I think the worst part about traveling is getting sick. I’ve only had it happen a couple of times, but they were terrible events. Trying to fly on an airplane with clogged sinuses is extremely painful and getting a stomach bug is never any fun either. Here are 8 tips on staying healthy while travelling. Be sure to keep them in mind the next time you plan on traveling, whether it’s overseas or in your own country.
8. Get Necessary Vaccines before Leaving
Some countries still have diseases present that are considered to be rare in other countries. Make sure to have all your current vaccinations up to date as well as getting any that are required when visiting specific countries. Your family physician should be able to tell you which vaccines you need once you specify the country or countries you will be visiting.
7. Don’t Try to do Too Much at Once
Overdoing yourself causes your body to not only feel tired physically, but it is also less able to fight off sickness when it is rundown. If you are feeling fatigued, then why not take a short nap and eat a snack to boost your energy level. A ten minute nap will do you a world of good.
6. Carry Necessary Medications with You
Having enough prescription medications to tide you over in the event of a delay will help you to keep your body running the way it is supposed to. Running out of prescription medications in another country can be difficult. Not only can it be hard to refill prescriptions overseas, but it could be a life or death situation for some people. Make sure to have more than you need, just in case.
5. Don’t Nuzzle the Animals
I love animals and have a hard time not wanting to pet or cuddle every one that I come into contact with. However, even animals can carry disease or germs that you might have a severe reaction to.
4. Drink Bottled Water
The locals might be able to get away with drinking water from the tap, but as a tourist, it is probably in your best interest to stick to bottled water. Better yet, have a filtration system on hand, since even bottled water can have impurities in it too. There are water bottles that have a filter built right into them and they are able to get out 99 percent of the impurities found in water that passes through the filter. These are very handy items to have.
3. Avoid Touching Everything
I like going in stores and looking at everything. But, I have a bad habit of touching everything too. Each time I catch myself picking up something I always remember the mom of a friend of mine. She used to say, “We look with our eyes, not with our hands.” I still find myself wanting to touch everything as I ‘look’ at it. I try to remind myself that I’m not the only person who has touched this object and who knows what else the previous person had been touching.
2. Don’t Eat from Vendors on the Street
I have a hard time trusting vendors in my own country, let alone risk eating from one overseas. In foreign countries I’m worried about what food items might be included that I’m not used to. Maybe the fruit was washed in local water or the vendor washed his/her hands with local water before preparing food. Who knows? Of course, some countries are much safer than others. Just be mindful of where you are and what diseases are lurking.
1. Wash Your Hands
My mom is a fanatic about hand sanitizer. She has one in her car, purse, pocket, and in a number of rooms in the house. She uses hand sanitizer after shopping, before eating, and it seems like she squirts some on her hands whenever she doesn’t have anything else to do. I prefer good old soap and water to liquid hand sanitizer, but this quick evaporating hand gel will do in a pinch. Washing your hands often when traveling is extremely important, since you are touching things that other people have touched after they touched who knows what. Sometimes I just want to wear disposable gloves when I go out. It almost seems easier than having to stop and wash my hands all the time.
I hope these 8 tips on staying healthy while travelling are ones you find you can use someday. So far they’ve been very helpful to me. What ways do you use to stay healthy when travelling?
Top Photo Credit: niki e non solo