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9 Travel Health Tips for Staying Safe Abroad ...

By Laura

If you are about to jet off to somewhere exotic, travel health tips can mean the difference between a trip that is fun and a vacation that is disastrous. Depending on where in the world you are going, you need to exercise a little extra caution when it comes to your health. Travel health tips can prevent your from developing dangerous diseases, or they can simply save you from uncomfortable sunburn. Here are nine that will keep you healthy and safe!

1 Stay Hydrated

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when going to an exotic destination is to not drink enough water. When I went to Ghana, it was that much hotter than Britain I had to drink four litres a day rather than two. On the day that I slacked off, I got sunstroke. Yay. So this is one of those travel health tips you absolutely must pay attention to.

2 Wear Sunscreen

I know this seems like I am stating the obvious here, however, it is amazing how many people living in hot areas don't expect to get sunburn when they head for somewhere like the tropics. Unfortunately, these places are closer to the sun. This means you are more susceptible to its rays. So keep topping up with your sunscreen and enjoy the joys of not being sunburned!

3 See What the CDC Has to Say

For certain places, you need vaccinations. To an extent, this is optional. Whenever I go to a private vaccination clinic they try their hardest to sell me everything under the sun. One year I had a meningitis ACWY shot, only to find there hadn't been a meningitis epidemic in the area I was going to for a while. Ah well, at least I'm covered! Other places actually need certain vaccinations. Try getting into certain countries without a yellow fever certificate and you'll be on the next flight home. Check with the CDC to see what is needed.

4 Be Cautious with Street Food

Street food can be awesome. I love it more than restaurant food half the time. However, I am very cautious when it comes to fish. Eat street food by all means, but use your common sense. If something looks or smells dodgy, avoid it.

5 Be Malaria Savvy

Depending on where you plan to travel to, malaria could be one of the biggest risks you face. Again, the CDC is a massively helpful source of information here. Once you know that the country you are visiting comes with a malaria risk, you need it choose the right anti-malarials. Not every anti-malarial works everywhere. Take the wrong one and you could be exposing yourself to a deadly disease. Stay extra safe by using a mosquito net.

6 Bug Spray

There's another nasty disease you can catch via mosquitoes: dengue. Most people don't die from it, but it will ruin your vacation. Dengue aside, mosquito bites suck. I once came away from a vacation more bite than person. Go for Deet-based spray, or look into alternative measures if Deet doesn't work for you.

7 Seek out the Right Insurance

Never go on vacation without looking for the right insurance. If you are skiing or engaging in dangerous sports, get extra cover for potential injuries. Trust me, if an insurer can get out if paying for your care, they will. If you are traveling to somewhere where the care facilities are sparse, make sure you have cover for flying home in emergencies. Again, insurers will get out of arranging this if they can.

8 Be Careful when It Comes to Water

Water isn't clean everywhere. In addition, some places have water that is naturally mineralIsed and will disrupt your natural electrolyte balance. Get around this by sticking to bottled water. Or, even better, buy a bottle that comes with a filter built in. When swimming in open water, try not to swallow any. Nobody wants a dose of cholera or some other water-borne disease!

9 Use Protection

If you are single and not averse to a vacation romance, bite the bullet and break out the condoms. You don't want to come home with an STI. Don't rely on your potential partner to carry the goods. Be savvy when it comes to foreplay too. Your long-term health is more important than a little fun!

The precautions you have to take when traveling really do depend on where you are going to. For most of us, sunscreen, water, and insurance are all we need. If you are going somewhere exotic, be extra vigilant. If you have some travel health tips, what are they and how have they worked for you?

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