It is great when you get to travel and see new things. However, one thing that can spoil it all is getting sick during your trip. Nobody wants to spend all their precious holiday time indoors, sick in bed when you are supposed to be outside enjoying your vacation. Factors like different climate, long flights, food, water, and even the air can affect your immune system and increase your chances of falling sick. So something like that is unavoidable. Or is it?
There are a few simple things you can do to avoid falling sick during your vacation time; here are some tips that will help you out and keep you healthy so you can enjoy your vacation
1. Get All Your Vaccinations
Prevention is better than cure. It is best to be proactive when it comes to your health and get yourself vaccinated. Some countries have higher health risks due to virus-induced diseases, like measles and yellow fever. However, all you need to do to prevent this is take a simple vaccine. Research the countries that you plan to visit and then consult your doctor to see if there are any vaccinations you need. Plan ahead and try to get your vaccines at least 3-4 weeks in advance.
2. Keep A Supply of Supplements and Medications
If you are dependent on certain medications such as insulin, then this goes without saying. However, even if you are not dependent, it is a good idea to keep a supply of your own medication, in case of emergencies. That way you will have immediate access to them when you need it and you can save money, since visiting health facilities as a tourist tends to be expensive.
Also, keep a pack of vitamin supplements, like vitamin C and B and zinc to help keep your immune system up.
3. Stay Hydrated
This is something that is easy to forget, especially if you are busy running around and seeing the sights. Make sure to drink lots of water, stay hydrated and to keep a full water bottle with you at all times when you need it. Some of the symptoms of dehydration include sleepiness, headache, constipation, dizziness, and muscle cramps. You can also get easily dehydrated during a flight thanks to the high altitude and air conditioning. During a flight, avoid alcoholic drinks or caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea.
4. Drink Bottled/ Filtered Water
Drinking contaminated water is one of the easiest ways to get sick during a trip. Tap water is not always clean in a foreign country, especially if the bacteria and minerals of the local environment don’t agree with the ones already inside your body. You can use the local tap water for cleaning and showering; however you should avoid drinking it. Instead make sure to drink only bottled or filtered water. Avoid ice or brushing your teeth with tap water as well.
5. Protect Yourself From Insect Bites
Insects like mosquitoes are notorious for spreading diseases like malaria, dengue, and even Lyme disease. Protect yourself by using insect repellant, wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants and using a mosquito net when sleeping.
6. Wash Your Hands
It’s something simple to do, yet many forget to do it. Keeping your hand clean helps reduce and stops the spread of germs that can cause food poisoning, diarrhea, vomiting, the common cold and other symptoms that you would rather not have during your vacation. Make sure you wash your hands before and after you eat, and after using the bathroom. Simple tasks such as this go a long way towards avoiding getting sick when you travel.
7. Use Hand Sanitizers/Disinfecting Wipes
If you don’t have ready access to a place where you can wash your hands, then use hand wipes or sanitizers. Keep a large packet or bottle of hand sanitizer/ disinfectant with you when you travel. They are great to have when you need to clean your hands and water and soap isn’t readily available.
8. Defend Against The Sun
Getting some sunlight is all well and good; however too much sunlight is bad for you. Aside from getting sunburn, too much sun exposure can cause sunstroke, dizziness, nausea, and even skin cancer. Make sure you wear a cap and put on sufficient sunscreen to protect yourself from too much sun exposure, especially when the sun is at its peak.
9. Watch what you eat
Whenever you travel to a foreign country, you must be careful what you eat and where you eat it, because there is a risk of it being contaminated by bacteria, parasites or viruses. Avoid foods such as unpeeled fruits and vegetables, salads kept in the open, and food that is not served hot.
10. Stay Active
The best way to stave off unwanted illnesses and infections is by staying fit and healthy. The benefits of exercise are well documented; it improves overall health and strengthens your immune system, making you less susceptible to illness. If you are planning on travelling, start exercising and becoming active at least a few months before hand, it will help you in the long run.
11. Get Enough Sleep
Travelling can be hectic, so make sure you have all your mental faculties about you and get a proper 7-8 hours’ worth of sleep. Lack of sleep isn’t just bad for your health, it can also cause you to be grumpy and irritable, spoiling your vacation.
12. Talk To A Doctor
It is always better to consult a health professional such as a nurse or a doctor before you go for a trip to ensure you are properly prepared. You should make an appointment to visit a clinic at least 6-8 weeks before you leave for your trip. Discuss your travel plans with the professional and get their advice on all the medicines and vaccines you should get before you leave. It is always better to be prepared.
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