.

There are a lot of articles out there that try and tell you what to wear when traveling and how to look chic in transit, and I have been trying to follow their directions for a very long time. Every time I go on A Travel, I wear and pack my coolest outfits, hair straightener, makeup–you name it. I’m going to a place, and I’m gonna look good when I’m there, gosh darn it. And then, every time, the most peculiar thing happens when I get to my destination: I look and feel like hell.

At this point, it doesn’t matter what I’m wearing because I’m exhausted and my skin looks like every ounce of moisture has been sucked out of it by a vacuum.

There are a number of reasons as to why this happens, scientifically, and none of them are, “I just look like this now.” It’s a known fact that airplane travel dehydrates you, and visiting a place with a climate different from what your skin is used to can really mess with it. There are plenty of other factors that make your skin freak out, too: stress (both pre-trip and during), change in sleep schedule (this affects you more than you’d think!), gastrointestinal issues (both from eating differently than usual and from stress–your nervous system affects your stomach, after all).

At this point, it doesn’t matter what I’m wearing because I’m exhausted and my skin looks like every ounce of moisture has been sucked out of it by a vacuum.

All of this considered, I stopped trying to make sure I looked glamorous on the outside while traveling and started caring more about how I felt on the inside—did I feel good physically? Was I relaxed enough to the point where I could actually enjoy what I was doing? Because you know what would get in the way of fun? Worrying about how I looked. So! No more.  Maybe that’s corny, and I don’t care. These are the things I bring traveling with me so that I can feel good on the inside (and therefore fine, as well, on the outside, because–I’m sorry, truly, who cares?).

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A Journal

Any journal will do, honestly, but this little guy that reminds you to “pause” (it’s right there on the cover) is fun because it’s kind of like a daily workbook of sorts (good if you don’t write regularly–or if you do and want to try something new). If you’re already someone who writes down your feelings like a mad scientist absolutely every night (me), might I suggest a “regular journal” because you probably “have a lot to say.” Regardless, writing down your thoughts at the end of the day helps to center and ground you, as well as pay attention to your feelings (especially during a time when you’re running around doing a million new things).

If you’re already someone who writes down your feelings like a mad scientist absolutely every night (me), might I suggest a “regular journal” because you probably “have a lot to say.”

 

shoe
PHOTO: Andrea Diener / Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)
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Running (or Walking) Shoes

It’s a known fact that exercise releases endorphins and ups your serotonin levels which instantly elevates your mood, and that’s just science, my friends. Bring a pair of running shoes (or regular sneakers) in your suitcase and try to get a little movement in during your travels–even if it’s just walking around and seeing the sights.

blister
PHOTO: Baublerella’s Blisters Bee Gone
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A Balm That Protects Your Feet

You’ll most likely be walking more than usual, or the regular amount, regardless, put Blisters Bee Gone Balm over the heels of your feet and then there’ll be no reason to be nervous about your feet possibly becoming wounded. This is a common problem for me, as I tend to walk A LOT, usually wearing the same shoes over and over (can’t pack too many pairs when traveling), and I generally just have large feet that, I don’t know, seem to grow larger as I walk in the shoes that I swear at one point DID fit me, but for some reason now they’re too small? I can’t explain this. It’s also a hydrating balm, and every inch of skin should be hydrated more than usual while traveling.

inhaler
PHOTO: aerial_m / Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
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My Inhaler, and Other Regularly Scheduled Medications

You know what’s glamorous? Breathing. Breathing air is sexy as HELL, man, and feeling good depends on it–that’s just a fact. Breathing air, and well, is guaranteed to make you feel better about yourself while on vacation, even if your hair is frizzing up like a large porcupine. This is a fact I have tested and know to be true, and that’s why I never travel without my doctor prescribed inhaler™.

Of course, not everyone needs an inhaler—perhaps, you have other medications, which, of course, are important to bring with you. Keep your body regular, my friend! And speaking of regular, I like to also bring along magnesium supplements or probiotics—travel usually causes some issues as far as that situation goes, and being bloated and constipated is not going to make you feel glamorous in any circumstance.

teeth
PHOTO: Arek Olek / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
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Teeth Things

If your mouth feels disgusting, you feel disgusting. The correlation cannot be argued. Remember to floss, man. Travel-size products are good for this because you can use them up, and toss them out. Buy a tiny, travel-size mouthwash and shove it in your bag. Buy a cheap, new toothbrush, so you don’t have to pack your regular one and risk it touching anything (unless you’ve got one of those special little protectors for the brush part, and if that’s the case, I salute you, my friend). And, once again: Remember to floss. Good feeling mouth, good feeling brain! I’m no scientist, but I do know that one specific thing.

moisturizer
PHOTO: Na Pali Pure
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These Skincare Products

I know this is about internal glamour, but here’s the thing: You cannot forget skincare. It will affect your external features and therefore make you sad on the inside, so that’s why this is on this list. It’s very important. Think about it–the skin is your largest organ. It’s all over you! So, you must take care of it. I don’t want to hear any complaints from you! Moisturize your precious little face. Here is your travel skincare checklist, so that you can stay hydrated and rest easy in various situations.

