A well-stocked Travel First Aid Kit is an essential item to pack. One full of natural products is even better.
This article is one of a three-part series of how to travel well using natural products.
Staying healthy while I travel is paramount, which it would be for most people I imagine.
I certainly didn’t pack this way years ago, nor did I care about my products being natural or good for me.
Not looking after myself when I travelled had a significant impact on me.
Building my immune system before I leave is now my number one priority before I go.
I also eat as cleanly as I can so that my digestive system is on track because experience has taught me that travel is hard on my body. As much as I try not to, I overindulge in food.
Other factors I take into consideration are exhaustion from being always on the go; a good dose of jet lag and lack of sleep; being in a confined environment with so many people when I fly; foods I am not be used to eating.
It’s easy to see how your health can suffer.
There are many factors with the potential to make us unwell that being in the best health before travelling is the smart way to go.
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How to Avoid Getting Sick when Travelling
How often do you see people who are unwell when they are travelling? It seems to range from minor colds to flu-like symptoms, upset stomachs to headaches from exhaustion or dehydration.
Not an ideal way to enjoy your holiday.
I have IBS. My dietary issues are exacerbated when I travel. By taking some precautions before and during my trip helps manage the situation.
I have compiled a list of items I use when I travel that I work for me and are easy to pack.
A note about the products and Essential Oils mentioned in this article.
The reason I mention dōTERRA is that that is what I am currently using. However, I love and trust products from Nourished Life which are natural and toxin-free.
About Essential Oils: it is important only to buy good quality 100% Essential Oil. Don’t be tempted by cheaper brands, which are usually inferior quality and will not have the same benefits.
Find a brand you trust. An excellent place to start can be your local Health Food Store.
If you are interested in purchasing dōTERRA, I buy mine from my friend Elisha at Empowered Essentials.
One Month before Departure
I take Olive Leaf Extract to help build my immunity before I leave. I take it either in capsule or liquid form. I also take it at the first sign of a cold.
- Drink water
- Get plenty of sleep
- Eat well
- Take Olive Leaf Extract
Two Weeks Before Departure
I try and eat as clean as I can from now until departure. I have IBS and a change in diet when I travel can cause havoc. However, if my digestive system is well, my body handles minor dietary changes, or indulges, much better.
I also get bloated when flying. It is a common problem and by eating well before my trip eases this problem, and I am much more comfortable.
During the Flight
The two things I find can be an issue when flying is Motion Sickness and bloating/stomach upset.
There are a lot of over the counter medications. I haven’t found any that help too much.
I am lucky that I don’t get motion sickness, but I do occasionally suffer, more so on boats. Even so, I like to have something on hand just in case.
Peppermint is great for an upset stomach, and so is ginger.
At home, I often drink peppermint tea or a warm drink of lemon, honey and sliced fresh ginger if my stomach feels a little precarious (good for colds too).
I pack peppermint tea in my bag or buy a box at a supermarket upon arrival. These are easy to carry in your handbag. I also like Lemongrass and Ginger tea.
You can use Peppermint of Ginger Essential Oil when travelling.
Although, not everyone should ingest essential oils and you do need to be careful. If in any doubt, consult a health professional before taking.
- Stay hydrated
- Use Peppermint or Ginger Essential Oil for motion sickness
- Pack Peppermint Tea Bags
During Your Trip
It’s essential to stay on top of your health when we are travelling. It is easy to forget a routine. However, if you have health issues, they are not going to disappear when you are on holiday.
Here are my most common health complaints and what I use to ease them.
My stomach is tricky at the best of times, so I always need something I can take quickly and easily.
Peppermint tea is easy. I can make tea in my room, or I ask for a cup of hot water at a cafe (or order a pot if available)
Peppermint oil is good to rub on my stomach or take a drop (3 times a day) if I have stomach cramps.
Usually, peppermint tea helps to ease the symptoms. However, I also carry medication I know and trust, for more severe cases.
I was caught out on a trip to New York when I ran out of my over the counter medication only to be told that medication was only available with a prescription.
Staying hydrated helps as well.
