Traveling abroad is an adventure that can be both exhilarating and terrifying at the same time.
There's nothing worse than the URGENT need to find a bathroom in a foreign city (and then not making it in time)...believe me, I know.
My husband and I have both gotten sick on several overseas trips, from colds to stomach bugs, we've had it all. Not to mention we are adventurous eaters. Hello street stand with mystery meat, we MUST eat your unsafe, but oh-so-delicious delicacies.
My husband actually became so ill and dehydrated once, that he passed out and smacked his face off a wooden bar. He still has the scar to prove it. >>>>>
As you all know, I refuse to take prescription medications (I won't even take an Advil or Tylenol unless I've lost a limb), so these natural remedies have revolutionized our lives. We have traveled through Asia and Europe since adopting these practices and those adventures were exponentially better than previous ones we've struggled through without such miracles (refer to the aforementioned bathroom incident).
Here are my 9 travel non-negotiables:
1. Ginger chews
These are my #1 go-to when traversing the globe. Ginger is fantastic for nausea, digestion, migraines, aches, pains, and congestion. Feeling a little stuffy on the plane? Pop a Gin-Gin. Feeling a little nauseous after that mystery meat? Pop a Gin-Gin.
Ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties; it's a powerhouse herb. These little chews pack a mean punch and quickly alleviate nausea, indigestion, and congestion, making them the perfect travel companions.
I've struggled with digestion issues my entire life, but never to the extent I've experienced while traveling.
Quick tip: don't eat the airplane food! The movie wasn't that far off!
Yes, it's incredibly exciting to be served a warm meal in a tiny tin tray on international flights (especially since you're lucky to get a plastic cup of water on domestic flights nowadays), but those airplane meals are packed with preservatives and other scary additives. Pack your own food for the plane and avoid the inevitable stomach issues that result from those tiny tin meals.
Anyway, probiotics are an essential part of any travel preparation. I suggest popping probiotics daily at least one month before you travel as well as everyday (sometimes twice a day) while on your adventure. Probiotics promote a healthy gut environment, which in turn, supports your entire immune system. Probiotics maintain a healthy balance of good bacteria, not only keeping your digestive system functioning properly, but keeping your immunity in tip-top shape.
I take these bad boys from Whole Foods.
3. Activated charcoal
By now you know I've had my fair share of stomach disasters. But oh, what's worse than pooping your pants in public, you ask? Ummm how about having the worst gas humanly possible on a 14 hour flight AND being in the middle seat.
This is when activated charcoal comes to the rescue. It reduces toxicity by absorbing chemicals and gas in the GI tract, providing relief from stomach bugs, gas, bloating, diarrhea, food poisoning, and gluten exposure. It may sound scary, but it is totally safe and effective.
Be sure to drink lots of water to stay hydrated when relying on this supplement.
On numerous occasions, I have spent 8+ hours on a plane sitting next to someone who was coughing, sniffling, and sneezing the ENTIRE time, yuck! This is where Emergen-C comes into play. Empty a packet into a bottle or cup of water to boost your immune system. This can also be used as a preventative measure (like the probiotics) leading up to the trip.
5. Coconut oil
My husband calls me "The Coconut Woman" because I am obsessed with coconut oil. I eat it, drink it, and apply it. I always bring a small travel container of this natural miracle with antimicrobial, antiviral, antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-fungal properties with me wherever I go.
It's great for sunburns, cuts, scrapes, hair conditioner, eye makeup removal, or moisturizing dry skin (a nasty result of flying). AND I love to drop a teaspoon into my coffee or tea for an all-natural energy boost and subtle coconut flavor. Yum!
6. Lavender Oil
I can't say my love for lavender oil sizes up to that of coconut oil, but it is a close second. Lavender oil is exceptionally soothing and relaxing, the perfect remedy for travel stress.
I put a few drops on my temples when I board the plane and settle in, which helps to calm me down after the stress of passing security and fighting the crowds. I always struggle with jet lag and adjusting to the time change, so a few drops of lavender oil in a bath helps me sleep like a baby.
7. Herbal teas
I always pack a small Ziploc bag of herbal teas for the flight and hotel so I can enjoy a soothing cup of joy when needed. I bring ginger, peppermint, chamomile, smooth move, green, and echinacea teas to soothe my tummy, relax my body, and boost my immune system.
I only take these when I absolutely cannot sleep (either on long flights or in the hotel after a few time zone hops). I take the minimum dosage and slap on my eye mask for some zzz's.
Melatonin is a natural hormone supplement that assists with sleep; it is naturally produced in your brain and tells your body that it's time to go to sleep, but can wreak havoc on your sleep cycle if taken incorrectly.
9. Disinfecting wipes
Did you know that feces have been found on the tray tables of airplanes?! Yes, people change their children's diapers there and then your unsuspecting peanut rolls around in the traces of poo and then into your mouth. G.R.O.S.S.
I disinfect every inch of surface around me when I find my seat on the plane. I wipe down the seat, arm rests, tray tables, window, tv screen, etc. Destroy the germs before they destroy you!
I hope these remedies help you on your adventures.
What travel remedies do you swear by?