If you’re anything like me, your pre-flight routine goes something like this: You attempt to shove one last outfit into your suitcase, scour your pantry for healthy in-flight snacks (because, priorities), and inevitably forget to pack underwear or something equally important. Sound familiar, fellow wanderlusters?
In order to make sure your next trip has a slightly chiller vibe, we asked Candice Kumai to reveal her well-traveled pro tips. Globetrotter that she is, Kumai (AKA: Well+Good Council member and one of our inaugural retreat leaders), knows a thing or two about navigating a travel itinerary with self-care in mind. And that’s saying a lot, considering the—ahem—turbulent state of airports nowadays.
Here’s how Kumai preps for long-haul flights, Zens out on board, and steps off the plane refreshed and ready for adventure.
Prepare yourself to fly (mentally and physically)
If you’re the type of travelista who usually zips up your suitcase two hours before your flight (guilty), try giving yourself a longer timeline in the days leading up to your next voyage. Here’s everything Kumai does before hitting the airpot.
Double down on workouts: Two days prior to traveling, Kumai makes sure to squeeze in three (yes, three!) sweat sessions. “Predominately, if I’m on a plane all day and I know I’m going to miss the workout, I double down on the day before, or two days before,” she explains. The additional sweat gives Kumai the peace of mind she needs to start exploring as soon as the plane touches down.
Boycott sugar: Just like alcohol, Kumai says processed sugar is a huge no-no before a long flight. Well, with one caveat: “In the off chance that you’re living and you’re at like a company dinner, or at a party, or at a wedding, f***ing live,” she advises. “Because those are the moments when you’ll regret being the boring girl that goes back to her room early.”
Limit your caffeine intake: “I never drink caffeine after about 3 p.m.,” says the rockstar chef. “This will help you sleep so you can make your flight in the morning.”
Athleisure it up: “The night before your travel, remember to set out the comfy clothes,” says Kumai. Her go-to outfit? Lululemon leggings (duh), Nike high tops, a James Perse shirt, sports bra, and cozy flannel or jacket.
Use your time in the air to enjoy in some me-time (and avocado)
Kumai views the first leg of any flight as an invitation for a self check-in. “When all electronics go off, that’s the only time I ever get to put my headphones on, and listen to music, and to brainstorm ideas just by checking out and dreaming,” she explains. So while you’re still required to stow you laptop, take a minute for you.
Pack your very own chill kit: Along with her Beats headphones, Kumai always brings a sleep mask, earplugs, and her staple essential oils. “One thing I like packing is orange [essential oil], which helps to relieve anxiety naturally,” she says.
Clear your to-do list: If an urgent work issue crops up while you’re in the air, Kumai suggests taking care of it—pronto. That way you can land with a clean slate and no deadlines.
BYO snacks, matcha, and water bottle: It’s no secret that munching on plane snacks is not the best fuel for starting your vacay off on the right foot (even flight attendants won’t touch those peanuts). That’s why Kumai always packs her own S’well water bottle, instant matcha packets, and—of course—an avocado. “I always pack snacks for the plane,” explains Kumai. “So, raw nuts: no salt, not roasted cashews and almonds or walnuts, [plus], a chocolate bar because I get anxious sometimes.”
Once you land, adjust and adventure
Now that you’ve (hopefully!) taken your flight as an opportunity to decompress, you’re ready to hit the ground running. Here are Kumai’s tips for a seamless adjustment from work time to playtime.
Go for the greens and fluids: After a day or more of travel, your body will be jonesing for a good dose of greens and H2O. So seek out a green smoothie and keep filling up your water bottle.
Walk everywhere: Sticking with your usual workout routine while traveling is no easy task. So, instead of stressing out about fitting in a workout between sightseeing and sunbathing, Kumai suggests just walking. “If you walk as much as you can everywhere, you’ll get know the city and you’ll be burning lots of calories and you’ll adjust to their time zone a lot easier,” she explains.
Immerse yourself in the local culture and cuisine: Even if you’re usually super strict about your diet, Kumai argues that vacay is the opportune moment to become fully enmeshed in the local culture. “Try the foods where you’re going from local farmer’s markets; be open to trying new things,” she advises.
Have you heard that Kumai is leading our first ever Well+Good retreat in Palm Springs? She’ll be teaching you how to make delicious meals you’ll actually be able to make on weeknights (score!). Email [email protected] to book your spot, ASAP.