By Emma Grace Fairchild:
Traveling is a blessing to experience. Short trips or long, across the nation or across the world, traveling allows us to connect with new people and customs, foods and traditions, and to see new sights and to hear new sounds. It has the tendency, however, to be quite challenging for our bodies. Luckily, there are some simple actions to take for traveling healthfully so you can enjoy every moment of your trip!
Stress can make you more vulnerable to sickness. The less stress there is in your travel plans, the better you feel and the more prepared your body is to stay healthy. Easy tips to avoid stress include
– being prepared. I double-check bookings and reservations a week before traveling to avoid any last minute panic.
– using a packing list. Especially when traveling light (such as just with a backpack), the items you bring will be few but crucial. I use a packing list online to help me stay on track, and I pencil in unique items I want to remember. Some helpful packing lists can be found at
Don’t forget the camera and here is a guide for the best cameras for traveling.
– getting plenty of sleep. Traveling between time zones can be especially taxing and getting a healthy sleep rhythm may help you feel better. If changing time zones, trying to immediately follow the sleeping schedule of the locals will help adjustment sooner.
Before I travel, I try to boost my immunity (more than usual) a few days ahead. Whether driving, flying or walking, it’s always wise to give your body a head start for fighting off any new bug. Some of my go-to immunity boosters are
– daily tonics of raw apple cider vinegar, raw honey and warm water;
– vitamin C and zinc. They both have been shown to boost immunity and shorten duration of colds. Having a healthy amount in your system before traveling will support your ability to stay well; and
– superfoods. I bring some of my favorite superfoods with me during the trip. Two favorites are spirulina to help oxygenate the blood and provide minerals and vitamins, and chia seeds. Chia seeds are easy to add to water or juices and aid in promoting a healthy digestion while providing healthful omega-3 fatty acids. Other good candidates are goji berries, Acerola or Camu Camu powder, maca and ashwaganda.
Other essential travel items I incorporate in my trips include
– lavender essential oil. It serves dozens of functions including promoting relaxation, purifying the air, and even repelling insects. It is also a helpful treatment for common maladies such as headaches, upset stomach, bug bites and muscle pain/fatigue. I put a drop on the bedsheets, directly onto a cut or blister, and on the back of neck when traveling with a backpack. Use a reputable and organic brand of lavender essential oil, and check that it is pure “lavandula angustifolia” with no fillers or chemical fragrances.
–water. Drinking at least two liters a day (half a gallon) is a good rule of thumb, but you can also determine if you should be drinking more fluids, based on the color of your urine. If you are urinating infrequently and the color is dark yellow, you could likely benefit from drinking more water. I also try to eat water rich foods such as raw fruits and vegetables, light veggie soups; and I try to drink teas instead of coffee.
–coconut oil. While flying, you can have up to 2 ounces or 100 ml of liquids or creams such a coconut oil. Make sure this is kept in a resealable container and in a clear ziplock bag to keep going through security easy. Coconut oil can be used on the plane to combat the dry, recycled air by putting a small amount directly into and around the nostrils. I use it to massage lavender oil into sore feet at the end of the day, and it can even be used as toothpaste, makeup remover, moisturizer and lip balm! It’s a great multipurpose addition to my travel kit.
These general recommendations keep me healthy and happy when I travel. The great thing is that all of these tips and tricks apply to everyday life as well! Stay happy, relaxed, hydrated and healthy – and travel often!