2017 is here and for some of us, this time of year can mean holidays and that often means travelling. Whether it’s by car, bus, train or plane and whether you are travelling overseas or overland, having these 9 Essentials for Staying Well while Travelling will help make your holiday break stress and sickness free.
If you have compromised health, chances are you may already include some of these essentials into your luggage when heading off on holiday.
For my family and me, especially my daughter, I travel with a box that includes supplements as well as remedies like lavender and peppermint oil and the treasured hot water bottle. Sometimes when you are on holidays, your health issues can ease for a couple of reasons. The everyday routine has gone, and there are no pressures to be here, there or anywhere. Often we get more rest, more time outside in the fresh air and sunshine, and more time to do relaxing activities like reading or lazing in a pool on a warm afternoon. However, I have experienced one or two holidays when either myself or my daughter have been unwell. Episodes like these can cost in dollars as well as peace of mind. So you can enjoy the healthiest and joyful holiday ever, check out these 9 Essentials for Staying Well while Travelling.
Essential Oils – Essential they truly are. There are a million and one Essential oils, but since you are travelling, then you need the two most versatile oils that nature gives us. Lavender and Peppermint. Lavender is the universal natural remedy for everything from sleeplessness to antiseptic. Peppermint is the perfect go-to for nausea, period pain and bug bites. Pack two small bottles in your hand luggage.
Hint: For on the go, add several drops of either oil to a slightly damp cotton cloth and put into a snap lock bag. Apply the compress to sore tummies (peppermint) or to the temples (lavender) to calm and relax you or your child.
Probiotics – Gut health is important anywhere in the world but especially when you travel. Travelling, while it can be fun and adventurous, also poses problems for people with sensitive guts or poor digestion. Eating different foods then when you are at home, meals on the go, from roadhouses or street vendors can cause havoc with poor gut health. Drinking different water or allowing yourself to become run down can all lead to an imbalance in your gut health. A probiotic can help with digestive issues through to stomach bugs. Probiotics also benefit your immune system. Good gut bacteria help to kill off invading pathogens and help balance gut flora. Finding foods that are rich in friendly bacteria is one of the best ways of keeping up your probiotic count while travelling. Kimchi,Sauerkraut, Miso are all internationally known foods that contain a good dose of friendly gut bacteria. However, you may not always be able to source these probiotic-rich foods. It may be easier to travel with a probiotic supplement that can be taken with meals.
Hint: If you are travelling through Asia/India – start taking a probiotic supplement before you travel.
Activated Charcoal – Activated Charcoal naturally absorbs and eliminates harmful toxins from your body. It’s a great weapon for waging war on food poisoning, stomach aches, and stomach bugs that lead to bloating and diarrhoea. It can also bring some relief for those who suffer from food intolerances such as gluten or dairy. If you are travelling in countries that have high rates of belly upsets, Activated Charcoal tablets are good to have tucked away in your wallet. The other product that is good but maybe not as well known is DE (Diatomaceous) powder. Diatomaceous Earth (also referred to as “DE”) is an all-natural remarkable product made from tiny fossilised remains of marine phytoplankton/water plants. The powder which is made from the build up of diatoms found in various parts of the world is ground down into micro-particles that act as a sweeper in your colon and intestines. These particles can quickly detox your system of any nasty bugs and bacteria. Not available in tablet form.
Hint: Use a small cosmetic container to keep some DE powder in that will fit in your handbag or daypack.
Nasal Spray – If you are anything like me, pollen, air pressure and erratic wind patterns can all trigger a hayfever attack or flare my sinuses up in an instant. If you are travelling in close quarters – ie: confined spaces with lots of people, chances are more than one of those passengers will have a cold or flu. Keeping your hands clean is one thing but keeping your nasal passages clear is also an essential if you don’t want to catch that cold. Air on buses or planes is usually circulated continuously which means you’re breathing in whatever germs are floating through that air flow system. A nasal spray (especially one with Xylitol in it) can help keep your nasal passages clean and hydrated. Xylitol is a plant sugar that prohibits harmful bacteria from attaching to the nasal membranes.
