How to Stay Healthy When Travelling

How To Stay Healthy When Travelling

Catching a cold, being constipated and suffering from food poisoning are some of the worst things that can happen to you on a trip.  They’re also very real threats that can ruin a carefully planned and long anticipated trip.

Mat and I do everything we can to stay healthy before and during our trips so that we can enjoy each day to the fullest.  Here are some of the things we do to reduce our risk of getting sick and feeling crappy (pun intended!) on the road:

Get enough sleep
This is especially important the week before we leave because we want our bodies to be well rested and able to handle the stress we’re about to put them through.  During trips, we also give ourselves time to rest during the day and we try to sleep for 8 hours at night.

Wash those hands
Our hands come into contact with things that may, or may not, be covered in unsavoury deposits – especially on travel days.  If we’re at a bus station, airport or train station, we wash our hands as often as possible, especially before eating or rubbing our eyes (which happens a lot when we’re tired!).  We’re also not afraid to change seats if we’re sitting near someone who is sneezing and coughing – being polite has it’s limits.

Take a daily multivitamin
On the road, there are days (and sometimes weeks) when we don’t eat all of the fruits and veggies that we should.  To make sure we’re not missing any essentials we take a multivitamin every day, plus some extra vitamin C if we feel like we’re coming down with a cold.  Right now we’re taking the Vegan Society VEG1 chewable tablets, which we love.  A more complete vegan multi that we sometimes buy is the Platinum VitaVegan.

Drink some greens
We’re often either constipated (or the opposite) when we’re travelling (tmi, sorry).  I don’t know what it is, but our digestive systems freak out when we go anywhere.  To keep this under control, we drink a glass of water mixed with a “green” powder every day.  Right now we’re loving the chocolate Vega All-in-One Nutritional Shake because it has protein, greens, fibre and antioxidants, all of which helps us stay balanced and regular.  I only wish it was certified organic…

Pack snacks
We usually travel with a tote bag full of snacks to make sure we have healthy options wherever we go.  Some of our faves include hummus and crackers, stir fried veggies and rice, trail mix, instant oatmeal, fruit salad, LÄRABARs, bananas (unless we’re going through customs), dark chocolate, etc.

Avoid refined sugar
Refined sugar depresses our immune systems in a big way which makes us even more vulnerable to getting sick.  We stay away from candy, soda, and desserts when we’re travelling even though it’s very tempting to indulge when we’re on a trip.  We usually carry some dark chocolate bars with us to satisfy any cravings we have on the road.

When we do get sick
Even with all of these precautions, there’s nothing that completely protects us from getting sick.  Here’s a peek at what we carry in our medicine bag to help us cope with the top 6 health issues we’ve had on our trips (keep in mind that we’re not doctors and this is not medical advice!):

  • Motion Sickness: ginger pills and antiemetics (Gravol, Dramamine, etc)
  • Headaches: peppermint oil roll-on and Advil
  • Colds: garlic capsules, oregano oil, Neo Citran, Nyquil and sugar-free throat lozenges
  • Constipation: glycerin suppositories
  • Diarrhea: activated charcoal capsules, Imodium
  • Food Poisoning: oregano oil and activated charcoal capsules

I’d love to know what you do to stay healthy on the road!  Do you have any tips or tricks we should know about?

Take care,


12 thoughts on “How to Stay Healthy When Travelling

  1. Katie

    Great tips guys! I’d also add drinking lots of water. Seems like a no-brainer but when traveling (or doing anything out of routine) I find it harder to remember to drink as much water as I normally would, which leaves me feeling tired and cranky, so that’s a big one for me!

    1. Danielle Post author

      I can’t believe I didn’t mention water! Good call, Katie!

      Sometimes I’m really bad and don’t drink much water on purpose if we’re doing a big sightseeing day and there aren’t going to be any toilets around (ahem, Europe). But it will definitely prevent cranky pants in almost all other situations!

  2. Carole

    Great post Danielle.
    I don’t always comment but love reading your adventures. I would recommend hemp hearts and protein powders esp. the pro 70 that is water soluble.
    I work for this fabulous company now. They helped decriminalize industrial hemp in 1998 and now produce amazing plant based foods rich in protein, omega 3’s & 6, fibre, vitamins and minerals. You probably remember them from the Pantry. Great for Vegans! I would be happy to send you some if you send me an address. Otherwise continue being happy, well and safe on your travels!
    Big hugs
    Carole xox

    1. Danielle Post author

      Hi Carole, it’s so great to hear from you! I’m happy that you’re working for Manitoba Harvest – they sound like such an amazing company! We almost always have their hemp hearts and travel sachets of pro 70 (and sometimes the hemp oil) with us. I love adding the hemp hearts to salads, oatmeal and stir fries. We’re going to be on the road soon so no need to send freebies (but thanks for the offer!). I’d love to catch up with you and Mimi when we’re back in town. Love, love, love you! xo

    1. Danielle Post author

      Hi James, thanks for checking out the post. Spirulina and green tea are great suggestions, thanks for sharing :) We’ve never had a flu shot but I know some people swear by them. Take care!

  3. Toni and Isaiah

    I watched one of your videos that had shown the cooler with food. I could be mistaken and not remember correctly but I thought you didn’t use ice or keep it cold. I see above you mention hummus and stir fried veggies with rice as snacks.
    I would LOVE to do away with purchasing ice. Usually ice will last us 4 days and driving into town from a campground can sometimes take 1 hour one way.
    Did I hear/see correctly? If so I would love to see what you stock your food pantry (aka cooler) with besides veggies. I’m am vegetarian so I feel it would be an easy. I do like my drinks cold and we could use a smaller cooler for beverages.
    Thank you and happy travels!
    Toni and Isaiah

    1. Danielle Chabassol Post author

      Hi Toni,

      Thanks for asking about our food – we’re planning to make a video about what we buy and cook in the van without having any refrigeration.

      This post was a general one about all sorts of traveling and we always bring hummus with us on planes, trains, busses etc.

      In the van we tend to buy groceries in small amounts a few times each week. For foods like hummus, tofu, rice milk, etc we’ll buy it and eat it the same day because it doesn’t usually keep for more than a day (unless you’re travelling in the Spring or Fall).

      This summer we’ve been eating bread with peanut butter, cinnamon and bananas for breakfast, as well as apples, oranges, kiwis, etc.

      For lunch we’ll usually eat tomato and avocado sandwiches with mustard, burritos with bell peppers, cucumbers, refried beans and salsa, or we’ll make a big salad with nuts and seeds in it.

      For dinner we’ll make lentil dal, rice and beans, more sandwiches, etc. We also usually keep a few tetra packs of organic pureed soups for days when we don’t feel like cooking, although they are high in sodium so we try not to eat them too often.

      I hope that helps!


  4. Chris

    Hi Matt and Danielle,
    Altoids peppermint mints and warm flat Coke are excellent upset stomach healers. Peppermint tea is very god as well. Feel better and healthy travels..

    1. Danielle Chabassol Post author

      Hi Chris, thanks for the suggestions! We love peppermint tea but never thought to take the mints. Good to know!

  5. Kim

    Senna tea for constipation!
    I also travel with lavender oil for bites, skin irritation, sunburn, aromatherapy. Lemon oil is helpful as well as it has numerous uses.

    1. Danielle Chabassol Post author

      Hi Kim – thanks for the tip about senna tea! I used it once long ago and it was very effective. It would definitely come in handy when travelling :)

      I just started travelling with lavender and vanilla essential oils for aromatherapy and it’s amazing how much a simple scent can lift your mood and keep you grounded!

      Thanks again and happy exploring :)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *