Why you need a travel first aid kit
None of us want to spend our travel time suffering. Everything from jet lag to digestive upsets can put a damper on your ability to enjoy the fruits of your travels. You don’t want to miss out on the beauty of the abundant jungle or the serenity of the coast because you’re under the weather.
Beyond wanting to feel your best, some retreat locations have limited supplies or different types of products than you’re used to using. Bringing some first aid items with you will give you peace of mind because you know exactly what's in your suitcase. I recommend having a few items on hand to address health concerns as soon as they creep up.
Do your homework before you go
The CDC can tell you what health concerns are common in the areas we visit. They’ll let you know how to prevent illnesses, and they offer immunization recommendations. It’s completely up to you whether you want to follow these guidelines, but it’s always good to arm yourself with knowledge so that you can make the best choices for your body. Check out the CDC's website for up-to-date health information.
Essential Oils are the pillars of a solid travel first aid kit
As a holistic nutritionist, I stock my travel first aid kit with natural remedies. I find that using essential oils is more effective than over-the-counter medication in most cases, and they don’t have nearly as many side effects.
Just like we have ways to fight off illnesses, plants also have natural defenses against things like bugs, infections, viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Essential Oils are the plant’s immune system in its most concentrated form. Most modern medicine derives from plant medicine. The main difference is that companies use synthetics to mimic the compounds that you can find in nature.
People have understood and harnessed the power of plant medicines for thousands of years. Nature can give us everything we need to take care of our bodies and minds.
I never leave home without these 10 Essential Oils
I have these ten tried-and-true essential oils* in my first aid kit every time I travel.
Sunburns and skin irritations are common nuisances for travelers. Lavender not only helps soothe your skin, it relieves itching from bug bites and it also promotes restful sleep and relaxation. Whether you have pre-flight jitters or burns from yoga on the beach, lavender has you covered.
Peppermint naturally soothes headaches and relieves muscular tension. This oil also works as a spider repellent, and it can help with an upset stomach. Don’t leave this multi-purpose wonder at home.
No matter how hard you try to keep yourself from getting cuts and scrapes when you travel, accidents happen. It’s crucial to disinfect your wounds ASAP so that you can avoid bigger medical problems. Melaleuca is great to have on hand to disinfect wounds, heal your skin, and ward off environmental threats.
You may think of lemon as a refreshing pick-me-up, but it’s so much more than that. Lemon essential oil relieves anxiety, detoxifies the body, and purifies water. Despite lemon’s acidity, it actually has an alkalinizing effect on water, which is great for your overall health.
Frankincense is one of my travel first aid kit MVPs because it's useful for a number of issues that commonly arise on trips. It provides immune support, which makes it great to take prior to visiting crowded airports and unfamiliar environments. It also relieves mental fatigue, and you can use it to heal infected wounds.
Nothing takes the spring out of your step like an upset stomach. DigestZen is a blend of Ginger, Fennel, Coriander, Peppermint, Tarragon, Anise, and Caraway. It’ll support a healthy digestive system, soothe belly aches, and keep your GI tract in good working order.
When you spend a lot of time outside, you can become a buffet for bugs. To avoid that unpleasantness, I use TerraShield. It’s an effective insect repellent made from Citronella, Cedarwood, Wild Orange, Sandalwood, White Fir, Eucalyptus, Rose and a few others. You don’t have to douse yourself in toxins to keep insects away.
Relieve tension with PastTense. This blend of oils includes wintergreen leaf, lavender, peppermint, frankincense, chamomile, and other plant essences known to soothe stiff necks and headaches. This calming blend promotes tranquility so that you won’t have to carry so much stress in your body. Roll this on and feel the tension melt away.
This blend of Spruce, Ho Wood, Frankincense, Blue Tansy, and Chamomile is useful for its grounding properties. Increase your sense of relaxation and treat jet lag with Balance.
You can't enjoy the fresh air if you're congested. Breathe blends Laurel leaf, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Melaleuca, Lemon, Cardamom, and Ravensara oils to support your respiratory system. It also reduces airborne threats such as allergens, and it relieves congestion. Whether you’re dealing with the after-effects of dry air from the plane, you’ve caught a cold, or unfamiliar plant life has you feeling under the weather, Breathe is a must-have.
*All of these oils and blends can be purchased by visiting my website.
don't forget these time-tested first aid kit favorites
While the bulk of my kit includes essential oils, there are a few other items I take with me whenever I travel.
Band Aids. Adventuring with open cuts is a recipe for infection. It never hurts to have a few bandages on hand. Bring different sizes and shapes with you so that you'll be ready for any type of injury.
Tweezers. Nobody likes getting a splinter, but it happens to the best of us. Having tweezers in your kit helps you take care of the problem quickly so that you can get back to having fun.
Nail clippers. A broken nail may not seem like a big deal, but it can be a real nuisance. Instead of suffering, snagging, and laying the foundation for a hangnail, bust out your clippers at the first sign of trouble.
Ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is a versatile anti-inflammatory. If your aches and pains aren't responding to natural remedies, there's no shame in reaching for this medicine.
- Personal medications. If you take prescription medications, or you know there's something you can't live without, be sure to bring enough with you for the duration of your trip. It may be challenging to find your prescriptions at some retreat locations.
Bonus goodies for your first aid kit
Gut health is a big deal no matter what, but it’s even more critical to tend to your microbiome when you’re traveling. With all the new foods that you’ll be trying, you want to give yourself every opportunity to enjoy them. PB Assist, a probiotic defense formula, will help you do just that. Plus, if you keep your gut healthy, the rest of you will be healthier too.
If you're prone to illnesses or infections, Colloidal Silver is a natural antibiotic that I’ve used and highly recommend. It works by making it difficult for bacteria to breathe and reproduce. If you’d like to learn more, this resource offers reliable information about how colloidal silver works and why it might be good to add to your first aid kit.
You can find colloidal silver at natural food stores such as Whole Foods.
Find what works for you
When you try a new essential oil or natural remedy, give it a test drive at home first. Doing so helps you understand how the remedy works in your body.
If you know that you have sensitivities or worry about contraindications, you may need to do some research to determine what is appropriate for your first aid kit. If you’re interested in learning more about which oils can best serve your health needs, I’m happy to consult with you one-on-one.
The purpose of being prepared is so that you can feel your very best no matter where in the world you are. Have fun putting together your first aid kit, and enjoy knowing you're ready to take care of yourself during your adventure.
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