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10 Travel Tips from a Professional Triathlete

Traveling is the gateway to many amazing opportunities and experiences, so you want to make sure to arrive feeling your best. I’m Greg Billington, a professional triathlete and the top American at the Olympic Trials in Rio de Janeiro. I travel to many international and domestic races every year, and I follow a series of steps to make sure I’m ready to compete when I arrive. When traveling recreationally, I’ve found that following these same steps helps me have more fun and avoid jet lag. Four Winds Tours & Travel recently asked me to share my top travel tips in order to help students and teachers arrive at their destinations ready to make the most of the experience.

My Top 10 Travel Tips

Pre Travel Tips

Step 1: When arriving at your place of departure, change your watch/phone time zone to that of your destination. That way, during travel, you’re more likely to sleep at the correct time and are one step ahead of jet lag.

Step 2: Pack ear plugs and an eye mask in your carry-on bag. These let you tune out the chatterbox who invariably sits next to you, wanting to talk about things you could care less about for 14 straight hours.

Step 3: Download a bluelight filter to your smartphone to make falling asleep easier. The bluelight emitted from phones has been shown to be more disruptive to sleep patterns than a cup of coffee.

Step 4: Wear compression socks before sitting for a long time. When I forget these, I end up with “cankles” and feel terrible when walking around at my destination. You’ll want to wear long pants too, so you don’t look silly wearing those compression socks around.

Step 5: When flying, request either an aisle or a window seat. An aisle seat helps if you like to get up during the flight, whereas a window seat is preferable if you lean your head against the side of the plane to sleep. The middle is great if you like being caged in on both sides and you want to double the odds of sitting next to the aforementioned chatterbox.

Tips While Traveling

Step 6: Stretch your legs. If you have a long flight, make sure to stand up and walk around every hour or so. It’ll help you feel better when you land. This is easier if you have that aisle seat.

Step 7: Stay hydrated. Drink water, preferably. It’s easy to get dehydrated on long flights because the recirculated air is dry. Make sure to pack a water bottle.

Step 8: Get some sleep. Once your watch has been set to your destination’s time zone, try to sleep at the time you intend to upon arrival.

Post Travel Tips

Step 9: Venture outside asap. If you arrive in the day, make sure to spend time in the sunlight. This helps reset your body’s circadian rhythm.

Step 10: Go to bed at the time you normally would and limit naps. This helps to shorten the adjustment time and avoid jet lag to the degree possible. Since Four Winds will have arranged an epic and educational trip, there should be few empty hours. When you do have free time, however, try to keep a regular waking schedule with naps under 30 minutes otherwise you’ll risk throwing off your sleep cycle.

Bonus Tip: I’ll occasionally take the non-prescription sleep aid melatonin 30 minutes before bedtime when I first arrive in a foreign country. However, you should always talk to your nurse or doctor about the safety of supplements before using them.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and find the travel tips useful. To get started planning your next adventure, contact Fourwinds Tours & Travel today.

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