Depending on where you are travelling, insect bites can be an annoying issue.
I travel with Lavender Oil which is analgesic and antiseptic and helps heal wounds.
It’s easy to dap some oil on your bites to prevent infection.
Headaches can be a problem when I am travelling. They usually occur when I am tired, stressed or dehydrated. Or all of them combined!
I relent and take Panadol if they are too bad, but I prefer to try Lavender or Peppermint oil applied to the back of my temples and forehead.
It is easy to get sunburnt when you are out and about walking around and have forgotten to apply sunscreen. I am guilty of that all the time.
Again, Lavender is suitable for this. You can blend it with Aloe (don’t forget to pack it) and apply to the affected areas.
To avoid sunburn, make sure to apply a good sunscreen. I like this natural one. It works well.
Coughs & Colds, Congestion
Unfortunately, most of us have been there.
You’re on your dream holiday having the time of your life and BAM! You get a cold.
Before things get too bad, I take Olive Leaf Extract, taking the highest dose possible.
Eucalyptus Oil is excellent for colds. It is best known to help relieve congestion, and you can put a drop on your pillow, a scarf, or tissue. Or you can rub a drop onto your chest. A breathe easy blend would be a good addition to your kit.
If you have a sore throat, gargle water with a drop of Lemon Oil in it. Try doing this three times a day. Lemon Oil is best known for its antiseptic and disinfecting properties.
In addition to this, drink lemongrass and ginger tea with honey and lemon juice added. Delicious and beneficial!
Feet take a beating when you travel. I walk more when I travel than at any other time. Many times I have returned to my room with aching feet and huge blisters!
You can soak your feet and then rub with Peppermint Oil. Mix with some aloe. Its cooling effect is a blessing to tired, weary feet.
Don’t forget to pack good bandaids. My preferred brand is Elastoplast. I swear by these, and they have protected my feet on many occasions. You can use the First Aid wash (see below) to bath your blisters.
I am also a fan of Compeed for bad blisters. They saved my feet in Verona when I developed a painful blister under my toe.
Aches & Pains
Travel can be hard on your body. If you are like me, I always walk a lot more than usual, sometimes up hills or stairs. My muscles usually get a workout and make sure I know about it.
Peppermint Oil is excellent blended with Aloe and applied to the area of pain. And Eucalyptus Oil is anti-inflammatory and a mild analgesic that will relieve the pain.
First Aid Wash
If you are unlucky enough to develop blisters, this First Aid Wash to be just what you need. It is also suitable for scratches or cuts you may get.
Simply put several drops of Lavender essential oil in a small basin of lukewarm water. If the body part that needs cleaning is easy to submerge, simply swish around in the water for a few minutes. If the body part cannot be submerged, then use a washcloth and gently wipe or sponge water over the area.
The natural antiseptic properties of Lavender may help fight any infection, and its analgesic property will help with any pain or discomfort.
- Use Olive Leaf Extract to boost your immune system
- Use Eucalyptus Oil for congestion or aches
- Gargle Lemon Oil for a sore throat
- Peppermint Oil is soothing to tired feet, aches and pains, upset stomachs and headaches
- Use Lavender Oil in a versatile First Aid Wash and for insect bites, sunburn and headaches
- Paracetamol for headaches if severe
- Medication for stomach upset like Immodium
- Good quality bandaids and Compeed to prevent and aid blisters
Make sure to pack a carrier oil. Quality essential oils are 100% pure and very potent. I use Jojoba oil or Rosehip oil because I already have that packed as my moisturiser. You can also use fractionated coconut oil, unscented almond oil or olive oil.
I carry paracetamol with me as well. If a headache persists and I want to get on with my days, sometimes paracetamol is the only thing that will work.
It’s essential to take care of yourself, and if you need assistance, don’t hesitate to find a Pharmacy.
Listen to your body. If you need to rest, rest. Don’t push past your limits and end up sick or injured.
Include downtime in your itinerary; it is an essential factor many forget.
Drink as much as you can. Headaches often develop because you are dehydrated, especially during and after flying. Water is your friend.