Disclaimer: The following information has not been approved by the FDA. This information should not be interpreted as medical advice and is not a substitute for a visit with a medical care professional. Always speak to your doctor about any health concerns.
You just survived a nine hour flight with your three small children. Does it feel like you just ran a marathon? You did! After six years of flights with the kids I have developed methods to maintain our sanity and stay healthy when traveling.
Keeping little people entertained, fed, and happy during long air flights is a trial. Not to mention preventing them from getting sick from those people coughing in the seat behind you — cover your mouth please!
By the time you get the luggage, find your rental vehicle, and navigate your way to the hotel, it’s midnight to your body. All YOU want to do is flop onto a soft bed and sleep, but the kids are operating on a dreadful mix of adrenaline and jet lag. They’re ready for dinner and a trip to the pool. We’ve discovered that our kids crash hard after travel and it can take days for them to get back to normal.
This picture either sounds incredibly familiar, and you’re nodding your head understandingly, or it’s this scenario that keeps you from embarking on a family trip of your own. Air travel with kids is exhausting, but my husband and I consider the trip worth the travel woes that we encounter.
We love to travel and considered ourselves experienced vacationers – before we started a family. When the babies started arriving we knew the days of sleeping or playing games or watching movies on flights were a thing of the past. Not wanting to give up on amazing adventures, we decided to push through the early years and raise a bunch of ‘good travelers’.
Tips to Stay Healthy When Traveling
Practice makes perfect – our flight experiences have helped us develop and refine some tips and tricks that help us stay healthy when traveling.
Elderberry (aka Sambucus)
Elderberry has become my most effective form of protection against illness, especially during travel. Everyone gets an elderberry lozenge every hour we are on a plane. The results have been nothing short of amazing! I consider elderberry to be my miracle supplement!
Are you unfamiliar with Elderberry? This herbal supplement has a long history of medicinal use in North America, Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa. Modern research has demonstrated its potential for destroying the ability of cold and flu viruses to infect cells. In fact, researchers have found that the antiviral components of elderberry fruit extract can inhibit Human Influenza A (H1N1 virus) as well as prescription medications, such as Amantadine and Oseltamivir (Tamiflu).
I won’t consider plane travel without including essential oils in my carry-on. My commitment to a minimalist packing has helped me refine my carry-on choice to only two oils and one roller bottle with a child-safe immune protective blend.
Calming, antiviral, and antibacterial. Perfect to take a whiff when you’re feeling anxious or stressed. (And let’s face it, if you’re on a plane with little ones you’re likely to feel stressed!) Lavender essential oil also calms nausea caused by travel sickness, often associated with flight turbulence.
We use the direct inhalation method during the flight as needed. Bonus: Lavender’s antiviral and antibacterial properties will also help protect against airborne illness.
Organic Germ Destroyer
We are excited to introduce this new line of Kid Safe essential oils by Plant Therapy, researched and developed by internationally known essential oil expert Robert Tisserand. Germ Destroyer helps protect against illnesses that occur during the cold and flu season. It helps maintain health and speeds recovery for those dealing with illness. Because this oil was developed specifically for children by an essential oil safety expert, you don’t need to worry about safety issues.
A few deep whiffs (direct inhalation method) before boarding and several times throughout the flight help protect our family from all those germs in the plane’s cabin.
Immune Boom Roller Bottle
Another product in the Kid Safe line from Plant Therapy, this nifty little roll on encourages a healthy immune system and is safe to use even for young children!
Apply Immune Boom to the spine, bottoms of the feet, and pulse points before boarding the plane for immune support.
My Sanity Saver During Flights
Wild Harvest Tranquil Child
Air travel can be hard on anyone, but asking young children to sit still on a long flight seems nearly impossible. I have found Wild Harvest Tranquil Child to be a lifesaver in those moments where your little one is on the brink of hysteria. This sweet tasting, alcohol free formula contains organic peppermint, catnip, and chamomile and has an instant calming effect. I consider this to be MY sanity saver as well, because there are few things more difficult than an aggravated baby or toddler on a seemingly never-ending flight.
