Getting sick is never fun, but it’s especially awful when you’re travelling. Dealing with a language barrier can go from a fun challenge to an terrible trial when you’re looking for your go-to cold and flu remedies. But with some pre-planning and mindful packing, you can avoid any stressful situations like these by having your essentials for healthy travel safely stowed away in your suitcase.
Remember, keeping in optimum health isn’t just about having the treatment for when you get sick. A truly healthy traveller will also have goodies that give them a little boost of health, to ensure they get the most out of their journey.
Read up on your travel destinations, and find out if there are any health risks to the regions you’re planning to pay a visit. That way you’ll know whether to be extra vigilant about protecting yourself from mosquitos, or watching out for fresh salads that may have been washed in bacteria-ridden water. Know the potential health risks before you go, so you can plan accordingly and avoid discovering them the hard way.
Plane food is processed within an inch of its life, and the food you find at train and bus stations is usually laden with trans fats, sodium and sugar. Save yourself an upset tummy and pack some wholesome food made with love for your journey.
Many people believe you aren’t allowed to bring food on a plane, however as long as you don’t have any liquids over 100mL you are free to bring your own meals on board. You’ll usually have to consume or leave everything you bring, but if you pack an appropriate amount of food this won’t be an issue. Say goodbye to those mysterious trays of microwaved munchies. Be liberated – you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!
Healthy people let food be their medicine, but some healthy foods can be hard to find when you’re travelling, so it’s a good idea to bring your own. Perishables aren’t the best thing to travel with, and many countries or regions won’t let you bring them anyway.
However, taking a stock of your favorite teas and dry medicines is often acceptable and can be a total lifesaver. Bring some peppermint tea or kudzu for upset tummies, some dried ginger for motion sickness, and some dried shitake mushrooms for a relaxing medicinal broth.
Do a bit of research and work out where you can find quality organic food before you arrive. Plan to do a shop of fresh, organic food for your travels, and you’ll be giving yourself energy and vitality for your trip. Farmers markets, whole foods stores, and vegan restaurants will all help out here – know where they are, and perhaps plan your accommodation around them to save you transport hassles. Having to eat food you aren’t used to can often cause upset stomachs and the onset of the flu, and if you can avoid hunger forcing you to eat fast food, all the better!
No, we don’t mean Valium or mini bottles of vodka. Instead, bring ear plugs, travel pillows and eye masks. When you’re shopping for the perfect eye mask, keep in mind that the contoured models can be especially great for those with more sizeable noses. Contoured eye masks also feel more comfortable as you have room to blink your eyes behind them, and they will block out the most light.
A pillow will also help you get a little rest on your flight, bus or train journey; travel J-pillows easily tuck into your travel bag. For extra help getting to sleep, a bottle of lavender essential oil can provide a relaxing effect. Simply rub a few drops into your palms, make a cup with your hands and inhale the soothing scent.
Bring your full sun protection arsenal, especially if you’re prone to burning. A high SPF sunscreen, covered clothes, a hat, and maybe even a travel umbrella are must haves when you’re on the road. As a bonus, an umbrella can mean you don’t have to slather yourself in greasy sunscreen or get sweaty, messy hair from your hat. A sun umbrella gives you cooling shade wherever you go, and you’ll never get caught in the rain again!
You can get handy miniature first aid kits that are perfect for travel. Make sure you have the essentials like antibacterial wipes, band-aids, bandages and antibacterial ointment for if you get a scrape or cut. First aid kits are especially necessary if you are going hiking or travelling in regions with high levels of bacteria in the water.
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