By Ariel Knutson
You’re going on a trip. Congratulations! You’re all packed and ready to go. You even remembered your cellphone charger and razor this time. Yay! Although you might feel like you packed everything, there’s still something else that truly savvy travelers never forget—and that’s a wellness travel kit. Because, hey, traveling is hectic. You’re in a different time zone, away from your bed, and not necessarily eating as healthy as you would at home. This is exactly why a wellness travel kit is the secret weapon of smart travelers.
So, what healthy stuff should you stash? We asked some of our favorite wellness experts and influencers to share the self-care essentials they never leave home without—and here’s what they said:
Checking out new restaurants and local cuisine is one of the absolute best parts of traveling, but you can’t always enjoy them if your digestion is off. Set yourself up for success (and a good meal) by packing probiotics with you when you travel. “I use probiotics every day, but especially when I travel because being on an airplane can mess with our digestion,” Jordan Younger of The Balanced Blonde explains. “I have a very sensitive stomach to begin with, so I take extra precautions when it comes to my wellness routine when I travel.”
Dr. Nick Bitz, the Chief Scientific Officer at youtheory® agrees. “Beneficial gut bacteria are the body’s first line of defense,” he explains. Our gut health is directly connected to our external environment through what we eat and the air we breathe, so Bitz says “it’s important to actively fortify this intestinal barrier (through probiotic supplementation) in order to fight off pathogens.”
A Reusable Cup
You might already pack a reusable water bottle—but have you thought about stashing one for hot on-the-go beverages? Not only are you helping the environment, but a portable cup makes it that much easier to have your favorite healthy drink at the ready. Just bring your own tea bags or instant coffee, and you’re good to go. A fav among wellness influencers (like Adriene Mishler of Yoga with Adriene): The KeepCup.
Your skin goes through a lot when you travel. Planes are dehydrating, and new foods and climates can be a shock to the system, so it’s important to show your skin some TLC. Treat yourself to a favorite face mask mid-flight to keep your skin moisturized. Under-eye masks are also a great way to take care of yourself on the plane. A favorite among wellness influencers like Lee Tilghman of Lee from America are these Honest Hazel eye masks.
An easy way to make sure you get enough protein (and beauty nutrients) throughout the day when you travel is by packing collagen in your suitcase. Youtheory® collagen comes in on-the-go travel packs that you can stash in your wellness travel kit. Pull one out to stir it into your coffee or smoothie and feel a little more confident that you’re taking care of your body while you travel. “It’s easy to turn your morning coffee into a superfood concoction,” Dr. Nick Bitz agrees. Collagen is, of course, also great for your gut, hair, and skin, which can all use some extra love when you’re on the road.
Sleeping in a new bed in a new destination sounds dreamy and romantic, but if you can’t actually fall asleep thanks to jet lag, it can really trip up your trip. That’s why stashing a natural sleep aid like melatonin in your travel wellness kit is a good idea. Melatonin helps control our sleep-wake cycles; taking a supplement before bed tells your brain it’s time to wind down.
Nobody wants to be stressed when they’re taking a trip, but it happens. Be smart and include a couple essential oils like lavender and peppermint oil in your kit is a smart and easy way to help you relax a little more. “I always bring lavender essential oils with me,” says Lee Hersh of Fit Foodie Finds. “I got in a car accident two years ago and have some PTSD and anxiety in cars now and the lavender has a calming effect on my mind. I also bring it with me on planes too.”
We don’t have to tell you to never leave home without a snack — especially if you have any sort of food intolerance. “The amount of wellness items I pack when I travel is pretty funny,” Nicole Cogan of No Bread says. “Nut butter packets are the most important travel item for in-flight. Finding healthy and/or gluten-free snacks on planes and in airports is tough!”
Make it Easier
We know you’ve got a long list of to-do’s, and we want to help make things a little easier and breezier. Because, let’s face it, most of the time, it’s the small stuff — like packing a lunch, getting in a quick walk, or even figuring out what’s for dinner — that stresses us out. We’re here to help with advice and insights from influencers and experts. Stay tuned for tips, tools, and strategies designed to make your life simpler, healthier and more delicious.