Adjusting to A New Environment
Reaching your destination is only half the battle when traveling. Our family usually takes a few days to adjust to the time zone, food, and activity level. We have discovered a few supplements that help us make this transition successfully.
We always make sure to bring the supplement basics for the whole family. Vacation are fun AND stressful. Different food. Disrupted schedules. High activity levels.
All of these factors put stress the body. Maintaining nutrient basics with multivitamins, probiotics, or whatever your normal supplement regimen may be, will provide support for all the exciting days ahead.
Jet lag, time differences, and vacation excitement can wreak havoc on sleep schedules. Sometimes your kiddos need a little help getting their bodies back into a reasonable rhythm, and that’s where melatonin can help. A melatonin supplement gently helps kickstart the body’s natural melatonin hormone production. This hormone is the body’s signal that it’s time for sleep.
A disrupted sleep schedule can also depress the immune system.
We give our kids micro melatonin tablets, an extremely small dose with a really large payoff. When their bodies are unsure whether it’s wake or sleep time, this helps the shift and eases the transition a little better.
I also recommend trying to get the kids onto the local time as quickly as possible. That means if it’s 9 PM to their bodies, but only 4 PM local time, try to keep them awake as long as you can – shooting for a bedtime similar to their normal one. If the sun is shining, push through the fatigue, take a long walk outside, and find something yummy to eat. The sooner you’re able to adjust, the better everyone will feel.
Diffuse Essential Oils
Diffusing essential oils in the hotel room can help the whole family transition smoothly into the vacation schedule. We start diffusing some lavender essential oil while preparing for bed. Most diffusers run for several hours, giving the lavender time to calm and relax all of us – promoting a good night’s rest.
Don’t forget to bring a few essential oils that support mood. Our favorites are frankincense, sweet orange, grapefruit, and balsam fir. Diffusing these oils can help lift everyone’s spirits – which make for a much more enjoyable vacation.
Other Tips to Stay Healthy During Travel
Here are a few other tips that have helped our family avoid illness during travel.
- If possible, don’t plan a vacation during the peak of flu season.
- Wipe down the plane seats, armrests, tray tables and windows with a disinfectant wipe. I know that these wipes are notorious for containing some nasty ingredients, but we’ve decided that they are our best option for this limited use.
- Don’t use the soap and water in the plane bathroom. (I’ve read quite a few articles about the bacteria found in the water.) I bring along a sanitizing spray to clean hands after bathroom use.
- Use a travel diffuser to purify the air and surfaces in the hotel room. This simple step gives me peace of mind that any lingering germs are eliminated. I typically bring a ball diffuser to use in the bathroom and a nebulizing diffuser in the hotel room. This is a great use for the Organic Germ Destroyer essential oil blend mentioned above.
- Wipe down door knobs, handles and the toilet handle with a disinfectant or sanitizing spray. A little research on my part revealed that the cleaning staff rarely cleans these germ laden areas.
Traveling with children has been one of our greatest joys as parents. It’s not always smooth sailing, but it’s definitely worth the effort. These simple preparations can help you travel with confidence knowing you’re more likely to stay healthy and enjoy the trip to its fullest!
All of the products listed are available at all of our four supplement stores serving customers in the Madison area – located in Fitchburg, Sun Prairie, Madison, and Middleton Wisconsin. Stop in or call any location, The Healthy Place team is always happy to answer your questions. Our Wellness Consultants will help you make supplement choices that support the health of you and your family.
Come in and meet our team! We want to help you find your healthy place!
*Disclaimer: All information and recommendations given on this site, in email correspondence, newsletters or other materials provided by The Healthy Place is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice nor be viewed as a substitute for a face-to-face consultation with a healthcare provider. Consult a licensed healthcare practitioner before modifying, stopping, or starting the use of any medications, health programs, diets, and/or supplements, as well as regarding any health concerns you may have. Our statements and information have not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration. As with any health-related program, product, or service, your risks and results may vary. We expressly disclaim responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the information provided to you here.”
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