Travelers and vacationers often gain ~10 pounds from one single trip.
Compound this by one to two trips per year, multiplied by multiple decades, and you have a recipe for poor health and eventual disease.
Plus, for each hour of timezone change, recovery and adaptation generally take about one day.
Now imagine the opposite. You arrive in a new destination, with greater energy, no stress at all, a clean mind, and actually drop body fat.
Sounds like a pipedream, right?
Not only is this possible, but it’s the way I travel.
I’ll often come back after a week or two on the road rejuvenated, leaner, and having enjoyed my trip.
In addition to the things I outlined in my post on biohacking travel and jet lag, what I bring with me makes a world of difference. At the request of several Mind Body Peak Performance Podcast listeners, I’ve decided to share some of my traveler’s health optimization packing list. These biohacks bulletproof me against the usual damage caused by travel. At the same time, letting me enjoy more, for longer.
Ready? Let’s dig in.
Biohacking Travel Packing List: Environment Optimizers
The environment we live in constantly influences our health. 24/7, automatically, throughout the day. Either improving or detracting.
Whether staying in an Airbnb or hotel or traveling via public transportation, while on the road we have less control over our surroundings.
Each potential improvement has a larger and more impactful effect than when at home.
Some of the top biohacks to optimize your connection to the environment while traveling include:
- Portable air purifier like HypoAir
- Mini water upgrade like Analemma
- BioGeometry to harmonize the “ether”, shape, and electromagnetics
- Grounding/Earthing mats and shoes to simulate the natural living environment
- Portable light therapy to mimic the sunrise and sunset
- Infopathy “digital drug” generator
If available, swimming in a cold natural body of water, during sunrise or sunset, checks many of these boxes.
Biohacking Travel Packing List: Nutrition & Supplements
When traveling, controlling nutrition can be next to impossible. Especially when in groups.
I go in accepting that I won’t eat as well or clean as I usually do. To help the process, I use a (large) handful of key supplements and products.
I’ve ordered them by importance:
- Blood Sugar Support
- MassZymes systemic & digestive enzymes
- Full-spectrum hemp
- Greens or Red powder
- Adaptogen complex
Essential Amino Acids (EAAs) are the raw fuel your body uses to build virtually everything. They’re the reason we must consume protein to live. While EAAs are nutrition powerhouses, they’re especially vital when traveling since high-protein foods are harder to find. This article on the health, performance, and recovery benefits of EAAs explains why and will help you choose the best essential amino acid supplements for your lifestyle and goals.
Shilajit is one of the earliest and most powerful natural adaptogenic substances, prized by cultures worldwide. From boosting energy, to improving hormones, to increasing absorption of all the food nutrients you consume (thanks to the fulvic and humic acids), to the natural levels of 70+ trace minerals, this is one of the secrets of the natural world. Learn why I use this daily in my guide to the benefits and best shilajit supplements on Earth.
Spirulina and chlorella micro-algae are true superfoods. They’re perhaps the most nutrient-dense foods on earth. Compatible with every diet, well absorbed, with all kinds of unique bioactive substances. From binding to toxic rancid seed oils to turbocharging energy-producing mitochondria to fulfilling your vitamin and mineral needs, to providing the only plant-based bioavailable protein, to protecting your immune system, to helping protect against UV damage from heavy sun exposure. I also use a 50/50 blend of the two every single day. I’ve compiled the research, science, benefits, and best micro-algae supplements into one post for you.
If I had nothing else, these three key ingredients would be enough for me to thrive while traveling.
Blood Sugar Support & Enzymes. Traveling disrupts the gut microbiome and digestion. All ancient cultures knew that impaired digestion disrupts every facet of your health. The right formulas allow you to enjoy novel experiences and socialize; protect your brain, heart, eyes, and organs; and resist the inevitable fatigue that results from blood sugar volatility. Plus, quality dual-use enzymes help you unlock greater nutrition from your foods. So that you digest, absorb, and assimilate more into your actual tissues. Travel massively disrupts the gut microbiome and digestion. Enzymes can also help you remove unhealthy proteins circulating through your bloodstream, break down scar tissue, improve your digestion, and ultimately elevate your overall health. My honest BiOptimizers supplement reviews explain exactly why I always travel with their MassZymes and Blood Sugar Breakthrough.