Hint: Pack a small saline nasal spray bottle into your hand luggage to help keep you protected from any nasty colds or flu.
Ginger – Ginger has some remarkable properties such as anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and antifungal. It’s also a natural painkiller. It can be used for colds and flu as it’s a great decongestant and a great prevention for illness as it shields our body against toxins. Ginger is available in a wide range of convenient forms for travelling with. Candies and crystallised ginger are good for motion sickness, headaches and nausea. Ginger tonics or tea is a great pick me up once you arrive at your destination or for calming upset stomachs.
Hint: Take a small snap lock bag with ginger chews or crystallised ginger to aid travel sickness or headaches.
Flower Remedies – Bach flower remedies come in conveniently small bottles that are perfect for packing in hand luggage, but these small bottles pack a big punch when it comes to remedies. Rescue Remedy which is widely used for anxiety. Invented in the 1930’s, Rescue Remedy contains Rock Rose to alleviate terror and panic, Impatiens to mollify irritation and impatience, ClematisStar of Bethlehem to ease shock, and Cherry Plum to calm irrational thoughts.
Hint: Easy and convenient in either drop form or pastilles. Take 1 pastille or a few drops under your tongue.
Balms and Creams – Herbal balms made from plant extracts are one of the easiest treatments to carry when you are travelling. Arnica and pawpaw ointment are my two favourites. Arnica has been known as a plant extract that can treat sprains, aching muscles and joints as well as treating insect bites. Arnica comes in a spray, cream or tablet form. Pawpaw ointment is like a one stop medico. It can treat anything from burns, grazes, rashes and bites. It has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and doubles well as a lip balm and sun and windburn treatment. Make sure you get ones that are petro-chemical free.
Hint: Small lip balm pots can be bought from pharmacies or supermarkets and hold a reasonable amount of balm or cream without taking up too much packing space.
Moisturisers – Whether you are travelling to a warmer climate or a cooler one – as soon as you step away from the climate you live in, your skin often tends to have a wobbly! Your skin, regardless of age, needs oils to help keep it soft, smooth and naturally protected from the elements. One of my favourite skin care products is my jojoba and rosehip oil for the face. But I also use my body butter on my face when it needs a little extra oomph. Coconut oil and Shea butter are two of the best oils you can use for your face and your body. Rich in antioxidants, they both provide great cover from the elements. They each have a small SPF factor and make an excellent night treatment from dry or wind burned skin. Jojoba, Rosehip, Macadamia or Almond are also excellent liquid oils that can be used all over the body if a lighter oil is needed.
Hint: To keep your skin well hydrated, fill a small spray bottle with water and a few drops of lavender essential oil. Rub your oils or butter into your skin and then use your body and face mist to keep hydrated when out in the elements.
Magnesium – Every traveller will at some point get weary, stressed or both at the end of a long day. Magnesium is the perfect remedy to help ease and relax sore muscles, soothe your nervous system and promote a good nights sleep. It will also regulate your bowel movements. Available in tablet form but also easily made into a spray form. Magnesium oil is compact, portable and penetrates the bloodstream quicker than tablets.
Hint: You can also double up with your body butter by adding in magnesium. One product – multiple uses.
Now you may not need every one of these remedies but staying well while travelling is a priority that requires some thought and planning. Remember the 3 absolutes for travelling and staying well is sleep, hydration and good nutrition. Add in any or all of the above and you should be well covered for a great holiday and adventure.
How about you? What do you take on holidays with you? Have you got an absolute must-have that always travels with you? Leave me a comment or jump onto facebook to join in the conversation. I would love to hear from you. 🙂
Safe travels and Happy 2017 everyone
Source: Some of this information first appeared in The Good Health News 2014