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Travel Tips

selective focus photography of yellow school bus die cast

My first overseas trip was when I was under one year old and my life in travel has included several years as a flight attendant in my early 20s. I can’t claim to have visited 50+ countries as some people can, but I’ve certainly exceeded 20 at last count.

As a family we’ve always loved to travel to Asia, but have had a few of those long haul trips to Europe, and of course various domestic flights around Australia. It’s definitely getting more challenging with increased security, restrictions on luggage limits, permitted items and the use of biometric scanners now mandatory.

We also need to consider the environmental impact of our travel on the final destination and on our planet. In Europe more people are travelling to holiday destinations by train, but we don’t have the opportunity here and probably never will if we have a yen to see the world. I do note that Qantas are working with other airlines on a greener fuel and there is talk about the development of hydrogen fuel as well. These thoughts attempt to salve my conscience about the impact of our love to travel, although won’t reduce the number of people hitting certain popular destinations.

Reducing how much luggage we carry and perhaps just going with hand luggage (some airlines will let you buy a small amount of additional hand luggage) helps to reduce aircraft fuel requirements, and things like using Keep Cups at the airport restaurants and taking a water bottle you can fill once you’ve passed through security, also reduces our plastic use.

Being aware of the cultural differences in the countries we are visiting is also, I believe, a really important part of respecting our hosts and getting the most out of our destination. It’s also worth considering things like how a country provides you with water, how often do you really need clean towels and sheets (this is a green option which is often offered) and are you eating local produce or ingredients imported just for the tourists?

On the homeopathy side of things, I never go anywhere without a kit. Whether it’s Sydney, Cradle Mountain, Bali, Europe – I always throw in my kit – and I always have a tiny kit in my handbag for everyday needs. I carry a 20 remedy pouch with a mix of our most used combinations and personal single remedies and that’s generally sufficient.

I can usually find a remedy no matter what arises for anything from shock and fright to upset tummies, insect bites and accidents, and if you’re new to homeopathy then combination remedies can be a good way to go. Easy to select and if you continue to read you will see why you get an added bonus!

To read my list of suggestions, based around two of our travel kits, trip over to the Homeopathy for Travel post, which covers most things you’re likely to encounter that you might need a remedy for.

Hang around here if you want to know some of the things we’ve picked up along with way, particularly in relation to staying well on your trip and also when you arrive home.

On no, don’t have what you need?

Combination remedies can be a useful way to reduce what you carry and they do give you more bang for your buck.

I’ve often suggested that if you don’t have a single remedy for what you need, have a flick through your Homeopathy for the Home Prescriber book or jump online if you have internet access. This is a very small and light book and it’s a great little book to tuck in your bag and worth the weight.

Whichever way you choose to go, once you’ve identified what you think you need, search the ingredient lists of the combos you do have with you.  I can certainly vouch for the number of times this has been helpful when you’re caught short!

For example, say you need Gelsemium for someone who is literally paralysed with fear about going on a cable car, but you don’t have it as a single remedy. Maybe you have Cold & Flu combo which does include it, it’s worth giving the remedy because very often it will work, even though the name on the remedy is not what you think you need. My take on this is that the body is pretty smart and takes up and uses what it needs from the combo!

Some comments about combo remedies

Here are some useful combos for your trip. They would probably be the ones I would be using from a few days before (see Get Prepped/Travel Prep Quick Notes) through the trip to a few days after.

There are several that are useful. They may cross over each other. Some days you will want them all several times, other days you won’t need them, eg CRUX Exposure.

Best way to take them is individually by mouth, but once you get through security and can fill your water bottle (or buy a bottle of water – please try to avoid this!), you can pop one pilule of each into your water bottle if you are planning on several doses during the trip (eg Travel/JetLag, AAA for anxiety), shake the bottle, then you’re good to go. Each sip will be a dose but if you’re on a long trip or you’re going to pass it around to each family member that’s fine.

Travel/Jet Lag contains remedies (including SOS, our version of Rescue Remedy) to combat stress, jet lag and change in environment. It can also help protect against radiation which is present on the aircraft and can be helpful in preventing DVT (it includes Arnica), along with appropriate exercise as recommended by the airlines. It includes Cocculus so if your jetlag lingers, try taking it regularly for a few extra days after arrival to reduce that wobbly, “at sea” sensation or sleep issues. This is also going to be useful if you’re cruising and maybe in this case Cocculus as a single remedy is going to be most helpful when you step back onto dry land.

