Claudette's Specialties: Female and Male Hormonal Imbalances, PMS, Period Pain, Fibroids, Polycystic Ovaries/Syndrome, Endometriosis, Menopause, Prostate Problems, Low Libido, Natural Fertility Management: Contraception, Overcoming Infertility Problems (females and males), Preconception Care, Sex Selection, IVF support, Pregnancy Care: Pregnancy nutrition and remedies, Miscarriage support, Birth preparation, Doula: Childbirth support, Post-natal care for mother and child.

Travel Bug Bites!

By the time you read this I'll be on a plane headed to the glorious mountains of Colorado. Since I've had more than my fair share of travel in many exotic and off-the-beaten-track destinations, friends often ask me for travel advice so I thought I'd share a few personal tips I've collected over the years since I started backpacking at the age of 21.

Firstly, I always do my homework reading up on my destination, even if it's last minute on the plane - got to wile away those hours! Even if plans go out the window, which is actually the best part of travelling - not having to be tied to a timetable of terribly important commitments and appointments - you will have an idea of what you want to include or perhaps best to avoid so you don't walk into a cute grizzly bear and her cubs.

Secondly, try and pack as light as possible. Now I actually find this exceedingly difficult as I'm such a be-prepared-for-anything girl but I've honed my skills down over the years and it is always so much more enjoyable if you're not lugging a heavy suitcase around and then you have room for those spontaneous shopping treats. Wear your heavy shoes and jacket onto the plane to lighten your luggage.

Quick packing tips:
  • Pack breathable, natural fibres that you can re-wear without washing if necessary and not smell like a homeless beggar and which don't crease as much, such as wool and silk, or at least cotton.
  • Roll all your clothes when packing as they will unpack without so many creases so you can avoid ironing, given you are on holiday, and they take up less space this way so you can fit more into your bag. Stuff your undies, socks and t shirts into your shoes or corners of the bag.
  • Being a Naturopath, there's always a stack of vitamins I want to take with me so count out exactly how many you want of each for the trip and put into zip lock bags or a plastic pill box. The same goes for medications and anything that needs refrigeration wrap in aluminium foil to keep it as cool as possible. 
  • I hate plastic bags as they will finally breakdown well after I'm dead but I must concede they are perfect for travelling. They help organise your bag into sections, keep dirty clothes well away from clean, stops your moisturiser leaking all over your clothes - very important!
  • Depending on the weather, I always pack a sarong which can double as a towel, a scarf or a skirt. If I'm travelling into winter, I take a wool pashmina which you can wrap around your kidneys to keep warm, use as a scarf, an extra blanket, to lay over your legs on planes or trains, bundle up as a pillow, to brighten and smarten up your travelling clothes. Take it in your hand luggage onto the plane as the temperature is usually freezing I find, along with a thick pair of socks for once you kick off your shoes. 
  • Always pack one easy, throw-on, evening or party dress - you never know when or where you might end up! Silk is best as any creases smooth out when you hang it out in a hot steamy bathroom while you shower. You don't need to take jewellery or accessories to go with it - your natural, beauty and holiday exuberance will be the perfect match. You also don't want to be travelling with expensive or favourite jewellery pieces anyway as the potential for being lost or stolen is always higher when travelling as well as being a magnet for thieves.
  • Minimal is the key with your beauty products, ladies! Try Jojoba oil which is the closest oil to our natural skin oils which you can use for cleansing, face cream and body cream. I also drop into department stores and ask for “testers” of my favourite products, shampoo etc
  • Buy a pair of walking/running/gym shoes that are presentable enough as a day shoe as well. 
  • Tie a coloured ribbon onto your suitcase/backpack so then you can easily identify your bag as it rolls out amongst the multitude of identical bags so you can get through customs faster. It also adds character to your bag and cheers your spirit after a 12+ hour flight.
  • As soon as I'm off the plane, I try and go for a swim as soon as possible or at least have a bath or shower as the water (salt water preferrably) helps take the radiation and vibration out of the body which my travel expert mother has always taught me. Try it - it really makes a difference!
Naturopath's Travel Chest:
  • Temperature-stable (so it doesn't need refrigeration) Probiotic (good bacteria) with Lactoferrin and SB (Saccharomyces boulardii) - this is antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, aids in relief of travellers' diarrhoea, supports your gut health while travelling.
  • The most common complaint of travelling is constipation - different foods, new environments, sitting for hours on planes and in airports all take its toll! Keep walking wherever you can - up and down airport corridors while waiting for the next flight - to keep it all moving along and good for your circulation, drink heaps of water (3L a day to compensate for planes and hotel air conditioning) and take your own on planes when you can. I always travel with a pack of prunes - soak 2 overnight in a glass of water and eat it all first thing in the morning. If you know your system really shuts down, then go for a stronger herbal tablet. I also carry roasted dandelion teabags which help.
  • Echinacea tablets - keeps your immune system boosted, prevents colds and flus, if you get any infection, infected cut, 'flu or gastro, you can triple the dose safely and usually knock it on the head quickly. 
  • Good multivitamin as often your diet can be rather haphazard when travelling so it helps keep your energy levels high, especially if you are on the go, packing in as much as you can like me!
  • Chia seeds - light and highly nutritious, especially high in omega 3 oils which are more difficult to obtain when travelling as well as extra fibre for your bowels - pour into a zip lock bag and you only need 1 tsp per day.
  • Ear plugs and eye mask - you may feel ridiculous but you'll look better than anyone else when you walk off that plane. Planes are an excellent place for meditation as well and I always take a relaxation/visualisation track to drown out the noise when everything around me is too distracting. 
  • Rose essential oil - it comes in a small 12ml bottle which you can slip into your handbag. I use it as perfume as commercial perfumes are a toxic chemical concoction that defies rationality! Since it is only 5% in jojoba oil you can use neat on your skin to calm irritations, on acne breakouts, quietens the nerves and is the ultimate female oil to bring out your inner goddess.
  • Chamomile tea bags - my favourite to calm the mind and body, use as an eye wash or to relieve inflamed skin and calms the digestion after eating unusual foods often at irregular travel hours.
  • Almonds - helps you avoid awful airport food which is simply sugary and oily trans fats.
Bon voyage!

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