We are in the middle of a pandemic right now so the likelihood of being able to go away on a much-needed vacation isn’t likely. Depending on where you are in the world, travel may be a possibility for you and if it is, then you need to make sure that you are prepared. So, you’ve booked your location, you’ve booked your travel and you have your visa sorted out. The worst thing to happen, though, is feeling sick right before you go and here we are – you’re about to go on holiday and you’re feeling ill. The good news? It doesn’t have to ruin your trip at all! There are plenty of things that you may encounter that will interrupt your health while you’re going abroad, and we’ve put together some of the common issues you may encounter when you are traveling along with some travel health tips.
You’re Not Ready
It’s a common problem, but the worst thing that you can be before you travel is unprepared. If you’re heading abroad, you need to check that you have the right vaccinations so that you will be allowed through the airport! You will be turned away at the gate if you haven’t got the evidence you need to show that you are ready for your vacation. To know what your travel jabs will be, talk to your travel doctor and book an appointment at least eight weeks before you travel.
Did you remember your glasses? You can visit website to order yours online to be delivered if you know your prescription. Did you remember your passport renewal? It’s one of the mysteries of travel that you need to have at least six months on your passport before it expires, and if you don’t, you can be turned away at the gate and not able to travel. Being forgetful is a character trait, but if it’s going to be a detriment to your travel plans, being forgetful is not an option. Make a “To do” list in advance and tick it off for what you need for the best possible vacation.
Oh, this is the worst feeling! It’s so hard to enjoy a vacation when you want to go to sleep in the opposite timezone. Jet lag is more common for those on long-haul flights, and there are several ways that you can avoid it. Before you get on the plane, you need to rest as much as possible and if you really want to avoid all jet lag, take a night flight. You will do much better if you can sleep your way to your destination, especially if you are landing early in the morning. Adding headphones to block out noise and an eye mask to block out the light will help you to rest properly, too. Jet lag can also leave you feeling hungry, so make sure that you get enough nutrition before you’re on the plane. It can take a couple of days to adjust to a new timezone, and during the flight try to keep the blood flowing with regular movement.
It happens to the best of us, but motion sickness won’t happen on every flight. It can come on very suddenly and it can be a terrible thing to handle. No one likes to puke in public, right? It happens when the inner ear tells your brain that things are topsy turvy outside. Any mode of transport can interfere with your ability to hold your stomach contents in, and there are several ways that you can combat it. If you’re on a plane, wear sea sickness bands and try to sit above the wings on the plane. That’s the steadiest place to sit. If you take travel sickness tablets, make sure that you take them with enough time for them to kick in.
Mosquitos are a problem in some places, and whether it’s sand flies or mosquitos, you need to be able to soothe your skin. Being bitten alive is no fun and while you may just find the bugs irritating, an allergic reaction is a very real possibility. This is a good way to spend your vacation itching and scratching, and you could even be at risk for diseases like malaria if you aren’t protected properly. Preventing insect bites is a must, and you can do it by avoiding scented lotions and soaps or perfumes, and you can apply insect repellent regularly throughout the day. Wearing long sleeves may not be ideal in a hot place, but you can use light materials and still keep bugs off of your skin.
The sun is beautiful and warm but it’s also a giant ball of gas that is, well, hot! The sun has the power to cook your skin – and that’s what sunburn is! The problem isn’t that you keep getting burnt, but that you keep forgetting to protect yourself. Every time you allow your skin to tan without any protection on it, you up your skin cancer risk. Sunburn may fade, but you are burning your skin and you need to remember your sunscreen (biodegradable if possible) and your aftersun if you want to stay healthy while you are away. Stay in the shade as much as possible and treat your sunburn with sponging cool water.
Often, we seek the sun and we worship it with daytrips and time spent on the beach. The problem is that too much exposure to it can lead to heatstroke, which is basically being too hot. The symptoms of heat exhaustion start with feeling hot and thirsty, and while the extreme cases also include headaches, high temperatures and dizziness, it shouldn’t get this far in the first place. If you can’t get cooled down within half an hour, this is heatstroke and you need a doctor to help. This is where knowing where to find emergency services while abroad will help. Get out of the sun and stay in the shade, and drink plenty of water to hydrate yourself. Any dizziness requires you to elevate your feet and lie down. Rest and recovery are very important!
If your trip abroad includes a little height, altitude sickness could be an issue for you. Heights are hard enough for some people, but being 3,000 meters above sea level will give you the experience of altitude sickness. This includes shortness of breath, exhaustion, headaches and nausea as your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen. If you can, avoid spending too much time at a high altitude, and take a couple of days to get used to any kind of height before you go above 3,000 meters.
It happens to the best of us abroad, and it’s not the most pleasant thing to deal with! The way you can prevent food poisoning is with good hygiene, eating food that is piping hot and eating in places with good hygiene ratings!
Did you like the travel health tips above? Besides all of that, make sure you get a travel insurance before you leave home, this way you will be protected and will make you feel safer to continue your journey.
Have a safe trip!