Getting vacation ready at home | Fitness tips of the day

Welcome to The Check-In, our weekend feature focusing on all things travel.

One Strong Southern Girl Mickie Carter shares pre-vacation exercise tips

While some vacations involve doing nothing but hanging out underneath an umbrella on the beach, others are go, go, go. Even if long hikes and walking tours aren’t on the agenda, the steps can add up when you’re exploring a city’s downtown or a vast museum.

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For those who aren’t that active while at home and want to get their stamina up before a big trip, there are a few ways to prepare, Mickie Carter, founder of One Strong Southern Girl, told The Week. First, start moving early — at least four to six weeks before your vacation, “so you’ll have time to build up endurance and strength slowly,” Carter said.

You know what your fitness level is, and you can customize your workout routine to fit where you’re at. Carter recommends doing cardio work three to four times a week for 20 to 30 minutes, and to “incorporate uphill walking, either through a treadmill or real terrain, to mimic any similar terrain you might come across on your trip.” Also, include strength training “with a focus on functional fitness exercises that help you with real-life movements,” Carter said. Good exercises for this would be squats or step-ups using a full-size workout stepper set at four to six inches.

Adding core exercises will “strengthen your entire midsection,” Carter said, which is “really important to help prevent back pain that can come with walking long distances.” It’s vital to invest in proper footwear and use them while training for your trip, so “you know they’re the right fit and support,” Carter said. “Don’t take shoes you’ve never worn.”

For those with mobility issues, these recommendations should be modified based on the severity of your condition, as well as your fitness level and baseline health. Start preparing as early as six to eight weeks in advance of your journey, and make strength training “a must, with a focus on functional fitness,” Carter said. Incorporate light dumbbells that are one or two pounds or resistance bands, and avoid walking uphill if it’s unsafe to do so. Exercise steps can also be used, without risers, and “core exercises are very important and can be done in a chair or standing if getting up and down off the floor is difficult,” Carter said.

Travel experts dish on what they want jet-setters to know now

At Virtuoso Travel Week in Las Vegas earlier this month, a panel of travel experts from around the world shared the most important things they are telling people as they prepare for trips later this year and in 2024.

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Paul Tumpowsky, founder and CEO of Skylark in New York City, wants his clients to have plenty of time to get into the countries they’d like to visit, and is predicting that “visas will be back in full force. It wouldn’t surprise me if every country introduces visas again in the next six to 12 months.” In this scenario, planning must be done sooner, and nominal fees — around $20 to $75 per visa — paid.

Rebecca Masri, founder of The Little Emperors in London, is telling everyone to book their trips as far in advance as possible. It’s becoming close to impossible to do things last-minute, and people have to “get out of the Covid mindset of delayed bookings,” she said. Because airfare almost certainly isn’t going to come down any time soon, Sharyn Kitchener, managing director of Mosman Travel in Sydney, believes travelers should “book now and pay now.”

People who are looking for customized experiences shouldn’t settle with the first advisor they come across, Jamsheed Pocha, co-founder of The Pelican Club in Toronto, shared. “Find an advisor who gets to know you as a client,” he said, and understands what you want to get out of your vacation. “It’s so easy to get it wrong for somebody by not knowing their personal preferences.”

In case you missed it…

Confused why you’re in Boarding Group ZZZ when you check in exactly 24 hours ahead of your Southwest flight? The Washington Post explained the science behind the airline’s seating process.

People looking to quickly get from Dallas to Houston might have a new travel option in the distant future. Amtrak and Texas Central are “exploring” a partnership that would accelerate the launch of a 240-mile railway that would transport riders between the two cities in less than 90 minutes.

Get ready for a busy Labor Day weekend, both at the airport and on the roads. Domestically, travel will be up 4% over 2022, with international bookings up 44% over 2022, AAA reported.

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