Think about it–the skin is your largest organ. It’s all over you!

For a general blast of instant hydration, try Cactus Flower & Tibetan Ginseng Hydrating Mist by Kiehl’s. It will cool and hydrate your skin, making you feel refreshed in, say, a not-so-refreshing situation (an economy airline seat, for example–don’t spray your seatmate). A face mask will also make you feel fresh in this situation if you have a little more time on your hands (20-30 minutes).

In general, it is imperative that you have a good lip balm with you at all times, and this goes for every situation. Might I suggest Yu-Be Lip Balm–it doesn’t put any color on your lips (who needs it) but makes them feel amazing and super hydrated (remember, you are dehydrated right now, we all are!). A few more generalities for prime feeling good include: a good moisturizer (do not forget this, ever), a hydrating serum, and an eye cream. These are just the basics, people! No, I don’t work for Kiehl’s! Throw in an anti-aging serum if need be, also (we like this one by Na Pali Pure).

Just as hydration of the body affects moods (the more dehydrated you are the darker your mood is likely to be), it also affects the skin and makes your skin look and feel fatigued. So, hydrate your body (by actually drinking water), hydrate your skin (by listening to all of the things I just told you), and the end result will be a hydrated mind.

Sorry, that sounded weird, what I’m trying to say is you’ll feel better. Moving on!

hydrate
PHOTO: Eli Christman / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
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Electrolytes

Speaking of hydration (I will not leave you alone about this): Go to a grocery store or drugstore before you board an airplane and get a beverage with electrolytes. You’ve got a few options: Pedialyte (or store-brand alternatives), Body Armor, alkaline water–take your pick. The fact is you will arrive at your destination depleted as far as hydration goes, so if there’s any time to overcompensate, it’s this specific occasion.

This is the last time I’m going to yell this at you (for now), but dehydration lowers your blood volume and makes it harder for the heart to pump it through your body—so, what this will do is make every move you make more difficult. You’ll get tired easier, even walking will seem more strenuous. PLUS, traveling dehydrates you in general due to either stress or low humidity levels on a plane—look, just stay hydrated, okay? I’ll shut up about it now.

cotton
PHOTO: Artem Beliaikin / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
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All Cotton All the Time

You want to feel good on the inside? Put cotton on your outside. Cotton all day and all night. Why, you ask? Man, it’s comfortable, and you’re on vacation. You don’t need to wear leather pants—they hurt because they’re so tight and you’re already bloated because you’re eating foods you don’t usually eat from places you don’t normally go. You got plenty of options with cotton–dress it up, dress it down, either way, you don’t have to worry about looking like an out-of-place flowy vacation princess because that’s exactly what you are and you deserve it.

Unless you’ve traveled to a cold climate, in which case, just do what you need to do to stay as warm as possible. Sorry. I got nothing for you, man. Stay warm, friend.

orange
PHOTO: Marco Verch / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
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The Many Forms of Vitamin C

Whether you eat it or put it on your face (or both, like me!), vitamin C is sure to make you feel nice. First of all, it lowers your blood pressure. Second, it increases blood antioxidant levels and fights inflammation (another thing that will make you feel bad!). It is also known to give you more energy and aid in mental health, as well as heal wounds faster.

It’s available in pill form, or might I suggest SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic to send antioxidants and vitamins into your skin that will make it look and feel great. Vitamin C: Brightening moods and complexions since whenever Vitamin C was created and then also approved by the FDA, etc.

book
PHOTO: The West End / Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
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A Book

I know you’re on a trip, but you might have some downtime and even though you also brought your journal (like I instructed you above), you might find yourself wanting a break from your own world and instead want to travel into someone else’s. If this is the case, books might just be right up your alley. Bring a book on your travel today. It is an amazing escape out of your own mind and worries, and sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is just lose yourself in a story. If I sound like a nerd, it’s because I am one. I love books!

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CBD

Ah, the wonder that is CBD oil for a precious and anxiety-ridden mind and body. If you want a legal substance to make you calm down and/or feel good, CBD is perhaps the thing for you, my friend. Starting out with a low dosage might be a good idea if you are new to CBD, and of course, check with your doctor if you’ve got concerns. Using a tincture is a good start, as you can measure out specifically how much you’d like to take (pill also works for this, but takes slightly longer to feel the effects). With all of the relaxing components of marijuana without the hallucinogen part, CBD is available many places and in many forms (pill, drops, gummy, etc). You can even use it in lip balm or skin salve form with Life Elements Lip Blam and Skin Repair Salve–they are sure to make you feel good.