My Natural Travel Packing List (and Tips)

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I’m traveling so much these days (often by myself, imagine that!) that I’ve created a system to make sure I always have what I need when I’m away from home. From family vacations, short two-day business trips, or longer work-based research trips, my goal is always the same: have everything I need and only what I need.

It’s taken some trial and error to narrow down to my essential travel packing list, but I think I finally have it down. Hopefully a peek inside my suitcase will give you some ideas for your own natural travel kit the next time you’re packing for a trip.

Pack Light to Make Travel Easier

Ever felt like you wear the same few pairs of favorite clothes for days on end at home but then when it comes time to pack for travel you suddenly come prepared for a fashion show and the apocalypse? I used to fall victim to that too but got tired of carrying all of the extra gear and learned to minimize.

Through systems, I learned to minimize my packing. Now, I can go almost anywhere with just a small carry-on, including a three-week trip to Italy last year. There are exceptions, of course. My trip to Finland required thick snow gear and boots that certainly wouldn’t fit in a carry on! But short of arctic temperatures, a carry-on bag is usually sufficient.

Clothing options change depending on destination and duration but most of the other things are constant. For instance, I keep a natural personal care kit already packed and in a TSA-approved toiletry bag at all times. I keep ready to pack kits of remedies and makeup as well.

Note: This post contains affiliate links to the products I use and love. The price is the same for you but helps support the blog and podcast, which hopefully is a win-win! As always, thank you for your support!

Packing List: Luggage Options

I have two main bags that I use depending on the trip:

  1. An ultra-light rolling carry-on bag for most domestic trips
  2. A duffle-style roller bag with pockets for most international trips
  3. Lightweight backpack for laptop and gear
  4. Crossbody purse that holds my camera, gear, etc. when needed

These stay in my closet and are ready to go whenever I need them (like our biannual trip to Cincinnati!).

Natural Personal Care Packing List

At home I stick to natural personal care products and I didn’t want to give this up when I travel. I created systems to make my personal care products travel ready. The advantage to DIY and natural products is that many of them are dual purpose and can take up less room!

Here’s what I keep in my ready-to-go toiletry bag:

Remedies and Supplements Packing List

Knowing that airports and airplanes are often some of the dirtiest places, I make sure to carry remedies with me to avoid getting sick. The stagnant air, plethora of bacteria, and radiation in a plane make it an especially easy place to catch something.

To avoid that, I pack some specific remedies:

  • PropolisNatural Bee Propolis Spray is my #1 go-to travel remedy. I always use this while flying and anytime I feel a cold coming on. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antibacterial substance that can be used for everything from sniffles to burns.
  • CBD– Another remedy I always carry when traveling is Ojai CBD. It helps me stay relaxed and often sleep on the plane and has many other benefits as well.
  • Probiotics and K2-7– I don’t take many supplements when I travel but there are a few that always make it into my bag. Probiotics always make the cut. The probiotics are the most effective I’ve ever tried and I always keep them on hand for travel. It helps avoid any digestive upset from foods I don’t normally eat and keeps digestion normal. (Plus, they are histamine and allergen free as well as vegan). The K2-7 is also vegan and allergy safe and helps keep inflammation at bay. To conserve space, I keep these in small reusable bags.
  • Charcoal– I keep a bottle of coconut shell activated charcoal in my travel bag for use while flying, before drinking, and if I eat anything that could be contaminated. I’ve also handed out many of these on trips where people got food poisoning or had upset stomachs from eating food in other countries.
  • Skin SalveCuroxen first aid ointment is completely natural and tests better than Neosporin and other products for killing bacteria and protecting minor cuts. I keep this on hand for any kind of skin irritation when traveling.
  • Green Drink– I’d usually rather fast than eat fast food (see what I did there?) at an airport. But I’ve started carrying Organifi Green Drink packets (15% off with code WELLNESSMAMA) when I travel so I have a quick meal drink on the go when I land. They also make a good breakfast.
  • Colloidal Silver– A small bottle of colloidal silver is my go-to for cleaning scrapes and cuts, for minor illnesses, and for ear/eye soreness or infection.
  • Saline & Remedies– Saline spray is a long-used remedy for sniffles, cold, and flu. There’s also evidence that we’re more likely to get sick when our nasal passages dry out, and dry airplane air speeds up this process. I keep a bottle of saline spray in my purse when traveling to use before and after the flight.
  • Healthy Meal Replacement- I’ve been traveling with these Ample meal replacement shakes as an emergency meal for long flights or airport layovers. They even work for going through airport security since they come as a powder in a ready to use bottle. Just add water and shake.
  • Hand SanitizerMy Moisturizing Wellnesse Hand Sanitizer eliminates viruses, bacteria, and fungus without stripping your skin of its natural protection.

