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I’m just back from a tropical vacation with my husband and two young children. Before we left, I made sure to pack an essentials kit—just in case. Why take a risk when travelling? Especially with children! I was glad to have the kit with me, even though I didn’t really need to use it. Of course, one of the best ways to avoid getting sick when travelling is to boost your immune and digestive systems before you leave. All the usual rules for good health apply: get plenty of sleep, eat fresh, unprocessed foods, and avoid refined sugars and alcohol. When you’re ready to leave, here are five key items you’ll want to pack:

1. Probiotics

Your allies in preventing gastrointestinal diseases and keeping them at bay, particularly those that are common in the tropics. A balanced microbiome can help protect you against traveller’s diarrhea and other similar issues. I recommend taking probiotics before you leave, to help your intestinal flora prepare. Then for the best protection, keep taking them once you’ve arrived at your destination. For convenience while travelling, make sure you choose probiotics that don’t need to be refrigerated.

2. Small homeopathic kit

I’m a huge fan of homeopathic remedies. I’ve been using them for many years and I always bring a few along with me, if not a whole kit. My kit has over 40 remedies, but the ones I can’t do without are arnica, cantharis, and belladonna. These three were very handy and effective on our trip to soothe sunburn, treat my daughter’s scrapes when she fell flat on her face, and relieve insect bites!

3. Colloidal silver

I buy this in small bottles (as a spray) and use it on minor wounds to promote healing, as well as to treat eye infections, fight colds, and even boost the immune system with a few drops taken orally every day. This antiviral and antifungal remedy is beneficial in all sorts of situations.

4. Skin repair balm

This natural balm made from plant ingredients and medicinal plants is really helpful, especially when travelling. I use it for sunburn, to relieve insect bites, and to treat my children’s minor wounds. Choose one that contains cajeput, chamomile, and calendula.

5. Sachets of powdered greens

If you’re going to an all-inclusive resort, like we did, there’s a good chance that green smoothies and energy-boosting juices will not be on the daily menu. To maintain good cell nutrition and get my dose of chlorophyll, I take along sachets of powdered greens. They don’t take up a lot of space in my bag, and all I have to do is mix the contents with a little bit of water. Easy! Happy travels! Audrey Sckoropad