With so many fun things going on around the holidays, it’s hardly a good time of year to get sick (not that there’s ever a good time!), but somehow it always seems to happen that way, especially when you’re traveling. No matter your mode of transport—land, air, or sea—your immune system will be working overtime to keep your body healthy this season and its super important you give it the tools to do so. Wherever you’re headed this year, you’ll want to have these multi-purpose health heroes packed in your bag to keep you in tip-top shape for all the festive family fun in the coming weeks.
Why to Pack It: Treats and prevents dry nose and associated symptoms.
How to Use It: Put a few drops inside your nostrils before traveling and reapply as oil is absorbed for continued protection.
The list of things we use coconut oil for continues to grow as we add it to our travel hacks list. Throw a little tub in your bag to prevent against a dry nose which can be common after sitting in the heavily air conditioned air plane cabins on a long flight. Your nose is your first line of defense in warding off germs, so it’s important to keep it healthy. In addition to general discomfort and trouble breathing, a dry nose can trigger both headaches and sinus attacks, neither of which you want to slow you down during the holidays.
Why to Pack It: Prevents the spread of germs.
How to Use It: Wipe down your hands after touching any shared surface during travel.
We’d rather not think about all the germs we swipe without realizing it, be it on the seat of an Uber or the faucet in a public bathroom or even just shaking someone else’s hand. Even the most conscientious cougher (exhale into the nook of your elbow, not your hand!) can spread germs without realizing it, and with all the shared surfaces you touch while traveling it’s important to do damage control as a favor to yourself and others. Disinfectant wipes are an effective solution for this and easy to throw in your bag while on the go, during peak travel season and even just for everyday use.
Why to Pack It: Increases blood circulation, treats headaches, alleviates stress/pain and boosts immune system, and increases energy.
How to Use It: For quickest results, dab a few drops on hands and/or feet; the pores there are thicker than elsewhere on the body and absorb essential oils faster. If treating a headache, dab on temple or areas of tension and stress for relief.
We could write an entire article on the benefits of clove oil alone, but right now we’ll focus on the best ways you can use it to your advantage while traveling. First and foremost, it’s an all-around great stimulator of your body’s immune system—which is priority number one when staying healthy—but it can also help in a ton of other ways. Anyone who has sat on a long flight has probably felt the effects of poor circulation—which in addition to being uncomfortable, can also lead to other long-term ailments. Thank god for clove oil; it will kick start that blood flow in no time if you remember to apply during and after long bouts of travel. It can also help alleviate those pressure headaches commonly experienced during flight, as well as the general stress of travel, which we all fall victim to from time to time.
Why to Pack It: Treats nausea, acts as an expectorant to help with cough and sore throat, and alleviates symptoms of indigestion.
How to Use It: For nausea, dab 1-2 drops behind the ears. For indigestion, add 1 drop to water before your meal (preventative) or when you start to feel symptoms. For a sore throat or clogged sinus, mix with coconut oil and rub on your chest and under your nose.
After traveling with peppermint oil, you’ll realize you want it as full-time resident in your medicine cabinet at home too. Like many of our favorite essential oils, this stuff really can do just about anything. If seasickness or car sickness is something you dread before traveling, this is a must in your carry-on bag. A little goes a long way in getting rid of nausea, which can really make or break a trip. And if that airplane food didn’t sit well with you, well, this stuff will settle your stomach before you have to show face at the family white elephant party. Lastly, we love how peppermint oil acts as a natural Vapo-Rub, clearing up sinuses and soothing a sore throat you may have picked up sitting next to the mouth-breather on your flight.
Why to Pack It: Combats nausea, fights muscle pain and stiffness.
How to Use It: Chew tablets before, during or after experiencing any symptoms.
If peppermint oil isn’t your thing, ginger chews are another great way to combat nausea, especially during pregnancy. While ginger is good for you in almost any form, many of the ginger chews you see on shelves are in fact just sugar-coated candies made from the root; you think you’re being healthy as you nosh away, but you could actually be consuming as much sugar as a sweetened soda. We opted for the chewable tablet form which maintains only the best and healthies qualities of ginger. In addition to treating nausea, ginger can also alleviate muscle and joint pain/stiffness that’s exacerbated by extensive travel. If anything, these chews will taste good as something to tide you over until your next home cooked meal.
Why to Pack It: Boosts energy levels without stimulants; great source of nutrients.
How to Use It: Mix contents of packet into 10-12 oz. of preferred non-citrus juice or water and drink before or during travel.
By now you know: green is good. And packed inside this tiny little wrapper is a whole lot of goodness. Food on the go is always a hit or miss, and either you find yourself eating something you shouldn’t or skipping out on meals altogether—neither of which is ideal for your immune system. With over 18 billion probiotics, and 5 servings of fruits and veggies, this Macro Greens superfood powder is your ticket to a nutrient-rich supplement when your healthy food options aren’t available at the airport, train station, or wherever you find yourself this holiday season.
Why to Pack It: Prevents flu and common cold, fights sinusitis, anti-bacterial, immune building.
How to Use It: Spray under tongue 30x a sitting for ongoing immune building support.
Silver: great as jewelry, even better as a health superhero. Silver naturally holds oxygen molecules creating the ability to control bacteria growth. This form of silver in particular is held in high regard as one of the most effective out there. Best if you make this a part of your regular routine, but also just as great to add this to your travel kit when you know you’ll be exposed to higher-than-normal levels of germs and bacteria. With this you’re armed to combat everything from a sore throat to a sinus infection to pink eye.
Why to Pack It: Helps with hydration and fighting colds.
How to Use It: Add contents of packet to water or tea and drink regularly during travel and after.
While really any form of vitamin C will do, we love how lightweight and compact Emergen-C is, making it super convenient to travel with. During long trips it’s easy to forget your water intake and dehydration can take its toll on your immune system, making you more susceptible to germs around you. Full of vitamin C, zinc and electrolytes, Emergen-C will do wonders in helping you bounce back when you’re feeling depleted. If you can remember to do so, we recommend adding the powdered supplements to your drink even before you feel any symptoms coming on.
Why to Pack It: Boosts the immune system and significantly reduces chance of catching a cold.
How to Use It: Put packet in hot or cold water and drink tea before travel or when symptoms of a cold appear.
If you pair this with the Emergen-C we already recommended, your body should be in good shape to fight off any nasties floating around in the air. You can take echinacea in many forms, but we love how soothing it is as a tea and easy to pack in your bag for traveling. Whichever way you decide to get your dose, know that this stuff is a fantastic immune system stimulant with powerful cold prevention and cold treatment benefits. A study determined that it actually cuts the chances of catching a common cold by 58% and reduces the duration of the cold by almost one-and-a-half days—which means there’s no excuse this year for missing out on cookie decorating at your crazy aunt’s house. You’re welcome!