Shopping List: Travel Health & Wellness

Staying healthy is at the top of everyone’s mind right now, whether you’re still traveling or not. It can be overwhelming to remember everything you need to pack, so we wanted to put together a list to jog your memory, or to help out if you don’t travel often. Below are things that have always bailed me out. I take small versions of the most important with me, and then plan to buy the rest once I arrive at my destination:

  • Covid kit: Have to start with this one, unfortunately. Don’t forget your masks, hand sanitizer, and travel thermometer. Thermometer strips aren’t 100% accurate but they’re good enough, and lightweight.
  • Reusable water bottle: My current favorite is the S’wellbottle. Insulated stainless steel keeps water cool nearly all day, and it has a fairly small diameter, which means it fits nicely in the water bottle sleeves of my personal item and my travel backpack. The downside is that since it’s steel, its empty weight is still heavier than I would like when I’m traveling light. A nice reusable water bottle like this could be hard to get while traveling, but having some kind of reusable water bottle with you is an absolute must. 
  • Bandaids or hydrocolloid blister guards: Your feet, in even your most broken-in shoes, are probably not used to the walking you will do on heavy transit or high activity days. Blister guards or even plain bandages are tops on my list ever since bloody blisters once ruined my snorkeling adventure.
  • EmergenC or electrolyte fizzy tabs (e.g., Nuun): These easy-to-drink supplements make your water taste fruity while replenishing needed vitamins, minerals, and salts lost from sweating and the general stress of travel. They can help ease fatigue, bolster your immune system, ease muscle cramping, headaches, digestion issues, and more. In many pharmacies, you can also get water soluble single vitamins that you may be lacking (e.g., D3 for immunity) in fizzy tab form.
  • Whatever supplements speak to you: Probiotics, B12, magnesium, melatonin, etc. You know the ones you need, and we tend to need extra when we travel. Whether they actually help or not, there’s always a nice placebo effect that comes from self care.
  • Small bottle of assorted over-the-counter medications: It’s nice to have quickly accessible pain relief, allergy relief, or motion sickness meds in transit. Having ibuprofen, Benadryl, etc, on hand could save you from an unscheduled trip to the pharmacy or medical center, and get you back to traveling. I’m familiar enough w/ how my OTCs look to keep them all jumbled together in the same teeny bottle. Something like this is similar to what I use, and even has separate compartments. 
  • Sleep aids: Earplugs, headphones, sleep mask, melatonin, etc. I never go anywhere without at least some soft earplugs. They come in handy on the plane and in less-than-ideal sleeping environments. I love these for my small ear canals.
  • Wet wipes/antibacterial wipes: I’m a messy person and am constantly getting into something. These are useful for refreshing, cleaning your hands, or wiping a spill on your clothes. Bring extra, because it’s inevitable that you will be sharing these with others once you whip them out.
  • Small emergency snack: Trail mix incorporates many food groups. I am never upset that I have carried a small, squish-proof snack like trail mix. I always end up needing it at some point before my trip is over.
  • Kleenex/tissues: Or free extra napkins from the airport fast food shop.
  • Reusable utensils: A lightweight camping spork can help you save a few calories and dollars by allowing you to eat leftovers in your hotel room, or picnic on the go. This one has a spoon on one side, a spork on the other, and includes a bottle opener.
  • Sunblock: For the paler of us, and a good idea for everyone. Even if the rest of me is covered, I always still end up burning the tops of my feet, face, or ears
  • Packable hat: See above! I always make sure I have a hat that includes some type of brim and a strap. This one isn’t the most fashionable, but it’s reasonably priced. You get the idea. 

What did we forget? What do you usually take on your trip that helps you keep focused on travel instead of dealing with health mishaps? 

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