Four Clever Lifehacks for Traveling When You’re Sick or Injured

Whether it’s because you’re stressed out or because you’ve been stuffed into an economy class seat next to a sick person, travel has a tendency to make people feel a bit under the weather. If you have the misfortune of traveling while you’re ill, here are some clever, lifehack-style tips that can help you make the best of a bad situation.


1. Soothe a sore throat with liquor (but not the way you think!)

Chugging alcohol is likely to dry out your throat, making your soreness more pronounced. However, there is a way to use alcohol to help with a sore throat. Simply dampen a washcloth with high-proof alcohol such as vodka (or shochu, which Katayama prefers), and apply the washcloth to your neck. The alcohol will irritate your skin slightly, increasing blood flow to your throat and speeding up the healing process. Underage? You can get a similar affect with a mustard plaster.

2. Stop cuts from re-opening with superglue.

It sounds a little dicey, but superglue can help minor cuts from re-opening. If you’re out of Band-Aids and you don’t want the person next to you on the plane to see you bleed, this technique can help. The superglue will wear away over the course of about three days.

3. Relieve rashes and itches with shoe polish.

So you got a nasty rash from your walk through the woods, and no store has any calamine lotion or anti-itch cream. Surprisingly, white shoe polish can stop itchy skin — the polish contains pipe clay, which can soothe skin.

4. Battle an upset stomach with some all-natural tricks.

Combat the runs with yogurt and chamomile tea. The chamomile soothes your irritated intestinal tract, while the yogurt can correct the ratio of good and bad bacteria in your gut. Have the opposite problem? Acupressure can help get things moving again. There’s a pressure point on your right hand near your wrist that can help.