Summer time is for adventures! Loading up the car for a road trip or slogging your kids on an airplane for an out of state or international travel can lead to many treasured memories. It can also however, lead to some less than happy experiences if someone gets injured or sick. As you are planning and packing, it is definitely worth your time to think about some of the possible scenarios that could come up for you and family so you can get through the not-so-fun part and get back to the joy of travel. Here is a list of things to consider packing for your family trip – some more naturopathic, others not-so-much, but all worth having on hand if you need it.
Family Trip Kit
Prescription medications –
Don’t forget these! And, if you’re flying somewhere, don’t pack them in the suitcase that you are planning on checking!
If you are traveling to a place with easy to access drugstores, you may not need to have these in your suitcase, but you may consider having a dose or two on you, just in case:
- Infant or Children’s Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Ibuprofen (Advil)- For terrible headaches, serious teething pain, or who knows what. Often times, getting your child out of pain so they can sleep is worth it in the long run.
- Diphenhydramine (Benadryl or Genexa Kids’ Allergy) – For severe bug bites or the new I-didn’t-know-they-were-allergic-to-pineapple (or whatever food) allergy, this medication could literally save their lives. The medication bottle does say not to give to children under the age of 2, but if it is needed, please give it. You can look up the correct dosage on the internet using your child’s weight.
Remember to pack those that you or your children take regularly. A trip may be a good time to take a supplement break but for some, it could be a terrible idea. Here is a list of others to consider:
- Vitamin C – Great to start taking a couple of days before your trip and daily while on vacation to keep any illness at bay. Also works great if you or your loved ones gets constipated. Dosage depends on size, too much in any size will cause loose stools.
- Zinc – Lozenges are easy to pack and are a perfect thing to take when you first start getting a tingle of getting sick. Remember, do not take Zinc daily as it can cause other mineral deficiencies.
- Digestive Enzymes – Perfect for travel as when we’re vacationing we often eat foods that are richer than our digestive systems are used to. If there is a gluten or dairy sensitivity, you can also get digestive enzymes specifically to help digest these items if you are not completely sure the food you ordered is gf/df.
- Melatonin – Take the first night if you traveled East to help get your or your child’s Circadian Rhythm on track with your destination. Usually 2-3mg 30 minutes before your ideal bedtime. This is safe for children when used on a limited basis.
- Activated Charcoal Capsules – If you do end up with an upset stomach, take 2 capsules every two hours. Can help with symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain. This remedy helps bind toxins and is especially useful for traveler’s diarrhea. Be sure to take it away from your prescription medication as possible as it may affect absorption.
- Ginger chews – Easy to have on hand for motion sickness or upset tummies.
Topical Creams/Ointments and First Aid
Just a reminder not to forget these as well:
- Sunscreen – at least 30 spf. I recommend a zinc oxide formula.
- Bug Spray anything specific?
- Aloe vera gel for sun burns?
- All Purpose Salve or Calendula Cream – for itchy spots/bites, dry skin, minor cuts and burns
- Neosporin or other antibiotic ointment
- Band-Aids – Not only for wounds but also for blisters!
If you like to have homeopathics on hand, here is a handy list of the Top Ten Travel Remedies, written by Dr. Ciobanu (previously published on the American Academy of Naturopathic Medical Colleges) These would be best at the 30c dosage:
- Arnica montana – traumas, bruises, soreness, aches.
- Arsenicum album – food poisoning scenarios involving diarrhea, vomiting, chilliness.
- Belladonna – high and sudden intense fevers. Dilated pupils, redness, heat with no sweating.
- Ferrum phosphoricum – high fevers with chills, rosy cheeks; may not act or feel acutely sick.
- Nux vomica – digestive upset due to overindulging in foods or alcohol; headaches, constipation.
- Aconitum napellus – any physical or emotional ailments from sudden fright or getting chilled.
- Cantharis – sunburns, UTIs with scalding and bloody drops of urine.
- Cocculus indicus – motion sickness, jet lag, time zone changes, insomnia.
- Ledum – insect bites or blunt trauma, relieved by cold application.
- Apis – insect bites, hives, allergic reactions; with swelling, redness and heat; relieved by cold.
As always, be sure to check with your or your child’s physician if you plan on taking a new supplement yourself or giving one to your child. At Intuition Wellness Center, we specialize in health and wellness services for children, young adults, and their families. If you think you would like some extra support, we’re here for you.
Written by: Kate Sage, NMD