You've saved up your vacation hours, booked your flights and packed your favorite books. But have you prepared for the possibility of illness? From crowded airplanes to musty old buildings, vacation destinations also come with a variety of travel concerns. We asked Clare Bauermeister, naturopathic doctor at our Seattle-Wallingford store, to help us prep for any travel eventuality.
"People going to another time zone can really benefit from a sleep aid like melatonin," says Clare. "My favorite is Natural Factors Tranquil Sleep, which also includes 5-HTP and L-Theanine." Clare says you can take these chewables before a long plane flight, or just to help alter sleep patterns to combat jet lag. She said people also have good results with Boiron homeopathic Jet Lag Carekit. And rest easier with the addition of Bucky's travel neck pillows and eye masks, available in stylish prints.
Eating outside of your comfort zone—whether it's Chicago's deep dish pizza or real German bratwurst—can cause digestive discomforts. To help your body cope, Clare suggests a travel-ready probiotic and a good digestive enzyme. "I always recommend taking a probiotic with you," she says, such as the shelf-stable ones from Culturelle. "It's one of the most highly studied strains of acidophilus for helping prevent and treat traveler's diarrhea." Take these and an enzyme such as Tyler's Similase throughout your vacation, or just when you know a heavy meal is looming. (Click here for more handy digestion suggestions.)
Sea and Airsickness
If your travels are taking you out to sea (or even just on a bumpy plane ride), and you're prone to bouts of nausea, take comfort in the stylish designs of Psi Nausea Relief Bands. The bands use adjustable acupressure to calm nausea, offering relief without drugs. "My other favorite thing, for any sort of nausea, is ginger," says Clare. She recommends tucking Reed's Ginger Chews in your purse or carry-on for quick relief.
From trains to planes to tourist destinations, exposure to crowds can do a number on our immune systems. Start boosting before you take off with Source Naturals Wellness Formula tablets, or WishGarden Kick-Ass Immune herbal tincture. Clare also recommends keeping your nasal passages hydrated with a wash like Xlear Saline Nasal Wash. "When your nose is dried out you often have less protection from microbes, so keep it moisturized," says Clare.
As charming as those medieval castles and rural bed and breakfasts are, damp weather and musty buildings can also lead to respiratory problems. If you know you're likely to have trouble breathing, consider Gaia Herbs Respiratory Defense, which Clare says is a great herbal formula that includes oregano, a natural anti-fungal that's good for mildew. For more long-term care, Clare recommends taking Herbs, Etc. Lung Tonic on a continual basis.
What would vacation be without a little sunburn? Even if you're not headed to the beach, it's good to keep your skin protected whenever you'll be outside. "I love Sanitas Solar Block," says Clare, who always recommends mineral sunblocks. "And of course, reapply, reapply, reapply." When sunburns do strike, however, soothe skin with healing products like All Terrain Aloe Skin Repair or Boiron Calendula Cream. "I like calendula cream for any type of skin condition."
Stop in to Pharmaca today to stock up on necessities for your next vacation. And thanks to our Facebook fans for contributing their top travel concerns. Want to join the discussion? Like us on Facebook today.