We have now entered the era of transformative travel, wanderlusters, and singer-actress Lea Michele embodies that very life-altering, adventure-seeking ethos whenever and wherever she may wander. And—especially given that she just wrapped a summer concert tour with fellow Glee alum Darren Criss—she often wanders far. “It truly does enrich my soul,” she tells me of travel, noting that her trips tend to fall into two extremes: The über-relaxing beach vacay or the jam-packed city tour.
Michele says her most recent micro-getaway falls into the former category. “This weekend, I went away up the coast, put my phone down, breathed in some fresh air, was outside in nature, had some amazing cocktails and delicious food, connected with people that I love. I woke up this morning feeling so amazing and so refreshed,” she says. Since the star seems to have the wanderlusting routine down, I asked her for tips that ensure every post-voyage homecoming reveals a transformed and refreshed you (rather than just being another locale knocked off your bucket list).
Check out (and check off) Lea Michele’s four steps for life-changing travel.
1. Give your flight the spa treatment
Michele never boards a flight without her wellness 911 bag, which includes an air purifier (which she sports around her neck), iS Clinical Copper Firming Mist (which she spritzes onboard), and whatever flavor of Larabar she’s currently feeling.
“I try to do everything that I can [while flying] to keep my energy so that when we land, we can go see great sights, feel like a local, and explore the city.” —Lea Michele
Being comfortable (and okay, a little bit glam) in the sky allows her to feel charged and ready to go as soon as the plane touches down. “I try to do everything that I can to keep my energy so that when we land, we can go see great sights, feel like a local, and explore the city,” Michele says. So, you can stow your need to go, go, go for the duration of the flight, and take the opportunity to chill instead.
2. Research your destination beforehand
Michele isn’t the type of traveler to embark without a carefully crafted itinerary of activities. “You can get get stuck if you don’t make an effort to try and find new experiences,” she says. So to ensure that her vacay days always have direction, she recently partnered with Marriott Moments, an online destination that curates culturally unique experiences in 1,000 global locations. No matter if you use this tool or rely on your overflowing “Travel Inspo” Pinterest boards, Michele just wants you to be prepared. “You’ve done the work ahead of time so you can make the most of your time while you’re there,” she says. “You’re not figuring it out as you go.”
3. Eat like a local
A particularly satisfying way Michele experiences each place she visits? Eating her way through the city. “It’s so exciting, because you really get a taste of the culture and where you are in the world,” she says.
4. Unplug and be present
While Michele has been known to post FOMO-inducing Instagram photos of her travels, she tells me that her general rule of thumb is to ditch all technology in favor of a truly immersive experience. “You get to unplug, and get on a plane, and go to the other side of the planet, and see something so beautiful and amazing,” she says. “That’s what inspires me, and that’s what really does feed my soul and recharges me.” So the next time you roam, give your BFFs and family a heads-up that you’re purposefully going MIA. Or better yet, grab a stack of postcards, and write your way through your vacay in exotic-set cafés.
If you’re on the hunt for some pro-approved packing tips, check out what flight attendants have to say and the chic item Away’s co-founder never travels without.
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