Planning on traveling during the long Independence Day weekend?
Vacations are meant to get you away from trouble, but rarely are they trouble free. Don’t let that stop you from stepping out though. As Mark Twain once famously said "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do.” So travel.
Meanwhile here’s a list of 5 common travel woes - and their easy (and effective) fix-it-with-food solutions.
Home Remedies for Travel Woes
Got an Upset Stomach?
We have all been there - away from civilisation but saddled with a badly behaving tummy and no medicines to help soothe it. First of all stay calm. Stress will mess up your digestive system further. Even if there is no chemist around, you might still be able to get hold of Ayurvedic digestive pills like hingoli (often even at paan shops), failing which, stop at a local tea store and get hold of some ginger from there - and suck on it slowly.
Or sip some lemon extract. Boiling some fennel in water and sipping that water is also a great idea. All these are easily available at local grocers. And while there, it is a great idea to have a tea (less milk) with a generous dose of black pepper - this will ease your tummy troubles significantly. And please don’t eat anything solid till the stomach settles down a bit.
No, it’s not just children who suffer from motion sickness, the nausea can overpower people of all ages. If the symptoms are threatening to kick in, try to sit in the front seat of the car and focus on a fixed point on the horizon, or simply shut your eyes and lie down. Don’t eat at all. When flying, those susceptible must try to sit near the wing of the plane.
Ginger is one of the most powerful foods for calming motion sickness. Chew on a small piece of freshly peeled ginger root slowly when you begin to feel motion sickness coming on.
Olives also help. They stave off nausea because they reduce salivation in your mouth, making you less likely to become nauseated or throw up.
Next time: Ear plugs and over-the-counter medication helps. But take the medicine timely - at least 2-3 hours before you begin traveling. And if you are a no-matter-what motion sickness victim - carry enough fluids and barf bags with you, and also slice a few pieces of fresh ginger and store them in a plastic bag to take along. You could also eat a few olives before leaving on your trip, and pack along several olives in a leak-proof container.
Viruses travel too like us. And common cold (along with the accompanying irritating symptoms like muscle ache etc) can be a big vacay destroyer. You can’t really enjoy going up the Eiffel tower when you have a splitting headache and water is incessantly running down your nose. So begin treating it ASAP: Drink lots of fluids, use saline nose drops, inhale steam (moisture from a hot shower with the door closed in your hotel room is good enough, or stop the car at the roadside dhaba and put your head over a pot of boiling water) and drink hot liquids every 2 hours - herbal tea, chicken soup etc.
Next time: Keep your hands clean (get obsessive about it when traveling); wash and dry (germs and viruses cling to wet skin) at regular intervals. And carry the sanitizer too; if you run out of it pour some alcohol or lavender essential oil on your hand - both are good sanitisers.
Sick on a Cruise?
Pop some dried ginger root or ginger pills. If you haven’t stocked them then check with the ship doctors; most have them. Or just get hold of ginger juice from the kitchen. And stay hydrated by drinking plenty of liquids throughout your cruise.
Next time: Choose to sail on a large cruise ship and preferably a newer one as these are less subject to movement. And book a mid-ship stateroom lower in the ship. Some people vouch for the acupressure Sea Bands, which you wear around your wrists for warding off seasickness. No harm in trying. Before boarding any boat (big or small), try to avoid alcohol, caffeine, heavy, greasy meals and spicy foods. Also take between one to two grams of ginger at least 30 minutes before boarding a boat in order to avoid or minimize nausea.
Sunburnt? Help is on Hand
If you've overexposed your skin to the sun, try these home remedies to ease out the discomfort a bit. Soak for 15 minutes in a cool bath with baking soda added. To prevent drying, apply moisturizer immediately after your soak. Dehydration is a big issue, so make sure you replenish liquids by drinking plenty of water while recovering from a sunburn. Also replace the lost salts with a sachet (or more) of OTC oral rehydration salts. To make your own, mix 2 tablespoons sugar, half a teaspoon of salt and 1 litre of water and sip.
Next time: Cover-up with full sleeve t-shirts, wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses. Use an effective dermatologist-prescribed sunscreen generously. Carry your own stock of water with you and keep sipping it. Also go easy on the alcohol and aerated drinks and coffee. All are dehydrating.