Whether you are planning a two week vacation or a three month backpacking sojourn, packing items to maintain your health and hygiene on the road should be your first priority. Trust me, falling sick on the road without the correct remedies will put a real dampener on your holiday! We have put together a handy list of the nine essential items that should be in your luggage before you hit the road:
1. Hand sanitizer
Maintaining high levels of personal hygiene is really important when travelling, and one of the best ways to do that is to keep a bottle of hand sanitizer with you at all times. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to wash your hands as often as you would at home and so this way you’ll at least know you have clean hands even when you can’t wash them. You can even pick up travel-friendly bottles of sanitizer so you don’t have to worry about packing a big bulky bottle – bonus!
2. High SPF sunscreen
Unfortunately, there are too many ladies out there that pack a low SPF sunscreen in the hope that they will get a tan quicker; this is not the case! The only thing that will happen if your sunscreen does not have a high enough SPF factor is you will get burnt, and it doesn’t look pretty, not to mention it has some serious consequences to your health!
3. Sterile first aid kit
It’s really important to take a comprehensive first aid kit with you. I would advise to take a first aid kit which comes with a syringe and needle so if you do need hospital treatment, you are safe in the knowledge that you have sterile equipment with you.
4. Women’s multi-vitamins
Our diet can be dramatically different when we travel, and therefore it can have a negative effect on our health. A great way to ensure that you are still getting essential nutrients is by packing a small bottle of women’s multi-vitamins.
5. Re-hydration sachets
Unfortunately, it can be quite common to contract a stomach bug when traveling. In order to combat this, one of the best products that you can take with you is rehydration sachets – these will restore your body’s salt and fluid balance; I don’t know what I would have done without these when I got sick in Thailand!
6. Fit kit
The fit kit is especially useful on longer vacations and backpacking trips; many women – myself included, do worry about their fitness levels when away from the routine of going to the gym. A great way to maintain your fitness levels is to take a FitKit with you – this has been specially designed for those that travel and so the contents come is a super small case that is the equivalent of a sunglasses case. The FitKit is basically a portable gym – it comes with a resistance tube, a jump rope, pedometer, resistance band and reflective arm band.
7. Bug spray
I never travel without a high impact bug spray – mosquitoes seem to absolutely love me, much to my annoyance! Not only is it dangerous to get bitten due to the risks of malaria and dengue fever, but bites also look so unsightly – especially if they get as big and swollen as they do on me! The bug spray that I use is one that has a high level of DEET – DEET is highly regarded as the best ingredient to prevent mosquitoes.
Before you use a DEET based product I would highly recommend doing a patch test first to see if DEET is compatible with your skin, and also seek the guidance of your doctor for the best ways to prevent getting bitten. If you are heading to an area where malaria is particularly prevalent then you will also want to pack a mosquito net and anti-malarial medication.
8. Funky sun hat
A lot of people don’t realize it, but dehydration and sun stroke are big risk factors when on the road! A fabulous (and stylish) way to minimize this risk is to pack a sun hat and wear it whenever you are out in direct sunlight. The great news is that there are some super stylish sun hat options out there so you don’t need to worry about looking ridiculous! My personal favorite is a cute straw hat with a brightly colored ribbon – there are also packable straw hat options on the market nowadays so you don’t need to worry about it getting squashed in your luggage.
I’ll be the first person to admit that the bathroom facilities in many places overseas are not up to the same standard as they are at home. The best way to avoid having to sit on a filthy toilet and run the risk of contracting germs is to carry a shewee with you.
A shewee is a contraption that allows you to wee whilst standing up, so no matter how grimy the toilet is, your skin need never touch it! Having the shewee also means being able to go to the toilet outside (often more preferable than being stuck in a stinky loo) and you can stand up – much better than trying to find a spot to crouch down!
Guest Author: Emma Spires Emma is a keen traveller who has been on the road for a decade. In between sojourns she spends her time on the hunt for innovative ladies travel products to review for her site Ladies With Luggage with the aim of helping her readers have a more fun, safe and comfortable trip. She also loves to write specialised female travel packing lists – everything from a romantic weekend away to long term backpacking trips.
Reproduced by kind permission of the healthytravelbog.com