Healthy Travel

You've spent months and months prepping and planning for the photo trip of a lifetime, and the worst thing that can happen is to get sick while traveling. But it can and does happen. After so much travel with Muench Workshops, here are some things that we have found helpful "just in case" something goes wrong:

  • A good first aid kit, to take care of basic minor injuries.
  • Over-the-counter pain reliever, something like Motrin / Tylenol. 
  • Powdered cold/flu relief, this works great to soothe the throat, calm a cough, and decongest.
  • Benadryl, which has many uses for allergic reactions.
  • Anti-diarrheal medicine, in case the worst happens!
  • Pedialyte or similar—a powdered mix of electrolytes to aid rehydration.
  • Pepto-Bismol—if you do get a stomach bug, the bismuth can help kill the bacteria sometimes
  • Hand sanitizer to keep your hands clean.

There's plenty more that could be carried, but these items are all small and easily packable. Big disclaimer: Of course, you should discuss these and any other medications with your own doctor, since we're not doctors!

While it’s great to be prepared with remedies to provide relief, should you get ill on a trip, there are also precautions you can take both before and during your travels to reduce your chances of catching a bug. Here's what Culinary Nutrition Expert (and Andy's amazing wife!) Nancy Williams offers up to all of us travelers:

"Starting two weeks leading up to your trip, consider these steps to boost your immunity and increase the odds of feeling your best:

•   Choose foods high in Vitamins B (eggs, fish, chicken, mushrooms, lentils, nuts) and C (citrus fruits, broccoli, dark leafy greens, berries, bell peppers). Pair them with ingredients found to be particularly essential for optimal immune function, such as garlic, onions, ginger, thyme, parsley, chili powder, and cayenne pepper.

•   Limit sugar and highly processed foods, as these can cause inflammation, leaving you susceptible to viral, bacterial and parasitic invaders. Once at your destination, keep your blood sugar balanced by eating some protein or healthy fat along with carbs and sugar. This is especially important at breakfast, as it may determine your energy level throughout the day. Having pancakes and maple syrup? Try sprinkling a handful of walnuts or almonds on top. Enjoying some tropical fruit? Add some full fat yogurt or goat’s cheese.

•   Consider supplementing your diet with a broad spectrum pro-biotic. This will greatly support your digestive system in fighting off pathogens and bacteria. Ideally, you should take these before and during your trip.  For a complete rundown on essential travel supplements, check out this excellent summary.

•   Hydrate and re-hydrate! Don’t wait until you are on the plane. Start way ahead by consuming 8-10 8 oz. glasses of pure water. It’s also a good time to reduce or remove alcohol and caffeine from your diet, especially if your trip involves many hours on an airplane. If you do have that cocktail, remember to offset its dehydrating effects with extra water.

•   Prepare your body and your soul for take off! Don’t let that “prepping for that trip” take precedence over things you know keep you totally fit. Make sure you get enough sleep. Do some stretching or take a walk. Take time to meditate, read a good book, or enjoy your favorite music.

Adopting these simple tips can help ensure that memories of your trip will be of how it exceeded your expectations, not of time wasted recovering from unplanned for health concerns."

Well, there you have it. Safe and healthy travels to all!