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Ready to Travel? Pack Your Zen


By Nicola Bridges

Yoga, meditation, mindfulness and care about maintaining a sense of serenity are all part of my life, especially when I travel -- whether flying, road-tripping, or just being mindful of maintaining peace of mind, both literally and metaphorically. This all makes it possible for me to be in the moment to thoroughly appreciate the culture, sights, sounds and memories-in-the-making at my destination.

For all its joys, travel can be very trying. But now I've come to embrace that if I can't close my carry-on case, I'll ditch some clothes to make room for my take-along Zen tools. Here are a few of my favorite go-tos when I'm on the go.

I'm right there with PlaneAire's globetrotting founder Deborah Lu Lynch, who developed her line of antimicrobial and antibacterial cleansers out of concern about getting sick from lingering germs circulating in airports, on planes, in hotel rooms and in public restrooms.

Lynch's Travel Essentials by PlaneAire grab-and-go zip-top kit has become a must for me. It includes a Clean Surface & Air Mist, a PlaneAire Hands hand sanitizer and six individually wrapped Clean Surface Wipes. Their blend of organic essential oils -- including lemongrass, cardamom, tangerine, lavender, basil, pomegranate, pineapple, peppermint, oregano, parsley and thyme -- emits subtle and soothing scents instead of the overpowering odor of disinfectants while keeping everything I must touch pre-cleansed.

Traveling with a rolled yoga mat can be cumbersome, which is why I love Yune Yoga's foldable, easy-to-pack washable mat. Its lightweight and thin but dense design lies flat in my suitcase, taking up barely any space. Added bonus? Toss it in your sightseeing or beach bag to take a yoga break or meditation moment anywhere you go -- including the airport floor during long layovers and delays.


Including a manifestation journal, 52 affirmation cards and a set of six aromatherapy balms in a sleek travel case, the Purple Canyon Self-Reflection Travel Kit helps me keep my inner peace as I commute between travel stops to stay grounded on the go.

Whether crashed out from jet lag on a hotel bed, keeping the sun out of my eyes lounging and relaxing by a pool or self-centering into the deepest relaxation pose of savasana -- the final resting corpse pose at the end of a yoga practice -- I love the soothing and lusciously lulling aromatic lightness of Dana Herbert's eye pillows. Filled with flaxseed and lavender, they're both relaxing and rejuvenating to ease you from a busy day of being a tourist into the evening hours feeling rested and refreshed. Far from boring, the eye pillows come in whimsical and vibrant floral and garden-themed designs, with names that range from Blue Bird on Mustard and Ink Cap Mushroom to Cream Botanical, Pink Poppy and Vintage Garden Hunter.

For peace of mind to stay well when traveling, homeopathic sublingual vitamin sprays -- spritzed into the mouth -- are a game changer that take the place of packing bulky bottles or stuffing a pouch with mixed multivitamins plus sleep and immune boosters. The Travel Essentials pack from Sprayology includes ImmunoBooster, EveryDay Multi and the set's namesake TravelEase spray to help relieve jet lag symptoms that might include fatigue, sleeplessness, dehydration and feelings of disorientation.

Fill that extra case space or purse pocket with the "Mini Book of Mindfulness," a little gem by Camilla Sanderson that is full of "Simple Meditation Practices to Help You Live in the Moment." Pick a random page for a quick thought-provoking read to remind yourself to destress and, as Sanderson says, "cultivate a sustained awareness of the present moment." It's a great way to acknowledge the immediate presence of self and your surroundings when you're experiencing new places, underscoring the godfather of mindfulness meditation Jon Kabat-Zinn's formative mindfulness mantra: Wherever you go, there you are.


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