Healthy Holiday Travel Must-Haves This Registered Dietitian Never Leaves Home Without
(BPT) - The end of the year is such an exciting time. The leaves are crunchy, pumpkin spice abounds, cooler weather has made a reappearance and Thanksgiving and Christmas festivities are on the horizon. The end of the year also brings with it one of the busiest seasons for travel - with studies showing the majority of Americans (83%) plan to squeeze at least one more trip in before year's end.
Unfortunately, cold and flu season falls at the same time as the holiday travel season, and experts are predicting it to be a rough one. From bustling airports to crowded tourism attractions keeping travelers in close quarters, immune systems are sure to be put to the test.
Whether traveling to get some vitamin sea or to visit grandma, the one thing travelers are keeping top of mind is how to stay healthy and well throughout their travels. We spoke with Registered Dietitian Kelly Springer about the healthy holiday travel must-haves she never leaves home without to keep herself and her family energized and feeling great all season long:
Boost Your Immunity On the Go with Wedderspoon's Manuka Honey Drops
Manuka honey is chock full of nutritional elements that the human body needs - including trace amounts of enzymes, amino acids, B Vitamins, C Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants - that are beneficial to the immune system and empower everyday wellness. When you begin building your travel arsenal of immune boosting, therapeutic remedies, consider adding products that incorporate the natural goodness of this tasty superfood to help strengthen the body's defenses and stave off sniffles or scratchy throats before they start.
For myself and my family, I prefer a more holistic approach to our wellbeing. As such, I constantly find myself reaching for Wedderspoon's Manuka Honey Drops for an on-the-go, healthy kickstart. These dual action drops are delicious and feature naturally-occurring wellness properties - like echinacea and bee propolis - to soothe your throat at the first sign of a tickle and provide a boost to the immune system. They're an ideal remedy for pesky symptoms related to allergies or colds and flus and are easy to toss in your bag and go.
Harness the Power of Nature with Wedderspoon's Propolis Sprays
Another of my favorite Manuka honey-based products I can't live without during travel and cold and flu season is Wedderspoon's Manuka Honey Propolis Spray. The star of the show here is bee propolis, which is rich in vitamins and antioxidants, including polyphenols and flavonoids, making it one of nature's most potent defenders against germs and free radicals in the body.
These sprays combine the immune boosting prowess of Manuka honey and bee propolis with flaxseed glycerin, known for its omega-3, fatty acid and antioxidant properties, so it's super gentle yet effective at soothing dry, scratchy throats. The best part? You can use it daily for a proactive approach to keep germs at bay. Wedderspoon has several flavors, but my favorite is the Chamomile Mint because it's the perfect blend of refreshing and calming. Pro tip: stash one of these in your carry-on to relieve discomfort from dry cabin air during long flights and to proactively counter against your coughing seatmate.
Bolster a Happy Gut Biome with Probiotics
More than half the cells that create antibodies for fighting sickness are in the gut, but travel can disrupt the body's natural rhythms and cause a decrease in the number of healthy microorganisms in the microbiome. To ensure you're keeping your gut biome, and by proxy, your digestive and immune systems, resilient, consider supplementing your daily routine with a probiotic blend. These work to increase the amount of good bacteria in your gut, aid in digestion, improve nutrient absorption and can help fight cells that cause disease. The healthier your gut microbiome, the healthier you are, so no packing list is complete without them.
There are so many options on the market for consumers today, but my personal favorite is Just Thrive. They use a proprietary blend that works as an antioxidant and probiotic, and contains the most well-researched, DNA-verified strains with a 100 percent survivability rate, meaning it has the most impact when it reaches your gut.
Maintain Your Sleep Schedule with Melatonin
Getting quality sleep is so important for just about every function in the body, from blood pressure and cardiovascular health to managing stress, appetite and the immune system. The excitement of a vacation, early travel mornings, and jet lag from traveling to different time zones can all affect your circadian rhythm and sleep schedule.
To help with travel-related sleep disruption and ensure I have enough energy during the day to thoroughly enjoy my reason for travel - like spending quality time with loved ones over the holidays - I bring Olly's Sleep Gummies. They're a tasty and simple way to add melatonin to my bedtime ritual to give my body that natural little nudge it needs to help me fall asleep, stay asleep and wake up refreshed. I love the blackberry flavor and that they contain chamomile, passionfruit and lemon balm extracts - all of which promote relaxation and sleep. Combine this with a fresh silk pillowcase to stay cool and you have my recipe for a perfect night's sleep while on the go.
Create a Comfortable, Irritant-Free Space with a Personal, Portable Air Purifier
Rounding out my healthy holiday travel must-haves list: a mini portable air purifier. Germs are, of course, everywhere, but with your own air purifier, you can filter out and clean the air of irritants like dust and pollen to help combat allergies, colds and other sinus problems.
The PureZone Mini from Pure Enrichment is a favorite because it's compact, incredibly lightweight and rechargeable, meaning it goes wherever I do - in the car, on a plane, to a hotel. Its two-stage HEPA filtration system safely cleans the air immediately surrounding you, eliminating 99.97 percent of germs, and also helps to get rid of odors and harmful gasses. Bringing my own air purifier helps me to feel more at ease while traveling in more intimate, indoor settings.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner and many people's travel plans are in full swing. As you put your holiday travel packing list together, consider saving room for some of these items to prioritize your health and wellness, no matter where your travels take you, so you can come home feeling even better than when you left.