My family and I like to travel and we do it as often as we can. In fact, when we’re on vacation, at some point I usually find my husband sprawled out on a beach chair with his phone, researching our ‘next’ vacation.
As you know though, travelling can be stressful. And if you’re anything like me, you want to maintain at least a tiny sense of normalcy even when you’re away from home.
I know so many people who get sick either while on vacation or shortly after they get home.
Getting sick on vacation truly stinks because you spend so much of the time that you’ve looked forward to with anticipation either stuck to the toilet or missing out on fun because you're not feeling well.
This is why I make a point of planning ahead and taking certain items with me on vacation, so that my family and I stay as healthy as possible for the duration of our trip, reducing the likelihood that one of us misses out on fun while we're away or gets sick a few days after we return home.
Traveling for pleasure often takes us to places with an abundance of delicious foods and depending on the type of vacation it can be all-you-can eat, and it’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking you’re on a break so it’s okay to go crazy for the entire week or two you’re away.
Although vacations are a time to let your hair down and break out of your daily routine, I’ve come home from vacation enough times feeling so far out of routine (and sometimes even sick or feeling really yucky) that it’s worth it for me to keep at least some of my normal routine so that I still feel good when I get home. Make sense?
When you’re trying to stay healthy, it’s even harder when you realize you might not have a say over when, what and where you get to eat. Nor will you be able to hit the gym or a fitness class whenever you feel like it.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t go to the gym everyday on vacation (in fact, I didn’t hit a gym once during our recent two-week vacation), but I found plenty of fun ways to stay active outdoors in the sunshine so that it didn’t even feel like exercise. I was just having fun with my family.
As a side note, I’ve been on a cruise ship while doing an elimination diet before (I was suffering from a lot of digestive issues and food sensitivities at the time.)
So, I want to mention that travelling with food sensitivities can be done with a bit of pre-planning and asking questions. If you have food sensitivities, you don't have to go through your vacation eating things that are going to make you feel unwell, just because you think you don't have another option.
I’ve been gluten and dairy-free for the past six years and so far, this has never been an issue while on vacation. After a bit of pre-planning and talking to the waiter/waitress, I’ve always had more than enough to eat at every meal, and I wasn't stuck eating foods that I know would have caused issues for me.
The following is a list of things that I bring with me pretty much on every vacation, and I’m sharing them with you to hopefully inspire you to do your own pre-planning before your next vacation to stay healthy and able to enjoy it completely.
1. Healthy Snacks
You know how it is - you spend a few hours driving to the airport, possibly in the middle of the night.
You then spend 2-3 hours at the airport waiting for your flight. The flight itself is at least 3-4 hours and then you land at your destination.
You grab your baggage and then have to look for your shuttle or rental car and then drive an hour or so to your destination. You’ve now spent approximately 10 hours in travel time just in this scenario (yes, this was our personal scenario just recently!)
You can either chance it with airport food and fast food (which yes, can have some healthier options sometimes) or you can come prepared with healthier granola bars that contain higher fibre and protein with lower sugar, like KIND BARS, MADE GOOD BARS or COMPLETE BARS or bring a small shaker cup with a lid and single serve packs of COMPLETE SHAKES for a macronutrient-balanced drink that won't leave you feeling like garbage.
Probiotics help boost your immune system and can help you stay regular even when the rest of your schedule is way off.
Your body will be exposed to unfamiliar germs and bacteria while travelling. Combine that with the fact that your immune system tends to be compromised while traveling and suddenly you’re looking at an increased risk of getting sick on your trip.
On a daily basis, I take probiotics like HMF Probiotics by Genestra that require refrigeration, however when I travel I like to use HMF Travel because it doesn’t require refrigeration, which makes it super convenient when on the go.
*The HMF probiotics by Genestra are available in my online dispensary with Fullscript. Simply sign up for an account using the link HERE. Go to my Dispensary Favourites (on the left) and choose your products. You will receive 10% off every order using the link. Any questions, email me HERE.
3. JUICE PLUS CAPSULES
You will be exposed to a plethora of germs while travelling!
It’s easy to see why people get sick on vacation and it's just that much more important to ensure that your immune system is in top notch before and during your travels.
My family and I take Juice Plus capsules everyday and especially while travelling, so that we can fight off the many germs and viruses that we come into contact with during our travels and reduce our risk of getting risk.
*I've been blessed to be able to help many families boost their immune system through the Healthy Starts For Families Program and I take pride in personally taking care of my clients orders and ensuring that their child gets theirs for FREE. Send me a message HERE for more information.
4. GREEN TEA
This one is for the green tea drinkers out there!
If you’re a green tea drinker and you’ve done any travelling, you’ll know that in certain countries when you ask for green tea they either look at you like you have two heads or they try to give you something called sweet tea (not even close to green tea).
Sometimes I luck out, sometimes I don’t, so I always bring some green tea with me like the one below.
5. ESSENTIAL OILS
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve pulled at least one of these out of my bag of tricks every time we travel.
Whether it’s tummy troubles, skin rashes, sunburn, scratchy throat or one of us feeling like we’re coming down with something you can usually hear me saying “I’ve got an oil for that!”
My favourites to bring are Young Living's Digize or Peppermint oils for bloating, gas, nauseau or stomach upset, Lavender for sleep and relaxing and Lavender and Peppermint together for sunburn relief. I will also bring either Thieves or Oil of Oregano (or both) for any sign of sore throat or if one of us feels like we’re coming down with something.
Many oils are effective antiseptic, antibacterial and anti fungal oils that can be applied topically as well.
*If you are new to essential oils and would like help, send me a message HERE.
6. Natural Suncreen
Research is showing that many of the most common sunscreen products are actually causing more harm than good, which seems to be partly to do with the chemicals in sunscreen and partly with the sunscreen blocking Vitamin D production, which most of us are severely lacking in.
Once I’ve allowed my skin to be exposed to sunlight for at least 20 minutes sans sunscreen I will apply a natural sunscreen like Boo Bamboo or Derma-E.
According to The Truth About Cancer, “While getting safe sun exposure is important, so is eating a diet that is high in antioxidant-rich foods, which helps prevent sunburn. When solar rays hit the skin, antioxidants come to the surface and act like sunscreen, forming a protective shield. Foods rich in antioxidants include berries, apples, beans, and dark leafy greens to name a few.” (This is another reason why I take Juice Plus Capsules on a daily basis, including while on vacation.)
7. Natural Lip Balm with SPF
If I’m in the sun without lip balm with sunscreen for too long, you'd better believe that within a few days I’ve got myself a nasty cold sore.
As with sunscreen, in order to avoid chemicals that can do more harm than good, I opt for natural lip balms with SPF like Green Beaver Natural Sunscreen Lip Balm SPF15.
BONUS TIP: An important tip that I will leave you with is to drink plenty of water during your vacation!
Dehydration is the fastest route to crankiness, fatigue and feeling gross, so make sure to drink water whenever you have the opportunity.
It is possible to remain healthy while travelling and not have to miss out on that vacation that you've anticipated for so long. All it takes is a little planning and intentional packing.
What are your favourite things to pack for vacation that help you stay healthy during your travels? I'd love to hear them below!
Until next time,
May Anne Jordens-LaFlamme is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and the owner of "Wellness with May Anne." She is passionate about helping women look and feel their best, so they can live a more fulfilling life - without dieting, deprivation, relying on willpower or cooking separate meals for the family.