Created in partnership with Herbal Essences
2016 was a year of non-stop travel for me and while I initially planned to try to slow down a little bit this year, 2017 seems to be shaping up to be just as go-go-go. While a flexible schedule and having the opportunity to travel so much is one of the best parts about my job (and something I’m so grateful for everyday!), it can be extremely challenging to find a balance between all facets of my life with back-to-back trips, endless packing and unpacking, and countless plane rides and trips to the airport. As someone who actually tends to thrive with some sense of routine, I’ve had to come up with some ways to help me keep my sanity when life is a whirlwind.
First off, I don’t let my beauty regime slide when I’m on the go. I learned this lesson the hard way… I remember looking in the mirror and being like, “What the heck happened to you, Jess?” I was the definition of “letting yourself go.” Between planes dehydrating your entire body (hair and skin included), a sleep schedule that’s anything but consistent, harsh hotel water, and general stress from planes, trains, and automobiles… Travel can wear you down mentally and physically, too. And when I look like a hot mess, I feel like a hot mess. I’m sure you’re the same way! It’s kind of like how you feel more confident when you’re in a killer outfit or just after a blowout, you know? Nowadays, I’m probably a lot stricter about my haircare and skincare when I’m traveling.
- I don’t use hotel shampoo and conditioner. Every so often you’ll get lucky with high-quality shampoo and conditioner being stocked in your bathroom, but I don’t like to chance it. (No offense to the luxury soap brands, but hair care usually isn’t their forte.) I refill my 3 fl oz bottles with a super moisturizing shampoo and conditioner before I hit the road… This winter, the hydrating Herbal Essences bio:renew Coconut Milk collection was my jam and now that’s it’s warmer, I’ve been using the Herbal Essences bio:renew Rosemary and Herbs collection. It’s super moisturizing, but a little bit lighter so it doesn’t weigh my hair down in the heat and humidity. When I’m home, however, I’ve still been using the Coconut Milk! Summer is my favorite time of year, but all of the sun, salt water, pool dips, sand, and more, can be so damaging to your strands.
- Sometimes, it can be difficult to wash your hair when you’re traveling so much, and you never really know how harsh your hotel water is going to be. But you never want to smell or look like you haven’t washed your hair… Not a good look on anyone. Dry shampoo is my BFF! I’ve used a number of dry shampoo powders, sprays, and pastes over the years, but I’ve been loving the Herbal Essences bio:renew Dry Shampoos over the last few months. You can’t beat the scents and you get instant lift when you’re trying to perk up your roots. I have both the Revitalizing Cucumber & Green Tea and the Volumizing White Grapefruit & Mint dry shampoos.
- God bless sheet masks! With the influx of single-use masks, we really don’t have a reason for not doing masks when we’re traveling anymore. They’re so easy to slip in your toiletry bag or even in your carry-on! Same with eye and lip masks, too. I basically turn my hotel room into an at-home spa on a nightly basis.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. It’s the name of the game for my hair and skincare routines, but you’ve gotta start from the inside out. I’m such a psycho about drinking an ample amount of water when I’m traveling! I promise you’ll see (and feel) a noticeable difference when you’re well hydrated.
- I pretty much only do gel manicures nowadays since I’m usually on a plane at some point every week or two. I can’t stand having chipped nails (and I can’t tell you the last time I went without any polish…) and regular manicures don’t stand a chance when I’m schlepping luggage all over the place. Gel manis (usually in a nude or neutral color if I’ll be gone for a while) are my saving grace for always feeling more put together.
Secondly, I have to put my health and fitness first when I’m on the go. There’s no worse feeling than coming back from a trip and feeling absolutely disgusting, especially when you’ve only got two days at home before you have to head out again! When there’s not enough time to get back on track before you leave, you can’t let your “off track” times deviate that far off the path.
- Get moving! Especially when it’s an international long-haul flight, I try to do something active as soon as I land. Even if it’s just walking on foot to get acclimated with where you are staying, this helps fight jet lag and starts your trip on a healthier foot. I’m usually more likely to choose a lighter option on the menu post-workout, too. It’s a win-win all around!
- Whether it’s finding a boutique fitness studio, going to the hotel gym, biking to see the sights, or walking to-and-from meetings, I always try to be active every day of my trip if my schedule allows. At the bare minimum, gotta get those 10k steps in!
- I used to just have a giant bottle of multi-vitamins on my kitchen counter, but I’d always forget to pack them in a ziplock before a trip. I’ve recently started ordering individual packs of daily vitamins and they definitely help to keep me feeling 100% while I’m on the go!
- With early morning flights, packed schedules, and late nights of catching up on work, sleep is always the first thing to go when I’m traveling. Always! There have been so many times that I come home from a trip and absolutely crash, but more often than not, I only have a day or two to jam in ALL OF THE THINGS before heading back to the airport. (Shoots, meetings, exercise, cleaning, errands, etc.) Sleeping for a day isn’t really an option, you know? Speaking from experience, it’s a vicious cycle that ends in burnout. I’ve had to start listening to my body and knowing when it’s time to take a break. It’s so much easier said than done, though! So much easier. I tend to have the worst FOMO and want to do all of the things, but I’m constantly working on not feeling guilty for giving myself a breather. Whether that’s turning off my phone and squeezing in an afternoon nap or just lying down for 30 minutes, setting my alarm an hour later and getting more shuteye, saying no to another drink in the evening and getting home earlier, or simply not getting the next day’s blog post up on time… I’ve come to realize that my health is more important than anything work related. Even typing that sentence makes me feel selfish, but it’s the truth! Learning to give yourself a break (and the grace to do so without guilt) is probably one of the most important things you can do for yourself.
How do you keep up with back-to-back trips and keep your sanity while being so go-go-go? Any other travel tricks I should be implementing? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!