Tips to Stay Healthy on a Plane

As I mentioned, it’s easy to get sick on a plane. I go through my full routine for staying healthy while flying in this post, but in short these are the steps I take to avoid catching anything on the plane, if possible:

  1. Fast before and on the flight, especially on short flights
  2. Take charcoal pre-flight
  3. Spray propolis in my throat before getting on the plane
  4. Take CBD on the plane to keep stress levels low
  5. Slice some fresh ginger and put in a water bottle so I can add hot water at the airport for a fresh drink
  6. Spend time outdoors in fresh air and work up a sweat once I land

Tech Packing List

No matter if I’m traveling for business or on a family trip, I take some tech gear with me everywhere I go so I can keep up with blog stuff on the road. This list will be different for everyone, but since some of you have asked, this is what always makes my tech kit:

  • Laptop, Phone, and Chargers (self explanatory!)
  • Kindle + Books– I never thought I’d make the switch from physical books (which I love) to an e-reader like a Kindle. But for travel, I’ve found that the portability and convenience can’t be beat. I mostly just download research books and upcoming podcast guests’ books so I can get a lot of work done on planes.
  • Oura RingThis sleep and health tracking ring gives valuable insight like how well you slept, heart rate variability, body temperature, and activity. I’ve been able to catch a minor illness before it hit many times by seeing my body temp rising slightly on my Oura app. It’s also fascinating to see how my sleep adapts when I change multiple time zones.
  • Camera– For years, I just used the camera on my phone. Now, I’ve upgraded to a compact but amazing FujiFilm X-T20 so I can shoot blog photos when traveling. Most people probably don’t need a specific camera and it takes up a decent amount of bag room, so if I’m traveling really light I still stick to my iPhone for pictures. I also keep a portable tripod in my backpack.
  • External Battery Charging Bank– For long travel days without access to an electrical outlet, I keep this external battery with me.

Other Things I Always Pack

That might seem like a lot of gear to travel with, but it all packs down really small and conveniently.

Your turn! What is on your packing list for travel? What did I forget?

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


16 responses to “My Natural Travel Packing List (and Tips)”

  1. Shalar Avatar

    Hi there,

    So how are you packing tactical pens and CBD exactly? In checked luggage, carry on? Unless you’re flying where it’s legal, CBD is illegal in many states and internayionally. Also, tactical pens will absolutely not make it past TSA in the US. So how exactly are you traveling with items?

  2. Rachel Winker Avatar
    Rachel Winker

    Some things I do/bring when flying:
    -Cambridge Mask: N99 military grade respirator designed for military and extremely polluted cities; it filters out germs, and warms up cold air in winter; being chronically ill and very immunocompromised as a result, I never go anywhere without it.
    -Berkey Sport Bottle: the basically non-existent amount of plastic exposure is far more than worth the risk of everything it filters out of airport water… or any water, for that matter: mossy horse trough water or “smells like pool”, it purifies it all.
    -Ginger chews: I’m prone to AMS and other GI upset, so ginger chews are my life saver.
    -Long skinny pillow: Old SI joint injury acts up badly if it doesn’t have proper support, so this saves me from back, hip, and leg pain. Mine fits in my backpack.
    -Full-zip sweatshirt – Used as a blanket so I can have A/C on full blast (I overheat otherwise) but still stay warm enough.
    -Soap I’m not allergic to: Being allergic to all regular hand soap, I use castile or BB.
    -Pack as minimally as possible: Pretty self-explanatory. Having to use a wheelchair for long distances makes this even more important for me.
    -Pack change of clothes & all essential toiletries in carry-on when checking a bag: Has saved my butt more than once when my flight got cancelled but my suitcase still went on ahead, and I was stuck overnight in the layover city with only my backpack.