Travel Prep – I always recommend travellers use either Anas Barb or Get Prepped/Travel Prep (Get Prepped and Travel Prep are the same combination) to help promote a stronger immune response to the bugs which frequently float around at airports and when changing environment. They can be taken once a week through your trip and if symptoms of cold, flu or similar appear, can be increased to three times a day and used alongside the indicated remedies for the situation. I recommend Travel Prep as the most robust of these remedies. Start three days before travel and take once a day until three days after arrival at both ends of a trip (6 days in total).

You will find guidelines for using the remedy for travel both in the product details and also in the FAQs on how to use the Get Prepped & Travel Prep products.

CRUX Exposure – see notes below – our suggestion is to take the remedy before you walk through any full body scanner if you remember, but certainly take a dose afterwards.

Full Body Scanners & similar

If you’ve travelled by plane recently – domestically or overseas – you will be familiar with the total body scanner machines. If you’d done a few sectors, you will know how many times you go through these machines and are subjected to low (apparently safe!) levels of radiation. The science we have read is not so confident on the safety of these, so we suggest (and have used ourselves) CRUX Exposure each time we’ve gone through a scanner.

Our CRUX Exposure combination includes remedies traditionally indicated to support the body systems and organs through all sorts of medical imaging such as CT, MRI, ultrasound, Xray and similar.

Travellers’ Constipation

People frequently tell me that they get quite constipated when they travel. Whether this is due to dehydration or anxiety or just change of environment, Nux Vomica is the star of the show for this uncomfortable issue.

If you think about it you could take a couple of doses the day before you travel or on the morning of your trip and then if required. If you still find yourself struggling to go at your destination another single dose often does the trick. I tend to find this is not one of those remedies that requires many doses to get things going comfortably.

Travellers’ Diarrhoea

You’ll have heard me talk about our Gastro combo often enough if you’ve been following us for a while! What if you are one of those people who just has a weak tummy and you’re worried about travelling to India for instance? Arsenicum album 6c daily may well be your friend. I do find the potency is important in this one instance, but certainly it can be a great support for an anxious traveller with an anxious tummy in supporting the whole system.

Mosquito-borne Disease; Dengue, etc

Due to the impact of climate change, mosquito-borne disease is on the increase. It’s quite an issue in Bali, for example, but because we all book online we often are unaware. Other strains are prominent in many parts of Asia, as well as in more tropical parts of Australia at particular times of the year. Travellers to South and Central America will also be aware of this issue.

You also need to be aware of the risks of Yellow Fever and which countries will require you to have a vaccination certificate if you have entered or exited from an area where YF is a risk.

Mossie Mix

We’ve been dispensing our Mossie Mix combo for nearly 20 years and it proves to be a great support. Nothing is 100% of course so if you are very susceptible to bites you do need to be mindful of covering up and also using a good spray. See below for a Deet-free spray we recently trialled in Bali with excellent results.

This is not available in the store due to TGA regulations, but drop us a line and we can send you information on travel generally, plus a link to purchase from the store if that’s all you  need.

Bugg Off  is a combination of traditional homeopathic remedies to help you avoid bites from and build resistance to mosquitoes and other critters.

This product came about because the mossies love Dean so much and after putting up with him chasing them around the bedroom with a shoe, I decided we needed a solution. We created and trialled Bugg Off on Dean and some similarly afflicted clients around 20 years ago and the rest is travel history.

Dean was determined not to suffer the crazy itching he has in the past so set himself up with a protocol before our most recent trip (along with priming our systems with Mossie Mix). He also diligently took a vitamin B complex prior to travelling as vitamin B1 is widely touted to help prevent mosquito bites. As always I looked at the science and it is pretty negative on this claim, but Dean definitely had the most mossie-free trip ever.

And if he did get the odd bite it certainly didn’t flare up and cause endless itching agony.

See my comments on mosquito spray below.

Please note: Bugg Off is not a suitable support product if you are travelling overseas to an area at risk of mosquito-borne disease such as Dengue Fever, Malaria, Japanese Encephalitis and similar. It may help stop you being attractive to the mosquitoes, but it does not provide additional support.

Bites & Stings is another of those useful remedies that may assist with symptoms of itching, swelling, burning, stinging and rashes from a variety of animals and insects. It may also help symptoms of cystitis as the picture can be similar. If you are particularly prone to being bitten by mossies vitamin B1 can be helpful in changing the reaction of the mosquitoes to your particular scent, but Caladium 6c has been really helpful for some travelers, when taken daily, in reducing bites.

How do you know what diseases are a risk?

Ask a travel doctor and you will need to get every vaccination under the sun to even travel to Norfolk Island!

If you go to the World Health Organisation website you can find information on risks in the country to which you are travelling or you can visit one of the travel doctor websites and compare.
WHO information for travellers http://www.who.int/countries/en/
For additional information on prevalence of diseases and pandemics currently present, there is a link on the page above.

