Traveling is a lot of fun, but it also has its risks. Because you are tired after a long flight or because your sleep schedule is out of balance, your immune system may be weakened and you are more likely to get sick. Not to mention the fact that you may get in contact with new and unusual bacteria, either while traveling through nature or while eating exotic foods. So here are 10 tips to help you avoid getting sick while traveling:
1. Wash Your Hands
This is the most basic yet very effective thing that you can do in order to prevent getting sick. It applies in day-to-day life, but also when traveling. You can stop the spread of infection and avoid things like diarrhea, vomiting, food poisoning, flu and much more.
The good old water and soap are great, but small bottles of sanitizing hand gel can be used as well. Wash your hands before eating and always after going to the toilet.
2. Drink Bottled Water
Depending on the place you are traveling to, the local water may not be that well sanitized. So it would be better to avoid it and drink bottled water instead. Even if the locals drink that water and have no problem, their bodies might have adjusted. But yours is not used to the bacteria found in that area.
Make sure to get a quality bottled water and double-check that the seal is intact. A common scam is to sell bottles filled with tap water and promote them as bottled. You can also get your own water bottle with a built-in filter.
3. Be Careful at What You Eat
Food contamination is the main cause of the traveler’s diarrhea and other digestive issues while traveling. You can be exposed to dangerous bacteria like E.coli, Salmonella, Giardia, cholera and many more. So make sure that the food you eat is fresh and well cooked.
Street food has the advantage of allowing you to see how the food is being prepared. Make sure that the person handling the food wears disposable gloves and changes them frequently. There should be a different person handling the money, or at least they should remove their gloves when handling cash, and then put them back on when handling food.
Be careful at salads that may have been washed and prepared in local untreated water, raw fruits and vegetables that haven’t been washed or peeled, food that has been left out and exposed for a long time, food that is shared, undercooked, raw or reheated.
Instead of suddenly switching to a diet of exotic foods, mix local food with your favorite burger or pizza. While it’s not that fun, in case you’re not sure, simply stick to food that you are used to, bought from a major fast-food chain.
4. Have a First Aid Kit and Medication
A first aid kit will come in very handy when traveling to faraway places or adventuring into the wilderness. It will give you all the needed tools to handle cuts, bruises, grazes and other types of injuries. Protect Life offers some great and affordable first aid kits that include everything you might need in case of an emergency.
Besides what’s included in the kit, also make sure to have multiple types of medication with you, for issues like diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headaches, fever and so on.
5. Stay Active
Exercising is already known to have multiple health benefits. It improves your overall well-being and it also strengthens your immune system, helping you to better cope with infections. While fit people still get sick, their bodies will handle the illness in a better way.
So go on walks, hikes, mountain bike rides, swims, jogging or whatever activities you can find there.
6. Protect Against The Sun
A sunburn can ruin your vacation. Not only it will cause multiple symptoms by itself, but it will also weaken your body and make it more prone to infections. Always use sun protection cream when laying in the sun, cover your skin as much as possible and also stay well hydrated. A sunburn combined with dehydration can lead to serious health issues and even death.
7. Get Vaccinated
Get informed on the possible diseases that may occur in the place you are traveling to, and then consult with your doctor to see which vaccines you can get. To prevent it is always much better than to cure.
8. Protect Yourself Against Mosquitoes
While a few bites will cause some minor discomfort and itching, this is not the main issue. In many exotic countries, mosquitoes are the ones transmitting multiple diseases, including some that are life-threatening (yellow fever, dengue, malaria, and others).
Wear the right kind of clothes, cover as much skin as possible and rub the exposed skin with a mosquito repellent. When possible, sleep under permethrin-coated nets.
9. Get Enough Sleep
While a vacation is made for fun and entertainment, make sure to also get some sleep. Otherwise, your body and immune system will be weakened and you will be more likely to get infected by various bacteria.
10. Have Fun and Laugh a Lot
After all, this is what a vacation is made for. Not to mention that laughing will also boost your immune system.
Consult with a doctor before the trip for any other tips or strategies to prevent getting sick, and don’t forget to get your first aid kit here.