It’s an unfortunate reality that you are more susceptible to getting sick while traveling. Your body is stressed, you’re likely on a different sleep schedule (what time is it again?), and you’re eating new food. And now the sniffles arrive. But if you haven’t packed an all-inclusive first aid kit, here are some easy remedies that you can often find at your destination. And if all else fails, ask a local – they may have a trick up their sleeve that works wonders!
Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice should not be taken as such.
First of all, unless you are on a very short trip, take a day or two to rest. If you’re plugged up, don’t go SCUBA diving. Make sure you are drinking lots of (sanitary) water. And make an easy tea for colds:
- 1 part lemon (or lemon juice)
- 1 part grated ginger (the powder works too) – ginger helps with stomach aches
- 1 part honey – helps with sore throats and gives you some incentive to drink the tea!
Add these to a mug of hot water and let steep for 10 minutes, then consume.
- Another easy fix for colds is adding 1 drop of oregano essential oil to a shot glass of warm water. Shoot it as you would any other drink and let the oil kill your cold!
- Also consume as much garlic as you can stand.
- To de-clog stuffed sinuses: add a couple drops of tea tree, peppermint, eucalyptus, or oregano essential oil to the bottom of your shower (while you’re in it, of course!) and breathe deep!
- For an upset stomach (that is not caused by acid reflux – this will make that worse!), take some peppermint tea. I always carry a couple tea bags just in case!
- You can also try candied ginger, which has a similar effect. Ginger is also great for motion-sickness.
- If you have the type where your stomach isn’t making enough acid, a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water should help.
- If you have the type where your stomach is making too much acid, I’ve found it’s best to take something that will make me burp. My favorite is simply carbonated water, like Perrier. These can easily be found in grocery stores, drug stores, and even 7-11. For those with beer tops, make sure you have a keychain opener.
- Make sure you are hydrated first. If it doesn’t clear up, try a cup of peppermint tea.
- If that doesn’t work – bring in the big guns and take a fast-acting liquid Naproxin (Aleve).
If you’ve had some traveler’s diarrhea and are very dehydrated, you’ll need not only water, but minerals and salts. Look for some mineral water like San Pellegrino or Perrier or Gatorade. If you can’t find some, add a teeny amount of salt to a large glass of warm water. When it gets to the point where it’s starting to taste a tiny bit salty, stop adding salt and drink it. If you’ve added too much salt, in about a half an hour you will have a very liquid #2, so err on the side of caution here. Also add a tiny bit of sugar and a bit of lemon if you can find it. Homemade Gatorade!
Burns and Bites
Short of eliminating the entire mosquito species, there are a few solutions:
- Lavender essential oil is great for relieving burns. Add a drop (or two) to the affected area.
- For both burns and bites, you can use toothpaste or oatmeal. A great thing to carry for both (and chapped lips!) is Lucas Pawpaw ointment.
- Tea tree oil can be used for both preventing mosquito bites and treating them. Apply to the affected area.
- Peppermint essential oil is great for keeping away mosquitoes too. Apply to your neck and wrists using the bottle.
- Try some chamomile tea, which can usually be found in grocery stores
- Yoga and meditation are free though, and guides can be found on YouTube if you have internet access. I love Yoga With Adriene!
- Calm App. Download it before you go and have it walk you through meditations and soothing music. Remember, on your trip, you’re in control!
3. If you’re traveling in a US State where you can buy some legally, mints or pills with CBD in them work absolute wonders!
Foot fungus and acne
If you haven’t brought this along or can’t find it, Vick’s Vapo Rub has thyme oil in it and can be applied to the affected fungal area.
A note: There are a lot of questionable worms and fungi on some beaches in the world (and in hostel showers!). Do yourself a favor and prevent them from happening by always wearing flip flops or sandals.
What are your favorite medicinal travel hacks?