summer essentials

How to feel your best while traveling – My Top Travel Essentials

Adventure is out there, my friends! We best make sure we’re ready for it. When Matt and I explored Europe for 5 weeks last summer, I did my best to keep my packing list small. I did my best, is the key phrase here. I had two incentives for keeping my luggage to a minimum. One being that I’d have to lug it all around Europe. Being a minimalist gal, that’s not my bag, literally. And two, I figure the less I bring, the more space and reason (excuse) to buy unique and worldly finds! That’s what I call strategy, friends. Matt calls it abusing the system. Ha!

Having lived on three continents and traveled extensively to six (Antarctica, you’re on my list), I have a solid gauge on what my body needs. This goes for a flight from LAX to Greece or a 5-hour road trip to my hometown, Fresno. I don’t know about you, but I want to feel as awesome as possible when I arrive to my destination. So what have I learned from years of global adventures? Believe it or not, for once in my life I can sum my needs up in one word. HYDRATION. Ahhh, but this may not be the hydration you’re thinking of. Or at least, not solely that type of hydration. This goes WAY beyond water. To me, I see hydration as liquid moving, flow of an energy or tangible thing, or the act of stimulation (not that type of stimulation…well, I guess that counts, too, come to think of it). Hydration is the act of nourishing and helps bring balance to your internal systems.

After years of world traveling,

here is what I’ve discovered…

This is the whole body & mind hydration I need to feel balanced & healthy while traveling:

MOVEMENT: I move my body a LOT. In a LOT of ways. Even if I’m sitting on a plane for 14 hours. Movement is like hydration for my body’s tissues, muscles and organs. This way, I don’t feel stiff and achy after sitting for hours in the same position. Why? Because I DON’T sit in the same position.

I’ve had a blood clot before in my leg, so I am particularly mindful to keep the juices flowing, so to speak. (The specialists said my blood clot could have come from a combination of things: flying a lot before the Olympics, surgery on my hip post-Olympics and the type of birth control I was using. Whatever the cause of this clot, I’ve chosen to do my research on why blood clots appear and much of it has led me to my changes in moving more often. And yes, I changed my birth control!)

MENTAL STIMULATION: I hydrate my mind by getting my mental juices flowing. Don’t get me wrong, I love my brain dead moments where I just stare at the movie screen and watch 3 cheesy action flicks in a row. But my body, eyes and brain pay for it after. So I do my best to intermix more off-screen brain stimulating activities.

HYDRATING FOODS & DRINKS: I’m adding food into this section as the foods we eat can be deceivingly drying. Think: roasted salted nuts, baked goods, cooked meals, protein or snack bars. These make for delicious breath, too. Yikes! Whatever I put into my mouth will make a big impact on how I feel during my adventures. Yep, that’s what she said.

NOURISHING BODY CARE: Hydrating body products are a must. Yet I want clean and natural products that can withstand the test of heat on a road trip and the dry cabin air at 30,000 ft. I know, I’m asking a lot. But it IS possible! I’m going to show you a couple of my multi-purpose DIY products.

Well, great Jaime, you say. How on earth shall I obtain movement, mental stimulation, nourishing body care and hydrating foods & drinks on my travels? THIS is how. Here are my top Travel Essentials.

Go get them. Pack ’em up.

Hydrate the heck out of your body and mind so you can make the most out of your adventure!

Like I said, Adventure is out there. Now you’re officially ready for it!

Hiking along the many miles of rocky trails in Sifnos, Greece.  

Balancing Serum

This balancing serum rejuvenates my face, hands, lips and anywhere else that needs a nourishing pick me up. I choose to use an Infinity Jar with a roller top. They have the best quality glass containers I’ve seen out there. The glass is so dark that the essential oils are protected from the sunlight and thankfully will not lose their medicinal benefits. Phew!

Here’s how I made this Balancing Serum:

Mental Hydration: Travel Journal

Traveling in Italy last summer, I helped an owner of an Agriturismo (organic farm + bed & breakfast) lay out plans for sustainable gardening…using my journal to draw out ideas, of course! I love jotting anything down from the restaurants we visit to the prices of typical fare to hilarious antics with locals. It’s not only therapeutic, but resourceful and handy to look back on the details of previous adventures.

What a delicious quote! “Not all those who wander are lost.” This describes me to a T when we travel. You never know what you might discover when you allow yourself to simply wander around a new place. This is usually when I experience a trip’s most memorable moments. Like that time I went running along the beach while living in Australia. I unknowingly trotted into a nude beach to discover old men playing beach volleyball. That scene is forever burned in my memory. Ha!

A “free write” is a beautiful way to clear your mind, release tension and worries, while creating the brain space to be present. All you have to do is write for 5 minutes straight. Keep your pen to paper and jot down whatever you’re thinking, even the ahhs or umms that pop up. Notice how you feel after the 5 minutes. I often feel more at ease, relaxed yet inspired, and excited to keep writing!

Physical Hydration

Did you know I have an entire YouTube playlist dedicated to helping you feel awesome while traveling? You definitely need to check out these travel tips, friends. There’s a plethora of easy-to-implement ideas, from posture tips to how to carry your bag to how to sit on the plane. I even have a 10-minute yoga session you can do in the airport or hotel room. All you need is wall space! Give it a try (see below).

Ease the Tension Body Serum

My natural and toxin free concoction to ease my muscle and brain tension (read: physical and emotional tension). I call it, Ease the Tension. (Ha, the name reminds me of a quote in Harry Potter…are with me my HP nerdies?)

Okay, back to Easing the Tension, we’ve got:

  • Panaway Essential Oil
  • NonGMO Avocado Oil
  • Organic Jojoba Oil
  • Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Ultraviolet glass Infinity Jar to protect the nourishing qualities of each oil

Panaway contains a few different types of Essential Oils and has a wintergreen-ish scent. It feels cooling to the skin, creating happy blood flow to the area. I use this concoction on any spot that’s feeling, well, tense. Go figure. And it feels great on a warm day or after a long flight. I love using a reusable bottle like this Infinity Jar, too. I’m all for earth-friendly options!

Diffuser Jewelry to balance your mind & energy


I swear this stuff seems to hydrate my brain. Adding a drop of an essential oil to my diffuser bracelet and inhaling the rejuvenating scent immediately puts me at ease. For travel I make sure to wear my “I Lead by Example” with Green Aventurine for its energy properties of openness, embracing change, luck and humor.

Hydrating Raw Snacks


NUTS. Don’t leave home without them.

My favorite nuts for travel:

  • Raw pumpkin
  • Raw walnuts
  • Raw almonds


  • 500 ml ultraviolet glass screw top Infinity Jar
  • I’m using this type of jar to protect my food. This way, my nuts and goodies will last longer on my travels. Now that’s an awesome quote. My nuts and goodies will last longer on my travels. Extra bonus, I can reuse this container as I buy more goodies on my adventures. I’ve stacked our handmade Happy Dough in here and it’s worked fabulously.

REMEMBER: SOAK your NUTS to absorb all their delicious nutrients. Nuts contain enzyme inhibitors, which get in the way of nutrient absorption, plus this makes it much harder on your digestive system to break down. Have you ever gotten cramps after eating a bunch of nuts? I sure have. Doh! I only learned about soaking nuts when I took my Plant Based Sports Nutrition Course with Matthew Kenney Culinary. I wish I had known this years ago!

How long do you soak nuts for? Typically the denser the nut, the longer you soak it for. I soak my raw almonds 8-10 hours and the softer walnuts only 2-4 hours. Typically, the darker the exterior, the more soaking it needs.


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