By Cheshire Que, RND, RN, RD
And just like that, the cool holiday breeze is gone just as the scorching summer heat intensifies. What are your plans for this season? Whether you wish to escape to a cooler destination or choose to bask under the heat of the glorious sun, you will need to pack your wellness essentials to ensure a healthy and worry-free summer vacation.
Keep your body well hydrated even if the climate is cold and more so in hot weather. Traveler’s diarrhea, however, is quite common and mostly due to water intake. It is recommended that you drink from a sealed bottled water. I always bring an empty water bottle with me when I travel, especially during a long haul flight. I fill it up with water while waiting in the departure area and have it refilled throughout the flight duration to ensure that I’m well hydrated. When on tour, it’s always a good idea to bring your full water bottle or buy some before the tour starts.
You might need to refuel in the middle of a tour or be tempted to mindlessly snack on unhealthy food while traveling. Take some nuts, dried fruits, whole grain cereal, high fiber crackers or protein bars with you. Make a homemade trail mix and pack it in small portions. I also like to bring conveniently packed meal replacement powders like Diabetasol or Diabetamil (even if I don’t have diabetes) or whey protein powders like Quest, which I can easily mix with water. They are filling, calorie controlled, and nutrient packed.
It is a challenge to consume well balanced meals when traveling. To ensure that our bodies are well nourished, take multivitamins and mineral supplements prescribed by your doctor or dietitian. I also bring along probiotic capsules or in powdered form to aid in proper digestion. It helps keep my digestive system clean and healthy. When fruit or vegetable intake is a problem, fiber supplements like C-lium or Metamucil are good fiber substitutes. I never travel without Easy Phamax pure wheatgrass because one sachet is already equal to 10 kg of vegetables in terms of its nutritional content.
If you are on maintenance medications, always have extra on hand in case of delays and cancelled flights. You can never tell if you have to extend your trip due to unavoidable circumstances or too much enjoyment that you wish to prolong your stay for a few days more. Always have your doctor’s prescription in case random inspection is conducted at the airport. I also have what I call my “emergency stash” composed of medications for diarrhea, headache, fever, cough, colds, an ointment for cuts and insect bites, band aid, you get the idea.
This is entirely a kit on its own. Aside from the travel size feminine wash, feminine wipes, tissues, and panty liners must be included. I also add in a hand sanitizer, disposable toilet seat cover (which is provided for free in a number of first world countries), some disposable underwear, and Jeunesse Singles travel pads just in case Aunt Flow decides to join me on my summer vacay.
Never neglect your skin. You wouldn’t want to get breakouts or dry skin especially when you need Instagram-worthy photos. Bring travel sizes of your usual skin care products. I like to bring one or two facial masks with me. I prefer the SKII facial treatment mask when my skin is dehydrated from sun exposure or after a long haul flight. Korean facial masks are also effective in achieving that instant glow and supple skin.
Going on vacation is not a reason to let go of your workout routine. Pack some light workout clothes and a pair of running or walking shoes. If you don’t wish to go to the hotel’s gym, take a good walk at the end of the day or better yet, go for a relaxing swim. Swimsuits take less space in your luggage. I often find myself putting on my rubber shoes and workout clothes in order to do some video exercises in the comforts of my room just to burn some of the calories I have eaten earlier during the day.