Staying Healthy When Traveling

September 8, 2011

I think I traveled more this summer than in the rest of my life combined! Travel is fun and exciting but if you’re not careful it can leave you feeling drained and exhausted. Here are some tips to feeling good when on the go.

Preparation is the key to minimizing stress to staying healthy when traveling

  • Up to a week in advance, make a list of everything you will need and start packing as early as possible to minimize last minute anxiety.
  • If you travel often, it may serve you well to keep a toiletries bag stocked and ready to go. Just make sure to keep an eye on expiration dates and change the toothbrush every few trips.
  • I found these packing modules by Eagle Creek to be really helpful in keeping my suitcase organized. You can achieve a similar effect with large cloth or Ziploc bags if you are on a budget.
  • On a similar note, I take along the Wellness Travel Pack by Roam to store supplements.
  • Drink plenty of water in the days before you travel to make sure you are adequately hydrated when you hit the road.
  • Fruits and veggies- Eat a light, healthy diet to minimize digestive distress and ensure that things will “keep moving” once you get to your destination. Best to avoid heavy meals, such as red meat, cheese and rich sweets, especially the night before and day of travel.
  • Pack your snack! Airport food is SCARY. Bring along some high-quality protein bars, fruit and bags of nuts to keep your energy up.
  • Sleep- if you start tired, you are likely to stay that way. Try to get a good night’s rest and if anxiety if keeping you awake try some chamomile tea or a gentle herbal sleep aid like Rescue Remedy Sleep (this is also great for on the plane.) A calcium/magnesium supplement before bed can also help you get to sleep.

In the air

  • Deal with jet lag before you land. When traveling across time zones, I find this homeopathic remedy helpful. Take it before and during your flight.
  • The air in airplanes leaves something to be desired. It’s super dry and germs abound, so I love this product to keep my nasal passages moist and protect me from airborne illness.
  • If you’re suffering from allergies or a cold, inhaling Olba’s Oil will help clear your nasal passages. You can also use it on sore muscles!
  • Build a cocoon. Bring an eye mask, ear plugs, a large cotton scarf or blanket and a pillow and get comfortable. Even if you can’t sleep, you will be better able to rest and relax.
  • Cancel the noise. They are a luxury, but my noise canceling headphones are lifesavers. Screaming babies? turbulence? Bad B-movies? I just put on the headphones with some meditation music and check out.
  • And speaking of mediation, in my opinion it’s the key to happy flying.
  • Don’t just sit there. On a long flight- or train, bus etc.- it’s important to move around to keep your circulation going. Take a stretch and walk down the aisle every couple of hours.

On the ground

  • Just breathe. The temptation to rush into action is strong especially when everyone around you is doing the same. Take a moment to acclimate to your new surroundings and remind yourself that you can get where you are going without hurrying.
  • Hydrate. I can’t say this enough. Dehydration is the fastest way to feel drained and terrible. Though- if you are in a new place- stick with bottled water until you are familiar with what is safe.
  • Constipation- it happens, and it happens to a lot of people when traveling. Drinking lots of water will help but if that doesn’t do the trick, try 2 tsp of sea salt (do not used iodized table salt!) in 1 quart of warm water with some fresh lemon juice if desired. It is best to do this first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and stay put. It should take effect within a couple of hours max.
  • Lastly, take a little time every morning to meditate. This could be sitting, a quiet walk or whatever else gets you grounded. You will enjoy the rest of your day so much more.

These are my best tricks for feeling good on the go, but I am sure there are many more. What are your favorite healthy travel secrets?

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