Magnesium. For a variety of reasons, virtually every human today has inadequate levels of magnesium. Magnesium is the mineral of “chill”, relaxation, and regeneration. It offsets the effects of stress, sleep deprivation, and living a fast-paced lifestyle. The body can only repair while in a relaxed state. Since travel is quite biologically stressful, adding extra magnesium is a great idea. The first time I used quality magnesium, I noticed a difference. Because of all magnesium’s countless health benefits, it’s the only single mineral I still supplement daily. But they’re not all the same. This guide to the best bioavailable magnesium supplements will help you choose.
Full-spectrum hemp is a non-psychoactive substance derived from a plant specially bred to remove THC. The body has something called the endocannabinoid system (ECS) that’s essentially the “master regulator” of everything. It determines how resilient you are against stress. How well you adapt to new environments, and the level of damage you incur in the process. Everyday foods used to activate this ECS system, but not anymore due to major changes in our farming system. In my experimentations with hundreds of the top sleep products, supplements, and nootropics, nothing works better than a high-quality, full-spectrum (entire plant) hemp. Not only that, but it stops stress, worry, fear, and nervousness in its tracks.
Greens or red powder. Contrary to the carnivore/meat-only diet craze, humans benefit tremendously from botanicals and plants. Everything from digestion and the composition of our gut microbiome, to energy production, to changing the expression of genetics (epigenetics via micro-RNA). Certain companies take whole-food ingredients and carefully turn them into powders. They’re generally separated into two classes based on the color/type of the ingredients: reds and greens. You may have heard the most popular health podcasters promote Athletic Greens on their shows. But there are far better, cleaner, cheaper, and more powerful greens and reds superfood powder supplements available.
Adaptogen complex. Certain botanicals, herbals, and ingredients help humans better adapt and thrive in new environments. A special class called adaptogens all fulfill very specific criteria regarding their ability to safely and effectively help the body work more effectively. Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Ginseng, Holy Basil, Bacopa, Eleuthero, and Schisandra are a few popular examples. A good clean blend of multiple adaptogens can dramatically improve the way you feel during and after travel.
This is my simple, minimalist supplement routine I bring traveling. Of course, depending on goals and needs, you could tweak this protocol.
Biohacking Travel Packing List: Nutritional Add-Ons
If you have the space or particular needs, certain other ingredients are worth their weight when traveling.
Other great travel supplements and ingredients favorites of biohackers include:
- Quality colostrum
- Thymus glandular or TA-1 peptide
- Molecular hydrogen (H2)
- Vitamin C
- Carbon 60
Colostrum is a bovine-derived product that’s incredibly nutrient rich and full of bioactive growth factors. So powerful it’s sometimes called “nature’s human growth hormone”. It’s also a potent immunomodulator. Studies show that colostrum is more beneficial and useful than most conventional anti-sickness products.
Thymus glandular and the TA-1 peptide are also both amazing immune system modulators. Especially great for preventing and rapidly recovering from illness. Thymus glandular is better for prevention, and I personally often bring TA-1 to stop sickness almost immediately.
H2, vitamin C, and carbon 60 are all antioxidants that help protect against the free radical damage caused by flying. Vitamin C is super cheap and still works for all kinds of things. Molecular hydrogen and C60 are much more powerful and especially useful for travel.
Biohacking Travel Packing List: Brain & Cognition
Brain function is one of the first areas to suffer from disrupted circadian rhythms, changed routines, heightened stress, and new environments.
Although I’m always a huge proponent of brain training and cognitive-enhancing substances (called nootropics), they’re even more impactful when on the road.
Improve your brain, improve your quality of life.
