My husband sometimes jokes that I have my own little supplement pharmacy at home, and honestly, it’s not too far from the truth! When I moved away from conventional medicine as my first response to injury and illness in 2014 in favor of a more natural approach to health, I started to dive into the world of strategic supplementation as a complement to a nutrient dense diet. Through research and experimentation I have learned how to manage most maladies with supplements, herbs, and essential oils instead of conventional drugs.
I knew that if I was going to be abroad for a couple of weeks, I wanted to make sure that I was equipped with natural remedies to support my body if needed.
Here are the exact supplements I kept on hand for international travel.
Traveling, especially using public transportation, means lots of exposure to other people’s germs, so I wanted to make sure I had some extra immune support on hand!
-Seeking Health Liposomal Vitamin C- Since this is a liquid that needs to be refrigerated, I only brought enough for my first travel day, about 1.5 tbsp (2 big doses). I carried it in my liquids bag. I find this liposomal form to be VERY effective.
-Seeking Health Liposomal Glutathione- Detox support. Also a liquid that needs to be refrigerated, I combined 2 doses of this with the Vit C and finished it off by the time we landed in France.
-Cold Calm- In case I started to feel a cold coming on.
-Source Naturals Wellness Formula- I took 3 capsules daily, and brought some extras in case either of us caught something.
-Beekeepers Naturals Propolis Spray- This is a natural antiviral. I used 4 sprays daily, more on travel days. (wholedailylife saves 10%)
-Integrative Therapeutics V Clear- A homeopathic antiviral, specifically for respiratory support. I took 1-2 droppers daily as prevention. (I traveled with the tincture, but could only find the liquid to link.)
-doTERRA Essential oils: On Guard, Oregano, Melaleuca with gelcaps in case one of us caught something.
Knowing that I would be eating some different foods and at different times than my body was used to, I brought what I needed to keep my digestive system strong, as well as some damage control in case I didn’t tolerate something like I expected to.
-Gluten digesting enzymes- I used these when we ate out anywhere that I wanted some extra insurance against cross contamination. I’m currently using Gluten Guardian, but have also used Enzymedica in the past.
-Activated charcoal- In the states, I take charcoal if I have a glass of wine and it helps minimize any symptoms. I didn’t need to do this while abroad, but also kept charcoal on hand in case I ended up with digestive issues (it helps bind up toxins and gas).
-Mag07- I use this to keep me regular! I take one capsule AM and PM, but brought extras in case I experienced any travel related constipation. Fortunately, I didn’t need them!
-Probiotics: Probiotics are a huge part of how I keep my digestive system strong. I take MegaSpore and Garden of Life Colon Care every day, and add in a Garden of Life Once Daily Ultra for some extra support at meals with lots of higher FODMAP foods. (The latter also needs to be refrigerated, so I kept it in the fridge when possible but didn’t worry about that on travel days.)
I prefer not to take conventional pain killers if at all possible, but wanted to have some options on hand in case I needed them. I was also due to possibly start my period while abroad, so included some of the supplements that I use to manage cramps and headaches at home.
-doTERRA Deep Blue Polyphenol Complex- 1 capsule BID as needed.
-Skullcap- 1 capsule BID as needed.
-Curcumin- I use Meriva by Thorne here, but also experimented with this product on travel days, and I think it really helped! Normally travel leaves me achey and with a headache, and I didn’t experience either.
-CBD- I use Viva Oils brand (wholedailylife for 15% off). I transferred some to a 5mL bottle and traveled with it in my liquids bag. I didn’t have any trouble or get any questions about it. I took it on our flying days, and then as needed.
I have a lineup of supplements that I take daily, primarily antivirals, liver support, and general wellness. I considered not taking these on my trip, but decided that I wanted to give my body everything I could to keep it feeling in top shape, so I brought them. Among them:
-Thorne Theanine- This is my FAVORITE supplement to help manage anxiety. I take this every morning, but packed a few extras for the trip just in case.
-Ecological Formulas Monolaurin- I take a hearty dose of this daily to help keep viral activity at bay.
-Thorne SAT- Liver support; I take 4 daily.
-Thorne Meriva- Antiinflammatory; I take 4 daily.
-Thorne Vit D- I take 10,000 IU daily.
-Thorne Selenium- To support my thyroid; I take 200 mcg daily.
-Prescription Compounded T3- I mention this here because I made sure to take a few extra days worth of my thyroid medication, just in case we experienced any travel delays.
I realize that this is a lengthy list of supplements. I have come to terms with the reality that my body does best with some extra support, and while it may not be forever, it is for now. It may seem a bit excessive to some, but for me, it enabled me to travel with confidence and to not have to worry about what would happen if I started to feel less than my best!
However, while at home I have a cabinet and a drawer dedicated to these things, we traveled abroad with just a backpack apiece.
Here’s how I packed it all.
I do love a good organization project!
For all of my standard daily supplements, I did what I always do, which is pre-portion them out into little pill baggies for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and bed. I had one quart size bag dedicated to each set, and then each day I would pull out one from each and put it into my “daily bag” that I would carry around with me through the day.
For the other categories, I put as many of the capsules of each kind as I thought I might need in a labeled pill bag and then sorted these into two quart sized bags, one for wellness and one for digestive support + pain. This way, I could pull from these as needed.
I also kept a small little “digestive support” baggie in my daily bag (just call me the bag lady) that had a few capsules of charcoal, some beano, some gas-x, and some gluten containing enzymes. This way I could keep these on hand, since we often spent the whole day out and about, and then refill at night.
Lastly, I packed all of these up into two gallon sized bags, each about half full, which made them easy to pack in my backpack.
One last note on the plastic use: I have been re-using these pill bags, quart bags, and gallon bags since I did this for our first trip two years ago to minimize waste! I use this packing strategy often and only replace the bags when they wear out, which is rarely. I prefer to use Stasher bags when I’m at home!
I hope this guide is helpful! Remember, I’m not a doctor and cannot give you medical advice, but if you have any questions, please drop them in the comments below!