How to Pack Supplements for a Trip

by Steven Wright

travel-supplements

I’m headed out of town this week for a business conference. I travel about every two months for close to a week, so I’ve made just about every mistake possible when trying to pack… which is good for you, because I’m going to take you into my luggage and show you how I easily travel with my supplements.

I’ve done all kinds of exciting supplement protocols in my quest for great health. Right now, with the help of a few health consultants, I’m working on fixing my stomach acid production once and for all. I can’t wait to let you all know how it goes.

In the meantime, I want you to know I’ve taken 3 pills a day and upwards of 60 and the rules and strategies presented below can be used regardless of your protocols, timing or amount of pills. As I was packing I decided to take some pictures and show you how I stay organized for trips.

3 Rules I Live By Traveling With Supplements

Over the years of working on my health, I’ve made quite a few traveling mistakes.

Here are 3 rules I live by that reduce any weirdness, protect against the uncontrollable and help relieve my anxiety.

1.  Keep them on your body (as discreetly as possible)

When I’m on the road, I don’t want to miss an important lunch or be that party pooper who must go back to the room every few hours. Nope, I need to be as flexible as I can. Missing a business deal or important presentation because I want to be healthy is not going to happen. Therefore, I’m thinking 1-2 meals ahead of time and I carry those pills on me somewhere.

2.  Make it as brainless as possible

I used to just throw the bottles in my bag, or bring huge baggies full. Then I’d forget what was what, forget how many to take, or forget to take my pills altogether. When traveling very often I find myself feeling rushed, tired or brain-dead from a long day of learning. Nowadays, I plan ahead and avoid all of these problems. I’ve created a way to avoid all these problems and I’ll show you how below. Now, I have no more excuses to not feel great.

3.  Bring 1 extra day worth of pills

This is a rule for any travel. I’ve been snowed in, grounded by wind storms, missed flights, and had just about every other problem that could go wrong – go wrong. It’s just part of traveling. So, instead of worrying about it or fighting it I go with it. Just always plan for it and then it doesn’t end up being a big deal.

These 3 rules will keep you in control of your supplements and health when you’re on the road and outside of your normal comfort zone. Even if you don’t observe these rules, below are 4 different ways I’ve tried packing supplements in the past.

4 Options to Pack Your Supplements

  1. Just throw all the bottles in your luggage. This works if you have extra space but isn’t a great idea for a short-term carry-on trip.
  2. Fill up one of those pill separators and travel with that, which is great if you don’t run out of room.
  3. Fill up plastic bags with each separate supplement, which isn’t a bad idea but it can be easy to lose bags, miscount, and hard to carry on your body.
  4. Fill and label plastic bags for each day or meal depending on your supplement schedule.

Right now my supplement protocol calls for very specific supplements in the AM and different ones in the PM. That means I need to be very careful about what I’m taking at all times. Even if I wasn’t on an AM/PM split, after trying all of the options above, I believe #4 is the easiest, most discrete and fail-safe way to travel with supplements.

It might seem like a lot of work up front to do option #4, but the convenience on the trip is amazing. I just grab the bags for each day, put them in my pocket or bag and I’m off to meet my co-workers. If I never make it back to the hotel till bedtime, no problem.

You might notice that I’m only packing for 2 meals a day. On trips like this when I’m not taking any food with me, I know in advance I’ll be skipping meals. Usually I’ll skip breakfast or lunch. The reality is that most hotel/conference breakfasts are filled with processed junk foods that I won’t be eating.

In the event that I can find 3 meals a day, I have my back up bag of Betaine HCL, which is all I really need to feel great.

How about you, how do you handle traveling with supplements? Tell me below!

-Steve

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About the author

Steven Wright Steve Wright is a health engineer and author. In 2009, he reached a breaking point when IBS took over his life and the doctors didn't know how to help. Since then, he has transformed his health and started SCDLifestyle.com to help others naturally heal stomach problems. You can check out his story here and find him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Graham July 9, 2012 at 7:22 am

You can’t just swallow a week’s worth on the day you leave and be set for the whole trip?

Reply

Steven Wright July 10, 2012 at 12:04 pm

@Graham – LOL, only if i eat a weeks worth of food before I leave.

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Christine July 9, 2012 at 10:47 am

I do exactly as you do. I spend time before I go and make up a little bag of supplements for each meal and day. I actually usually take about 3 days worth extra in case of problems arising and I have to stay longer. I also usually take little bags with extras of the most important ones in, in case I drop some or I get ill and need extra nutrients. These I just label with what they are in the bag.

Reply

Steven Wright July 10, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Awesome Christine I’m glad I’m not alone 🙂

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Anna July 10, 2012 at 10:26 am

I have a little labeled box at work. Talking about supplements, I have ordered GI ProHealth and other supplements based on your blog’s recommendations + doctor’s tests. I am taking: Betaine HCL (3 per meal) , Prozymes (GI ProHealth digestive enzymes, 2 per meal), Vitamin D3 (1 per day), Zinc (1 per day), and I have the Probiotics that you recommended in the fridge, along with the yoghurt starter from GI ProHealth.
– Now my question is, When do you best take these, and do they react to each other, e.g. should you not take HCL + enzymes together, or one after the meals and one before, and when to take the Probiotics best?

Reply

Steven Wright July 10, 2012 at 11:56 am

@Anna – Take the D3 and Zinc with your first meal in the morning. The HCL an Enzymes will be fine taken together with your meals. Probiotics 30 min before first meal or before bed.

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Samay July 10, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Great article, thanks to both of you + SCDers. It is wonderful to share our findings, and learn from each other. I was literally going mad before I found your website. I tend to mix all my supps in a small container, and take another one in which I keep a day’s worth. But I like your system, I might consider changing mine! I am struggling in the first phase of the diet, and might have to do the intro again but this will be tough as I am travelling on Thursday, and will be on the go for two weeks. I listened to your podcast about boarding the plane with frozen minced meat but when I did (a few months ago), I had it taken by Heathrow airport’s security 🙁 What do you suggest I pack with me, considering that baking with almond flour, or eating raw fruits are not allowed in the first stages? Thank you again for your ebooks + superb work!

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Bellae August 4, 2012 at 12:10 pm

first time reading- thanks have learnt a lot – still struggling with what
vitamins to take daily how and when .What e-b00k and can I download free

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Miia March 5, 2013 at 4:43 am

I have a good one.. Forget all about the supplements and realize on the way you forgot them… That’s how I roll…

But when I am “organized”-Miia and remember I eat supplements every day since without them I feel worse and thus when I travel I want to be prepared to feel as good as possible… Then I usually do #1. But I think I will start to bring small plastic bags to carry backup am/pm doses with me.

I usually also always have extra betaine in my bag… The problem is just that I switch bags, the problems I have… Time for “organized”-Miia to add a bit of structure… But I guess it is a sign of improved health when one forgets these things…

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Amy November 14, 2014 at 6:04 am

What about fermented cod liver oil capsules? Or should this be left at home (for refrigeration purposes, and the smell, and the complicated method I use to take them in order to avoid the taste/smell as much as possible)?

Reply

Lori Jo Berg November 15, 2014 at 11:07 pm

Hi Amy, thank you for reaching out! It is really up to you if you would like to take the necessary steps to travel with your cod liver oil.

Reply

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