Getting sick on the road is never fun, but the good news is that you’re not alone. Most travelers will get sick, or at the very least, feel ‘off’ during a trip. For some it will be allergies, for others an upset stomach or a nasty sunburn. Then there are the mental effects of traveling alone and in a foreign place where you aren’t as savvy as you are at home.
Here are 5 common illnesses you’ll face on a trip, and my go-to remedies for each.
Ahh, the joys of allergies on the road. Well, as someone who suffers from both seasonal allergies and non-seasonal allergies (cats, dogs, dust-mites to name a few), I’ve used all sorts of remedies.
My personal favorite remedy is getting my hands on some local honey. If you have seasonal allergies, this is a must. Basically, as you ingest the honey, your body is exposed so to speak with local allergens, therefore almost acting like an allergy shot.
Finally—aside from a general antihistamine pill—I recommend nettle leaf tea. It acts a bit like an anti-inflammatory and works toward relieving allergic reactions such as sneezing, a runny nose and itchy eyes.
For traveler’s diarrhea
This can happen anywhere, and travel seems to make matters worse. There are all sorts of remedies out there but one worth considering is a pill called Travelan.
Here’s what I like about it: its main ingredient is all natural, is not an antibiotic (that can be really tough on your system and your stomach) and it’s been clinically proven to be effective in over 90% of cases. Simply take a tablet before each meal with bottled water and you’ll reduce your risk of Traveler’s Diarrhea by over 90%.
Without getting overly technical, Travelan’s main ingredient is hyperimmune bovine colostrum enriched with anti-e coli antibodies. These antibodies bind to E.coli in the gastrointestinal tract, preventing them from attaching to the intestinal wall and thereby neutralizing their ability to cause diarrhea and its associated symptoms.
Travelan is clinically proven with solid research findings behind it, as evident by clinical studies by the US Defense Force. It can be purchased over the counter in Australia in all major pharmacies and for the people over at the US, can purchase the product online on Amazon or Passport Health Clinics.
For something even more natural, I’ve found that ginger can help soothe the stomach. I got hooked on all things ginger while living in Hong Kong, and you can find them in easy-to-consume gummy form.
For Sleep cycles
Whether you’re suffering from insomnia or just jetlag, I have a few tips for getting your sleep cycle back on track.
In terms of jetlag, I’ve tried all sorts of things but what’s worked best in my experience is ‘grounding.’ According to some scientists, the main trouble with long-haul flights is that they disrupt the electrical charge in your body’s water cells, therefore causing jet lag. With grounding, or ‘earthing,’—ideally barefoot on mud, sand or earth—you’re able to soak up the earth’s negative charge.
When it comes to trouble sleeping, I practice daily stretching as well as a couple of soothing Yoga poses such as ‘child’s pose.’ I usually stretch in the morning to walk up my body and do restorative Yoga at night before bed.
This is probably a no brainer for anyone who has gotten a bad burn but for fair skinned travelers like myself, it can literally be a life saver. Of course, hopefully you can avoid the need for aloe vera by reapplying sunscreen every two hours (yes every TWO).
You can usually find Aloe vera gel at any local pharmacy; I also like lotion-based products whenever they are available. Aloe can also be used to treat other skin irritations and inflammations like acne and eczema, and since your skin is more likely to break out when you travel, aloe can become your best friend.
I also opt for vitamin C pills after a burn so that my immune system has a little extra power to work through the pain. Speaking of pain, many travelers take Ibuprofen as well.
For a racing mind
As someone who has dealt with anxiety most of my life, I’m well aware that traveling can add to my stress levels. As exciting as it is to be in a new city, there are a lot of factors and unknowns that might give you a bout of loneliness, which for some, can manifest as depression or anxiety.
First off, if you are on a medication, make sure to pack this in your carry-on. This way, if on the off chance your luggage gets lost or delayed, you won’t be without your precious meds.
One breathing exercise that has helped me tremendously is the 4-7-8 breath. So, you breathe in for 4 counts, then hold that breath for 7 counts before exhaling on an 8 count. Basically, if your exhale is longer than your inhale, it calms your nervous system. Not only is this great for sleep, but it calms you down if you are feeling overly stressed. Do so for at least 2-minutes. Better yet, work it into your daily morning ritual.
I’ve also really benefited from both the courses and guided meditations on Insight Timer. There are even specific meditations for depression, anxiety and an overall racing mind.
What is YOUR go-to remedy on the road? Tell me in the comments below!
This post is in collaboration with the Travelan. All opinions are my own.
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