Traveling can be stressful enough for anyone. But if you’re struggling to manage a chronic illness, battling mold toxicity, or suffer from environmental sensitivities, traveling can be downright challenging.
Being out of your own environment and routine can trigger your symptoms and even be a setback in your recovery. Fortunately, over the years, I’ve discovered some “hacks” to make traveling safer and more enjoyable.
So before you book your next excursion, implement these healthy travel hacks to protect yourself and keep yourself feeling great on the go.
1. Ask for Eco-Friendly Cleaning Materials
The harsh and toxic chemicals found in most conventional cleaning products and air fresheners can wreak havoc on your body.
Whether you have environmental sensitivities or are fighting a chronic low-level infection (like mold illness), exposure to these toxic substances can send your toxic burden levels off the charts and elicit a massive immune response – leaving you feeling terrible.
Hotel rooms are cleaned top to bottom on a frequent basis with numerous cleaning products. Pair that with the fact that most rooms are sealed up tight with minimal air circulation, and it’s no surprise your hotel becomes a breeding ground for your symptoms.
To combat this, there are a few things you can do:
- Certain hotel chains – like Westin, Hyatt, and Hilton – have some hypoallergenic rooms available by request. Some even have “Pure” rooms that contain medical-grade air purification systems, ozone shock treatment to eliminate germs and odor, and even sanitize heating and air conditioning units with tea tree oil to prevent mold growth. To find and book a Pure Room you can visit PureRoom.com.
- When booking your room, you can ask that no chemicals be used. Instead, some hotels will clean with vinegar and lemon when specifically requested.
- Ask for no air fresheners to be used in the room after cleaning or prior to your arrival. Air fresheners can contain fragrances and toxic VOC’s that can be triggering.
- Avoid contact with contaminated areas. In particular, never lay on or use the bed scarf at the end of your hotel bed as they’re rarely washed and might be soiled from previous occupants.
Finding a safe environment while travelling can be a daunting task, but if you know the right questions to ask it’s more do-able than ever before.
2. Eat Healthy On-The-Go
When it comes to managing your health, being mindful of what you put in your body is crucial. And being on the go can often mean lots of eating out – leaving you with limited healthy options, and little control over the ingredients in your meals.
While enjoying tasty food and experiencing new restaurants can be a highlight of any trip – there are some ways you can keep your diet on track and keep most of your meals balanced. That way you can savor those special meals out without derailing your entire diet. Here’s what I recommend:
- When booking your room, request a refrigerator so you can keep fresh food on hand in your room. Hotels are required to provide a fridge upon request for medical necessity and some hotels may even provide a microwave too if you ask.
- Stock up on fresh groceries. Run to a grocery store or local farmers market and pick up easy and healthy food like organic berries, fresh veggies, and other healthy snacks. Or to make things even easier, you can order groceries online from Instacart or Amazon Whole Foods and have them delivered to your hotel room.
- Avoid drinking tap water from the hotel room sink. Instead, stock up on green drinks, mineral water, and filtered or spring water to drink and make coffee or tea with.
- Travel with a small collapsible hot pot for heating soups, or water for tea and coffee.
- Instead of opting for the hotel’s coffee, bring your own. I travel with Aeropress for fresh french press organic Purity coffee and a travel grinder.
Getting creative with your healthy food options while travelling can be fun, and it’s an easy way to feel good and save yourself for your special meals out.
3. Avoid Mold Exposure
Hotels can create the perfect environment for mold to thrive in. Since most rooms have individual temperature control, there’s often little air circulation. Moisture can get trapped in heating/air units and in the walls. Plus, mold spores can hitchhike in on previous guests’ bags and clothes and make themselves at home in the hotel room.
To avoid and minimize mold exposure in your hotel room, here’s what you can do:
- Check for mold by visual inspection. In particular, pay close attention to the bathroom for evidence of mold in the bath, shower, or on the ceiling. Report any unusual or musty smells, which is guaranteed evidence of mold. If you see any areas that look suspicious or notice any unusual smells, bring it to the hotel’s attention and ask for another room.
- If you’ll be in the hotel for an extended time, pack some mold cleaner in a small spray bottle to clean your room with. I like Surface Guard or Citrasafe products best.
