How are you staying healthy when you travel? Traveling is one of the best ways to learn about new places and find yourself as you get away from your everyday world. However, as eye-opening as any travel experience may be, it also puts you at risk of so many uncertainties as you step out of your comfort zone. That is why it is essential to take good care of yourself anytime you travel. And one of the best ways of taking care of yourself, aside from your security, is protecting your health.
Many travels cite that between 22% to 64% of all international travelers fall sick either during or after their journey, putting not only their health but those around them as well at risk. And if there’s one thing that the coronavirus has taught us, it is the fact that traveling is one of the easiest ways of contracting illnesses. So, are you planning to take on the world again after the pandemic is over? Here are some essential tips for staying healthy when you travel.
Before you set off
Whether you’re visiting a new destination for the first time or revising an old place, it is essential to ensure that you get all the critical health boxes checked out before you leave.
First, know what your health status is before you set off. That is because if you’re carrying any illness, you will put those around at risk. A simple medical examination should tell you all you need to know about your health status. And if you’re not feeling too well, it is best to postpone your travel until your doctor gives you the green light.
Also, research your destination’s health status. Find out if there are specific medications or vaccinations you need to take before you leave. Ensure that you book an appointment with your doctor about a month before your intended departure. Furthermore, consider getting travel insurance before you go. And if you’re traveling by vehicle, take the time to get it serviced. That is especially important if you’re planning to negotiate unyielding roads. For example, you can visit Bayside CDJR to get your Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, or Ram serviced before leaving.
Wash your hands
Let’s start with the basics. You’ve probably been told countless times since childhood about the importance of washing your hands and doing so regularly. However, it may surprise you how often many people either forget this simple advice or simply ignore them. According to various studies, washing your hands with soap under running water for at least 15 seconds can reduce bacteria count up to about 90%. Good hygiene is essential to stopping the spread of harmful germs and bacteria. And one of the simplest ways to practice good hygiene is by washing your hands regularly, especially after using public places. If running water and soap are not readily available, you can always opt for a hand sanitizer instead.
Be sure about your water source
As much as you can, it is important not to contribute to ‘destroying’ our planet during your travel. One way you can ensure that is by refusing to litter places you visit with empty water bottles. However, bottled water may be your only source of ‘trusted’ water when you aren’t so sure about the purity of the local water. If you’re planning to visit places where sanitation is still a major problem, then your safest bet is to avoid tap water. Even if you notice that the locals drink their tap water without any health issues, your stomach may not have the right bacteria to protect you.
Pack for a healthy trip
If you’re on medication that will extend into your travel or departure date, it is advisable to first speak with your doctor about your options. If you’re no longer needed for observation or do not pose a threat to others, your doctor may give you the go-ahead. Ensure that you carry all your medication with you in a different bag from your main luggage. If you expect to cross time zones, try setting up reminders on your smartphone to notify you to stick with medication time. Additionally, ensure that you carry first aid and an emergency kit along with you. These should contain not only your meds and first aid items but should also include contacts of your hotel, friends, loved ones, etc.
Be careful what you eat
One of the main reasons many people travel is that it gives them the chance to try new delicacies. However, while indulging in hearty meals are great for any travel experience, you should take care to avoid food contamination. Food contamination is one of the biggest causes of diarrhea and other forms of gastrointestinal problems among travelers. With potential health problems like salmonella, E. coli, cholera, shigella, etc., it is vital to ensure that you’re careful with what you eat.
Also, ensure that your meals are thoroughly cooked, and try to have them warm as often as possible. You can also try packing your own snacks along when touring to help avoid buying food on impulse. However, if you do decide to enjoy some local cuisine, pay attention to a few things. For example, is the person handling the food wearing disposable gloves? Is the food left out uncovered? Is there frequent handwashing?
The last thing you want is sunburn ruining your travel experience. So, don’t forget to pack some sunscreen along – and use it whenever you’re stepping out. But using sunscreen is more than merely protecting your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. You should also take extra measures to keep your skin hydrated, especially if you’re traveling to countries or areas with a hot tropical climate. Also, be sure to wear loose clothes in such areas. Oh! And don’t forget a pair of sunglasses and a hat.
Protect yourself from mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are still quite a significant problem in some areas, especially areas with large bodies of stagnant water. Mosquito bites are enough to ruin any traveler’s experience. Aside from the awful itching and swelling of the skin, the insects are also notorious for transmitting various diseases, including malaria and yellow fever.