Travel in good health
What to pack to stay healthy on your next vacation
Staying healthy and well while on vacation is always a concern. Packing a good health and wellness kit for when you travel will help ensure you return from vacation with only unforgettable memories of your trip.
Your health and wellness should always be your top priority when you travel. Nobody wants to think illness or injury will happen to them, but illness and injury can happen. With a bit of forethought and planning, you will be prepared for some of the most common issues that may occur. From sunburn, cuts and scrapes, dehydration, or even aches and pains from walking too much, there are many ways your vacation can take a turn for the worse.
What to Pack for Vacation
By preparing a small health and wellness bag, you can prevent some wellness issues and be ready to treat those unexpected ones that may come up.
A very basic first aid kit will come in handy for minor injuries and illness. In fact, many items on this list can be included in a small first aid kit. Include items like band-aids, antibiotic creams, anti-itch (cortisone) medication, tweezers, bandage material, cotton pads, alcohol wipes, etc. Most major drug stores have these prepackaged travel first aid kits in stock.
In your Health and Wellness kit, always carry a small container of good sunscreen with a high SPF to prevent sunburn and protect your skin. Don’t underestimate the need for a good sunscreen even when visiting colder destinations, you can still get sunburned.
Chapped lips are really annoying and uncomfortable. A good moisturizing lip balm with a high SPF will protect your lips against the wind, sun, and cold.
I am terrible for not wearing sunglasses. I constantly forget to bring them, and then realize the importance of good protective eyewear when I am at my destination. Far too often, I buy cheap sunglasses on vacation out of necessity.
Tylenol, Advil, or Aleve – we always carry some of each of these NSAIDs in our Health and Wellness kits when we travel. After a full day of exploring, your muscles and joints may ache. You may get a headache. Having the remedy you need on hand keeps you from having to suffer.
Hand Sanitizers & Disinfecting wipes
We carry a fair bit of these with us whenever we travel. Call us a bit of a germaphobe if you wish, but you never know what bugs might be lingering on commonly used surfaces. Disinfectant wipes also come in handy in hotel rooms to clean often-used, but poorly cleaned items like remote controls, alarm clocks, etc.
- Wet Wipes are also a great item to have on hand for ‘freshening up’ during a busy day of activity, especially in dirty & hot destinations.
Bottled water / refillable water bottle.
Stay hydrated at all times. Carry a bottle of water with you in your go-bag whenever you are out exploring, hiking, etc. Safe drinking water may not always be easily accessible in many locations, so carry the water you know you can trust.
There is nothing that bugs you more than biting insects. Many insects, like mosquitoes, flies, fleas, and ticks, carry many diseases. Some of these diseases can be debilitating, cause chronic illness, and some can be deadly.
Viruses and bacteria are everywhere and can lead to vomiting in many people. Hopefully, you won’t get sick on vacation, but it is best to be prepared with medication to help control or prevent vomiting or nausea.
Diarrhea is never a good thing, especially on vacation. It can be brought on by a change in diet, travel stress, contaminated water, improper hygiene, and many other reasons. When it strikes, be prepared with some Imodium or Pepto-type medications to get over it more quickly.
- Traveller’s constipation is also a very real issue for many people due to changes in routines. Having a stool softener or simple laxative will be very beneficial.
Many people who take cruises are ill-prepared for the effects of motion sickness. The same goes for any boat excursion you may take, like whale watching etc. If you are unsure if you suffer from motion sickness, it is best to be prepared with medication so that it doesn’t ruin your cruise.
Check out our article on the Most Common Cruise Vacation Mistakes people make – and how to avoid them
I am a heavy sleeper, so I never use earplugs, but I know their benefits. When you stay in many busy (and party) cities like Las Vegas or New Orleans, there is a lot of noise from the streets or hallways of your hotel. Having good-quality earplugs will help lessen that distraction so you can get a good night’s sleep.
Many travellers will enjoy gel eye masks’ cooling and calming effects. They help you refresh and recharge after a long day of travel and adventures. If you are a light sleeper who is easily disturbed by light, you will want to have a simple travel eye mask in your go-bag.
I admit that I am terrible regarding protection against the sun. I never wear a hat for aesthetic reasons – I don’t like them, I don’t like how they look on me, and they mess up the hair. However, sunburn and the other harmful effects of the sun are real and should be taken seriously.
- Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a hat.
Quick drying towel
Having a towel that dries quickly will come in quite handy if you are a beach-goer, hiking, picnicking, and much more. Stay clean and dry with a microfibre fast-dry towel. Many have antimicrobial properties as well.
I am one of those people who can sleep anywhere. I doze off on planes, cars, buses, etc.; the worst thing about that is the neck strain accompanying it. Sometimes those neck strains can linger, causing serious discomfort during your trip. A neck pillow helps prevent that by supporting your head when you start to drift off.
Some of our favourite stores to buy convenient and inexpensive travel accessories is Marshalls & Homesense.
Travel compression socks
While the risk of developing blood clots on a flight is low, it can happen, and the risk goes up the longer the travel time. These socks help increase circulation and reduce the risk of swelling or deep vein thrombosis and clotting during a long flight.
Pack a Health and wellness kit for your vacation with the specific things that you typically need and may find helpful, and you are sure to have a great holiday. These are some of the everyday items we have needed on our travels, and we hope it helps to guide you to stay healthy on your own trip. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
For more travel resources and tips on What to Pack when you travel – check out our Travel Resources