14 Aug Travel Healthy
I’ve been travelling a bit recently. Greece and Spain last Feb, Fiji a few weeks ago, a fair few trips to Melbourne and Brisbane, and a business development workshop in Bali next month. (It’s safe to say that poor hubby is forgetting what I look like…oops!)
One of the hardest things about travel is that you get thrown out of your routine, and you often resort to eating foods or using products that you would never normally have in your life (hello… unexpected gluten foods, hotel-room snacks, and icky chemical laden body products!).
But over the years I’ve got the whole packing thing down to a fine art and I now have my own little travel kit totally sorted. Here are some of my top tips for healthy holidays and business without the blowout.
(Note: This is NOT a sponsored post – any products below are mentioned solely because I love them!)
The breakfast options in Fiji are notoriously laden with gluten and dairy (and especially because as volunteers, we were doing homestay accommodation with families, I didn’t want to confuse our well-meaning hosts with my “special needs”), so I packed 10 of The Daily Bar superfood snack bars for every day that I was away. Then I ate one each morning with a selection of fresh fruit. It didn’t look like much (people were like, “Is that all you’re eating??), but it was so filling – I had energy all the way through till lunchtime. It actually made brekky such a breeze that I’m going to keep packing these bars wherever I go in the future.
P.S. You don’t need to go with the brand that I used. Any high protein, gluten free paleo or vegan bars would suffice – just make sure it’s not too high in natural sugars, as some paleo-style bars are just full of dates and dried fruit.
Dr Bronner’s Liquid Castille Soap
I’ve been using castille soap as a handwash for years, but I’ve recently discovered Dr Bronners’ teeny tiny travel-sized bottles. Castille soap is super versatile – it works as a handwash, body wash, shampoo, and even a laundry detergent for those emergency clothes washing missions in your hotel room sink (yep – undies, swimwear, t-shirts… you name it!). Hop tip – keep the small bottles for next time you travel – it’s cheaper to buy a larger bottle and refill the small bottles from that.
Ecology Skincare Moisturiser
Flying really dries out my skin, and I’ve struggled for years with feeling like the life has been sucked out of my face every time I travel. But I was recently sent some amazing new moisturisers from Ecology Skincare (thanks guys!). My favourite is this one by Pete Evans, with Ylang Ylang and Desert Lime. It’s one of the most nourishing creams I’ve ever come across, yet it doesn’t feel heavy. It absorbs right into the skin and smoothes out my travel-weary wrinkles (yay!).
Is there anything that our old friend coconut oil cannot do? It’s a body moisturiser, anti-fungal skin treatment, cuticle oil, heel balm, facial moisturiser, eye makeup remover, facial cleanser (if you’re into oil cleansing) and a hair treatment all in one! Hot tip – choose a bottle with a tight fitting lid to prevent leaks, especially if you’re travelling somewhere hot (I tip mine into a plastic bottle because I don’t like travelling with glass). Trust me – you do NOT want liquid coconut oil leaking throughout your luggage!
Long flights dry out lips like nothing else, so make sure you keep a good quality natural lip balm on you at all times, and reapply frequently. My favourite brand at the moment is Harraw, because you don’t need to dip your finger in it – a plus when you feel grungy/grimy/germy from going through airports, jumping in cabs and handling cash. Plus the flavours are super yum! Other brands I’ve loved in the past include Weleda, Dr Hauschka and Burt’s Bees.
These have seriously saved my ass on several occasions. If you’re heading to an area where the water quality is a little sketchy (think Thailand, Bali, India… you get the idea), then packing these as an insurance policy is a MUST. My personal protocol is:
SB (saccharomyces boulardii) 250mg – 2 capsules twice daily
Room temperature stable probiotics – 1 capsule twice daily
The SB helps to weed out any nasty pathogens in the digestive system, while the probiotics inject the good bacteria to fight any bad guys that happen to show up.
If you have a history of gut problems, you might also want to include glutamine for gut healing (I take at least 1500mg per day), or herbs to combat any particular bacteria or parasites that you may have. Remember to work with your naturopath to come up with the best game plan for your individual needs, as there are a few options here.
Your Own Tea Stash
One of the best ways to make yourself feel at home is to make a cup of your favourite tea. So I always travel with a little tin filled with a selection of my favourites (right now that’s Qi teas, Nature’s Cuppa and Pukka). I forgot my tea stash recently for my trip to Fiji and I felt SO lost! It’s the little things that create a home away from home, and for me, nothing is more relaxing than a familiar cuppa (and your own teabags will usually be waaaaay better quality than what the hotel provides!).
Water Filter Bottle
I don’t love the changes in tap water as you go from country to country (or even around Australia). In fact, I don’t love tap water at all – I prefer to filter mine at home to take out the substances I don’t want, like copper, aluminium, chlorine and fluoride. But I have this massive eco-guilt that builds up inside me while travelling, if I’m constantly resorting to buying bottled water (Eek! All that plastic…not to mention the cost of buying water every day!).
So I’ve got a really cool 600ml bottle from Camelbak called the Groove. It has a carbon-based filter in the straw that takes out most of the nasties that I would avoid at home. Warning – the filter won’t necessarily protect you from all parasites or pathogens, so if you’re in an area known for nasties in the water, it’s best to find another way to purify your water (or stick to bottled water to be on the safe side). Believe me – I just found out the hard way recently when I let my guard down and drank water from a source that I shouldn’t have… it was towards the end of my trip and I was feeling bulletproof… let’s just say I’ve learned my lesson.
Create your own healthy travel habits
Simple little rituals like the ones above can make you feel at home, even when you’re miles away on the other side of the globe. If you’re a frequent flyer, it’s worth investing in the right products and build up a little “natural travel kit” so that you’re looking after yourself wherever you go. Self care is SO important at the best of times, and these little tweaks can help to lower your stress levels and give you the feeling of being grounded.
So over to you… what are your top tips for healthy travel? Leave your comments below – I look forward to seeing them!