  3. Kim Avatar

    Katie, I just saw the company that makes Mason jars is making some nice glass ovenware now. The handles looked like they’re coated with silicone. -K Bach, CA

  4. Eaman Avatar

    Has anyone evertried:
    1.Travelan – supposedly prevents diarrhea
    2. powdered psyllium – supposedly relieves constipation (can I give it to kids too?)

    Also what can I do to relieve traveler’s diarrhea if it hits hard and I’m only staying at a place for a few days?


  5. Faith Avatar

    Perfect timing! We’re traveling to the Indian subcontinent very soon. We’ll be there for about two weeks. I’m trying to pack minimally, however it’s very difficult.
    *Luggage: I prefer Delsey. The kids will have their own rolling back packs
    *I’ve purchased the propolis spray, yet haven’t tried it. Are the affects similar to eating honey?
    *Do you think I can just take the regular Biokult probiotic with us? I think the package says to take double the amount prior to travel. .
    *What are you currently using for Jetlag?
    *We’ll be gone forabout 17 days. Is it a good idea to bring our daily supplements with us? Such as: FCLO (will it be affected by heat?) ; elderberry(although it’s not typically the season for the locals to have colds)
    *Do you pack anything for motion sickness? My son seems to suffer from it even on short car rides.

    Thanks for your time in advance!

    1. Stephanie Canete Avatar
      Stephanie Canete

      Arnica 30c is a beautiful homeopathic remedy for jetlag. Take one dose every hour while traveling on the plane. It is also multipurpose. Can buy at a health store or amazon.

  6. Lenore Cangeloso Avatar
    Lenore Cangeloso

    Love this post! I believe traveling light is so important, leads to less stress and also allows for more room to bring back goodies and gift from your travels. I find that my cosmetics/ medicine case is always the heaviest item I travel with. I love your suggestion of bringing products that are multi use. I always travel with some DR. Bronners soap. As I can use this for washing my body and my clothes by hand! It helps me pack light and is easy on the environment. I always travel with a Chinese herbal formula called BaoHeWan which helps with tummy troubles. Keep the good vibes coming!

  7. Ashley Avatar

    Girl yes! I hadn’t even though to tape those annoying lights in hotel rooms! My husband and I always sleep terribly in hotels and while I know there are a vast number of reasons I know that one I always recognize it tiny green lights on everything in the room from the phone to the microwaves.

    I always pack flip flops for quick on and off through TSA, and walking around the hotel when I’m not quite ready for the gym shoes I normally wear while traveling.

  8. Maria Avatar

    Something I’ve found super handy for traveling with supplements is a mini version of your standard weekly pill box. Mine fits in the palm of my hand and has eight separate compartments that close as well as an outer case that latches shut to prevent any individual compartment from opening and spilling mid-route. I use it for my multi-vitamin, probiotic, and activated charcoal capsules when traveling, and it’s a great way to keep all the pills contained and organized. I don’t know the brand, but I found mine for cheap in the suitcase section of TJ Maxx, and a local travel store in my town sells a similar version.

  9. Kathy Avatar

    Have you ever been questioned about your homemade products while flying since there’s no brand name on the bottles?

  10. Courtney Avatar

    Thanks for this helpful post! Do you have any issues traveling with CBD? I’ve heard it’s best to refrain, even with the recent federal legalization of hemp, but definitely would benefit from taking it with me while I travel.

    1. Katie Wells Avatar

      I’ve never had any issues. TSA isn’t looking for those types items anyway. They have much bigger issues to worry about…

  11. Delilah Pugsley Avatar
    Delilah Pugsley

    Hey there,

    I wish I saw this post before my trip to Thailand last November! So many cool products! One thing I was so glad to bring on my trip was Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee packets. They were so nice to have on a layover when I wanted coffee but didn’t want to pay $5 for a cup at the airport, and they make you feel great too when traveling! 🙂

  12. Carol L Avatar

    So I guess you buy all of your stuff rather than make your own? I noted with a few exceptions that you link to products already made.

    1. Katie Wells Avatar

      These days I do, since I’m traveling a lot more and it’s more convenient, but when we were traveling less and finances were tighter, the majority of items I traveled with were homemade…

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