Nothing can ruin a trip faster than illness, injury or digestive ailments. Try these suggestions for your next travel adventure.

First, pack appropriately. Choose suitable clothing and consider layering with lightweight, easy-to-dry fabrics. Don’t pack too much, especially if you have to carry your own luggage.

My husband and I use small carry-on bags and backpacks plus one large suitcase we store at a “home-based” hotel. We use the lighter luggage for shorter trips.

Pack at least two pairs of shoes designed for walking and comfort. Thin throwaway slippers are good for plane rides. You can kick off your shoes and still walk around with some foot coverage.

Start training 4-6 weeks before your trip to prepare for increased physical activity, including stair climbing, walking, lifting and carrying. Begin gradually and build up to the rigors of the trip.

Consider taking a homeopathic remedy called No Jet Lag. Adjust as quickly as possible to the new time zone by staying awake during daylight hours and going to bed at dark.

On the airplane, swab the insides of your nostrils with tea tree oil, a natural antibiotic, or an antibiotic ointment to avoid getting a “bug.” Some people use a remedy called Airborne to boost their immunity. I take a daily dose of Emergen-C, a vitamin C and mineral preparation. Drink a lot of water.

Of course, bring your vitamins, anti-diarrhea preparations and any other needed medications. I also take a homeopathic cold and flu remedy called Alpha C-F at the first signs of illness.

Walking around the plane keeps joints from getting stiff, improves circulation in your legs, and reduces strain on your spine. If at all possible, do some mild stretching of your neck, shoulders, trunk and legs such as reaching overhead, bringing the arms across your body, and bending elbows and wrists.

Side bending at the trunk and mild twisting are also good. Rising up on toes and mild knee bends help stretch ankles and legs.

Remember to move to your own body’s tolerance, keeping the movements comfortable. While seated you can do simple arm, leg, neck and trunk movements to keep joints supple and circulation moving.

Once on the ground, keep hydrated and eat green cooked vegetables. They give you fiber and vitamins and provide a healthier gut environment. If you travel to countries where you don’t trust the water, stay away from uncooked vegetables and fruits unless you can peel them, since the water they are washed with may contain unfamiliar bacteria. I also stick to hot beverages and avoid iced drinks.

The best remedy for a healthy and enjoyable trip is a positive attitude. Hope this helps if you are traveling, and bon voyage!


Qigong, Chinese energy classes, Try a no-impact qigong class. Your first class, a $30 value, is free! Classes are held at Y.P.T. Call for more info.

Sheila Yonemoto, P.T., has been a physical therapist for over 30 years, specializing in Integrative Manual Therapy utilizing a holistic approach. She can be reached at Yonemoto Physical Therapy, 55 S. Raymond Ave., Suite 100, Alhambra, CA  91801. Call (626) 576-0591 for a free consultation and free insurance evaluation, or visit  www.yonemoto.com for more information.


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  1. Hello Sheila!

    Kudos for this post. Thank you very much for sharing these tips. I have to agree with you that we should always remember to move to our own body’s tolerance. While seated we can actually do simple arm, leg, neck and trunk movements to keep joints supple and circulation moving.