There are so many aspects of travel that are fun, exciting and transformative. But, travel can also expose us to a variety of instances that can comprise our immune system and increase the likelihood of not quite feeling 100%. In the event I find myself not feeling well, or experience stress from travel, have sore muscles or feet I like to know I’m prepared by packing a few essential natural remedies for travel.
9 Natural Remedies Travelers Should Pack
1. Motion Sickness Pills
In my opinion, there is not much worse than motion sickness. While it may not last long, it is a miserable feeling. Windy roads and boats are two occasions I know I’ll need an anti-nausea medication. Many times I’ll take a nausea remedy as a precautionary measure if I’m going on any type of boat. Years ago, I got seasick on a catamaran trip in Hawaii and ever since I’d rather be pro-active and not worry about any nausea. My favorite remedy is Hylands Motion Sickness Pills.
Ginger is another wonderful natural remedy that eases motion-induced nausea and also helps for an upset stomach. My favorite is Reeds Ginger Candy. It’s chewy, sweet and has a bit of kick.
2. Fight Airborn Germs
Saline nasal sprays with Xylitol such as Xlear helps keep you healthy on flights and trains. Before and after your flight or rail trip (or anywhere you are in a space with a lot of people and circulate air) use Xlear with xylitol to help prevent any airborne germs from sticking to your mucus membranes — to help fight off any sickness.
3. CBD for Wellness
I recently found Hemp Oil Softgels by CBDistillery™ at the Expo West trade show and I have to share that I was amazed at the amount of CBD and hemp products at the expo. It definitely piqued my curiosity! CBD is one of newest trends and the use of CBD (cannabidiol) hemp oil, a non-psychotropic distillation of hemp is said to mellow you out without getting you stoned.
I started doing some research and found an article in one of my favorite travel magazines, Conde Nast Traveler that said, “CBD has been known to help reduce pain, inflammation, anxiety, and stress—which makes it a useful tool on the road, especially if you’re afraid of flying”.
I recently had two back to back flights with layovers, so I did my own experiment. I wanted to know if CBD would help as a stress reliever or allow me to feel more relaxed when I fly. CBDistillery™ offered to send me samples that included a topical salve, topical patch, tincture, and gummies as well as Softgels, which I opted for the for my CBD experiment. The softgels contain 30mg of full spectrum hemp extract and I took one gel on my outbound flights and one gel on each of my return flights. After I took the gel hemp supplement I felt calmer and more relaxed and was able to get a bit of sleep (which is rare for me).
I have always tended toward natural supplements and away from pharmaceutical drugs. I also don’t not like feeling ‘weird’ or ‘high’. The hemp supplement did not give me any ‘odd’ or ‘weird’ feeling. I simply felt more relaxed.
CBDistillery™ was founded by a group of Colorado natives with a strong belief that people have a right to the highest quality, fairly priced hemp derived CBD. They said “our aim is to provide more than just exceptional products and service. We are on a mission to provide hemp derived CBD to all through the #CBDMovement, by providing access to education, research and testimonials”.
Learn more about CBDistillery.
4. Support Your Gut and Help Prevent Sickness with Probiotics
Probiotics can help you stay regular even when the rest of your schedule is way off because of time zones and encountering new foods on the road. Probiotics help your digestion on an everyday basis, but many also say they can help prevent and stop travelers’ diarrhea and boost your immune system overall. I use and recommend Terraflora Broad Spectrum Synbiotic probiotic. Terraflora has a built-in prebiotic, made from certified organic, wild-harvested, food-based ingredients. The Terraflora brand doesn’t require refrigeration, which makes it a perfect choice for travel.
Begin taking probiotics at least one week before your trip, every day while traveling and continue at least one week after you return for optimal health.
I’ve only ever taken the recommended dosage on the bottle and have found that to be fine for me. But you may want to talk to your doctor about the right dosage for you based on the type of trip you’ll be taking and your medical history.
5. The Miracle of Magnesium
Magnesium really is a miracle! It is a calming mineral that soothes muscle cramps, alleviates insomnia, and reduces constipation (a common traveler ailment). Seriously– anything that can keep you regular, help you sleep and relieve tired feet is a must for any traveler. You can find magnesium citrate pills, Ease spray and there is also a magnesium footbath travel kit that comes with an inflatable footbath for the ultimate relaxation. Even if you don’t regularly take magnesium, you may want to bring some with you when you travel.
