There’s toxins everywhere in the outside world.
And endocrine disrupters.
And artificial lighting.
So it’s easy to feel safe in our homes with all the comforts of our holistic, nontoxic lifestyles.
But since I travel so often, I’ve gotten pretty good at creating a home away from home.
I’ll give you an inside look at what I pack and how I prepare for 3 different travel situations:
When I’m traveling, I like staying at short term rentals because I have a little more control over our environment than if we stayed at a hotel.
So here are a few things I like to do while staying at a short term rental:
You can search google with key words like “fragrance free + (your destination)” to try to find rentals with a little bit healthier spaces. Once I find a space I like, I usually try to make sure it’s not near a cell tower by searching this website.
Y’all, I’m not afraid to send a polite email. I usually ask the host if they could unplug any air fresheners and remove strong smelling cleaners before we arrive, since these can release volatile organic compounds into the home (source). I’ll also ask the owner when they spray for bed bugs. If they have sprayed recently or will be during our stay, we don’t book there. Upon arrival, I always do a sweep of the home checking under sinks and in closets for all cleaning products and anything else that’s toxic. I put it all in a cardboard box or grocery bag (whatever I have available) and place it outside. That way those smells aren’t being released into the home while I’m staying there.
I try to keep this as simple as possible, and just bring our a stainless steel pot and a Lodge cast iron skillet (they use canola oil to season it, so I re-seasoned mine as soon as I bought it). I can usually make whatever we want with just these 2 items! Most short term rentals have cheap non-stick cookware, and these are known to impact our immune system (source).
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but hotel pillows (and likely rental property pillows) are filled with dead skin cells, fungi, bacteria, and dust mites. Y’all can call me crazy, but I just can’t bring myself to sleep where somebody else drooled! I also don’t think you get the same restful and rejuvenated sleep when you’re not in your normal sleep environment (or sleeping on sheets washed with fragrance!) I do my best to recreate my home bedding for optimal restoring and repairing for my body while sleeping, so I pack up my own pillows (save 20% at Savvy Rest with code DRCOURTNEY) and bedding – Parachute Home and Ela Lane (save 15% with code DRCOURTNEY) are two great options!
I bring some of our own household products, since many of these types of products have endocrine disrupters (source). My favorites are Kosmatology Hand Soap (save 15% with code DRCOURTNEY), Sal’s Suds Dish Soap, and Molly’s Suds Laundry Detergent (save 10% with code DRCOURTNEY). I also bring an EC3 mold additive in case I want to wash our clothes! I just add it directly to the rental’s wash basin to rinse away mold spores, bacteria, and odors from their washing machine.
I never know the quality of the water at rental properties, so I always make sure we bring our travel Berkey with Greenfield Water Solutions Replacement Filters so we can have clean, filtered water. I pack Quinton Isotonic Travel Pouches, too, so we can keep up our mineral intake. We always carry reusable water bottles to make it easy to fill up any time we need it.
Almost every home has mold, toxic products, or bad air quality. That’s just reality! so as soon as we arrive, I open the windows and plug in our AirDoctor Pro (save up to $300 with link). You can get a small travel air purifier (save 10% with code DRCOURTNEY) or even just use charcoal bags to help absorb odors and scents.
Just like with household products, many personal care products contain chemicals and toxins that can be harmful to your health (source). So I always make sure to bring our own toiletries. My favorites to bring are Aleavia Enzymatic Body Cleanse (save 15% with code DRCOURTNEY), Under Luna Shampoo and Conditioner (save 10% with code DRCOURTNEY), my Innersense Hair Styling Products (save 15% on your first order with code DRCOURTNEY), and ByAchilles Cleansing Oil (save 10% with code DRCOURTNEY).
I think traveling is one of the most important times to support our immune system and detox pathways. I usually bring a few castor oil packs, my infrared heating pad, and of course my travel coffee enema kit with Purity Coffee (20% off first order with code DRCOURTNEY). That way I’m still maintaining my normal daily wellness routine.
