Traveling? Don’t Leave Home Without These 10 Wellness Essentials
Summer is just around the corner, and so are the trips and vacations that are so tempting during the warmer months.
But travel is like a double-edged sword.
It’s great to explore new destinations, visit loved ones, or simply enjoy some much needed R&R — but getting to your destination is usually a headache.
All the hassles of travel usually result in jet lag — or worse, getting sick during your vacation, or after you come home.
But the good news is, although so many things are out of your control when you travel (helloooo delayed flights), you do have control over your health and wellness during your trip.
Because whether you’re a frequent-flyer, or have only been on a plane a handful of times, there are certain things you can bring with you that will ensure your journey is a stress-free, healthy one
Of course, the key to guaranteeing a healthy trip is preparation. And you will thank yourself for packing the items below when you’re stuck on a plane next to a person who won’t stop sneezing, or your throat feels drier than the Sahara desert.
Top 10 Travel Wellness Essentials to Avoid Getting Sick
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C has been shown to shorten the duration of colds and flus because it shuts down the replication of viruses and boosts your immune system.
Start taking 75-120 mg of vitamin C (capsules or powder) a few days before your trip. But if you forget, you can take a high dose the day of travel — up to 2,000 mg.
The low humidity levels inside the airplane cabin cause your throat and nasal passages dry out.
Because of this, your mucus system (your “natural defense”) dries out and makes it easier for germs to pass through.
To prevent inhaling germs, don’t breathe through your mouth, and put a thin layer of vaseline around your nostrils.
It might sound strange, but a protective layer of vaseline prevents airborne bacteria from entering your nasal passageways.
3. Essential Oils
Essential oils are fantastic for their aromatherapy and antimicrobial benefits. Look for small, travel-size bottles you can easily throw in your purse for quick access during your flight.
Try these oils for their various benefits:
Lavender: Just a sniff of lavender oil will transport you to a place of peace and relaxation – great during turbulence or when that baby won’t stop crying. Dab on a few drops on your wrists and rub together for an aromatherapy treat. You can also add a few drops on your hotel pillow for a peaceful night’s sleep.
Eucalyptus: Smell this antimicrobial oil to clear sinus congestion caused by recycled air. Or, combine with a dab of vaseline and rub on your chest to prevent congestion.
Clove: Just a few drops of clove oil on the bottoms of your feet will improve circulation and boost your immune system. Second to the epidermis, your feet are the largest absorption area on your body.
But make sure to use clove oil with a carrier oil, lotion, or vaseline — otherwise it’s too potent to apply on bare skin.
Also, apply clove oil a few hours before your flight so it has a chance to absorb, and so that the scent doesn’t bother fellow passengers.
A drop added to a glass of water also relieves digestive problems such as bloating, or even food poisoning.
4. Hand Sanitizer
When you travel, you come into contact with way more germs than usual, especially different strains of germs that your immune system is not used to.
It’s important to wash your hands regularly, especially after using the bathroom and before eating.
While washing your hands with soap and water is ideal, hand sanitizer is a great alternative when there’s no chance for a proper washing.
5. Water Bottle
An aircraft’s filtration system causes the humidity levels inside the cabin to drop to an uncomfortably low 10-20%, meaning moisture evaporates from your body faster than usual.
This is why it’s so important to drink more water than usual to replenish your system — and avoid dehydration.
It’s also always better to buy a bottle inside the terminal than to drink tap — especially when traveling internationally.
6. Protein Snack
It can be hard getting a decent meal when you’ve got a tight schedule, or woke up too early to have a good breakfast.
Protein-rich snacks such as nuts, jerky, or a protein bar are easy to stash in your purse and guarantee you won’t have a slump in energy.
You’ll also be less likely to give into airport fast-food options when you’ve got a healthy snack handy.
7. Hard Fruit
Time changes and unreliable mealtimes mess with your digestion — the extra fiber that fruit provides ensures you’ll stay regular.
And did you know that fruit is TSA approved? The only exception is when you travel internationally. But even then, you can buy an apple, banana, or orange in pretty much any airport.
Also, a piece of fruit is also much healthier than a bag of chips when you’re strapped for time, or need a snack to hold you over until a bigger meal.
8. Eye mask
The darkness an eye mask offers instantly relaxes you, and blocks out the visual stimuli that closing your eyes alone cannot – such as your neighbor’s reading light.
A weighted mask adds the bonus of gentle pressure to relieve tension in the forehead, eyes, and temples.
A mask also signals to others not to bother you — and that uninterrupted rest alone can make a huge difference in your jet-lag levels later.
9. Shawl or Big Scarf
Temperatures fluctuate unpredictably when you travel and sometimes a jacket is not enough to keep warm.
That’s why it’s recommended to bring a light shawl or big scarf to stay warm, and cozy!
Plus, you can’t really trust how sanitary those paper-thin in-flight blankets are.
10. Baseball Cap or Hat
Wearing a cap while you fly functions in two ways. First, it’s an easy way to regulate your body temperature.
Second, it prevents you from being susceptible to drafts (pesky air vents anyone?).
Pair it with aviator sunglasses, and you’ll look like an incognito celebrity when you get off the plane.
So whether you’ve got 5 or 15 hours of travel ahead of you, having these essentials stashed in your tote guarantees a smooth and pleasant journey.
And always, getting a good night’s sleep when you arrive to your destinations resets the body and helps you recover from the stress of travel.
Which of these tips did you find most useful? Please tell me in the comments below, and of course share with your friends by using the buttons at the bottom of this post.
P.S. To reduce the risk of getting DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) or blot clots during a flight, make sure to wear loose, comfortable clothing and get up as often as possible to stretch your legs.