Planning to head somewhere fun this summer? Enjoy your trip even more by enhancing your sleep, comfort, energy, and mood! The secret is to stock up on a few affordable products that will make your vacations go so much smoother, like pine bark to prevent swollen ankles and antibacterial wipes to stop nausea in its tracks.
Keep scrolling to discover all the ways to stay happy and healthy during your next summer vacation.
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Swollen Ankles Airplane
Prevent swollen ankles with pine bark.
Where to buy: $29.39, Amazon
Long plane, train, and car trips can cause uncomfortable ankle swelling within just a few hours! To avoid it, take 50 milligrams of Pycnogenol three times daily starting three days before your trip — and continuing until three days after you return. New research shows that single step does an even better job of banishing the swelling than compression stockings!
It works! This pine bark extract improves circulation, helping stop fluid from building up when you’re sitting in a cramped spot for hours, reports the journal Minerva Cardioangiologica.
Bonus: It KO’s jet lag, too! Pycnogenol cuts jet-lag symptoms, including fatigue, 61 percent, by reducing the inflammation and fluid buildup in the brain that naturally occurs during long flights, experts say.
How To Stop The Nausea
Stop nausea with wipes.
Where to buy: $9.45 (originally $9.95), Amazon
Have a sensitive stomach that gets queasy from amusement park rides, riding in boats or similar activities? Keep antibacterial hand wipes that contain isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) handy. When nausea strikes, open one and breathe in its scent deeply three times. Wait two minutes; repeat. Repeat again after another two minutes, and the queasiness will soon disappear!
It works! Alcohol’s scent is safe to breathe in, yet strong enough to distract you from your nausea, which relaxes your stomach, easing the churning, says researcher Michael April, MD. It even outperformed the anti-nausea drug ondansetron (Zofran) in one of his studies!
Bonus: Avoid tummy trouble with chocolate! Ate something that upset your digestive system, causing diarrhea? Eat a few squares of dark chocolate. Cocoa’s flavonoids halt the overproduction of fluid in your small intestine that’s causing your problem, giving you easy relief.
How To Sleep On Plane
Sleep deeply while traveling with earplugs.
Where to buy: $10.25 for 50, Amazon
Looking forward to using your vacation to catch up on the kind of sleep that helps you wake up fully refreshed? Pack a set of ear plugs (such as Mack’s Pillow Soft Silicone Earplugs) or a travel-sized white noise machine (such as HoMedics Sleep Solutions Portable Mini SoundSpa) — and you’ll be sure to wake up raring to go!
It works! Sleeping away from home ups the odds that you’ll wake up feeling tired and cranky due to unfamiliar noises — such as the ice machine, elevator or people walking past your hotel room door — that stop you from reaching the deeper, most restorative stages of sleep, reveals new University of Hong Kong research. Fortunately, simply masking the noise solves the problem!
Bonus: And pack your pillow! One in four frequent travelers brings their own pillow to ensure high- quality Zzzs when away from home, reports the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights. Having a pillow that’s the perfect height and firmness for you invites better sleep.
How To Get More Energy
Get more energy with quercetin.
Where to buy: $18.99, Amazon
To ensure your energy stays high so you can do lots of sightseeing and shopping, start taking 500 milligrams of quercetin once in the morning and once at night seven days before your trip. Continue during your vacation and enjoy a 13 percent uptick in stamina and energy!
It works! Quercetin blocks a fatiguing chemical (adenosine) from building up in the brain, and multiplies the energy-producing power plants in every cell, shows research.
Bonus: And sip iced peppermint tea! Its crisp scent relaxes muscles in your lungs, so you take deeper, more invigorating breaths, reports the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
Does Chewing Gum Help Anxiety
End time-triggered anxiety with chewing gum.
Where to buy: $6.57, Amazon
The secret to not over-worrying about making it to any destination on time? Chew gum!
It works! Chewing gum prompts your body to send more glucose to your brain, making it less reactive to stress triggers. It also cuts the output of cortisol, which spikes when you feel tense.
Bonus: Or breathe s-l-o-w-l-y! Slowing your breathing to 11 seconds per breath makes you less anxious about time constraints! Why? Under stress, your perception of time speeds up, making it feel as if you’re on a tighter schedule than you really are!
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.
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