Ohhhhh the chaos of holiday travel! I mean… the fun! Yes, that’s what I meant to say. With my entire extended family on the opposite side of the US, I have been traveling during the holidays every year, (across the US, with three kids in tow) for the past 15 years. I love traveling… it’s one of my biggest passions. I have picked up many tricks and strategies for staying healthy while traveling (whether you have kids in tow or not) and want to share some of them with you.
Several years ago, when my kids were younger, I felt like EVERY time we traveled, someone got sick. And I’m not talking about a runny nose – I’m talking about the crazy stuff like vomiting, diarrhea and “full-blown virus disasters”.
Vomiting, diarrhea, Montezuma’s revenge from food poisoning, and sneaky viruses can all ruin your trip away from home. Some of these (like food poisoning) can cause serious digestive system issues that can drag on and on…
Want to know what I do to avoid these vacation wreckers? Keep reading!
The key is preparing and being proactive – do some research about where you are going, especially if it’s a new destination. A few weeks ahead of the date of departure, start to prepare your body. There are supplements you can take before you go to prevent illness, essential nutrients for defense in case someone starts feeling sick, and a few other remedies for when the bugs take over.
PREPARE & PREVENT – Strengthen Your Immune System
First, I take Vitamin D3 with K2, all year round, every single day. Even though I eat organic, healthy stuff (and lots of colorful veggies), it’s just not possible to get enough vitamin D from our foods (and I definitely don’t get enough from the sun!) Plus, I had my micronutrient levels tested, and I know from the results that I need to be taking vitamin D, daily. It’s a non-negotiable, keeps my immune system strong and has a bunch of other positive benefits to taking it. My favorite is nutraMetrix Vitamin D with K2.
A few weeks before traveling, I start a probiotic. Probiotics may give your immune system a boost and inhibit the growth of harmful gut bacteria (bad gut bugs). Also, some probiotics have been shown to promote the production of natural antibodies in the body. My favorites are Pure Encapsulations G.I. and nutraMetrix nutriClean. I take 1 daily.
I also take Biocidin Advanced Formula – (which comes in drops or capsules) to help boost my immunity. I start with 3 drops per day and work up to 5-10 drops twice daily.
And most importantly (again, three kids in tow when I travel), I always take an Adaptogen. Adaptogens can help your body adapt to stress and life’s doozies. These herbs aid our bodies in reacting to or recovering from physical or mental stress. Some also boost immunity and overall well-being. Yes, traveling is fun – but it is also stressful! Think about it… you are in the security line at the airport, you fly through 3 time zones, you sleep on a different pillow, you stay up later than usual, and then you decide to go zip-lining for the first time with your kids! While some of this is “good stress”, some is “bad stress”, but ALL OF IT registers as stress to our bodies. I especially like blends that contain herbs like Rhodiola that staves off mental and physical fatigue and Ashwagandha for reducing emotional and mental stress. nutraMetrix ACTS Adrenal, Cortisol, Thyroid & Stress Support Formula and Pure Encapsulations Daily Stress Formula are my two go-to’s.
Wipe it Down!
Stepping up the hygiene habits are super important while traveling. If you are a parent, think back to the early days with your kids when you used to wipe down everything.
I always carry hand sanitizer and baby wipes with me (even though my kids are teenagers and they hate that I carry baby wipes… eye roll) – but not the conventional kind! Many hand sanitizers and wipes are full harmful chemicals (like BPA). Instead, either make your own hand sanitizer (mix aloe vera gel with pure lavender and tea tree essential oils) OR, if you don’t want to make your own, a good alternative brand for sanitizer and wipes is Babyganics and The Honest Company – both found at Target.
And of course – washing your hands with soap and hot water often is extremely effective.
Eat & Drink with Caution
Only drink bottled water – and say no-thanks to ice! (Yes, even on the plane and in fancy restaurants!)
If you are traveling somewhere other than to your friends and family, avoid salad and uncooked veggies – especially lettuce these days. Cooked veggies and cooked meals are better when traveling.
Make sure you wash all produce you buy. As tempting as it is, don’t eat fruit straight from the farmer’s market cart. Wash it with a non-toxic fruit and veggie wash first!
If You Feel It Coming On
The minute anyone starts to feel “off” – extra tired, stomach feels “iffy”, or even gets a headache – I switch from my prevention to my treatment protocol.
I up the vitamin D, 2x per day.
I double up the probiotic.
I add in an “immune blend” – nutraMetrix Immune is super effective!
And if diarrhea/vomiting strikes? I use an essential oil remedy that always works for me. 1-2 drops of pure peppermint essential oil in water. The essential oil drops work very quickly. The oil must be pure and I only use Young Living Essential Oils for this remedy.
Enjoy Your Trip!
I hope you found these suggestions to be helpful. Remember, preparation is the key…. And having these products in hand ahead of time is important! If you have other concerns about specific health issues while traveling or even while at home and would like some help with ideas, please reach out to me! Natural remedies actually work… and by using natural remedies you get a bonus… using them will strengthen your immune system as well.