We’ve all been there. Whether it’s a long travel day abroad, or you’re stuck at your local airport, sourcing holistic solutions on the fly can be a challenge. Tucking a few simple things into your carry-on luggage can help tide over hunger, soothe that stubborn nausea, and support restful sleep after hours of plane connections and tricky time changes. With the winter travel season in full swing, these five natural health ideas might just be the ticket to ease and balance that your itinerary (and body!) have been wishing for.
Protein boost and an electrolyte pack
On long days of travel, especially in unknown countries, hunger and dehydration can sneak up on you. Nutrition bars are easy to throw in your purse or fanny pack in preparation for a day trip. Look for bars with a high protein content (around 20 grams), for a satiating effect and boost of energy until you reach your next stop.
Consider pairing your bars with an electrolyte sachet, which can be mixed with water for hydration. Electrolytes (also known as oral rehydration salts) help to compensate for sweat loss and support balance in your body’s fluids in the presence of external stressors (sun, activity etc.).
An ‘uneasy belly’ (aka traveller’s diarrhea) is a common complaint among travellers. Using a probiotic preventatively is an excellent way to keep the ‘good’ bacteria in the intestine balanced, and may prevent undesirable episodes of stomach upset and unwanted toilet breaks.
Many strains of probiotics require refrigeration to remain effective, which isn’t always handy if you are travelling to the tropics. Prior to take-off, consider stocking up on a brand that is shelf-stable (meaning that it does not need to be refrigerated) and contains a strain of bacteria called saccharomyces boulardii. Research suggests that preventative consumption of this probiotic strain can be effective in reducing the risk of traveller’s diarrhea.
In herbal medicine, ginger is a trusted go-to for nausea, travel sickness and indigestion. While this nurturing root is available in all types of formulations, ginger ‘chews’ are a convenient way to combat queasiness. This candied form of ginger usually comes individually wrapped, which makes it an easy to pop out of your travel backpack in a pinch.
As a bonus, the spicy sensation of ginger can be a pleasant sensory distraction from motion sickness and nausea (and is quite tasty)! These small chews are essential for me when travelling with planes, trains and automobiles.
Calendula salve or lotion
Calendula (also known as marigold) is a powerful herb that is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory. I love having calendula-based salve or lotion in my travel kit because it helps support skin healing for minor cuts, irritations and abrasions. Nourishing and hydrating, this natural beauty is also one of my favourites for relieving the discomfort of a sunburn.
Lavender essential oil
Aromatherapy is an excellent option for supporting the nervous system. In particular, lavender essential oil is a great choice in supporting restful sleep.
Don’t want to pack a diffuser in your suitcase? Throw a few cotton balls into your toiletry bag instead! To catch some ZZZs, simply add a drop or two of lavender to a cotton ball, place beside your pillow or bed, and inhale overnight.
Emily is a passionate believer in the power of prevention as the new paradigm of medicine. She is a lover of nourishing foods, grown straight from the earth and she is a believer in everyday miracles. Three years into life as a marketing executive, she heard a whisper that guided her to a career in natural medicine. Emily graduated from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in 2016. She is also a Toronto-based yoga instructor. Emily has a particular interest in detoxification (environmental medicine), skin health, digestion and emotional well-being. She believes we all deserve to shine in health and in life.