Travel detoxification

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After a spate of travel on the road, there’s a few things I do to help reset, reboot, and purge the ills of travel from my system. As with any and all things health related, what works for one person may not for someone else and may cause serious harm to yet another, so use common sense and consult a qualified medical practitioner before doing something drastic.

1. The moment I get home, I drink as much water as I can. Travel tends to dehydrate more than normal, especially if you’re in the air transit system where liquids are banned at certain points. I try to keep this level of intake for at least a day.

2. As soon as I get home, I down a chewable kids’ gummy multivitamin. The reason I pick a chewable here is that nearly everything in the chewable vitamins is water soluble, otherwise you’d have kids who accidentally eaten a few handfuls going to the ER for overdoses of iron. Having a chewable means getting stuff that flushes out if there’s too much in the system already.

3. Saltwater bath. Throw a few cups of raw salt (you can buy it in 50 pound bulk bags, and it doesn’t have to be food grade since you’re not eating it) into a bath and stir until dissolved. You know the salt that goes into water softeners and is used for deicing? That’s pretty much the same stuff as in a small jar of exotic sea salt that you find in health and beauty shops for absurd markups. I like saltwater baths just to clean up and naturally disinfect after travel. Germs tend not to like salt water, especially in higher concentrations of salt. (that’s why the ocean doesn’t fester and mold, by the way)

4. Standard vitamin and water before bed. I find that I wake up feeling better if I do this. Whether it has any basis in real science, I’ll leave up to the scientists, but I’ve found that it works for me. Play with the time of day you take a multivitamin and see if it makes a difference for you.

5. Decent night’s sleep. Nothing wipes you out faster during travel than lack of sleep or irregular sleep, which is almost guaranteed. Nothing gets you reset faster than a night in your own bed.

6. Reduced caffeine intake for a few days afterwards. When I travel, I know for sure I overdo it on caffeine. Driving, flying, working in unfamiliar places – all of that taxes me and in the short term I compensate on the road with coffee. When I get home, I dial it back to a cup of coffee a day for a few days just to help things calm down.

What travel detoxification and reboot tips do you have to share?

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8 responses to “Travel detoxification”

  1. Momslifesavers Avatar

    Great tips! Love the salt water bath tip…gonna try that one!

  2. Great tips, Mr Penn. I always try to eat a decent meal of real food – the kind of fuel my body is used to burning after getting comfortable back home. Travel food is so often bready, carb-laden trips to Starbucks or Tim Horton’s; or rich, unfamiliar restaurant food… I find that a solid dose of reality helps kick my system back into home sweet home normalcy.

    1. You know, I find I tend just not to eat nearly as much for a couple of days – just to let stuff flush out.

  3. Sandra Proulx Avatar
    Sandra Proulx

    Though more for the mind than the body, one of the absolute first things I do upon returning home is unpack. This helps me mentally reboot, and I feel at ease when everything is back where it belongs after being away. Another thing that helps me quickly return to normalcy and peace of mind after traveling is cleaning my living space prior to leaving. I can come home knowing that dishes are washed and put away, laundry is done, and there aren’t a multitude of chores awaiting me.

  4. Great post, Christopher, duly noted.

  5. Yes lots of water. If I get home around dinner time, a great relaxing dinner & glass of wine with husband. Wine is my sleeping pill so off to bed early. You are right, traveling wipes you out. If I get home mid-day I feel like I need a nap immediately. Sometimes I push through the afternoon, other times I just give into the nap. Long hot shower before bed not matter the time. (Is this TMI?) Try not to have important meeting planned for next day.

  6. Greg Cangialosi Avatar
    Greg Cangialosi

    I try to take a bit of a different approach and instead of detoxing post-travel, I try to take the proactive approach and attempt to stay on top of a bunch of factors – I wrote about my travel zen in 2009 – -lots of good additions in the comments as well 🙂 Rock on.

    – Greg

  7. Fibaldwin Avatar

    Exercise. For me, nothing clears the mind and soul more effectively and quickly. I never feel much like a workout immediately after travel but a little discipline to just get started does the trick and I always feel better after.

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