The feeling of getting off a long plane ride, worn out from the traveling you’ve already done, can sometimes stifle the excitement for the trip ahead. For especially long or arduous journeys, entire days can be lost or wasted trying to deal with jet lag and catch up on sleep. The drowsiness and exhaustion can certainly impact how you engage with new environments, and it can lead to seeing the world as duller and less interesting.
It can feel like you need a reset, much like when a computer gets overworked – simply rebooting it can fix a lot of problems, and the same is true for us. Starting your travels with a float can be just the reset you need, and it can help in a big way with alleviating symptoms of jet lag. It also enhances your senses, letting you take in your new surroundings in a fresh and exciting way.
One of the most enticing benefits that a float tank can provide to someone traveling is the reduced stress one feels after a session. For many people, traveling can be a less-than-ideal situation; it often involves long days, uncomfortable transportation, overstimulation, and an ever-present fear that something will go wrong. We have a romantic vision of vacations as a relaxing respite from our normal lives, but the reality is that they’re often highly stressful experiences.
Fortunately, floating has been shown to specifically alleviate stress and anxiety, and it’s no wonder that this is one of the most commonly cited reasons that people come in to float. By slowing down the production of cortisol (one of our stress hormones), floating helps to regulate our overall stress levels. Hopping into a tank when you arrive at a new destination can help strip away that travel stress, and prevent it from negatively impacting the first days of your trip.
Even just an hour float session can rejuvenate your system, giving you an energy recharge for your upcoming explorations. The effects of floating can last multiple days, even up to a week, allowing you to feel ready to go for your whole adventure. Surplus energy is always welcome while traveling, during which so often the goal is to go-go-go and see as much as possible. This kind of non-stop pace gets tiring very quickly, and the exhaustion associated with travel is a big reason some people don’t take any long trips at all. However, by starting the journey with a float and letting your body relax, exploring immediately becomes less draining and more exhilarating.
Fighting off the effects of jet lag is a tremendous boon for any travels, but that’s not the only way floating can improve travels – and arguably it’s not even the coolest benefit. Post-float, there is a unique opportunity to experience the world in a different headspace. Removing all stimuli allows the brain to rest and readjust, which changes how we perceive the world once we re-engage with it.
After floating, lights are more vibrant, sounds have a new tone to them, and food tastes better. These heightened senses can make any plans you have that much more enjoyable. New and exciting restaurants become even more delicious, art galleries grow in the way they provoke thoughts, and landscapes increase in intensity as the colors saturate.
Additionally, at the same time that your cortisol levels are dropping, your production of dopamine is increasing, providing a naturally better mood. Being in this headspace can have a tremendous influence on all of your experiences: feeling fresh, relaxed, ready to conquer the new adventures that lie ahead of you. Floating can also increase the quantity and quality of your sleep, helping to push past that weird feeling of sleeping on an unfamiliar bed that makes it more difficult for many of us to sleep well away from home.
Flotation therapy has benefits that can help improve our quality of life in so many areas, and that includes travel. The good news is that it’s easier than ever to find a good place to float – in the past decade float centers have been opening at a swift pace in cities all across the globe. Starting a trip with a float could just be the secret to getting the absolute most our of the rest of your vacation – and it’s not the worst way to unwind and process your experiences upon your return.