When you’re travelling, the last thing you want to happen is that you fall sick. No one ever wants to become sick while you’re on a trip, but sometimes it’s inevitable that you catch a cold or cough along the way, especially when you’re coming into contact with lots of people and experiencing a change in lifestyle. The worst place for picking up bugs is on the plane, but anywhere where there’s an air conditioning unit makes it much easier for bacteria to circulate.
Often, it’s not the fact that you catch a cold that is the problem. It’s when the cold has passed, yet the cough remains for weeks on end. It might not feel serious enough to consult a doctor, and you may not have easy access to one either. However, there are some home remedies that you can try to help clear the mucus and get over the infection.
A persistent cough can be caused by an excess of mucus gathering in the throat and sinuses, as well as congestion on the chest and lungs. But if you are staying in a place where you can boil a kettle, you can try some steam inhalation to help loosen the mucus so that it’s easier to cough up and expel. Steam inhalation over a bowl of hot water with a towel over your head to trap the steam will also help soothe the irritated throat lining. This means that you’ll cough less, which is good as the more you cough, the more you’ll aggravate the throat lining and cause more mucus to be produced. Otherwise coughing to clear mucus can become a vicious circle, and your cough will travel with you.
Another common complaint from travellers is that they suffer from constipation. This is often due to a change in diet – and the fact that many people don’t eat enough fruit and veg and roughage when they’re away from home. If you feel that constipation is becoming a problem for you, check what you’re eating and make sure you include snacks like dried fruit and cereal bars in your daily intake. Also make sure you’re drinking enough fluids, something else that is less easy to do when you don’t have a tap attached to your backpack!
If you’re spending time in the great outdoors on your trip, you may be subject to more cuts and scrapes than usual. Store cupboard ingredients in your backpack could come in handy here. If you get a cut, then applying ground pepper can help to stem the bleeding. And if you have a wound that you wish to protect from bacteria, then dousing it with sugar will help. The sugar acts as an antibacterial treatment as it pulls the fluid out of the wound.
Of course, you should always get checked out by a doctor if you have a serious injury, but for minor scrapes, a few store cupboard ingredients and home remedies can be really helpful.