Other useful notes and additions for your trip

While homeopathy is definitely a reliable travel companion and a few remedies can help with a lot of situations, sometimes it’s good to have a back-up so here is my list of items which you might want to include and some other items we never leave home without. I’ve no doubt we could all add to this, but my aim is one day to travel overseas for a month with just carry-on luggage!!

I’ve also included some comments here about things like visas and immigration forms as a “make sure you check your destination requirements” before you get on your flight 🙂

I’ve laid it out alphabetically so it may appear slightly random.

Air Tags – while this is a little bit of an expense, it’s rather reassuring to be able to see where your luggage is on a big trip.

Ear plugs – I never travel without ear plugs for obvious reasons! Useful on a flight, in the airport, in a noisy airport hotel or any hotel, etc.

EarPlanes – I also never travel without these little gizmos which help to reduce ear pain and blockage while flying. They are also useful on some of those very noisy planes. They come in children’s and adult’s size.

Essentials Oils – In addition to my homeopathic kit, I never travel anywhere without my Young Living essential oils. Basics such as Lavender, Peppermint, Panaway and Thieves will get me through most things and they smell great too!

Some things I have made up into roll-ons with fractionated coconut oil which makes them easy to apply and uses your oils sparingly.

Thieves is a great anti-bacterial, anti-viral oil so useful for wounds, illness, washing out straws and cups and similar. Could be made up as a hand sanitiser.

Bergamot Oil The best new recommendation I had recently was someone telling me what a great immune support Bergamot Oil was for travel. We rubbed it on our wrists and sniffed it, plus did the Get Prepped pre- and post-travel protocol and we didn’t get sick after our return home, which has been a regular over the past 8-10 years or so. Pretty happy about that!

Hydralyte or similar (rehydration tablets) – These are particularly useful after diarrhoea, dehydration, heat stroke and other situations of fluid loss. They can be easily dissolved in water. Coconut Water – If you don’t have Hydralyte or can’t access something locally, if you’re in the tropics coconut water (from a fresh young coconut preferably) is a great support where you’re suffering from heat and dehydration. Get the top cut off, stick in a non-plastic straw and off you go.

Imodium – this is a pharmacy product for severe diarrhoea. We’ve never used it because Gastro has always worked, but it’s there in the bottom of the first aid kit just in case …

Inflatable pillow – gone are the days when I want to cart my full size chiropractic pillow with me. I recently bought an inflatable camping pillow which is a mini version of my home pillow and this has been a real bonus for travel and I’ve found more useful than the neck pillows. You can inflate it to firm or you can inflate it just a little, so useful not only for sleeping on but also sitting on if the airline seat has lost its padding! Packs down very small and hardly any weight.

Medications – if you’re on medication, make sure you carry several days worth in your hand luggage just in case you are diverted, delayed or your bags take a journey of their own. Don’t rely on being able to access your check through baggage immediately.

Metal Straws – some places overseas are still offering plastic straws and it’s a pet hate of mine. Kids like straws and some drinks just need them, so why not take your own metal straw with you or buy some metal, bamboo or paper straws when you get to your destination.

Mosquito Fogging – do make yourself aware as to whether your resort or destination does regular chemical fogging for mosquitoes. This has been the case on trips to Singapore and also to Bali. It often happens several evenings in a week , so good to be away from the area or indoors when it’s happening.

Mosquito Sprayafter a natural mosquito spray for an overseas trip? Me, I hate the stuff, but then I don’t get bitten. Dean had declared that nothing without Deet worked, much to my dismay. For our most recent trip I bought this product locally and we’ve declared it a roaring success. Safe for kids and pregnant mums and apparently all natural, this will be Dean’s go to for future holidays and I can see us having a stock of it! It smells great too.

Packing Cubes – OMG this has changed the way we pack and travel. I never imagined it would make such a difference and I have certainly used a variety of bags for things before like shoes and chargers/cables in the past. These are particularly useful if your destination doesn’t have much in the way of cupboard space, but also because you know exactly what is in which cube and you can fit so much more in the your case, meaning either you can take more or you can take a smaller bag! You could also colour coordinate to your child if you are packing one bag for several children. I ordered sustainable cubes from Zoomlite, ie made from recycled bottles, and they often have packs on sale.

Pashmina, shawl or similar – never under estimate how cold the aircraft can be or how cool it might be in the mornings, even in the tropics if you are staying at higher altitudes. I’ve even thrown a pashmina over me when the bedding has been insufficiently warm or the aircon too cold.  Dean and I both find a shawl can serve a multitude of purposes and can just be carried as hand luggage. I notice you can even buy a ring to attach a shawl or jacket to the handle of a bag or a carry on – of course you can!

