We can be more vulnerable on holiday because of climates our bodies are not used to; different foods and drinks; changes in routines; and for most a break from our regular supplementation or usual healthcare regimes.
However, this doesn't have to mean that we become me susceptible to illness. Just a few simple steps and a few simple remedies in your travel bag can protect or resolve many general issues that crop up in these situations.
Here are a few common conditions that can be helped by prevention or aid...
Diarrhea is one of the most common culprits on holiday, due to the difference in food, fluids, and often in standards of hygiene. Diarrhea is the body's way of expelling gastro toxins, so that they cannot infect the body further and cause worse conditions or disease. So essentially this isn't a bad thing in terms of what the body is trying to achieve, but of course can be very unpleasant to experience, especially when you are supposed to be relaxing and enjoying yourself.
Usual conventional medications tend to work on the premise of drying the intestinal waste up, preventing it from absorbing any more water from the intestinal tract. However, this can lead to constipation, or other resulting illness due to the toxins not being removed.
Depending on the country you are traveling to of course, and their known levels of hygiene with food and drink, it is often recommended to take a short course of natural probiotics for a few weeks prior to leaving.
This helps to build up the intestinal tract and especially colon's natural friendly flora, in order that it can help to fight toxins and prevent infection from occurring in the first place. Obviously whilst away it is equally important to watch what you eat and drink, and adhere to travel advice from the tourist board.
This in itself, plus a probiotic course for 2-3 weeks prior to leaving, is potential good prevention. A probiotic supplement can also help your intestines recover after sickness, restoring levels of friendly gut bacteria to tackle “traveler's tummy”.
Remember the importance of keeping hydrated. Dehydration is one of the most common causes of illness when at home. When away, it is even more important as often people are visiting hotter countries than they may be used to, where they may not be aware that their bodies will be craving even more pure fluids than they would normally.
It is a good idea to get used to drinking plenty of pure water at home anyway, as this is vital for optimal health. Then when away remember the importance of increasing the amount you normally drink at home to ensure that you are making up for the additional sweat and energy you are expelling.
If you don't replenish your expelled water and electrolytes there is a constant risk of dehydration (which depletes the immune system and leads to illness), headaches, and fainting.
Some simple herbal eye drops, or saline eye drops, and help to avoid sensitivity, dryness, and dust irritation from the humidity on aircraft which can often make eyes feel dry, gritty, and red.
Aloe vera is an excellent natural anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and is very soothing for the digestive system if taken internally (you can buy oral liquid or capsules), as well as topically as a cream or gel for burns, blisters and other skin irritations. This can be very soothing.
Sun damage is of course one of the most common problems when on holiday in a hotter climate. Remember that the sun is very healthy. It isn't something to be scared of or hide from. However, it is something to be respected, and everybody is different.
Over exposure can cause the skin to not only dehydrate, but can cause skin cell damage, discoloration, and aging. But remember that it is only 'OVER' exposure that does this. So learn to listen to your body.
For example someone with very pale skin may only be able to stay in the sun for a few minutes at a time, before they become at risk from burning. Someone with dark skin may be able to stay in the sun for 15 minutes or more. Generally it is a good idea to start off slowly if you are not sure, and build up your sun exposure very gradually.
Always use a good sunscreen (see our skincare FAQs for more information on this), and always cover up with clothes, hats, sunglasses (to avoid squinting which is a major cause of eye line wrinkles), or other shade whenever you can over your sun exposure time.
Also use a good after-sun. Aloe vera is excellent for this and something (as a pale person with naturally freckled skin) I never go on holiday without. A good pure aloe vera gel (or even the direct plant sap itself if it is available where you are holidaying) is wonderful at helping to soothe and repair sun-damaged skin if this does occur.
The gel draws water to the skin surface, boosting the recovery phase and reducing the risk of peeling or longer-term damage.
In addition to this, I can definitely recommend applying our skin-care products – especially the body lotion - after being out in the sun. It really helps and is a viable alternative to using a normal after sun, unless of course the person is badly burnt.
Finally, Total Balance, Omega 3/DHA, and especially Immu-Stay are supplements to not leave home without. They can help to keep your body balanced whilst away, help to take the pressure of any external changes for your body, and Immu-Stay will be an excellent additional help, at full 6 per day dose, to help give your immune system that extra boost it needs to protect you from disease and illness, allowing you to hopefully sit back, relax, and enjoy.
Remember to take care of yourself, internally and externally, as your body needs it at this time, often more so than when at home due to the change in routine, climate, and digestion. Above anything else however, relax, enjoy and unwind!