Four Essential Travel and Health Maintenance Tips

Traveling is my favorite pastime. This year I kicked off my travel circuit with a business and pleasure retreat to Belize.  Last year I took 15 trips and I travelled to 7 different countries.

Traveling allows me to escape my day-to-day routine, to rest, relax and rejuvenate my body. It also helps me to cultivate creativity, get more in touch with myself, with nature and all of the joy that can be found in this world.

As much as I love traveling, and all the amazing things it has to offer, travel does have its downsides when it comes to your health.

Often times we tend to focus on the physical side effects of traveling– how tight and sore we feel after sitting in a car, plane or train for hours, or the lack of physical activity we’ve been able to get.

But beyond how it impacts the external body, traveling can also create a lot of internal chaos, disrupting the flow of the body that we don’t necessarily recognize until later on down the road.

Traveling can negatively impact your health by:

  • Disrupting your sleep and wake patterns
  • Causing chronic or severe dehydration
  • Contributing to acute or chronic inflammation
  • Exposing you to different and dangerous toxins
  • Hijacking your healthy eating and therefore the availability of nutrients to your body
  • Depressing the immune system, making you more susceptible to colds, flus and viruses

Whether you are a frequent traveler like I am or not, the health side effects of traveling can really wear down the body.  Even just a one-time trip can have a huge impact your body’s natural rhythms.

This can be easily seen if you’ve ever experienced jet lag or know someone who has.  Jet lag, also known as desynchronosis and flight fatigue, is a temporary disorder in the body that can result in fatigue, insomnia, and other symptoms that most commonly happen when traveling across different time zones. Jet lag is essentially a disruption of the internal body clock that leads to circadian rhythm sleep disorder.

Traveling across different time zones is not the only cause of jet lag.  Lack of hydration, physical activity, toxins, stress and long nights can all contribute to jet lag as well.  However, again, jet lag is just one example of how traveling can impact your body’s natural rhythm and flow.

Obviously I’m not suggesting that you don’t travel, as it is my personal favorite pastime.  In fact I think everyone should actually get out and travel more.

I’m suggesting that you travel smarter, to maintain the natural rhythm of your body.

In this week’s video and blog I talk more about how different aspects of travel can disrupt the body, and I share my four essential travel and health maintenance tips that can help you keep your health in tip-top shape.


Traveling smarter means taking simple steps to protect your body against the harmful effects of travel.

Understanding how travel impacts your body and knowing the risk factors you might be exposed to is the first step in being able to protect it and recover better from it.

Focusing on getting adequate sleep, water and good quality foods are key for maintaining your health during and after travel.  However, your traveling circumstances may not always allow for this.

The good news is that you can take some simple proactive steps to protect your body from harmful travel effects while on the road and also upon your return.

Here are my Four Essential Travel and Health Maintenance Tips:

Take Oil of Oregano.

Oil of oregano is one of the most protective herbs you can take in supplement form.  This powerful plant oil has natural anti parasitic, bacterial and fungal properties.  Traveling can expose you to all different types of organisms and viruses that your body is not used to and may not be able to defend against.  By ingesting oil of oregano a few times per day during travel you can naturally protect yourself from contracting any unwanted germs and gut bugs.  It’s like adding an extra protective layer to your immune system.  When I travel I take 2 capsules 3 times a day of my favorite oil of oregano brand Designs for Health.

Pack Activated Charcoal.

You don’t want to be caught without this!  Activated charcoal is one of the primary ingredients found in Pepto-Bismol to help sooth a bubbly gut, but it actually has more healing powers than just that.  Activated charcoal also has the ability to bind to toxins in the body to assist in removing them through stool.  I take activated charcoal preventatively while traveling whenever I question food or water quality, when I drink alcohol or if my stomach starts to feel upset for any reason.  It’s important to take high quality activated charcoal, and to not take too much as it can lead to constipation.  I will pop 2 capsules, as needed, of my favorite activated charcoal by Integrative Theraputics.   

Attend To Your Adrenals.

Cortisol hormone is produced by the adrenal glands.  It regulates your sleep/wake cycles, gives you energy and is your natural anti-inflammatory agent.  Cortisol should reach its highest in the morning, giving you energy to start your day, and be lowest at nighttime allowing melatonin to be released for you to sleep.  The cycle of the sun and exposure to light is what determines when cortisol is released.  Traveling across different time zones, having to adjust to new sun cycles and late nights, can disrupt your normal cortisol rhythm.  When cortisol loses its rhythm it will affect your energy, ability to sleep well and negatively impact other hormones such as thyroid, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.  If you travel frequently, I recommend checking your cortisol rhythm 1-2 times per year to re-balance it as needed.  Get more info about testing your cortisol here.

Check Your Gut.

Your gut is where your immune system is housed, where you absorb nutrients, and where mood-balancing hormones such as serotonin and dopamine are made (among a ton of other important things).  Traveling exposes you to all different types of organisms such as parasites, bacteria and yeast that are not otherwise found in your daily environment.  Plus, your defense system to fight off these organisms can be suppressed during times of travel from stress, eating certain foods, lack of sleep and various other factors.  These organisms can be found in the food you eat, water you drink and various surfaces you touch while traveling.  Left untreated, these organisms can lead to leaky gut, IBS, acid reflux, ulcers, constipation, diarrhea, they can trigger autoimmunity and other serious health conditions.  If you travel frequently, and especially internationally, I also recommend checking your gut 1-2 times per year as a means of prevention and to maintain your overall health.  Get more info more about testing your gut health here.

Next time you plan a trip, consider these tips.  You and your body will be glad you did!

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