When we ask people what they worry about most when travelling with kids, it always comes back to keeping healthy while exploring. We have had our fair share of ups and downs with travelling. It is not always gazing at the Eiffel Tower or taking a gondola ride in Venice. Sometimes kids get sick, sometimes they end up in hospital and sometimes they vomit. Sometimes you need some space from one and other and sometimes it doesn’t go to plan. This is real life travel!
Whether you are travelling for a 2 week holiday by road trip, venturing overseas or long term travelling there are so many different ways we can stay healthy. Healthy minds, bodies, relationships, kids, parents can make such a difference to the way we adventure.
I decided to ask some of my favourite travel families what they do to keep healthy while travelling.
Vanessa Travel Mum to 4, from Wanderlust Crew.
Staying healthy while on the road is so important to us. Healthy can mean a lot of different things to different people, but to us being healthy means having proper balance and peace in your life, having energy to do the things you want to and having a positive attitude. The most critical thing that our family does to be able to achieve all these things is to maintain a balance in our days. If we are doing too much, we all get burnt out, tired and grumpy, so we try to do one day of exploring and one day at home resting, cooking and doing school work. Within these days we try to retain a routine, especially in the morning at night that is the same each day. This helps us feel balanced, happy and healthy while still enjoying all the world has to offer!
Sal Travel Mum to 3, from Our3kidsvstheworld.
The worst thing about travelling to overseas countries is having the kids vaccinated. I think it hurts me more than it hurts them but it’s a necessary evil and the kids now ask if they need vaccinations when I start talking about a new travel destination. I haven’t found an easy way to get it done yet but here are some things I have found help a little. Don’t tell them until the last minute when you are heading out the door. Alannah is a stress head so I know she will worry about it all day if she was aware earlier. Be strategic about what order they go in to see the doctor. We always have the oldest go first, through to the youngest. The oldest can pull themselves together quicker and put on a brave face for the sake of the little ones. Be honest when you arrive about what’s going to happen if they ask. I hate to say it but except the fact that it may require you to hold them quite tightly and I always make sure they have their heads facing the other way. I don’t think anyone benefits from watching whats coming.
I tend to use a bit of bribery as well, even if it is as simple as you get to choose what’s for dinner after we are done. I give them panadol before we go which helps to settle them a little quickier. It’s not a pleasant job but one that can’t be avoided, picking up something nasty will certainly ruin your holiday quicker than mopping up a few tears.
Kate Travel Mum to 2, from Rolling Along with Kids.
When we travel to Bali we take the usual precautions of eating food that has been cooked well and we use antibacterial wipes/gel when we are out and about. I also choose to give our family Ethical Nutrients Travel Bug tablets to help keep away the dreaded Bali Belly. It is kept refrigerated before you travel and then can be kept out of the fridge for up to 4 weeks. You take it once a day and the contents of the capsule can be dissolved in milk or water for younger kids. The kids haven’t been sick for our 4 trips to Bali except for a quick vomit from becoming car sick. Last trip I suddenly felt ill and vomited but felt better and ate 2 hours later, the next day I was fine. Probiotics like Yakult are also a great idea and are readily available in Bali.
Kirsty Travel Mum to 3, from Travel with Meraki.
One of our biggest tips is to find self contained accommodation. Not only is this usually a cheaper option but it means we prepare most of our own food instead of eating out all the time. We eat a lot healthier this way. Hitting up a local supermarket to stock up on snacks like fresh fruit and raw veggies is a must for us too as our kids always seem to be hungry. Drinking enough water is a high priory for us too so we always travel with refillable water bottles. Good for us and for the environment, so a win-win.
Kylie Travel Mum to 2, from Our Overseas Adventures.
Unfortunately our daughter suffers quite badly from motion sickness, so we’ve found some tried and true methods to help her through long road, bus and ferry trips all over the globe! We’ve found a couple of natural remedies:
-Sea-Bands which are elasticated wrist bands that apply pressure to the Nei Kuan acupressure point by a plastic stud. They come in both adult and child sizing.
-Gin Gins which are ginger candies made with all natural ingredients. Ginger is known for it’s anti-nausea properties and we normally carry a couple of bags with us wherever we go!
Rachel Travel Mum to 4. Her daughter Blogs here.
For us healthy is a permanent goal, so travelling is no different to being at home. Chemist medicines are not our go to at home and that is the same when we travel. On long flights however I do take a stash of panadol tablets which could be crushed for children and gastrolyte in case of nausea.. Thankfully all of my four children made the long flight to Italy without needing a thing.
The rest is straight from my hippy home. We take rescue remedy for settling the nerves ( mostly mine) but as it happened on a recent trip to Italy we passed it around after experiencing our first earthquake. My go to first aid kit contains homeopathics and essential oils. Homeopathics are good for many things from jet lag and emotions associated with arriving in a foreign country, to nausea, vomiting and symptoms associated with the common cold. Our family homeopath prescribed some remedies that would cover all these things. My go to essential oils are lavender and tea tree. Lavender for the familiar smells to aid sleep, for burns and for comfort. Tea tree for insect bites or stings and disinfecting cuts.
Keeping an eye on the kids energy levels is also really important and I find not trying to cram too much into our days is good for everyone’s health….mental and physical. Slow travel in itself is good for your health! Taking your time to enjoy the sights and knowing when to have a relaxing or restful day can really help everyone to stay healthy.
If you happen to be travelling longer term like our friends Emmie and Evie make sure you read their experiences on world schooling and enroling at an International school for parts of their trip. This allows great balance for Evie to work or hit the gym and for Emmie to engage with new friends and extend her learning. Maintaining a healthy relationship for them both.
We hope this has given you some insight into how other families travel and it shows just how diverse family travel can be.
How do you stay healthy while travelling?