Nobody wants to get ill while traveling. Unfortunately, going to another country puts you at added risk of getting sick. There may be hazards that you’re unfamiliar with ranging from dangerous animals to extreme weather conditions. There could also be bacteria, viruses, and parasites that your body doesn’t know how to fend off. By taking precautions, you can minimize the risk of getting ill. Below are just several ways to stay healthy while traveling.
Research into Local Diseases
There could be diseases found in certain areas of the world such as yellow fever and malaria that are worth taking precautions against. This could include avoiding certain areas that are deemed high risk or getting vaccinated before traveling.
It’s worth talking to a qualified medical professional to get their opinion on which diseases are worth protecting yourself against. This is worth doing a few months in advance – certain vaccines may require multiple shots.
Pack Essential Medication
There are all kinds of medication that could be worth bringing on your travels to combat illness. This includes:
Prescription medication for existing conditions (such as an inhaler for asthma or statins to help with heart disease)
- OTC antihistamines for mild allergies
- Anti-diarrheal medication
- Ointment for skin rashes
- Plasters and bandages
- Condoms for avoiding STIs
You may not always be able to easily access this medication while abroad. Consider visiting a local pharmacy before you go or consider ordering medication from an online chemist such as Oxford Online Pharmacy. It’s worth packing any prescription notes with you just in case you need them.
You should make sure that you’re drinking enough water while traveling. If you’re going somewhere hot or doing a lot of physical activity, you’ll be sweating a lot and will get dehydrated more quickly. This could lead to headaches, fatigue, and general discomfort.
Drinking lots of alcohol can increase your risk of becoming dehydrated. After a heavy night of drinking in a hot country, make sure that you drink lots of water to avoid the hangover from Hell.
Stick to Bottled Water
In some countries, drinking tap water can put you at risk of developing illnesses. Foreign tap water can sometimes contain bacteria and viruses – the locals may be immune to these contaminants, but you likely won’t be.
It’s worth stocking up on bottled water once you arrive in a new country. Make sure to always take a few bottles with you if you’re backpacking or on a day trip. If you don’t want to keep buying disposable plastic bottles, there are other options such as using purification tablets, boiling tap water before drinking it, or using a portable filter system.
Use Mosquito Spray
What’s the most dangerous animal to be wary of while traveling? No, it’s not spiders or snakes or lions or tigers. The mosquito is the biggest killer. This is because it is often the carrier of deadly diseases like malaria. Mosquitos can also carry bacteria which may cause bites to become infected.
Spraying yourself with mosquito spray could help to ward off these insects. You may also be able to take advantage of other protective measures when traveling such as sleeping with mosquito nets or using candles with repellent scents.
Stay Safe in the Sun
Too much sun exposure could lead to sunburn or heatstroke. Both conditions can be more dangerous than people realize – sunburn can put you at risk of skin cancer, while serious heatstroke can cause potentially fatal damage to organs.
You can avoid sunburn by wearing sun cream. You’ll get a tan more slowly, but you’ll reduce the risk of burning. Alternatively, you can stay in the shade.
To avoid heatstroke, make sure that you’re not wearing too many layers. Wearing a hat can be very effective at reducing heatstroke. Staying in the shade can also reduce the risk.
Wrap Up Warm in the Cold
Not everyone likes to travel somewhere hot. If you’re going somewhere cold such as a ski resort, it could be important to layer up. Wearing lots of layers will help to prevent you from developing hypothermia, which can be deadly and surprisingly common.
If the temperature is below zero and you’re going to be spending a lot of time outdoors, make sure that your whole body is covered up (including your fingers and face) and try to stay active to keep your body temperature up. You should check the temperature each morning before going out.