- Travel with a small bottle of Homebiotic spray. This spray helps balance the room’s microbiome and can be used in bathrooms and showers to prevent mold growth.
- Some mold exposure is unavoidable – especially when traveling. To give your body the support it needs to properly deal with accidental mold exposure, I recommend taking 1000-1500 mg of charcoal twice daily.
Don’t let mold dampen your trip. You have the power to protect yourself from mold exposure – even while on the road.
4. Combat Polluted Air
Hotels and airplanes are notorious for poor air circulation. On top of that, indoor air can be significantly more polluted than outdoor air. This can spell trouble for your health. To keep the air you’re breathing as fresh and well-circulated as possible, here’s what you can do:
- Research hotels where you’re traveling and opt for recently remodeled or newly constructed hotels. If possible avoid the ground floor. And ideally, look for rooms that have windows and balconies that actually open so you can circulate fresh outside air into your room.
- Open windows as soon as you check-in and open them frequently during your stay to keep air from becoming stagnant. You can also request a small fan or purchase a small travel fan to keep in your room.
- Pack travel air filters. I use Wein mini mate or other wearable air filter onboard during flights. Wein uses a lithium battery, so you’ll have to declare to TSA in your carry on luggage. For your hotel room, you can bring a room travel air filter like Air Oasis travel or others.
These simple tricks will keep you breathing easy as you travel.
5. Pack Your Supplements
Staying in a routine and taking your daily supplements even when you're on-the-go can give your body the extra support it needs.
And to make things even more convenient, instead of lugging around all of your vitamin and supplement bottles, you can just pack your daily vitamins in these easy pill packs and label them for the entire trip to fit into a one-quart Ziploc bag.
On top of my usual daily vitamins and minerals, here are some of the additional supplements I like to take when I’m on the road to combat the stress and unavoidable exposures that come with traveling:
- To protect against EMF’s, I take 2 capsules of Ion Shield twice daily on any days I’m flying. We do have in stock if you call 303-993-7810 to order.
- Before getting on a plane, I recommend taking 3 capsules daily of Immune Booster along with 50,000 units of Vitamin D3 during cold and flu season to ward off contagious bacteria and viruses.
- To help with detoxification, I take 500 mg of Glutathione once or twice a day while traveling and charcoal or other binders like Quicksilver UltraBinder 1 tsp twice daily
The simple act of adding these to your regular regime will protect your body while you travel.
6. Practice Relaxation
Travel is stressful, even when you're having fun. And stress can further trigger any immune response or symptoms you’re experiencing. So taking some time to unwind and relax can go a long way. Here are some simple ways to melt away some of that travel-related stress:
- Ask for or choose a room that has a bathtub. Soaking in a hot bath with Epsom salts or essential oils at night before bed can help you destress and get a good night's sleep.
- Diffusing essential oils with a small portable diffuser can be relaxing and as a bonus, can help fight off mold. The best essential oils for mold are Thyme, Bergamont, Clove, and Sage.
- Practice meditation for a few minutes each day. It’s great for not only mental and spiritual health, but also has a ton of physical health-boosting benefits too. If you’re new to meditation, click here to get started with a simple daily practice.
You’re on vacation after all, so treat yourself to some extra me-time.
Set Yourself up for Success
Having a chronic illness, fighting chemical sensitivities, or recovering from mold toxicity can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to rule your life.
Whether you’re traveling for work or going on a dream vacation, with some extra planning you can set yourself up for a successful and healthy trip. The travel tips in this article have helped me tremendously and can go a long way in helping you manage any sensitivities or chronic conditions while away from home.
Now it’s time to hear from you! Have you used any of the travel hacks in this article? Do you have any healthy travel tips to add? Leave your questions and thoughts in the comments below!
The information in this article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease state or medical condition and has not been evaluated by the <a href="https://www.fda.gov/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">FDA</a>. This is not intended to replace any recommendations by or relationship with your physician. The references included in each article allude to the level of scientific rigor I have applied to my writing. When changes become apparent we will update the information if appropriate.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The product mentioned in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information in this article is not intended to replace any recommendations or relationship with your physician. Please review references sited at end of article for scientific support of any claims made.