By Sophia Power, BA Media, BHScNutMed
Dreaming of finally packing your bags and getting out to see the world again?
With the world slowly opening back up to travel, you may be planning a long-awaited trip. There’s just one catch - you don’t want to be getting sick and ruining your holiday. Thankfully, there’s plenty of ways to support your overall health and wellbeing while you catch up with family, friends or that holiday read. Want to know more? Keep scrolling for my favourite ways to stay healthy while you’re on the move.
Does travel weaken your immune system?
It’s important to understand why your body may need a little extra support before, during and after your trip. Travelling, even short distances like interstate, exposes you to a lot more public spaces and bacteria than you may be used to.
Travel can also throw you right out of your routine, including any healthy routines you may have around exercise, sleep and diet.
Add to this later nights catching up with family or making new friends, the likelihood of more meals out and increased alcohol and your body is going to be more under the pump than usual.
Luckily, there’s plenty of ways you can make sure you’re feeling your best for your trip.
Forward planning for a healthy trip
Since you’d probably rather not have your suitcase rattling with all the supplements you’ve packed, start taking immune supporting supplements in the lead up to your trip.
Vitamin C, zinc, vitamin D, beta carotene or vitamin A, reishi and shiitake mushrooms, echinacea and andrographis are my top favourite herbs and nutrients to support your immune system. Start taking these for two weeks prior to leaving, or even longer if you can!
While on a recent trip overseas, I packed an all-round greens powder. This has been a trick of mine for years - for good reason! Many greens powders contain not just a whole range of food-based vitamins and minerals, but herbs that support detoxification, immunity, gut health, nervous system and energy - so basically everything.
When you’re moving from place to place, sometimes you get stuck and can’t order the healthiest options. A greens powder is an insurance policy against those desperate moments of having to eat a sausage roll from the petrol station on the go.
If you’re after a greens powder that will hit every health mark, try Nuzest Good Green Vitality Multivitamin Powder. This one contains an eye-watering amount of amazing ingredients, including spirulina, broccoli sprout powder, shiitake mushrooms, herbs, as well as pre- and probiotics for digestive health.
Travelling is not the time to get complacent about hygiene. If you’re getting on a plane or moving through lots of public spaces, make sure you pack your favourite hand sanitiser. I try to choose one that contains essential oils for extra aromatherapeutic and antibacterial benefit. I love ASAP Sanitise Me Hand Sanitiser for this reason.
I also like to add an extra barrier to infection while travelling by using this clever little nasal spray by Blackmores that forms a gel barrier in the nose where many airborne germs can find their way into the body.
Travelling well - tips and tricks
- Take individual tea bags like these ones to have on hand for flights and hotel rooms to help with things like sleep, digestion and staying hydrated.
- Speaking of staying hydrated, keep an empty water bottle with you for flights to fill up once you get through security. It’ll help you keep on top of your water intake without having to ask the flight attendant for tiny cups of water every 5 minutes!
- If you’re crossing time zones, try to adjust to the time zone you’re on your way to. Avoid naps during the day as you adjust.
- If you’re going somewhere with a reputation for stomach bugs (Bali belly anyone?) try the traveller’s probiotic known as Saccharomyces boulardii (SB for short). There’s no need for refrigeration, so it’s perfect for when you’re on the move.
- Travel can also wreak havoc on your skin. Long stints in air conditioning or changes in climate can upset skin, leaving it red, dehydrated and dull. An overnight mask can work wonders on settling skin during travel. Try an extra-hydrating and calming hyaluronic acid-based mask such as the Madara SOS Hydra Moisture+Plus Radiance Mask.
- If you’re eating out a lot, try to get into the habit of ordering a side of vegetables or salad to eat before your main. This will help to support digestion, boost your nutrient intake and ensure you don’t overdo it on the pasta.
- A small but mighty bottle of lavender essential oil takes up next to no space but can do amazing things during your trip. Headaches, trouble sleeping, frazzled kids after a long trip, or a stressful experience can all benefit from a few drops of lavender EO.
Whether you’re changing time zones or taking a short trip up the coast, the changes to your routine and environment can impact your health and wellbeing. Try following these tips to stay healthy, energised and feeling your best on holiday.