Some of my top mind-enhancing biohacks and technologies (ordered from most to least important) include:
- Methylene Blue
- Blue Cannatine
Methylene Blue is one of the first drugs ever created. It has an excellent benefits to safety ratio. And it’s especially useful to help your cells (including brain) produce energy more efficiently. With less waste. Methylene Blue also helps the body thrive in low-oxygen environments and when exposed to UV radiation. These among the many health and wellness benefits of supplementing methylene blue. I usually use it when flying.
Sensai is my daily go to brain training system. This headshot actually contains the equivalent of 5 devices all in 1. For 10+ years, I meditated daily. Training with Sensai is more fun and yields actually noticeable results—fast. Plus, this system also has a safe form of brain stimulation (transcranial photobiomodulation), heart coherence training, and brain function quantification modules. Read my Sensai brain training headset review to learn more.
Nootopia is the world’s top personalized brain supplement brand. You fill out a quick survey describing your background and goals, and they craft special formulas that help your mind work more effectively. Whether that’s focus, memory, clarity, creativity, relaxation, confidence, logical thinking, motivation, or energy. I’ve tried nearly 200 different nootropic ingredients and products, and this one is by far my favorite. Discover why it’s your best choice in my updated Nootopia nootropics review.
NuCalm is a cutting-edge neuroscience platform that puts your brain into any desired state simply using audio and music. They spent over $6M developing this technology, and it’s now widely used by the military, professional sports teams, law enforcement, elite businesspeople like Fortune 100 CEOs, and other high-achievers. I love NuCalm because all it requires is a phone and headphones. I just choose a track, and 10-20 minutes later, I feel completely different. Ignite Mode is my favorite, and the effects after the 12-15 minute tracks feel stronger than a cup of coffee. Learn more in my full NuCalm app review.
CollaGenius is a blend of collagen, cacao, and the equivalent of 1.2 pounds of medicinal mushrooms (chaga, reishi, lion’s mane, cordyceps) per serving. It’s an excellent simple nootropic that harnesses the best of the natural world. It has a nice but mellow taste and combines well with coffee, water, or other liquids. CollaGenius with a little C8 MCT oil and you have an incredible cup of coffee.
Blue Cannatine is a product made by troscriptions that combines some of the most popular nootropics into one product. In fact, the name hints at three such ingredients. Blue = methylene blue. Canna = hemp. Tine = nicotine. These synergize well together. You simply let it dissolve in your cheek and few a great boost for hours. Learn more about Blue Cannatine here.
Note that many of these have pleiotropic full-body benefits. This stack ranking is specifically for their effects on cognition.
Biohacking Travel Packing List: Personal Care Products
When it comes to personal care products, I travel pretty light. So I can’t give all that many recommendations on this front.
That said, in my toiletries bag, you’ll usually find:
- Young Goose’s BioShield — one of the few clean and effective sunscreens I use
- Living Libations Happy Gums — multi-purpose essential oil blend
- Living Libations Classic Poetic Pits — highly-concentrated, delicious, and the rare natural deodorant that works
- GHK-Cu peptide serum — transdermal GHKCu is great for skincare, sun exposure, and quite versatile for general health
- BPC-157 — technically a supplement, but I like BPC arginate capsules to improve the gut and help any injuries heal fast
- Essential oils — pure peppermint and oil of oregano have countless uses and are great for personal hygiene
- Dr. Bronner’s soap — this tiny little bottle has saved me more times than I can count, everything from getting rid of sweat to doubling as toothpaste to DIY laundry.
Everything I do use is incredibly healthy, multi-purpose, and safe.
Biohacking Travel Packing List: Fitness & Movement
Fitness is among the most important foundations of all health.
Over the short term, it can make up for a poor diet, inadequate sleep, and other unhealthy habits. Yet it’s easy to get off track with your routine while traveling. Whether due to lack of time, or unavailability of key resources (ie no gym).
