Essential Supplements to Take on Vacation

by Sarah Healthy LivingComments: 46

I recently returned from a fairly long vacation that involved travel across long distances and changing time zones 5 times in 10 days.  It also involved being on a boat in sometimes rough seas and weather that would be warm one day and freezing cold the next.   One particular day, we got very hot and sweaty hiking to see a glacier in the morning, while during the afternoon, we took a cable car to the top of a mountain and donned our coats and mittens for an all out, do or die snowball fight.

While such an adventure was certainly very fun and exciting, being away from our regular routine at home, eating out 3 meals a day, experiencing rapidly changing weather conditions, getting little sleep from staying up late night after night, and the constant pitching and rolling of a boat at sea no doubt greatly taxed our body systems and left us vulnerable to illness.

Taking the kids along presented an even greater challenge as sweets and processed foods are available on a 24/7 basis on a cruise and children are not well known for their discipline in this area.  I was shocked to learn from my teenager on the flight home that his record was 11 ice cream cones in a single day (this from a child who normally demonstrates amazing restraint with junk food and sweets). I myself actually put on 6 pounds, eating as much food in ten days as I would probably eat in a month at home.

I have no doubt that the supplements we took with us while traveling played a key role in keeping us healthy and well despite the daily overindulgence.  I am happy to report than no one in our family experienced as much as a stomach ache or a sniffle while on vacation and we are all still well after arriving home nearly 3 weeks ago.

Clearly, the supplements bridged the gap in our diet and helped us manage the physical stress from the changing weather and ship conditions.

In addition to supplements, I believe it is also important to expect to be well while you are away.  If you are worried and terrified that you or your kids will get sick from the lower quality food you will no doubt be consuming on vacation compared with your homecooked fare, then chances are high that you will get sick.  Expectation and emotional state have a huge effect on health and science is only just beginning to understand how it all works.

Packing your bags with every remedy and supplement you can think of for every possible illness you might encounter on vacation does not set an expectation of wellness, does it?

No it does not.   As a result, you may notice in the list below that I only took one actual remedy with me preferring instead to expect that our strong constitutions from eating well while at home would prove very protective while we were away.

One final tip.  Try not to pack too much stuff.  Too many clothes and other items to keep track of and carry while traveling is very stressful and detracts greatly from the enjoyment of your vacation.  Your packing does not need to be perfect.   I actually packed my stuff in 20 minutes the night before we left for Alaska (no kidding – a lot of thought happened in the weeks prior to that 20 minutes of actual activity however).  Did I forget anything?  Yes, I forgot a belt and one other thing I can’t even remember at this point, so it obviously wasn’t that important in the first place.

Pack as little as you possibly can and you will be much more relaxed.   As a bonus, less stress from keeping track of a bunch of stuff translates to a higher chance of staying well while you are away.

Essential Supplements for Vacation

Therapeutic strength probiotic:  This supplement is non-negotiable.  You really absolutely must have this supplement on vacation in my opinion and start taking it a week or two before you leave so you adjust beforehand.  It will keep the beneficial bacteria flowing into your gut on a regular basis so any gastrointestinal bugs you are exposed to have a much lower chance of taking hold.  The beneficial flora will also keep your immune system operating at a high level to provide resistance to other illness.

Since we would not be consuming fermented foods or raw dairy while on vacation like we normally do at home, supplying probiotics in a capsule form was very necessary.    {brand I use}

Fermented cod liver oil or skate oil (to supply natural vitamins A and D):   I took capsules of fermented skate oil with us as that is what I had on hand at home.  Fermented cod liver oil capsules would be fine too.  I find traveling with capsules easiest especially if you will be flying.   We normally take the liquid at home.

Each family member took 3-6 capsules per day.  This is a lower dose than what we take at home off the spoon, but taking more capsules per day would be just too many to swallow in my opinion.   {brand I use}

High vitamin butter oil (to enhance the effect of the cod liver oil): Dr. Weston A. Price discovered in his research that the therapeutic effect of high vitamin cod liver oil is enhanced when taken along with high vitamin butter oil.

Our family took 2 butter oil capsules each day at the same time as the fermented skate liver oil capsules.  {brand I use}

Vitamin K2:   Our family took 1 capsule per day supplying 90 mcg of vitamin K2 in the form of MK-7 (derived from nonGMO natto).   Vitamin K2 is the elusive nutrient that is in plentiful supply in the sacred foods of Traditional cultures and is nearly impossible to get sufficient quantity of even on a whole foods organic diet.  Since we would not be eating any sacred foods on vacation like we normally do at home, a K2 supplement was necessary.  {brand I use}

Vitamin C (from acerola):  We ended up not needing this as they had fresh squeezed orange juice on the cruise which I hadn’t expected.   I am not a fan of regular orange juice and never buy or drink it as it has little to no nutritional value, but a glass of fresh squeezed OJ is wonderful especially with a breakfast of bacon and eggs!

Slippery Elm tincture:   This is my home remedy for tummy aches which I figured we might need once in awhile eating out all the time.    As it turned out, I never used it!

Sea-Bands:  Rough seas are a given on an Alaskan cruise and the acupressure from Sea-Bands works wonderfully well for preventing seasickness.  I am not a fan of dramamine or those patches behind the ear to prevent the nausea, dizziness, headaches and even vomiting while at sea during rough weather.    Why use drugs when acupressure works just as well?

Sea-Bands work perfectly – just put them on if the waves start getting high and keep them on until the seas smooth out.   I’ve used them for years whenever I’m at sea.  I’ve been in 15 foot seas before where you couldn’t even walk a straight line without slamming into a wall with no problems whatsoever and without them I would be totally green.   The only trick is that you need to get them on BEFORE you get seasick.   Putting them on after you are already nauseated doesn’t work so well.

What supplements do you take on vacation?


Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

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