Even a small amount of EMF exposure can impact our immune system (source). So before we arrive, I usually politely ask the host where I can find the wi-fi router, and then make sure it’s turned off at night while we sleep.
I’m just not a light packer, so it’s nice to be able to road trip whenever we can. That way I can bring more of the comforts of home with us, and know I’m still able to maintain our nontoxic lifestyle!
Here are a few things I like to do when road-tripping:
I love road-tripping so we can bring a lot of our own food, and cook for ourselves whenever we get to our destination. For the car, I pack lunch containers for me and Rosie, and healthy snacks, like Blue Nest Beef Meat Sticks (save 15% on first order with code DRCOURTNEY). This helps us avoid gas station snacks and fast food restaurants along the way. I love to find local farms for raw milk. If that’s not available or too expensive, I’ll bring raw milk in a cooler.
If you’re not crazy about traveling with a cooler, it’s helpful to search yelp for organic food restaurants before you leave. That way you can plan your stops around where you can eat. There’s a great website that helps you find restaurants that don’t use seed oils. Check it out here. (The quirky, local eateries are usually more fun to eat at anyway!)
Almost all passenger vehicles use standard cabin air filters to help filter smells, smog, and dust particles before entering the cabin. But unless you have something like a Tesla or a Mercedes-Benz, those filters really aren’t as effective as they could be. So I like to make sure we have our own portable HEPA filter (save 10% with code DRCOURTNEY), too.
I know that screens can sometimes make a car ride way easier! But I personally don’t want to offer something I wouldn’t normally allow in our home. Early screen time has been linked to reduced self-regulation, shorter attention spans, and a lack of empathy (source). I actually have a box of toys just for the car for Rosie. That way they feel new and exciting for her whenever we get in the car!
Have you ever gotten sick right after a vacation? Or generally just didn’t feel well after a long plane right?
Let’s be honest, air travel can be hard on our immune system, between the air quality, and EMFs, and altitude exposure.
So here are a few things I like to do when flying to support my health:
Full body scans are used to detect hidden weapons and tools, but they also emit ionizing radiation, which can damage DNA and cause cancer (source). If you’re traveling with children under 12, your immediate family should be directed through the standard metal detectors (like what you see at concerts or baseball games), which I’m okay walking through. If you’re note traveling with children, you can choose to opt out of the full body scan and choose a pat down procedure instead. Although this isn’t a comfortable experience, I would much rather take this alternative than cause damage to my DNA. You can find more information on this Instagram post.
An even more efficient way to opt out of the full body scans is by getting TSA pre-check. Because I knew I’d be traveling a lot this year, I decided to get pre-check, and it has significantly reduced my travel anxiety. With pre-check, you don’t have to take electronics out of your bag or take your shoes off. I just pick Rosie up and we walk through the metal detector. An airport security line has never taken more than 5 minutes now!
The artificial and fluorescent lights used in airports and on airplanes can negatively impact our energy and mood. But they can also impact our melatonin production, which is the hormone our body needs to sleep and repair (source). That’s why I always fly with my blue-light blocking glasses (save 15% with code DRCOURTNEY), to protect my body from all the harsh artificial lighting in airports and on airplanes. You can find more information on this Instagram post.
We already know the air quality in planes is recycled and dry. but it can also contain toxic chemicals from jet engine fuel (source). Lawmakers are actually hoping to get air quality sensors installed into airplanes (source). But your nose is like the ultimate air purifier, because it naturally filters air by catching and trapping harmful particles before they can get into your lungs. It also naturally humidifies the air, adding moisture to keep your airways from drying out. I don’t always wear mouth tape on airplanes, but if the flight is during a time where I could or should sleep, then I will put a piece of tape on so I don’t mouth breathe, whether that’s for a nap or more!
But the most important thing to do while traveling is to remember that toxins are accumulated over time. We’ve created a nontoxic environment in our homes so that we are able to travel without worrying too much about that burden to our body!
Our bodies are resilient!
Let’s control what we can control while traveling, and not stress about the rest.