Travel can be stressful whether you’re trying to make it through airport security or trying to make it to your hotel in one piece. Lets not forget all the germs you’re exposed to while traveling, whether on a plane, train, or bus. As a traveler I’ve my fair share of run-in’s with getting sick. In Belgium I was knocked out with a fever and sinus infection for two days. In China I was hit with bronchitis and pink eye at the same time. In Amsterdam I was sucker punched with a fever and the norovirus. While getting sick sometimes can’t be avoided while traveling since you’re being exposed to new places, foods, and germs, there are some ways you can prevent yourself from getting sick. Here are some tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way.
Zinc has been an absolute life-saver for me. I probably would have gotten sick a lot more often on my travels if I hadn’t taken zinc. I take zinc at the first sign of a sore throat or runny nose and 98% of the time it has stopped whatever nasty germs have been germinating in their tracks. When I was a teacher in China and exposed to kid germs on a regular basis, I would always take zinc if I was around a kid who was really sick and it honestly protected me from catching whatever cold/flu bug they were carrying.
Use Essential Oils
Essential oils are a must have for any traveler. They are portable and potent, packing quite a punch to keep you safe from germs. They also serve as gentle and effective remedies if you do find yourself sick or dealing with any cuts or scrapes. In Belgium, I used lavender oil and warm compresses to help treat a stye on my eye. I have also used tea tree oil to help disinfect small cuts and scrapes. Eucalyptus and peppermint are also effective decongestants. You can also use them for their relaxing properties, which reduce stress and keep your immune system ready for battle. There are so many uses for essential oils and they are portable and natural. Be sure to read the safety labels on essential oils as some are not safe for pregnant women, and always dilute essential oils in a carrier oil like almond or grape seed oil.
Eat or Take Garlic Supplements
Garlic does more than protect you from vampires, it also protects you from potent germs. I love garlic so I don’t mind eating foods with garlic, or buying fresh cloves of garlic to eat (yes I actually like garlic enough to eat it raw). If you don’t care for garlic, then I highly recommend taking a garlic supplement. Garlic can help prevent you from getting sick and can also help reduce the time you are sick if you do get struck down by germs. Whenever I have felt sick, I have eaten tons of garlic and found that I was better in a day.
Drink Loads of Green Tea
Green tea is full of antioxidants and is great for your overall health. Green tea boosts immune system function and its so easy to take with you on your travels. It’s also good to drink when you find yourself feeling sick, as its a warm and comforting beverage. Like garlic, it can also reduce the time you’re sick if you drink a lot of it. One of my other tips when I find myself getting sick is to drink tons of green tea and go to sleep. The next day I usually feel much better.
Take Peppermint Oil for Stomach Upsets
Stomach troubles are bound to happen when you’re traveling, especially if you’re traveling to exotic locales with rich foods. Whenever I’ve felt my stomach start to feel upset I’ve taken peppermint, either peppermint tea, mints, or peppermint flavored gum. Peppermint oil capsules are also a great choice because they are portable and travel friendly. Peppermint usually offers stomach relief almost immediately. So whether you take it by capsule, tea, or mint, keep peppermint handy at all times.