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Travel Essentials: Do’s & Don’ts of Healthy Travel 

It’s that time . . . we’re in the part of winter where many of us have, frankly, lost our patience with cold weather and gloomy days. We’re troopers at first – the snow is cute, it’s nice to stay in and be cozy (or so we tell ourselves!). But as the days and months go on, even the most wintery of us can start craving a little sun and warmer weather. 

And so what do we Canadians do at this time of year to keep our sanity? We travel!

And with so many of us travelling, especially with March Break around the corner, I thought it’d be a good opportunity to talk about some Do’s & Don’ts when it comes to Healthy Travel. Because our time away can be so short and so precious, we deserve to feel our absolute best. The last thing we want is to feel crummy, tired or rundown when we’re away. 

So with that – here are four Do’s & four Don’ts when it comes to healthy travel.

DO: Hydrate on Travel Days 

Hydration is always important, but especially on the days when you’re getting on a plane and flying. Airplanes are generally maintained at significantly lower humidity levels than we’re used to, and this reduced humidity can accelerate dehydration, contributing to dry nasal passages and increased susceptibility to airborne pathogens like the common cold. Beyond that, if you’re changing time zones and want to reduce feelings of jet lag, studies have shown that drinking plenty of water can help reduce the symptoms of jet lag, including fatigue and headaches.1

So hydrate as best you can before and during your flight. Normally, those little cups of water they serve on the plane aren’t enough, so pack a water bottle you can fill before flying or buy a bottle of water at the airport. 2 One additional hack I normally do is adding single serving electrolyte packets to each bottle of water, which can help boost hydration.

DO: Prepare for the Unknown 

Travel means new foods, new drinking water, new time zones, new bathrooms – it’s wonderfully exciting but also can bring potential troubles. So rather than fear the unknown, just go prepared! Here are three Boiron homeopathic go-tos that I carry with me to cover my bases. 

Nux Vomica Compose: this is one of my favourites for so many reasons, but especially when I travel for the moments I’ve overindulged in food (or wine, it’s vacation after all!).  This is formulated for indigestion and occasional stomach discomfort (pain, cramps, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, eructation, gastric reflux, flatulence, bloating and headache).  For this, dissolve 5 pellets under the tongue, and take 3 times a day or as directed by your health care practitioner. 

Cocculus Indicus Compose: if there’s jet lag involved, this has been formulated to help relieve temporary disorders associated with jet lag like fatigue, sleep disturbances, nervousness, headache and digestive disorders. For this one – I’ll take on the day before travel, again on the day of just before getting on the plane and then at the onset of jet lag symptoms once at the destination. 

Arnica Compose: Travel days can mean a lot of sitting and uncomfortable seats. And as my lower back often starts acting up on long flights, I find this to be a gentle option (compared to conventional pain meds) to offer relief.  Arnica compose is a homeopathic for the relief of muscle and joint pain, is suitable for the whole family and can be taken as needed. For flights which seem interminable, and when back stiffness takes over, you can also consider carrying Arnicare Roll-On in your bag, to provide local topical relief.

DO: Pack Protein-Rich Snacks

I think we’d all agree that the price for snacks at the airport is a small fortune. Personally, I’d rather save my money for the trip itself! Add to that – the choices at the airport concession stands are tepid at best, and also relatively low in protein. Packing protein-rich snacks beforehand is a great way to save money and stay fueled for long travel days. Some of my favourite choices are protein bars (with under 10 g of sugar), raw nuts and seeds, and individual protein powder packets that I can easily add to my water. 

DO: Support Your Gut for Travel Changes 

There’s nothing worse than travellers’ diarrhea. In addition to the homeopathics mentioned above, I tend to travel with a kind of probiotic (though technically classified as a yeast) called Saccharomyces boulardii. This yeast has been shown to be incredibly beneficial when it comes to preventing traveller’s diarrhea 3, as well as reducing symptoms should you get sick. It’s widely available from various companies as a stand-alone ingredient. 

DON’T: Restrict Yourself Unnecessarily on Vacation 

We can all be so hard on ourselves, and for some of us, that may mean being very structured with the foods we eat. While this can be a good thing, if it means you’re highly restrictive and self-critical when it comes to indulging once in a while, it can be a slippery slope to something that’s not serving you. I would strongly encourage you to give yourself grace on vacation, enjoy new and delicious foods without guilt, and without unnecessary restrictions. New experiences and occasional indulgences can be medicine too! 

DON’T: Worry Excessively About Getting Sick

This is an important one and can easily consume many of us – worrying about getting sick before or during our time away. Ironically, this can just lead to chronic stress which actually has a down-regulating effect on our immune system! 4

If you want to be proactive, consider having Boiron’s Oscillococcinum on hand and take it whenever you feel any flu-like symptoms coming on. I also pack a few of these when flying in case I’m sitting next to someone who is coughing and sniffling the entire flight!

DON’T: Be Glued to Your Mobile Phone on Vacation

While Instagram is great, it’s important not to let the urge to constantly capture and share moments distract us from fully immersing ourselves in our vacations. Remember, your mobile phone will always be available, but the precious moments of your getaway are fleeting. Taking digital breaks, particularly during vacation time, can be a very healing thing.

DON’T: Forget to Move on Travel Days 

Travel days can mean lots of sitting  – both at the airport and on the plane – and the last thing we want is to arrive at our destination sore and achy. So as often as possible, get some movement in – whether that’s stretching before getting on the plane, taking standing breaks on long flights or even do some light squats here and there!

Bonus! If you’re one to pack a few tubes of homeopathics at a time, Boiron has a new case storage unit great for travelling, that can hold up to 10 tubes, and room for a few more in the zipped pocket (this is where I normally store my Oscillo tubes). Everything organized, and all in one place – an easy DO for travel. 

Bon voyage! 

References :


2 Liquids, Non-solid Food & Personal Items – CATSA (



About the author:

Kyle Buchanan is a licensed nutritionist, writer, host of the feelgoodery podcast and is a Resident Wellness Expert on Canada’s The Morning Show, which airs weekday mornings on Global Television.  He has a passion for spreading holistic health and wellness advice to as many as possible; from television audiences and conference attendees to online readers and video watchers. He also has his own private practice, working with clients worldwide on their journey to feeling their absolute best. For more information, check out or his Instagram page!

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