11 Scientific Ways to Keep Your Energy Up When You Travel

Fatigue and traveling can often seem inextricably tied, but rest assured, they aren’t! There are plenty of scientifically proven ways to feel alert and refreshed while on the move—caffeine not required. 

1.Get social

Hear us out! While making small talk can sometimes be exhausting, chatting with a fellow traveler can help keep you alert during your time on the road (or out at sea or in the air). It stimulates the mind, engages you, and who knows, might actually be a fun way to pass the time. Just remember to test the waters before diving into full-on conversation: Not everyone wants to be energized. 

2. Just Breathe

Breathing exercises work to counteract the often-stressful world of travel in two ways. First, breathing deeply has a calming effect that you’ll almost certainly need for whatever comes your way, especially during those many-legged or lengthy trips. On top of that, deep breathing will help regulate the oxygen flow in your blood, which increases alertness.

3. Take a Holistic Approach

Simple acupressure techniques can keep you energized and clear your mind. For a quick and easy move, try pinching the skin between your thumb and index finger for a few minutes, massaging your temples, or squeezing your wrist at the center. If an olfactory approach is more your speed, bring some essential oils like basil, peppermint, rosemary, orange, grapefruit, lavender, or lemon. A quick inhale of these pungent scents will wake up your mind and calm your nerves.

4. Eat right

Being away from our home and routine can throw a lot of us off our nutrition game at a time when we need proper eating the most. Plan accordingly when you travel and pack healthy snacks to keep you sane, happy, and full of good, clean fuel. Nuts, trail mix, fresh fruit and veggies, and lean protein are all great options when you can’t get to a healthy eatery or grocery store. 

5. Get Moving in Your Seat

Possibly the biggest energy drain during a train or bus ride, road trip, or flight is the inability to move around much in your seat. Luckily, there are some handy techniques to trick your body into thinking it’s somewhere other than in a car or 30,000 feet up. Point and release your toes, grab shoulders with the opposite arm, roll your shoulders, pull your knees into your body, or do some neck rolls, heel lifts, or ankle circles. Then, give yourself a little love by massaging your calves or the back of your legs. The motions will keep the blood flowing in your body, stretch and relax your muscles, and, if done right, won’t be much bother to anyone around you. 

6. ...and out of it.

Believe or not, yoga in a plane, train, boat or automobile is possible. While standing in line for the bathroom or taking a much-needed 7th-inning stretch, roll your shoulders back and lock your hands behind your back to open up your chest and shoulders and stimulate your upper body. Thigh stretches and other small muscle-friendly motions are all helpful in keeping energy up and your body feeling good. A forward bend might be a little trickier to manage, but if you’ve got the space, the motion will help lengthen your spine, which is an area that will need some extra attention since your posture probably isn’t at its best while traveling. Speaking of which: Mind your posture! There’s nothing like a simple shoulders-back-and-spine-straight stance to keep you alert. 

7. Meditation

Take your concentrated breathing one step further with meditation. It’s a good anxiety-reducer and de-stresser, which in turn will keep you from feeling exhausted. If you haven’t meditated before, don’t fret, it’s not as daunting as it might seem. Get comfortable and find a point of focus either in the physical world or through a mantra. Then focus on your breath. The point is to try to clear your mind, but don’t worry if it tends to wander. Be in the moment, and relaxation will follow.

8. Stay Hydrated

Hydration should always be a priority, but it can be tough while traveling to remember your daily eight glasses of water. Staying on top of it will help your blood transport oxygen and other nutrients to your cells and that will help boost your energy. It also means your heart doesn’t have to work as hard to get all that blood moving throughout your body. That, along with the other numerous benefits of proper hydration, will help keep you feeling powered and lively.

9. Prioritize Your Hygiene

Beauty might be skin deep, but the benefits of maintaining your routine during travel go much deeper. Taking care of your skin by washing and moisturizing is the biggest one, and will have you feeling fresh all the way from point A to point B. It also helps to prepare ahead for common issues like red eyes (no pun intended) and puffiness. Bring eye drops with you, and if you start to feel a little under-eye bloat, grab an ice cube from your in-flight seltzer or drive-through cup, tuck it into a napkin, and hold it under your eye for a minute. The reduction in swelling will have you looking and feeling just like your normal, never-tired self. Pick up a hydrating mist, moist towelettes, and breath fresheners to round out a fabulous hygiene travel kit. 

10. Entertain wisely

You never know what sort of entertainment options will be available when you’re on the move, so it’s always best to plan. Listening to music is among the best ways to stay energized through entertainment, so load up your phone or portable music device with plenty of jams to last you all the way through. Podcasts, books, movies, crossword puzzles, or magazines will also help to keep your mind occupied and, hopefully, excited. There’s no better pick-me-up than the banishment of boredom.

11. Sleep!

Let’s face it, your energy might crash even if you heed all of these suggestions—especially if you didn’t get a good night of rest before hitting the road. Allow yourself a 20-minute power nap (it shouldn’t be much longer) and you’ll be ready to forge ahead at your destination or during the next leg of the journey with a clear head and newly rested mind. 

This one’s on us. And the next one, too. Now in Delta Comfort+™, you get free premium drinks. This, along with perks like plenty of legroom, Wi-Fi, and more. Explore more here. 

11 Ways to Find the Perfect Souvenir

When you’re off on an exotic vacation, you can’t forget about your friends and family back home. Show them you care with a thoughtful souvenir that reflects both your traveling experience and the recipient’s personality.


