I’m heading to Denver for my first conference as a ZooFit consultant. I’m excited, nervous, and and anxious. 

Right now, I’m at the SeaTac airport waiting for my flight. Flying is a stressful activity, and frankly, not the most environmental. In today’s world, though, it’s the most convenient way to get across this wide world. If you want to make a difference, there is a way to calculate your carbon footprint online and voluntarily pay a carbon tax to offset your footprint from flying.

Perhaps if I planned it out a lot better, I could have taken a train. I’ve always wanted to try it, but I just never seem to have the time to travel by rail. Although flying nowadays is an ALL DAY event, no matter how far you are traveling.

For instance, today, my flight leaves at 1:45pm. It’s recommended to get to the airport 2 hours before your flight, especially if you need to check luggage. So, that had us aiming to arrive at the airport around noon. Now, living on Whidbey Island means we needed to plan our departure time to coordinate with the ferries and get us to our destination on time. So, we left at 9:00 this morning. Seemed early, but wouldn’t you know, there was a slight wait at the ferry and we missed the 9:30 ferry.

So a two and a half hour flight from Seattle to Denver has already taken three hours, and I haven’t even left the city yet.

But listen to me, already on a rant.

I want to talk to you about traveling the ZooFit way. Whether you are driving, flying, or cruising, there are ways to reduce stress involved and even promote a more positive impact on the environment. Traveling should be an enjoyable experience (sans the icky TSA security checkpoint). ZooFit is here to help.

  1. Lists are your friend. If you can’t stand the idea of writing a list on a piece of paper because you find it wasteful, I’m right there with you. That’s why I always, and I mean ALWAYS have a stack of scrap paper around. Because you never know when you’ll need to write a list. You can also write your list on a Word Doc, or Google Doc, or whatever your device may be. I have a friend who uses her Notes app on her phone to jot down ideas for her stories on a whim. It’s convenient and reduces her impact on wasting paper.
    Lists help you organize your thoughts. Write down all the things you want to pack, bring with you, put in carry on or store in luggage. As you start packing, check things off. When you get nervous about whether you remembered everything, or if you forgot something important, refer to your list. This helps me out tremendously, especially for as big of a trip as I’m taking this time.
    I also make lists for things I need to do before I go on vacation. Haircut, buying supplies, making food for my poor starving and helpless husband. It helps me manage my time a little more effectively. And I get to keep my sanity.
  2. It’s really convenient to buy travel sized containers for your toiletries, but this isn’t the most environmental move. It might require a little extra time, but I advocate using small reusable containers and placing a travel size portion of what you need into the containers. For instance, I don’t use toothpaste, I use a product called Dirt for brushing my teeth. It comes in a beautiful glass jar, but it’s a little big to fit with all my other toiletries. So, I got another, smaller glass jar and poured enough Dirt to last me the 10 days I’ll be gone. Getting a travel size container and placing your preferred shampoo, conditioner, bath gel, and other products allows you to stay with the brand of product you trust, keeps small plastic bottles out of the landfills, and saves you money.
  3. Having a husband who just went through a kidney transplant, I have a new perspective on cleanliness and germs in the airport. As it is now, we have to disinfect everything when we go to the grocery store or to a restaurant. Airports are often germ infested hellholes where everyone gets sick from everyone else. I acted proactively this time by getting Airborne vitamin C supplement a few days before my trip and started taking it three times a day to boost my immune system. I also have a small container of hand sanitizer which I used obsessively as I went through the TSA line. Reports show the absolute dirtiest area of the airport is the security line with those bins where you put your belongings. They never get washed, so when you touch them, those germs get all over you, too. Gross. I am also being extra cautious by wearing a light surgical mask while I’m sitting here in the terminal. It’s a good thing, too. Besides screaming children, I’ve heard people coughing, sneezing, and sniffling everywhere around me. These are things I now have to do to keep my husband safe, but they are really good practices for anyone wanting to eviscerate the Post-Conference Plague (what I used to call the sickness I ALWAYS got after a conference or big event).
  4. Things I recommend adding to your packing list: reusable water bottle and reusable utensils. No, you can’t have water in the bottle as you go through security, but you can refill it as soon as you gather your belongings. And trust me, you WANT to refill your water bottle, often. Traveling is DRAINING on your body, and water is the healthiest, safest, and most effective way to fight travel fatigue. Stay hydrated and stay safe.
    Packaging in airports makes my stomach churn. I have seen BANANAS wrapped in plastic at airport food stalls. BANANAS! Most airports don’t know the meaning of the word “compostable” and have plastic utensils wrapped in plastic bags. Bring your own utensils and save the hassle of plastic ware, while saving the planet.
  5. Bring a deck of cards. I know you are on vacation, but your body doesn’t exactly know the difference between vacation calories and calories you are planning on working off. So, it’s a good idea to plan a couple workouts. With a deck of cards, you can do a workout in the privacy of your hotel room, or hit the hotel gym and have some fun. It’s a fun way to stay in shape while kicking back on holiday. And it will relieve A LOT of stress, especially after your initial travel day.

So, there you go. Enjoy your vacation, and your travels. You’ve earned it and now you can relax knowing ZooFit has your back.