Hylands Motion Sickness Pills ($10, amazon.com); Reed’s Ginger Chews ($14, amazon.com) Xlear by Barg Engine ($10, amazon.com); Hemp Oil Softgels by CBDistillery ($55, amazon.com); Terraflora Broad Spectrum Synbiotic probiotic by Enviromedica ($49, amazon.com); Magnesium Citrate by Source Naturals ($14, amazon.com); Magnesium Footbath from Ancient Minerals ($19, amazon.com).
6. Antioxidants to Boost The Immune System
Travel has a way of wearing down your immune system. Airports, rest stops, trains and planes are notorious breeding grounds for germs. Keep up with your antioxidant intake, and your body will be better prepared to protect itself. Travel packets of Vitamin C or Amazing Grass Green Superfood—a powder you can mix with water or juice—will help keep your immunity up. I drink Amazing Grass on a daily basis and it’s a great way to include many nutrients you might not get while on vacation.
7. ARNICA for Pain, Sore Muscles and Bruising
Arnica is a go-to homeopathic remedy and good for bruising, swelling, and stiff or sore muscles. As homeopathic remedies are designed to do, it stimulates the body’s own healing responses. If you plan for a lot of walking or hiking or are prone to accidents, Arnica is a must for your travel bag. For travel, I like to bring the Boiron Arnicare Gel.
8. GSE Grapefruit Seed Extract For Upset Stomach
I have used GSE for almost 2o years. It’s one of the first items that made it into my travel remedy bag. It has long been used by many savvy travelers as an anti-microbial to take especially in places where food sanity might be questionable. NutriBiotic now has a tablet blend (much more convenient than the drops) that is formulated with grapefruit seed extract, vitamin C, Echinacea extract, astragalus, ginger root extract, goldenseal extract, yarrow extract, and the mushroom extracts that all help boost the immune system. The minute my stomach feels a bit queasy from food-related problems I start on DefensePlus.
9. Jetzone to Ward Off Jet Lag
Jet lag is no fun. I tend to get hit hardest on my way home from Europe or when I’ve got a flight that is over 14 hours heading in any direction. Even if you’re only traveling a short distance, JetZone works wonders in helping you adjust to a new time zone. Start taking the dissolvable tablets before you hop on the plane, and don’t forget to pack enough for your way home as well!
Another remedy for jet lag is Pycnogenol, which is an extract made from the bark of French pine trees. They’ve done some recent studies with pycnogenol and people who’d taken Pycnogenol after flights lasting seven to nine hours had 56% fewer symptoms (insomnia or irregular sleep patterns, irritability, disorientation/grogginess, mental performance issues, headaches, and other common physical symptoms) than people who took a placebo. What’s more, jet lag symptoms for people who took Pycnogenol lasted for an average of 18.2 hours, compared to 39.3 hours in the placebo group. That is huge.
In other studies, Pycnogenol has been proven to reduce leg and ankle swelling during long flights. Experts think that Pycnogenols ability to improve circulation may be why it works.
Despite best efforts to stay healthy while traveling, at times we all might find ourselves catching a cold, with a minor injury, experience food poisoning, feel stressed out or tired. I hope these natural remedies for travel help you stay healthy on your next travel adventure!
Feel free to share your own tip in the comment section below!
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Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and this article is not meant to be taken as medical advice. I’m merely sharing the ways I have found to help keep me healthy on my travels. You should consult with your personal doctor to see what’s right for you.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.
Alexa Meisler is the editorial director of 52 Perfect Days. Born in Paris, France she has since lived in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon. She currently resides in San Diego with her husband and son where they enjoy exploring California and Mexico.
Travel has always been a part of her life; traveling to such places as Morocco, Tangiers and Spain as a young child as well as taking many road trips to Mexico with her grandparents as a young girl. Since then, she has traveled abroad to locations such as Russia, Taiwan and throughout Europe.
Prior to working at 52 Perfect Days she was a freelance travel writer; focusing on family and women’s adventure experiences.