When I travel, I bring a few things with me to not only maintain my strength and power, but even to continue progressing:
Katalyst uses next-generation electro-muscle stimulation (EMS) technology to safely, effectively, and efficiently place your muscles under hundreds of pounds of resistance. It’s one of the most promising technologies pioneering the future of biohacking. For a detailed breakdown of the science, benefits, and my personal review of the Katalyst EMS machine, check out this post.
KAATSU is even more portable and uses a different technology to stimulate rapid muscle, and strength growth as well as accelerate rehab from injuries and tough workouts. It’s used by many of the world’s top athletes. I use it every week to amplify the effects of my bodyweight/lightweight exercise sessions. Learn more about the science, benefits, and KAATSU product comparison in this post.
Resistance bands work differently than free weights and still can be a great tool to build your fitness while on the road more safely. Most of the ones you’ll find on Amazon are low quality, inconsistent, snap easily, and don’t provide enough resistance to train the major muscle groups. When I travel, I’ll bring this pair along.
If I have none of these tools available, I’ll do a simple bodyweight muscle-building workout like super slow strength training.
Of course, there are tons of other awesome fitness biohacks and technologies, but these are a few of my favorites that are perfect for travel.
Biohacking Travel Packing List: Technologies & Workstation
I spent a good chunk of my career working in SaaS software, So I always leverage the best technologies.
Some of these will only apply to Podcasters and content creators, while many are vital for any technology-wielding travelers.
My favorite essential travel biohacking technologies include:
- MacBook Pro M1
- Portable battery pack
- 4K camera like OBSBot
- Apple Keyboard & Trackpad
- Mini Table
- Multi charger
The high-powered laptop, adjustable mini table, keyboard and trackpad combo, all-in-one chargers, headset, iPad, and 4K camera constitute the ultimate portable workstation. The VPN protects me while on potentially unsecured public networks and when I need to access certain country-restricted resources. With most Mac laptops, iPads connect and work as a dual monitor.
Content creators thrive using a good gimbal that helps stabilize pictures and videos taken from a smartphone. Plus, it doubles as a selfie stick. The iPad can be useful to pack into a day pack for light work while on the road.
Then, Sensai and NuCalm keep my mind working at full capacity throughout the day. I use my Kindle daily to read an entire library worth of books, and to take notes. I’ll highlight key research and passages and then look them up before citing them in other posts.
Outliyr’s UltraLight Health Optimizer Packing List
Sometimes I travel light. Very light. No checked bag and no carry-on light. Just one 40L backpack.
In fact, I once backpacked Eastern Europe for a month with everything crammed into one backpack.
Of course, this isn’t always possible depending on the nature of the trip and your desired comfort level.
Nevertheless, the absolute minimalist Outliyr UltraLight packing list always includes:
- Multi-use toiletries
- Laptop & external hard drive
- Black electrical tape
- Multiple multi-port chargers
- Methylene Blue
- Oil of oregano
- Essential amino acids
- Antioxidant (melatonin, H2, vitamin C, or C60)
Most everything I bring serves multiple purposes and use cases.
Best of all, I can easily fit this into the smallest of luggage and enjoy high-performance living while traveling.
The Ultimate Packing List to Biohack Your Travel
Travel, whether domestic or international, can add incredible richness to your life.
Without care, however, one single trip can seriously set back and undo months of your health progress.
While the others around you miss out on experiences due to jet lag, fatigue, and other disruptions, we can prevent all this by simply bringing a select few things:
- Environmental optimizers
- Nutritional upgrades
- Brain support
- Fitness systems
- Technologies & tools
Better yet, with some planning, you can return from your trip in even better health.
For the ultimate guide to biohacking travel and avoiding jet lag, I suggest you check out this post.
As I outlined in the Outliyr UltraLight Packing List, you can get many of the core essentials in just a 40-liter “personal item” backpack.
If you found this helpful, I’d be grateful if you’d help others benefit from it too, by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on social media.
And if you have any questions, comments, or noticed that I left out something essential, drop a comment below and let me know!