Dr. Taz’s Holiday Travel First-Aid Bag

Do you have any holiday travel plans? I love getting away during this time of year for some meaningful time with my family.

Since I know that illness and travel discomfort can really put a damper on things, I always pack a holiday travel “first-aid bag” filled with remedies for common ailments. Today I’m sharing the contents with you.

Wishing you a healthy, comfortable journey!


You may also want to read:

Check out my Center’s Holiday Travel Special

Motion Sickness

When riding in a moving vehicle, the eyes and inner ears can send mixed messages to the brain, creating a feeling of imbalance, general illness, nausea and vomiting. Children, women and the elderly are more susceptible.

  • Prevention is key. If you are prone to motion sickness, it’s best to face forward and keep your gaze steady on the road/ocean/sky ahead. Or, close your eyes and try to sleep through it. Don’t read while you are moving – having your eyes focused on the words while the world flies by in your peripheral vision sets the stage for motion sickness.

Cold & Flu Prevention

“The holidays are a virus-distribution system.”

This popular quote by Dr. William Schaffner, chair of the department of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University, says it all too well. Keep your immune system up by avoiding the Top 3 Holiday Health Traps and take these extra precautions:

  • Hand sanitizer. Keep a natural hand sanitizer with you for times when you can’t get to a sink to wash your hands.

  • Astragalus. Immune-boosting astragalus tincture is a mainstay in my medicine cabinet. During the winter months, my family gets a dropperful almost daily. I up it to three at the first sign of illness (discontinuing if there is a fever).

Muscle Aches & Pains

A long car ride or cramped plane seat can leave your low back stiff and cause arthritic joints to ache and throb. Hauling luggage when your body is in this vulnerable state can throw your back or shoulder out.

  • Stretch. Before you hit the road, do a little yoga or stretching. During travel, gentle neck and shoulder rolls can keep you loose and tension-free. Take periodic breaks to walk around and stretch.

  • Magnesium oil. When you arrive, rub a little magnesium oil directly into aching muscles or onto the bottoms of your feet to help you sleep. If it stings a little, dilute it in a carrier oil or lotion. You can also bring along some Epsom salt for a quick magnesium-rich foot soak before you fall asleep that night.

  • Heating pad. This can be your best friend when your back is aching. Good for menstrual cramps too in case they strike during your trip.


Jet lag, dehydration and other travel-related stressors can trigger a headache. Again, prevention is key.

  • Hydrate. Drink plenty of water and eat fresh fruits and vegetables whenever they are available. Adding some lemon and a touch of salt to your H2O makes a very hydrating drink for when your electrolytes dip between meals.

  • Peppermint. The peppermint oil inhaler you packed for motion sickness can also help to with headaches. Or simply massage a couple of drops of the oil behind your ears. Close your eyes and breathe deeply.


Traveling can throw your body off rhythm and the effects of this are particularly uncomfortable on your digestion.

  • Eat well. Maintain your healthy eating habits as much as possible – healthy fats, berries, apples and hydrating fiber-rich vegetables (raw carrots, leafy greens) are particularly helpful.

  • Mildly-laxative juices. Pick up a little prune, cherry or blueberry juice to help move things along.

  • Magnesium. Supplement with magnesium citrate (such as Magnesium Calm) in the evenings. This form has a stronger effect on the bowels than other forms of magnesium, making it ideal for constipation. It can also help you get a restful night of sleep.

Children’s Health

My adventurous children are prone to nicks and scratches so I always have bandages and ointments on hand. Kids also tend to spike fevers at inopportune times so having something available to comfort them while they are away from home is a good idea.

  • Fever reducers. Bring along some Tylenol & Motrin in case of a fever.

  • Antibacterial ointments. For minor cuts, neosporin or lavender oil can prevent infection and speed healing.

  • All of the other remedies listed in this post are considered safe for children!