How to pack like a doctor
Because getting sick on vacation suuucks.
Growing up, Elizabeth Trattner was a bit obsessed with Eloise—the illustrated girl who called a hotel her home. “I wanted to live at the Plaza,” she explains. “Now I get to take my love of travel and Eloise and really help people have a better time when they travel, which is a lovely way of bringing everything together.”
As an integrative medicine expert, Dr. Trattner works with clients dealing with everything from digestive woes to severe allergies—the types of things that are hard enough to control at home, never mind when they’re on the road.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Her number one piece of advice for staying healthy when you’re going on a trip? “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” she says. “Lots of countries have great pharmacies, like Mexico, but take [important medications] with you. The worst case scenario? You bring them back home.”
Needless to say, a well-stocked bag plays a big part in preparing for the worst. Or, in her case, a well-stocked Ziploc bag filled with the essential meds. “I’ll take everything out of their boxes and pack them up,” Dr. Trattner says. “Once every three months, I’ll change the bag out and put new things in it. It’s like I’m running a mini hospital.”
Here’s how to pack like an integrative medicine pro on your next trip.
“Get scripts for things like flagyl and antibiotics and all that other stuff. Even Zofran, in case you’re vomiting. You pack one little guy and just pray you don’t have to use it. Don’t put your stuff in your suitcase, however—carry it on. Because [if your checked bag gets lost] it’s a lot harder to find a doctor than to just take these things. And then make sure you have a prescription from your doctor or a doctor’s note with you.”
“I always pack cough drops, something for diarrhea, decongestants, baby Benadryl, band-aids. You just never know what to expect, and it’s harder to get [this stuff] overseas or in an emergency.”
“I always pack them. When I’m on an airplane, they’re really easy to crack in half and throw in a bottle; when I’m in the air I’ll have a hydration tablet every two hours. If you get diarrhea, you’ll be sick as a dog and dehydrated. Goes without saying that it works for hangovers, too. I like Nuun, but it can be Emergen-C…. I don’t care what it is, just always take it with you!”
“I usually travel with collagen peptides, because sometimes proteins can be really questionable. I mix collagen peptides, green powder, and apple juice and throw it back on the airplane.”
“Ginger is the most harmonizing herb. It’s good for gas, bloating, stomach aches, sea sickness, or if you have a sore throat. So I’ll pack ginger candies.”
“Scarves are really important when you travel. I don’t care how dumb I look, I take a big scarf and wrap it around my head on the airplane so it’s over my mouth and nose—you’re more likely to get a sore throat when your respiratory passages dry out. You can touch buttons on the elevator or open everything with it. You can put it over your mouth when you sleep, if there are bugs. If you have a bad back, roll it up and use it as a lumber support. ”
“[I’ll pack] a variety of teas for the plane. [I prefer] green and mint, which is good for digestion and overeating.”
“Just in case you have a meltdown. I personally prefer pink opals, kunzite, spirit quartz, citrine, and a black stone—preferably tourmaline. These are my personal favorites right now.”