Summer is right around the corner, and for many this means getting out of town. Vacations can be just what the doctor ordered — however, time spent away from home can also wreak havoc on your body and your health if you’re not careful. For healthy travels, you’ll want to make sure you pack items that keep you feeling good so you can relax on your trip.
If you are one of the lucky ones taking a trip, here is a list of essentials that definitely deserve space in your luggage.
Preparation (don’t leave home without it!)
Expedited airport screening passes
For an affordable registration fee and simple identification verification process, you are allowed to move to the front of the security line with your CLEAR Card or TSA Pre-check. Use this extra time to relax before your departure.
Copies of important documents
It’s a good idea to use your camera phone to take a photo of your important identification cards (driver’s license, passport, credit cards) to have on hand in the event something is misplaced. Obviously, you’d want your phone password-protected carrying around these vitals. For bonus points – use a combination of iCloud/Google Drive, and Dropbox so that if your phone does become unavailable, you can still get to important information.
Reusable water bottle
Never leave home without your own personal water fountain – especially important when traveling in air for rehydration, and to refill after that pesky TSA agent makes you empty it out! Remember: dehydration weakens the immune system, and that recirculated air on the plane is pretty dry. Drink plenty of water while flying and you can avoid travel sickness.
Most hotels don’t provide an in-room hot water alternative to coffee machines. Take it from me – don’t try using the coffee machine for hot water – it will taste like a watered down cup of joe! Electric kettles are a bit bulky but worth the convenience of having your cup of tea or hot water with lemon before bracing the public.
A staple for healthy traveling, either pack or pick up sunscreen at your destination. Here’s a guide to the best sunscreens from 2013.
All Good Goop is the organic cure-all for minor first-aid injuries. You will like this stuff so much, that you’ll carry it around even after your vacation.
Food, Drink, and Nutrition
Gluten-free soy sauce
For the gluten-free (gf), San-J has created travel size packets of Tamari. They are so easy to pack and worth having on hand when looking for a certified organic sauce to add flavor without the gluten.
Their compact size and dense nutrition makes nuts the ideal travel food. Carry them on the plane for a light snack to tide you over before your next meal. Trader Joe’s carries almond snack packs that are perfect for on-the-go.
Start your trip off right with a healthy meal to enjoy on the plane or in the car on your way to your destination. Either create a meal-to-go while cleaning out your refrigerator or pick up something nutritious and easy to eat, like one of my favorite wraps.
Give your intestines a boost after indulging on foreign foods with a daily dose of probiotics. PB8 offers a pill form that is travel smart.
Earplugs/ eye mask
Eye mask with earplugs combo is essential for air travel and also helpful for getting a good night’s rest when you are away from home.
Travel yoga mat
Manduka makes the ideal yoga mat when you’re traveling. The eKO Superlite Travel Mat weighs about two pounds and can be easily folded and packed in your suitcase. Even if you’re not a regular yoga practitioner, just setting aside a few minutes a day during a trip to close your eyes and breathe quietly can do wonders for stress levels.
Mobile yoga class
Yoga Studio is a nice substitute for a yoga class. The app has different classes to choose from or you can create your own sequence from an impressive glossary of yoga poses.
Melatonin is known for combating jetlag or helping with sleep disturbance. Take 1 – 3 mg/ night, 30 minutes before you plan to sleep – or, if you prefer, put a sublingual wafer under your tongue, and by the time it is dissolved you’ll be in slumberland!
A couple of nights at an all-inclusive resort and you’ll be glad you brought your running shoes to jog off the all-you-can-eat dessert buffet! I highly recommend talking to an orthopedist, or getting a gait analysis at a reputable running store, to find the shape and style of shoe that’s best for your feet. My feet are happiest with these.