Pegs – also never under estimate the power and usefulness of a clothes peg for holding the curtains together to keep out the light, clipping the mosquito nets more tightly together, etc! Hair clips and similar will also do the job.

Pen – this is such a small thing but how many times does someone ask you to sign something or fill in some paperwork? On our last trip back into Australia with Jetstar they refused to loan pens, so borrow or take your own. Not always such an issue now with most things going digital but still a necessity on some occasions.

Probiotics – while there are often good pharmacies in many tourist destinations, it does seem to be common practice now to take probiotics while on holiday. Make sure you buy probiotics which don’t need refrigeration or take our homeopathic Probiotic Kefir 6x!

Protect your Passport & Credit Cards – card and identity skimming is a big problem. You all know to be careful when using EFTPOS machines and when handing over your card, but do be mindful of these important personal items when travel. Passport holders and wallets with RFID (Radio-Frequency IDentification) blocking technology are available, but leather is a great blocking agent just on its own. Also make sure you always use your room safe for these items.

Reusable shopping bags – many of the waterways in tourist destinations are full of plastic shopping bags. Discourage their use by taking your own, refusing plastic, and using your bag everywhere you go!

Sharp knife – those colourful knives in a scabbard are great for travel and it means you can buy yummy local produce and picnic at your leisure. We have also been known to take a melamine plate or lightweight chopping board as well!

Small torch – you can use your phone, but sometimes a small torch is useful if you are wandering around at night and don’t want to run your phone down. Make sure you don’t pack loose batteries in your check through luggage though!

Spare Undies! – if you’ve never been separated from your luggage then you won’t know the value of having a spare pair of undies or a clean t-shirt tucked in your carry on.

Tamper Evident Security Tags – having travelled to Bali and Thailand many times, we’ve always been super conscious of the security of our luggage. Some of the most advertised locks and the integrated suitcase locks have the ability to be easily picked without you actually knowing your bag has been opened. So if you’re a little security conscious tamper evident tags are a great idea. A little bit of plastic I know, so make sure you dispose of thoughtfully.

Tea towel/cloth – a simple thing, but how often do you want to dry something like a glass, Keep Cup or a water bottle. Useful for other things too 🙂

Travel Adaptors – one adaptor is never enough and now you need to be able to plug in devices that use USB-A, USB-C  and who knows what else. You can buy multi-country adaptors which have changeable heads and multiple USB points, which saves on weight. An extra adaptor is always useful if you have kids with devices or want to plug your hair straightener in separately. We have been known to take a power-board on holiday when we had children and there is a power-board with integrated adaptors and USB points available on line.

Visas & Immigration – before you travel, do check what the visa requirements are and how you go about obtaining. Many countries, even in Europe, are requiring digital visas before arrival. A good example of a slightly hilarious immigration paperwork dilemma was recently in Bali. No paperwork handed out on the flight, but a cardboard cube circulating on the luggage belt while we waited for our luggage directed us to “scan the QR code or go to the website and complete the immigration form while you wait”. Inevitably this caused chaos at the immigration counters when people tried to leave the airport without realising what needed to happen.

Water bottle – empty – buying water in small bottles when you travel can be expensive and it’s also very bad for the local environment. We always take an empty water bottle each when we travel, then buy the biggest container of water we can find in the local supermarket so that we don’t keep throwing away small plastic bottles. You will also find that many airports and villas now have filtered water available for free as well, and one hotel we stayed in recently had a refill point for the glass bottles they supplied each day in our room.

Now I’ve laden you down with bits and pieces to make your trip more comfortable, without even telling you our other holiday inclusions in the past, it’s up to you to work out what you need for your holiday.

If you have any useful tips or additions to this post do let us know. It’s so good to share.

Resources:

  • Helios Homeopathic Pharmacy Travel Kit Flyer Nature’s Materia Medica; Robin Murphy
  • The World Travellers Manual of Homoeopathy; Dr Colin Lessell
  • Photo by Eva Darron on Unsplash

This information does not constitute medical advice and does not replace advice from your GP or Travel Doctor. Always consider whether this information is appropriate for your individual needs.

Homeopathy is a traditional medicine. It may be used in conjunction with other medicines. For any ongoing chronic condition, it is important to be assessed or examined by your healthcare professional or specialist. Always seek medical advice in emergencies.

It is referenced from the texts approved by Therapeutic Goods Administration and is for information only. If in doubt as to the appropriateness of a treatment seek advice from your homeopath.