No one really wants a novelty shot glass or keychain, so you’ll have to put some thought into your gifts. Do research about the location and culture of the area you’re visiting. A little background knowledge can go a long way when looking for a gift that reflects where you’ve been.


Try to imagine your friend, family, or coworker taking the same trip. What would interest them? What would they buy? If you can figure out what they like, you can use that to drive your search.


It’s okay to buy certain foods to take home, but make sure your gift isn't going to spoil. You need treats that can survive various extremes of temperature—there’s no fridge on the airplane.


Every inch of space is precious when you're traveling, so try to find presents that say a lot while taking up very little room.


Tourist traps often only sell gifts that can just as easily come from the airport. Your loved ones can get a mouse pad anywhere in the world; think outside the box and find a gift that shows you put in some effort.


Whether you’re traveling to Paris, France, or Paris, Texas, the natives of the area will know the best places to shop. Ask around for popular non-tourist locations and look out for smaller street fairs and flea markets. With a little digging, you can find something really authentic. 


A high price tag doesn't guarantee a good souvenir. In fact, you might not have to spend any money at all. A trip to the beach can yield a good collection of sea shells or sea glass. And some people like to collect matchbooks, pens, hotel keys, coasters, and other knick-knacks from around the world. 


Souvenirs are often easily stashed in a drawer and forgotten about. Find something meaningful but also tasteful so it can be displayed with pride in the house. Each purchase should be a wanted addition to the home and not extra clutter.


If you find yourself in a place where you can’t take photos, or your camera just isn’t doing the job, postcards will do the trick. The images are usually crisp, high quality, and often from a vantage point you might not have been able to get yourself.


Leave everything the way you found it and don’t take anything from monuments or historical places. Other contraband to reconsider includes certain produce, dairy, and products banned in your home country. These things could be confiscated and you could be hit with a pretty hefty fine. Counterfeit bags and accessories are also likely to be taken away, so be careful when buying luxury items that seem too cheap to be true.


Sometimes when you see the right thing, you just know. Don’t resist the feeling that an item is absolutely perfect.

 This one’s on us. And the next one, too. Now in Delta Comfort+™, you get free premium drinks. This, along with perks like plenty of legroom, Wi-Fi, and more. Explore more here.

7 Tips for Timing the Perfect Mid-Flight Nap

Whether you’ve got a 12-hour international flight or a quickie two-hour hop home for the holidays, timing mile-high naps can be tricky. Unless you’re the type who immediately passes out before the plane has left the jet bridge, these pointers can help you plan for a more restful flight. You likely know the obvious (wear comfortable clothes, bring earplugs, etc.), but sometimes quality naps need a strategy set in motion well in advance of the actual flight. 


Sure, the aisle seats have a bit more legroom, but if napping is your main objective, booking a window seat is key. Not only will you have somewhere more firm to rest your head (make sure to ask for a pillow or bring a sweatshirt to bunch into that corner space), but you won’t be interrupted mid-REM cycle because your neighbor needs to go to the restroom.


Speaking of restrooms, they tend to be in the back of the plane, and the closer you are to them, the closer you are to the never-ending foot traffic of passengers who want to use them. If you can avoid getting jostled or interrupted by the constant small talk surrounding the restroom, it'll be easier to catch some shut-eye.


Of course non-stops aren’t available for every destination, but if you have the choice between a non-stop three-hour flight, or two two-hour flights with a hurried 45-minute connection dash in between… which do you think will leave you more rested? It might be tempting to save $35 by booking the cheaper layover flight, but sometimes a solid siesta is worth the extra money upfront.


The post-work, rush hour commute to the airport can make evening flights feel like a hassle; but, particularly for international flights, flying during your normal sleep cycle is actually ideal. Airlines already do most of the work for you—the vast majority of transatlantic flights take off from the States after 9:00 p.m., so as long as you don’t decide to spend the entire flight marathoning movies, you should be able to carve out a solid five to seven hours for sleep. 


Weekend flights (particularly on Fridays and Sundays) tend to be overbooked as everyone tries to get out of town for a three- or four-day weekend. But traditionally, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are less popular, which spells not only cheaper rates but also less crowded cabins. Your odds at scoring a row with a free seat next to you are much higher mid-week, meaning your odds for uninterrupted dozing go up too.


You already know that napping with contacts in is ill-advised, but on a flight? The reduced oxygen, humidity, and air pressure in the cabin all contribute to eye and contact dehydration, which leads to uncomfortable, itchy eyes. Not only is this bad for eye health, but it makes for less restful napping as well. Optometrists generally recommend taking out your contacts for all flights, but for longer-distance ones, it’s a necessity. Also, plan to use lubricating drops before you actually need them—put a few in after removing your contacts, mid-flight if you’re awake, and again once you’re on the ground. Not only will you feel more rested, you’ll look it too.


Perhaps if you’re lucky, everyone else will want to snooze too. But since that likely won’t be the case, prep your playlist with a range of sleep-inducing podcasts to help drown out the chatter. Ambient “spa” music or relaxing instrumentals usually do the trick, but if meditation podcasts or White Noise apps are your thing, there are plenty of those you can download ahead of time too. But just as any runner knows not to test out a new pair of shoes on race day, don’t try out a new series when you know every precious moment of sleep counts. Namaste. 

This one’s on us. And the next one, too. Now in Delta Comfort+™, you get free premium drinks. This, along with perks like plenty of legroom, Wi-Fi, and more. Explore more here.


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