“A cup of tea would restore my normality,” wrote Douglas Adams in A HItchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. You don’t have to be British to enjoy a “cuppa,” although Turkey actually tops the list of tea-drinking countries.
Tea for travelers makes sense for several reasons:
- Tea weighs practically nothing, is easy to pack and prepare.
- It boosts the immune system, important for keeping you healthy.
- It’s a great way to stay hydrated during your travels.
- Nothing comforts and soothes like a cup of tea–anywhere!
- Tea has other health benefits, too. Read about them here.
Make a “Travel Tea Toolkit” for yourself–or as a gift!
Before we get to specific teas to bring on your next trip, let’s assemble some basic supplies.
You’ll need a way to heat the water, of course. Not every hotel or hostel has a way to do this. Sometimes there is hot water in the lobby or kitchen area, but I like to make and enjoy tea in my room.
An immersion coil will boil water in 1-2 minutes. Simple to use, just plug it in (AFTER it’s in the water!) and unplug when the water’s ready. Get a good one for $10-12.
Although I’ve used a water glass from the bathroom, and borrowed a cup from the kitchen to make tea, it’s much nicer to have my own, reliable mug. I can also carry it out with me, too. There are lots of insulated choices–just keep weight and bulk in mind for packing light. I like this 12-ounce mug (7 ounces) that comes in 20 color and patterns for $15. If you want to go big and bold, there’s nothing like the top-of-the-line Yeti series. About $30, in over a dozen colors.
Do you sugar your tea? If you do, bag some packets of your favorite sweetener and tuck them in your travel mug. Want to go upscale, for yourself or for a gift? Consider bringing some honey sticks. They’re fun to share with locals, too.
TSA allows honey in both carry-on (less than 3.4 ounces) and in checked baggage. Most countries allow honey to come in, although some require it to be in original packaging. No problem here! Get 100 sticks for about $18. Only 15 calories in each stick, about a teaspoon.
When packing the teas to bring on your next trip, keep everything in a reusable silicone bag. (Yes, I know this one displays mirepoix, but it’s a good value: two for $15.99. Visualize it with your tea supplies…)
5 types of teas to bring on your next trip
When to drink tea? Anytime! Which one to choose? It depends. Here are five reasons to have tea when you travel, with some suggestions for each. Several teas do double–or even triple–duty. So, it’s really up to you. Try them out at home, and then pack your favorites. (I’m providing links, so you can see what the teas look like. Most can be found at your local supermarket or health food store, although it’s easy to order online, too.)
ENERGY: So much to see and do! You don’t need me to tell you that travel requires stamina. Instead of yet another espresso, consider one of these:
- Yerba mate: The most widely consumed drink in Argentina, yerba mate is made from the leaves of, well, the yerba mate tree. South Americans have been drinking this tea for centuries when they need a pick-me-up. Try this variety pack!
- Yogi Sweet Tangerine Positive Energy: I’m a fan of Yogi teas, made in Oregon. There’s a tea for every mood and purpose. This one supports “elevated mood and energy levels.”
- Green tea, of course; research shows it’s something of a miracle worker. And here are more choices from the tea website, Cup & Leaf.
STRESS: Every trip comes with some type of stress. Anyone who tells you otherwise is not being truthful. When it happens to you, take a deep breath, pause, and figure things out. Here are some teas to calm and soothe:
- Peppermint: One of the most versatile teas, be sure to bring this “workhorse” wherever you go. It’s naturally caffeine-free, but you can find it combined with black tea, too. Actually, if you only pack one tea, this should probably be it. Lemon balm, peppermint’s cousin, is another good option.
- Yogi Honey Lavender Stress Relief: For an all-in-one stress and anxiety cure, bring along this “soothing serenity blend.”
- Here’s a list of 25 teas that reduce stress. You’re probably familiar with some–Hello, chamomile–but another may turn out to be perfect for you. Your choice can become a real comfort on your trip.
DIGESTION: Tea for travelers always includes this remedy. I consider indigestion to be a “happy consequence” of travel. Caused by jet lag, different food and water, or just a new venue, our stomach and gut can give us grief. Be prepared to handle it quickly and efficiently.
- If you like licorice, bring some Licorice Root tea. It’s sweet and spicy. I enjoy it–then again, I love black licorice. (Fun fact: The word “licorice” translates to “sweet root” in many languages.)
- Probably no surprises here: Ginger and peppermint teas lead the way. They’re included in this list of teas that soothe the stomach.
- Go all out with The Republic of Tea’s Ginger Green Tea with Turmeric. (50 tea bags for about $13.00.) With cinnamon and honey flavors, you’ll love it, with or without intestinal distress.
ILLNESS: One of the teas to bring on your next trip should definitely stand ready to help if you become ill, or need an immunity boost. If you begin to experience nausea, or the aches and chills that accompany many forms of sickness, brew one of these:
- You’ve probably already guessed the go-to teas: Green, peppermint, ginger, and chamomile. Besides being soothing, theyxlso have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral qualities.
- Echinacea is the purple flower that Native Americans used as a medicine. Combine it with elderberry, rosehip, or hibiscus for a powerful cure-all. This tea by Pukka contains every one!
- Looking to boost your immunity? All these teas will do that. For a specific tea, consider Republic of Tea Organic Super Green Tea with matcha, ginger, blackberry leaves, echinacea, and elderflower.
SLEEP & RELAX: At the end of a busy day, you want to unwind and get a good night’s sleep. Relaxing before bed helps settle your traveler’s brain. Sleep can be a challenge in a different environment, so let tea help you drift into dreamland.
- Chamomile is considered the best tea for calming and sleep. Caffeine-free, it comes from the chamomile flower, scientists are finding it has some amazing medicinal properties. Bigelow combines chamomile with lavender to make a lovely night-time treat.
- Valerian root was used in World War II to help with the anxiety and insomnia of air raids. But it goes back to the Greeks, although scientists still not certain how it works. Some people prefer it to chamomile, so try it and decide for yourself.
- Teas you can find anywhere include Yogi Bedtime, Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime, and Bigelow Sweet Dreams.
For the “Tea-Curious”…try one of these!
Pukka (Hindu for “authentic”) tea comes from England, where they know a thing or two about brewing…both tea and beer. The company is socially responsible in every possible way. Visit the Pukka website to learn more. And order the Selection Box with 45 sachets for about $20.
If you’d like to try Yogi teas–or want to give them to the travelers in your life–get this Sampler with 24 types of tea, 3 bags each. Fun!
When you bring tea with you, you’re bringing a healthy ritual that can smooth the rough edges of the day. Tea makes you pause and think about your journey. I can honestly say that since I started doing it, I’m a better traveler.
Drink tea and read more travel health tips: