Cutting-edge technology and larger-scale trips that better help you to sleep, breathe, and relax.
For those who’ve become a little too accustomed to today’s tech-driven, everything-on-demand culture, “give it to me now fever” is rarely curable. But we’ve found a medicine for it: pairing some of today’s gadgets and gizmos with travel counterparts that satisfy the same needs on a grander scale. The results? Longer-lasting vaccinations of fulfillment.
“Technology is continuously growing, creating, and pushing the envelope,” says Patricia L. Mokhtarian, a professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Tech, who specializes in the study of travel behaviors. “As technology advances, so will the continuous stream of inventions that hope to become closer and closer to the experience they’re trying to simulate.”
We advise you opt for both: Whether it’s a mini-wearable device that reminds you to breathe or a visit to a spa specializing in teaching you how to do it, personalized treatments to induce sleep or a wristband that resets your internal clock—know it’s all doable, one way or another. “If you’re unable to take the pilgrimage, items like these give everyone an opportunity to still have an at-home experience,” Mokhtarian says.
You Want: Sleep
If you can’t achieve REM on your own, invest in Philip Stein's Sleep Bracelet. The impressive nighttime accessory, which comes in an array of strap colors and various metals, was designed to help the wearer sleep better, deeper, and to fall asleep more quickly. This is accomplished via Natural Frequency Technology, which uses a mini antenna that only picks up specific frequencies to benefit your overall well being and sleep quality ($395).
If you want your own personal Morpheus, get some help from the god-like purveyors of rest, now being offered up by some hotels. Many high-end places are creating spa treatments that specifically address those who suffer from being overly stimulated, constantly jetlagged, or from plain old chronic insomnia. Dorado Beach, a Ritz Carlton Reserve in Puerto Rico (pictured), offers the Sweet Surrender Massage, a 60-minute treatment created to balance chakras and enhance sleep cycles by restoring the nervous system. It also includes Ayurvedic herbs for mind purification and tranquility, and patchouli and jasmine oils to help uplift the spirit. You can also sip detoxification tea while soaking in a bath of Himalayan salt, said to be ideal for de-stressing and relaxing you ($200).
You Want to: Breathe
We all know that controlling your breathing lowers blood pressure, reduces tension, and increases endorphins. For those needing to do all of the above, opt for Spire, a new coach-like respiratory observation device. It tracks and improves your state of mind by allowing you to discover when you're stressed, where it courses, and what you were doing when it happened. Spire senses your breathing patterns and what they convey about your state of mind. Clipped onto your waistband, this wireless and rechargeable mini “breath meter” reminds you to breathe throughout the day. If used regularly, the Spire supposedly eliminates more than 1 million moments of tension in a week. It also works with your smart phone, so don’t be surprised if you get a message saying, “Your breathing suggests you’re tense. Take a deep breath” ($150).
Or, you could head to the Lodge at Woodloch. Set on 150 acres of woodland—including a private 15-acre lake in the Pocono Mountains—the award-winning, adult-only spa resort offers 27 treatment rooms and 50-plus classes in yoga, meditation, and breathing with a concentration on the mind and body as they work with nature. Try a walking meditation on the Lotus Labyrinth, water floating classes, breathing technique courses, or even a class on walking in the forest with their master herbalist, who teaches techniques for deep breathing, mind-body awareness, and a gentle reminder to enjoy the little miracles of the forest. Pranayama offers the opportunity to learn different ways to calm or invigorate the body through different breathing techniques (from $239 per person).
You Want: Wine
For the wine slosher or the sophisticate who wants their primo vino now, download Delectable, an app that offers the best label recognition, fastest and most accurate image matching, paired with the largest group of wine experts, and a ratings system. Launched in November of 2012, the app allows users to purchase more than 50,000 wines, while also offering a curated thematic collection of wines by top experts like Jon Bonné, Rajat Parr, Talia Baiocchi (free).
But if you want a more fluid experience, you can go to a restaurant like Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House in New York City, which offers more 2,100 wines from around the world, and whose savvy sommelier, Jessica Norris, can recommend those worth justifying a trip to the steakhouse. Her extended list includes sipping on these faraway rarities: Bodegas Benjamin Rothschild & Vega Sicilia “Macan Classico” Rioja 2010 Tempranillo $150; Big Table Farm “Resonance Vineyard” Willamette Valley 2013 Pinot Noir, $99; Chateau Rayas “Ch. de Fonsalette” Reserve 2003, $225; Domaine Damien Laureau “Les Genets” Saviennieres 2011, $85. You'll be relaxed in no time.